How Much Does It Cost to Replace Subflooring?

Angela Brown
Written by Angela Brown
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated March 11, 2022
Kitchen wood floors in a historic home
Photo: Ursula Page / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • It costs approximately $3 to $10 per square foot to replace a subfloor, depending on the material you choose. 

  • Consider choosing a moisture-proof subfloor for bathrooms or basements. 

  • If you’re installing underfloor radiant heating, you’ll need a special type of subflooring called Warmboard. 

  • Repair broken floor joists, water damage, settling, and dry rot before replacing subflooring. 

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

You might need to replace your subfloors—the base layer that supports your flooring—if you’re dealing with squeaky floors, warping, or water damage. Laying down a new style of flooring, like marble or linoleum, might also require a new subfloor. For an average-sized room of 300 square feet, expect to spend about $550 on the cost to repair subfloors.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Subflooring per Square Foot?

Subfloor replacement typically costs about $3 to $10 per square foot. This range can vary based on labor costs, which will add $25 to $30 per hour, and the type of subflooring you choose. Below we’ve broken out examples of relatively affordable, middle-range, and higher cost options to give you a better idea on how much subflooring costs can vary.

“Subfloor replacement can be straightforward or very involved,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert and a Raleigh, N.C.-based general contractor. “You usually can’t see the extent of any underlying problems until you remove the top layers of flooring and subflooring.”

Costs compared for 3 types of subfloor materials, with plywood averaging $1.50 per square foot

Plywood Subfloors

Plywood is the most common type of subflooring. This material has the lowest cost at around $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot of 5/8-inch thick plywood panels. Thicker plywood might last longer and better support your floors, but it will cost more per square foot.

Moisture-Proof Subfloors

If you’re looking for something moisture-resistant for bathrooms or basements, you might consider an option like Amdry panels. These engineered, moisture-proof panels cost about $3 per square foot.

Warmboard Subfloors

Imagine walking across a cozy, heated living room floor in the middle of an Ohio winter. This little luxury requires a special type of subflooring that can withstand underfloor radiant heating. Warmboard costs around $7 per square foot or $2,100 for a 300-square foot room.

How Much Does Subfloor Replacement Cost by Type?

There are many different types of subfloors to consider depending on your needs. A bathroom renovation will require subfloors that are resistant to moisture, like Amdry or DRIcore panels. Your living room or bedrooms might benefit from a soundproof option, like Barricade panels, for better naps and sleeping at night, or you can keep it simple with plywood.

Plywood Subfloors

Plywood is the most common type of subflooring. As mentioned above, this material costs around $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot of 5/8-inch thick plywood panels. Keep in mind, these costs do not include labor. For a 300-square-foot room, you’ll spend about $750 to $1,050 to replace the subfloors with new plywood.

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Oriented strand board is another popular subfloor option. The cost is less per panel than plywood, but it can also swell if moisture is present. OSB is weaker than plywood and will not work for ceramic tiles or stone floors.

Amdry

Amdry is a brand of moisture-resistant, insulated subflooring made specifically for basements. Amdry runs about $3 per square foot or around $900 for a 300-square-foot space. Installation also requires special connectors at $20 per pack of 15 connectors.

DRIcore

The aptly named DRIcore brand is another moisture-proof subfloor option that is commonly used in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. For a 300-square-foot room, DRIcore subfloor replacement will cost around $530.

Barricade

This insulated subfloor can help increase the temperature of your finished flooring without the extra costs of installing radiant underfloor heating. Made specifically for basements, the sound-dampening quality of Barricade-brand panels also makes this subfloor a great choice for bedrooms, living rooms, or offices where you might want a quieter space. 

Barricade costs about $2 per square foot or $600 for a 300-square-foot room.

Concrete

Concrete slabs are a unique choice, as this material can serve as a subfloor or the main floor. You can also install additional subfloors, like DRIcore, on top of concrete for better moisture protection. Concrete subfloors cost an average of $6 per square foot.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Subflooring Yourself?

Installing subfloors incorrectly could lead to costly repairs and additional replacements down the road. It’s best to work with a local flooring contractor to replace subfloors, but you can DIY the project if you have experience installing subfloors. 

There’s significant benefits to working with a pro. In addition to removing old material and installing the new subfloor, a pro will know which type of material is best for your project and whether you need to install a moisture barrier.

“If you’re remodeling a kitchen or bathroom and that remodel involves adding heavy materials, such as granite countertops, it’s best to consult a structural engineer,” says Tschudi. “Many homes—especially older homes—will need extra support to prevent serious problems down the line.”

Materials

The primary material will be the subflooring, which will range from $3 to $10 per square foot. Additional materials may vary depending on the type of subfloor. For example, Amdry subfloors require connectors, which cost $20 for a 15 pack. For a 300-square-foot room, you’ll spend about $450 to $500 on subfloor materials.

In addition to the flooring material, you’ll likely need the following:

SuppliesCost
Circular saw$40+
Crowbar$10
Nails$20+
Nail gun$150+
Construction adhesive (reduces squeaking)$15+

Labor

You’ll save about $25 to $30 per hour for labor by going the DIY route. A 120-square-foot bedroom would cost about $100 to $300 in labor. But if you install the subfloor or measure incorrectly, you’ll spend extra time and money buying more subflooring to fix those mistakes.

Replacing a subfloor could take several days of your time as well. If you find water damage upon removing the old subflooring, you’ll need to address those repairs before moving forward. 

Subfloor Replacement Cost Breakdown

Flooring in bathroom
Photo: Kristina Blokhin / Adobe Stock

There are several costs associated with subfloor replacement.

Subfloor Materials

The materials will range from $3 to $10 per square foot, plus additional costs for items that accompany specific types of subfloors, such as a mixer for concrete subfloors or glue and nails for plywood subfloors.

Labor

Hiring a local flooring professional will add about $25 to $30 per hour to the cost to replace subfloors. Labor will include both the time spent removing and hauling away the old subfloor and installing the new subfloor, but it does not include the cost of materials or new flooring. 

A skilled contractor will complete the work efficiently and make sure it’s done right. You certainly don’t want to end up with uneven floors after trying to replace subfloors yourself, especially if you are only replacing a section of subflooring.

Common Repairs

The labor for repairs will still be about $25 to $30 an hour. Common repairs include fixing damage from water, pests, settling, dry rot, warping, and gaps. You will also have to address any broken floor joists. It’s important to have a professional fix these issues before installing new subfloors to prevent these problems from happening again.

Supply Chain 

In 2022, many homeowners will also have to factor in additional material costs. The COVID-19 pandemic and supply-chain events reduced wood supplies, which means the cost of wood, and in turn, subflooring will likely have increased—at least for the short term. 

FAQs About Replacing Subflooring

Why should I replace my subfloor?

There are several signs that your subfloors need to be replaced. Water damage is a common culprit, often identified by a musty smell in the room. A sagging floor or uneven spots in your wood or carpet flooring might mean the subfloor is weak and needs to be replaced. 

Squeaky floors could mean you need to fix broken joists or loose nails, while cracking tile floors mean the subfloor isn’t strong enough to handle the tile.

What factors should I think about when choosing a subflooring material?

The type of subflooring you need depends on the room and the type of floors. If you’re installing radiant heating, you need to use Warmboard. For bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or other spaces that are prone to moisture, options like DRIcore and Amdry are best to prevent water damage. Also consider how much weight the subfloor needs to hold and the best level of durability for your space.

What other projects should I do at the same time?

If you’re replacing your subfloors, you’re probably also laying down new flooring. Make sure you choose a subfloor that will properly support your flooring of choice and factor the cost of new flooring into your project budget. For example, concrete slab subfloors work well for ceramic tiles while OSB does not. 

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.