Laminate Flooring Price Guide
Laminate flooring is a lower-cost alternative to wood flooring, tile and slate, the two styles that it simulates. However, most quality laminate flooring is not cheap. By this, we mean that it is made with quality materials and can last for 30 years or more. This updated 2017 guide to laminate flooring prices will give you a good overview of pricing for this popular type of flooring.
The following prices in this guide are approximate, for a more accurate quote please go ahead and request free estimates from local professionals in your area by CLICKING HERE.
To learn more about laminate flooring on our site, see these additional guides that cover everything about the product. Learn about laminate floor installation, care and maintenance, and or course our main buyers guide.
Note: Our laminate flooring prices have been updated to reflect the most current 2017 prices. The laminate installation costs have been updated to include user and customer data from a wide range of sources, including our customers, manufacturers and various web resources.
Average Price Range
Cheap laminate flooring starts at less than $1 per square foot and can cost as much as $5 per square foot. The average laminate flooring costs from $2.40-$4 per square foot. These factors have not changed much going into 2017, so you can expect other costs to remain fairly static as well.
The price is determined, as it is with most products, by the quality of the material. A major part of that quality is the thickness of the total material including the very important wear layer. This is the top layer made from melamine, a clear substance that is very hard and scratch-resistant. The least expensive flooring is as thin as 3mm thick, or about 1/8”. It has a very thin melamine wear layer. Material this thick is best avoided, as it won’t look good for very long unless installed in very low-traffic areas.
Mid-quality laminate is 7mm to 10mm thick, or up to 3/8” approximately. A thicker wear layer will be part of the reason for the greater total thickness. The best laminate flooring is 12mm or 15mm thick, or about 1/2″ with the thickest layer of melamine for wear.
Secondly, some laminate is produced with an added vapor barrier as the bottom layer or with an added underlayment as the bottom layer. If you choose one of these products, the price will be higher. Keep in mind, however, that if your location requires a subfloor, choosing laminate with the subfloor already attached might save you money on the total laminate flooring installation cost versus having the subfloor installed separately.
Alternative to More Expensive Flooring
Laminate flooring is competitively priced with quality carpet, mid-priced ceramic tile flooring and quality linoleum flooring. It costs slightly more than quality vinyl flooring. It is comparably priced with some unfinished wood flooring.
You may ask why a homeowner would consider laminate flooring when its cost is about the same as solid wood.
There are three main reasons…
First, the cost of pre-finished wood is quite a bit higher than laminate floor prices. Solid wood is competitively priced with laminate only if you plan to do the finishing. If you’re going to hire home floor pros to do it, then you should add up to $3 per square foot for installation.
Secondly, laminate should last 15-30 years depending on the grade of product you get. In that time, a solid wood floor will need to be refinished 2-4 times. Refinishing is quite expensive, so that cost must be factored in when evaluating the total costs of the two materials over their lifetime.
Finally, laminate is easier to install than solid wood flooring, so DIY homeowners often prefer it to wood. Because it is easier, professional installation may also cost less.
Because of the competitive prices of laminate flooring, it has excellent return on investment. Replacing worn flooring with this material will make any home much more attractive, and if you sell your home, will boost the price as well as increase the likelihood of a sale.
Laminate Floor Prices by Brand
A handful of brands dominate the laminate flooring industry. The table below shows the cost of laminate flooring in two columns, basic laminate flooring and premium flooring. Basic laminate is 7mm-10mm thick with a moderate wear layer; premium laminate is 12-15mm thick with a substantial wear layer of touch melamine.
Here is the average laminate flooring cost for products from the top manufacturers. Prices shown represent laminate cost per square foot.
|Laminate Floor Brand||Basic||Premium|
|Armstrong laminate flooring||$1.45 – $2.70||$3.10 – $4.40|
|BerryAlloc laminate flooring||$1.65 – $3.30||$3.50 – $4.90|
|Bruce laminate flooring||$1.55 – $2.60||$2.80 – $4.30|
|Mannington laminate flooring||$1.80 – $3.90||$4.10 – $5.25|
|Mohawk laminate flooring||$1.40 – $3.00||$3.30 – $4.25|
|Pergo laminate flooring||$2.15 – $3.60||$3.95 – $5.20|
|Quick-Step laminate flooring||$0.95 – $2.60||$2.80 – $4.50|
|Shaw laminate flooring||$1.00 – $2.75||$3.15 $4.50|
Determining the Amount of Material You Need
Measuring for laminate flooring is fairly easy. Unless you have blueprints that show dimensions, you’ll need to use a measuring tape to determine room sizes. Measure rectangles. If a room is “L-shaped,” measure the two rectangles separately.
Width x length = square feet. A rectangle room that is 20’x15 feet has a total of 300 square feet. Add up the total square feet of all the rectangles you measured.
NOTE: Most laminate manufacturers recommend you add 5% to 10% for trimming and waste. If you plan to install the material yourself and don’t have experience, choose the 10%. So, if you come up with 1,200 square feet total, multiple that number by 1.05 for 5% waste or 1.1 for 10% waste. That will give you the number of square feet you need.
Factors in Determining the Total Cost of Installation
All else being equal, the smaller the areas are in which the material is going, the higher the laminate flooring installation cost will be per square foot.. This is because there is more time-consuming trimming to do in 2-3 small rooms than there is in one large room. And more trimming equals more material required per since there is more waste. You’ll want material left over in case you need to replace a plank or two in the years ahead.
The condition of the subfloor will be a factor in the cost estimate you receive. When the floor that will lie beneath the laminate requires preparation, additional cost will be included. Most commonly, concrete must be patched and/or leveled. Wood subfloors often require some sections to be replaced or warped edges to at least be sanded down to create a level base for the laminate flooring.
When stairs or landings are involved, you can also expect the price per square foot to be higher.
Time of year may affect installation estimates. The fall is a very busy time for flooring contractors, since many homeowners want to have their new floor in place for the holidays. Late winter is the best time to find deals on laminate flooring installation costs. The flooring business is slow because many homeowners have just had flooring projects completed and others aren’t in the mood to spend more money while still paying off holiday purchases.
Is Cheap Laminate Flooring Worth the Cost
You’ll find cheap laminate floor material at all the large home improvement stores. The cost often starts at less than $1 per square foot. Is the cost of laminate flooring worth it in such cases? The answer depends. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for with laminate. Material that doesn’t cost much won’t offer much by way of performance or durability.
Look at it this way: The longer you intend to live in your current home, the better the laminate should be that you install. Cheap laminate will wear quickly and may not hold together as it should. Most often, it needs to be replaced in five to ten years depending on the amount and type of traffic it receives. Add a dog, a couple kids and their toys, and the floor might look bad even more quickly.
How To Save Money On Installation
If you’re hiring home flooring pros for the work, you can save money by removing the old flooring yourself. When you get laminate flooring estimates, ask the contractors what you can save by removing the old flooring. If it is worthwhile to you, get clear instructions on how to do it.
When you are planning your project, be sure to get at least 3 written estimates for the work. Tell contractors you’re getting multiple estimates so that they know they need to provide you with a competitive bid to get the job. One easy way to do this is to use an online service that automatically gives you 3 estimates from local contractors. There is no cost or obligation for using the service.
Laminate Pricing FAQs
Q: Is DIY laminate floor installation a realistic option? What should I know first?
A: If you know how to install laminate wood flooring through experience, then it can be done fairly easily. The trimming of planks for the edges and around obstacles is the toughest parts. The manufacturer of the laminate flooring should have installation instructions on its website. It should also list the exact tools required for the job.
You should know what type of flooring the laminate will cover. Tell your retailer, and the seller will let you know whether or not you need to add a subfloor layer and what type it should be before installing the laminate.
Q: Should I glue together the laminate flooring pieces?
A: The benefit of using glue on laminate flooring is that it acts as a moisture barrier. It helps prevent water from getting into the subflooring where it can cause warping, buckling and rot. The disadvantage of gluing the pieces is that it makes them much harder to remove. If you plan to live where you are indefinitely – in other words, you won’t be moving and taking a floating laminate floor with you – then gluing is a choice worth considering.
Q: How much does it cost to repair cracked laminate flooring?
A: Repair is more time-consuming than installation. Expect the cost to be 50% to 100% costlier per square foot than what you paid for installation. For most jobs, it will be $3-$7 per square foot for the labor. The price will depend on the complexity of the repair.
Q: How much does it cost to install laminate flooring?
A: There will be some variation in prices regionally and the final amount will depend on the size and complexity of the project, that said the average cost to install laminate flooring is $1.40 to $2.20 per square foot. That is a basic laminate install price, old floor removal, sub-floor replacement, transitions etc are considered as extras.
Q: Is it worth buying the most expensive laminate?
A: It depends on how long you plan to be in your current home or office. If you are there indefinitely, then buying high-quality laminate makes sense. If you plan to move in less than 10 years, then mid-level laminate is a good choice. Buying the cheapest stuff rarely makes sense unless you are doing it to spruce up your home before putting it on sale.
Q: What is the value of buying laminate with subflooring attached?
A: if you the laminate flooring installation is over concrete, you need to install subflooring. If it’s over OSB or plywood, you may not need to. When new subflooring is required, including it as part of the material will save labor costs. However, most laminate flooring does not come with attached subflooring, so your choices will be limited.
Q: Does color or wood species affect cost?
A: Some colors, usually deeper ones, are considered premium colors and may boost the cost slightly. The material that the laminate is simulating such as wood, slate or tile will have no impact on price.