Cost to Install Laminate Flooring

How Much Does Laminate Flooring Cost?

$4,500 to $7,500 is the average cost to install 1000 sq. ft. of laminate plank flooring.

In this Home Flooring Pros report we breakdown all the individual costs that are associated with installing or replacing a laminate floor, give you low, average and high price ranges, take into account different installation factors and drill down into the effect on price by laminate brand.

Like our other flooring cost reports, this page includes detailed laminate flooring costs for materials and installation. Cost factors are explained that will allow you to anticipate a cost range before you shop for laminate planks and get estimates from flooring installers.

The cost of laminate flooring installed is $2.50 per square foot for the cheapest material and more than $10.00 for the best laminate.

The range is narrower, $4.50 to $7.50 per square foot, for the most popular brands and styles of laminate flooring, or $4,500 to $7,500 for 1,000 total.

Total average cost for:

  • 250 square feet installed: $1,300 to $1,900
  • 500 square feet installed: $2,250 – $3,750
  • 1000 square feet installed: $4,500 – $7,500

That’s the overview. The rest of the info below gets into the details of pricing for material and labor for installation. Cost factors are explained to help you narrow your cost estimates as you shop for laminate flooring and get estimates from local installers.

Homeowners should consider factors that affect cost, but the bottom line remains “How much does laminate cost?

In the next few minutes, this Home Flooring Pros report gives you the knowledge necessary to peg a pretty accurate price for the type and quality of laminate you want for your home.

And when you’re ready, here’s a quick, no-cost way to get written estimates from experienced installers where you live.

OVERVIEW OF COST BREAKDOWN

The cheapest laminate starts at around 60 cents per square foot at Home Depot and elsewhere. Most is priced between $1.75 to $3.50 with the best grades topping $5.50 per square foot. That’s a huge range.

Installation labor costs follow the laminate price list below.

But just for the material – the planks and the few installation supplies you’ll need – expect to find these retail costs:

  • Cheap laminate (quick makeover, short-term fix): $0.60 to $1.75 per square foot.
  • Basic laminate – the most popular options for most homes: $1.80 to $2.75 per square foot.
  • Best laminate – thicker base and improved wear layer, suitable for all uses including high-traffic areas: $2.80 to $5.00+ per square foot.
  • Waterproof laminate – for use below grade and in potentially wet areas like bathrooms: $1.95 to $4.00 per square foot.

Installation labor starts at about $1.50 per square foot for the labor and materials such as underlayment or moisture barrier.

Complex jobs with a lot of trimming, and very small jobs like a single bathroom that are barely “worth the time” for flooring installers, cost up to $5.00 per square foot.

DIY? Laminate is a good option. Most are designed to quickly snap and lock together. Cutting laminate is easily done with shears or a snap cutter. Ripping first-row and last-row pieces lengthwise is more of a challenge with a jigsaw or table saw.

You might ruin a few planks getting the hang of it, but you’ll still be money ahead by DIY and learning a new skill.

Here’s a good question! Why would you rip the first piece? To balance the flooring, especially in a small space like a hallway or bathroom. Starting with a full plank and ending with one that’s 1” wide, for example, won’t look right.

Removing old flooring and paying for disposal costs less than $2.00 and up to $4.00 per square foot based on the type of flooring and your disposal options.

COST TABLE

Here are low, average and high laminate flooring prices and what is included in each cost range.

Low Cost Average Cost High Cost
$1.00 – $4.50/sq.ft. $4.50 – $7.50/sq.ft. $7.50 – $10.00/sq.ft.
Material Cost $1.00 – $2.35/sq.ft. $2.00 – $3.75/sq.ft. $3.25 – $5.00/sq.ft.
Flooring Thickness 7mm – 8mm 8mm – 12mm 10mm – 12mm
Attached Pad Yes or No Yes Yes
Abrasion Criteria (AC) 2 – 3 3 – 4 3 – 4
Waterproof Yes or No Yes or No Yes or No
Residential Warranty Less than 30 years 25 years to Lifetime Lifetime
Installation DIY or Pro Pro Pro
Remove Old Flooring No Yes or No Yes or No
New Subfloor No Yes or No Yes or No
Job Complexity Easy to Average Average to Difficult Average to Difficult
Move Furniture No Yes or No Yes or No

LAMINATE FLOORING COST FACTORS

Both flooring cost and installation factors account for the wide range of laminate floor prices.

This section expands on the laminate flooring price factors listed in the left column of the table above. The goal is to assist in further refining your estimated flooring costs.

What’s included in flooring in these laminate flooring price ranges?

Under $2.50 per square foot: This price range includes cheap laminate professionally installed and DIY laminate in lower to average quality tiers. Big box store brands like Home Depot TrafficMaster and Menards Tarkett laminate fall into this class.

Most of it has thinner construction and, in most cases, no attached pad. The protective wear layer of these flooring options is thinner too, so the Abrasion Criteria, or scratch resistance, is lower than average.

You’ll find water-resistant flooring at this price, but nothing that is guaranteed to be waterproof. In terms of the site conditions, the subfloor will be in good condition with minimum repairs or modifications required.

Note on warranty: While a 25-year warranty sounds great, it covers manufacturing defects – issues like the floor falling apart. It does not cover normal wear and tear. Unless a room is rarely used and then only with a ‘no shoes’ policy, most laminate won’t look good beyond 15-20 years.

$2.25 to $4.50 per square foot: There is a lot of decent laminate flooring in this range. If you DIY, you can splurge on better-grade or waterproof flooring. It doesn’t account for a lot of repairs before installation, though the budget might cover a new, thin plywood subfloor.

With pro installation, this range will get you average to good-quality laminate flooring with attached pad and a better warranty. All the major brands – Pergo, Shaw, Armstrong,

$4.00 – $6.00 per square foot: A lot of homeowners end up in this price range for good laminate from leading brands like Pergo with attached pad and  waterproof options like AquaGuard and Mohawk RevWood. This is 10-20 year flooring in most homes and is a good price point for kitchen laminate flooring.

If your estimate reaches this range, then some of the extras like old floor removal or a new subfloor are probably included. And the work might include spaces like a bathroom or two that require more trimming for the total square footage.

$5.25 – $7.50 per square foot: This is another common price tier for better grades of laminate with attached pad, professionally installed with a new subfloor.

Laminate in this range is thicker – usually 10mm or 14mm – with an enhanced wear layer to resist scratches. Most is AC4 rated for abrasion. It might also offer premium features like heavily textured or embossed finished.

A new subfloor and removal of old flooring is common in this cost range.

$7.00 – $10.00 per square foot: A small percentage of estimates come in above $7 or $8 per square foot.

At the top of the price table you get premium flooring, often waterproof, with the best options for wear layer and attached pad. It might be a premium color too with the most wood-like texturing, if you want walnut laminate flooring this is the price range where you will find the most realistic options. Lines with longer planks up to 8’ and possibly mixed-width collections like AquaGuard Estate and Shaw Manor Ridge, or herringbone designs like Shaw Castle Ridge, hit this price tier

If your estimates come in above $7 per square foot, it probably also means that the installer is removing the old flooring and putting in a new subfloor.

LAMINATE FLOORING COST BY BRAND

Many laminate flooring brands, like the original brand – Pergo – are well known. But there are just as many you might not be familiar with but sell a lot of flooring.

Here is a current laminate flooring price list for the top brands.

BRAND PRICE PER SQ FOOT
TrafficMaster laminate $0.89 – $2.20
Pergo Portfolio laminate flooring $1.99 – $2.79
LifeProof Laminate plank $1.99 – $2.59
Home Decorators Collection $1.49 – $2.59
Pergo XP laminate $2.09 – $3.09
Evoke Laminate flooring $2.09 – $3.19
Pergo Outlast Plus $2.79 – $2.89
Quick-Step NatureTec $2.50 – $5.00
Newton Laminate Floors $3.00 – $5.00
Mohawk RevWood laminate $1.90 – $3.50
AquaGuard Laminate $2.79 – $3.99
Shaw Repel laminate $2.19 – $6.09
Mannington laminate $3.50 – $3.99

STYLES AND COST RANGES

As you likely know, laminate looks so much like the “real thing” because the construction includes a photographic image of genuine wood or stone.

There’s a lot of overlap in costs for these “looks,” but stone and complex designs tend to cost more.

Material prices:

Wood Look Planks: Under $1.00 to $6.50 per square foot. The cheap stuff is thin, has minimal wear protection and won’t last very long in high-traffic areas. Most laminate under $1.50 per square foot has no water resistant protection.

Water resistant laminate flooring starts around $1.75 per square foot. Waterproof flooring falls between $2.50 and $4.50 per square foot for most, though when enhanced design is part of the package, cost will be higher.

The most expensive options in this range have some form of moisture protection and are mixed-width plank flooring or those with enhanced design like those embossed in register (EIR) with heavier wood grain texture.

Stone Look Planks: $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot is the price range for laminate flooring that looks like natural stone such as granite or marble. It’s a good way to save $10 to $20 per square foot over the cost of real stone.

Herringbone Planks: There are few options, and they tend to cost more – $5.00 to $6.50 per square foot.

LAMINATE FLOORING COST COMPARISON

Genuine hardwood is the gold standard that other flooring types imitate. How does laminate compare with genuine hardwood, vinyl plank flooring and other options?

This table shows the flooring cost comparison for your choices in wood and wood-look materials.

Material Low Cost Average Cost High Cost Installed Cost
Laminate $0.90 – $1.75 $2.00 – $3.35 $3.50 – $5.25 $2.50 – $8.00
Sheet Vinyl $0.50 – $1.15 $1.25 – $2.50 $2.75 – $4.00 $2.25 – $6.50
Vinyl Plank/SPC/WPC $1.50 – $3.35 $3.50 – $6.00 $6.25 – $9.00 $3.75 – $12.00
Engineered Hardwood $2.50 – $6.50 $7.00 – $10.00 $10.50 – $15.00 $6.00 – $20.00
Solid Hardwood $4.00 – $7.75 $8.00 – $11.50 $12.00 – $18.00+ $8.00 – $30.00
Porcelain Tile $1.50 – $2.25 $2.50 – $3.50 $3.75 – $5.25 $7.00 – $12.50

INSTALLATION FACTORS

These have at least alluded to above, but here is a summary of how site conditions affect the total cost of laminate flooring jobs.

Old flooring removal: Carpet removal cost is minimal because carpet pad and carpeting can be quickly torn out – a good place to save with DIY even if pros install the new flooring. And it’s pretty easy to remove vinyl plank flooring too, so the cost is low. Glued down flooring and ceramic tile are much harder to remove, so cost is significantly higher.

Wood subfloor replacement: If the subfloor is water-damaged or in otherwise poor condition, it should be replaced. Imperfections will show through new flooring and might cause the connections to come apart when walked on.

Concrete repair: Cracks and sunken areas in concrete must be remedied before installing new flooring of any kind. As we say in our cost to install vinyl plank flooring report, “Repairs might be priced out by the square foot – around $5.00 to $6.00 per square foot for self-leveling concrete. Crack repair generally costs $1-$3 per linear foot depending on the width of the crack and what material is used for the repair.”

Vapor barrier: If you’re installing laminate in a basement or over concrete generally, many installers recommend laying a vapor barrier first at a cost of $0.30 to $1.75 per square foot. Find out why the installer recommends a vapor barrier on a basement floor, because not all do.

Stairs: Expect estimates of $40 to $80 per for laminate stairs installation.

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About the Author:

Rob Parsell

Rob joined the Home Flooring Pros team in 2014 and is a freelance writer, specializing in flooring, remodeling and HVAC systems.

“I’m the son of an interior designer and picked up an eye for design as a result. I started hanging wallpaper and painting at 14 and learned enough on the job to be the general contractor on two homes we built for our family and did much of the finish plumbing, electrical, painting, and trim work myself.”

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