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Cost to Install Laminate Flooring (Cost Per Square Foot in 2021)

laminate flooring-pixabay

If you’re thinking of redoing your floors, laminate is a great option. It is often more durable, easier to install, and more affordable than hardwood. At the same time, it has a beautiful finish that complements any home.

Like any other flooring, laminate flooring requires smart budgeting. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees! Though it isn’t as expensive as tile or hardwood, expect to pay a good amount of money. The average homeowner pays between $1,500 and $4,500, which turns out to be about $5 to $12 per square foot, for laminate installation.

To fully understand this price, we need to take a closer look at what goes into this estimate.divider 4

Laminate Flooring

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Credit: geralt, Pixabay

Laminate floors are made from a particleboard wood base, an image layer, and a transparent layer for protection. This makes the flooring easy to install because you lay it over the existing floor. It should last between 20 and 30 years. At the same time, it is more affordable than many flooring types.

As we already mentioned, the average US price for laminate flooring installation ranges from $1,500 to $4,500. This makes the cost per square foot range between $5 and $12 for installation. If you were looking for laminate flooring without the installation cost, that would cost about $0.75 to $4 per square foot.

Still, laminate flooring can cost more or less than this range. At the moment, the minimum price is around $500. Meanwhile, the maximum price is about $14,000. Wowsa!

What’s Included in the Estimate

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Credit: Lubo Ivanko, Shutterstock

A number of factors go into this overall estimate. The two main factors include materials and installation.

  • Materials

You will have to pay for the materials, as well as the installation labor costs. Thinner products will cost around $0.75 to $2 per square foot. If you want something thicker, then expect to pay anywhere between $2 and $4.

Materials come in a range because there’s not just one type of laminate flooring. You can find a variety of different woods at the base of the laminate. For example, one square foot of Maple- based laminate flooring is around $0.68 per square foot. On the other hand, Hickory-based laminate flooring is almost an entire dollar more expensive, adding up to $1.60 per square foot.

  • Labor and Installation

In addition to materials, you will need to pay for installation as well. Labor will cost anywhere between $2 and $7 per square foot. The exact costs will depend on how complex your project is and the local labor rate. For example, a room with odd shapes or features will cost more because it requires unique cuts and installation.

  • Other Installation Costs

Some other costs may make your price go up, but they are not included in the general estimate. For example, any extra features to the laminate will make it more expensive. You can add scratch resistance, noise resistance, or water resistance, for example. All of these additions will make the price go up.

Any extra work that’s not considered mandatory for laminate installation will also increase the labor cost. For example, if your building is not in code for whatever reason, you will need to bring it back into compliance. These issues may have to do with the HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems.

Depending on where you live, the contractor may need to get special approval or license too. These fees will be specific to where you live and will make the cost go up. Your contractor will tell you about any needed licenses or fees.

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Comparing Laminate to Other Flooring Types

As we already mentioned, laminate is more affordable and easier to install than other flooring types. Let’s take a closer look at other flooring types so that you can see exactly how much you would be saving by opting for laminate over a different flooring option.

  • Hardwood

Whereas laminate flooring cost $5 to $12 to install, hardwood flooring costs $12 to $20. The price of hardwood will largely depend on the availability of the type you want and the project’s difficulty. Even in a best-case scenario, expect hardwood to cost twice as much as laminate.

Not to mention, hardwood is more difficult to install. This makes labor costs go up. That’s because special cutting is often needed, you can’t install it over the finished floor, and a variety of steps must be taken for it to be installed correctly.

  • Tile

Tile is also expensive to install. Professional tile installation will cost anywhere between $7 and $14 per square foot. This isn’t as expensive as hardwood, but it certainly is more costly than some laminate flooring.

  • Carpet

Carpet costs between $3 and $8 per square foot to install. With that math, laminate flooring may be more expensive than carpets. However, it is often much easier to clean and maintain. In addition, laminate flooring tends to look more timeless, allowing your home to look in style for a longer period of time.

Ways to Save Money

In addition to laminate flooring’s already affordable price, there are some ways that you can save money. One of the first ways you can do this is to look for discontinued supplies. Overstock resellers sell discontinued limited options at a discount.

There is a downside to this idea. If you need to fix laminate down the line or extend it throughout your home, it may be more difficult to find the match.

Another way you can save money is by installing laminate yourself. Unlike other floorings, laminate is easy enough to do. You can save money by throwing out labor costs entirely and doing it yourself instead. If you look online, you’ll be able to find many tips and videos for how to install the laminate flooring correctly and safely.divider 1

Is Laminate Right for Me?

Laminate is a great flooring option if you are looking for something easy and affordable to install and maintain. It can give you a beautiful hardwood-like appearance at a much more affordable price. In other words, this is a great option for those who want beautiful flooring on a budget.

Although this flooring type isn’t as expensive as hardwood or tile, it still will cost thousands. To determine a more exact price based on your home, consider various factors, such as wood-base and installation method.


Featured image credit: Mazrobo, Pixabay

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