How Much Should My New Floor Cost?

Flooring comes in a wide array of materials, colors, types and finishes. And for the average consumer, it's hard to know a good deal from a bad one. Many homeowners worry about buying an inferior product or getting overcharged by unscrupulous contractors. Flooring purchases can be expensive and something not replaced very often.

•Only use a trusted company or individual when purchasing flooring. You can have a great looking material that is actually a low-cost material. It can be made to look great for a short time so thoroughly check out floors and their warranties fully. All materials purchased thru a dealer/installer will carry the full manufacturer warranty and a 1-year labor warranty. No dealer/installer will guarantee any product they don't sell you.

•If you buy a product from a store and have someone else beside the stores employees or subcontractors install it, be certain how the warranty will work. Most manufacturers require the flooring to be installed under strict guidelines they have set in place by the Carpet and Rug Institute. Any reputable company has been schooled on such. The classes are expensive so not everyone will take them. If you get a below cost price to install a floor, then buyer beware.

•Make sure the company has workman compensation and general liability insurance coverage. If something happens on your jobsite you can be liable for injuries. This certificate of insurance must come from the company's insurance provider. The flooring company cannot provide you with a certificate of insurance in any way. You MUST be named on the certificate itself to be covered.

To help, here's a rundown on how much you should expect to pay for new carpet, hardwood, tile and LVT flooring.


Unlike tile or wood flooring, which is priced by the square foot only, carpet is priced by the square yard or square foot, making an apples-to-apples comparison challenging. However, converting the square yard price into square feet isn't difficult; just divide it by 9. For example, carpet priced at $27 a yard costs $3 a square foot. A 12 X 12 room is 144 sq feet equals 16 sq yards

Average carpet prices start at $2 per square foot and increase with quality. Mid-grade quality carpet ranges from $3 to $4 per square foot, and high grades and designer grades cost about $5 or more per square foot. If it's not already included in the cost, expect to pay an additional $2.50 to $6 per square foot for padding, depending on the pad itself. You have a basic pad that is 4 pounds and entry level. Pad goes up in quality and can cost as much as $6 for pet proof padding. You can expect to pay $2 to $3 per square foot for installation. We figure labor and 6-pound rebound pad as standard pricing in our quotes.

Be wary of free padding promotions or low-cost carpet deals. You know, the ones that offer three rooms for an absurdly low price - like $99. Free carpet padding is usually a cheap foam that is air injected and thin, and it frequently leaves you paying for an upgrade. As for those amazing deals, the cheap carpet comes with high-cost padding, installation and other extras tacked on, so the deal isn't as sweet as it seemed. The free installation does not take into account any prep, carpet seams, and Ecton. I always tell my customers nothing is free. Somewhere down the road, it is made up. A company could not stay in business giving stuff away. Our motto is "no free sales gimmicks, just fair reasonable prices. " there is no way you can " pay for one room and get three free". That's just not reasonable and expected.

Sometimes you'll see stain resistance advertised as an add-on. However, it's not always needed. Polyester and olefin carpet fibers contain natural stain resistance. However, nylon carpets do need added stain protection. Nylon is always more expensive but it is the best fiber for carpets.

Hardwood Flooring

Prices for hardwood range from $4 per square foot for the cheapest flooring up to $30 or more on the high end. At the midrange, expect to pay $8 to $14 per square foot for quality hardwood flooring.

Engineered hardwood flooring offers a good combination of affordability and durability. You can expect to spend about $8 to $12 per square foot for engineered hardwood flooring. Add an additional $3 per square foot for installation. Remember this is an engineered floor and cannot be sanded and refinished any at all.

According to Angie's List data, the average hardwood install costs $2,141, with prices ranging from $1,800 to $2,475 for a 12 x 12 room.

Compare Quotes from Local Flooring Pros

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Flooring

Tile prices vary widely, from $1 up to more than $25 per square foot for a polished tiles depending on the type. Glazed ceramic tiles start around $1 per square foot, while porcelain, marble and granite tiles start at $2 and more per square foot.

Higher-end tiles, such as mosaic, which are small tiles mounted to a mesh sheet, can cost up to $25 or more per square foot, as can glass, leather and metal tiles.

All Hard Surface Tile installation requires more labor than other flooring types. It takes several trips to install. Count on paying about $8 to $16 per square foot depending on the complexity of install. Treat low bids with caution. Very low labor costs could mean you're working with unqualified installers. Poor installation will create problems in a few years. Check any quotes you get with references and get several contacts from installer.

Other Flooring Materials

Laminate wood flooring can create the look and feel of hardwood at a lower cost. You can expect to pay between $1 and $8 per square foot. The entry-level types such as maple and red oak run closer to the low end. You'll pay the most for hickory. Mid-range varieties such as acacia, cherry and beech cost about $12 per square foot. Remember laminate is a wood core product and can't get wet or it will come apart and be destroyed. Expect to pay between $2 and $8 per square foot for installation. The complexity of your room impacts the price. A smaller room may have a higher per-square-foot installation price due to cutting, trimming and laying the pieces.

Vinyl and linoleum offer affordable options. They can last for years when well-maintained. A quality sheet linoleum costs about $5 per square foot. Expect to pay about $5 per square foot for quality sheet vinyl. Higher-end forms of both materials cost more. VCT vinyl composition tiles cost about $7 per square foot installed. Linoleum tile averages about $5.50 per square foot with $5 to $7 per square foot to install.

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

LVT is the newest flooring available. It comes either floating or fully adhered. It is 100 % WATERPROOF and is great with pets. It can sit in water and still be used. You can expect to pay $3 to $4 dollars foot for low-end 5-year warranty and up to $14 per foot for a lifetime warranty product. Better and best LVT has the pad attached to it. Labor on LVT installation ranges from $1.50 to $6 per foot depending on the complexity of the rooms.

Furniture: Customer must remove any personal items such as pictures and what-not. Insurance will not cover these items as they are not replaceable nor can a price be placed on sentimental value if broken. Due to financial fraud, we DO NOT move computers of any type. All must be dismantled by the customer. We will gladly move furniture within reason to complete our job. We do not move items over 300 lbs, no can figure a cost of $40 to $100 per room to remove and reset furniture. You can expect to pay $75 and up to remove and reset toilets.