What Is the Cost of Laminate Flooring per Square Foot? (2023 Guide)

By Joe McGuinty
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Are you a homeowner on the hunt for wallet-friendly flooring that doesn’t compromise on style? Look no further than laminate flooring! It’s the chameleon of the flooring world, effortlessly mimicking the elegant look of hardwood floors without sending your bank account into cardiac arrest. Believe me, I speak from experience—I’ve adorned my humble abode with laminate floors and haven’t looked back since. 

But all laminate flooring isn’t created the same, and costs can vary. Below, we’ve compiled current prices from Home Depot and Lowe’s as of 2023. We’ve priced out various options below from lower-end to higher-end vinyl material, labor costs, installation and removal costs, and factors to consider that can affect the price of your flooring project. 

Different Types Of Laminate

Laminate flooring is composed of several layers, including a high-density fiberboard core, a printed paper layer that resembles wood or stone, and a protective top layer. This type of flooring comes in various surface types, such as high gloss, embossed, hand scraped, and distressed, each offering a distinct look and feel.

  • High gloss laminate flooring is ideal for creating a modern, sleek ambiance in smaller rooms as it creates an illusion of more space. Nonetheless, it might require more upkeep as it can expose dirt and scratches. Prices typically range from $2 to $5 per square foot. 
  • Embossed laminate flooring is a versatile option that imitates the texture of natural materials, making it perfect for high traffic areas as it conceals dirt and scratches. Prices generally range from $2.50 to $6 per square foot.
  • Hand scraped laminate flooring is for those who desire a weathered, rustic appearance. It adds character and charm to a space. It also works well in homes with pets as it disguises scratches and scuffs. Prices typically range from $3 to $7 per square foot.
  • Distressed laminate flooring is an excellent choice for those seeking a vintage, worn appearance that adds texture and warmth to a room. It complements homes with natural wood furniture and decor. Prices generally range from $3.50 to $8 per square foot.

When selecting a surface type for laminate flooring, consider personal taste, the desired appearance, and upkeep requirements for each choice. Opting for the right surface type according to your needs can create long-lasting, beautiful, and low-maintenance flooring for your home.

Laminate Flooring Cost According to Type

Cost Per Square Foot.ProsCons
High Gloss$2 – $5Sleek, modern look
Creates illusion of more space
Requires upkeep – exposes dirt and scratches
Embossed$2.50 – $6Sleek, modern look
Creates the illusion of more space
Textured surface traps dirt and debris
Needs special cleaning tools and techniques
Hand Scraped$3 – $7Adds character and charm to a space with a rustic, weathered look
Conceals scratches and scuffs—good for homes with pets
Difficult to install due to uneven surface
Can’t be re-sanded or re-finished
Distressed$3.50 – $8Vintage, worn appearance adds texture and warmth to a room 
Traps dirt and debris easily, making it hard to clean and maintain
Distressing weakens surface of laminate—not as durable as other types of laminate

Cost of Laminate Flooring Per Square Foot

The cost of laminate flooring per square foot can fluctuate based on various factors. On average, installation costs included, the price ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot.

The cost breakdown for the laminate product only typically includes the cost of the product, which can range from $0.70 to $2 per square foot. However, selecting a higher quality product, such as waterproof or scratch-resistant laminate, can increase the cost. 

When it comes to laminate flooring, thickness can make all the difference—both in terms of durability and cost. Thicker laminate flooring tends to be pricier per square foot, but it’s a worthwhile investment for several reasons. 

For instance, a 12mm laminate floor, priced at around $3 to $6 per square foot, provides enhanced stability and can withstand heavy foot traffic with ease. Its robust nature also allows for better sound insulation, perfect for reducing that upstairs clatter. 

On the other hand, thinner options, like 6mm laminate, offer a more budget-friendly alternative, priced at around $1 to $3 per square foot, albeit with slightly reduced durability. So, whether you opt for the heavyweight champion or the nimble contender, remember that thickness is the key to unlocking the perfect balance between quality and price.

The installation costs of laminate flooring, excluding the materials, can vary from $2 to $8 per square foot, incorporating additional materials required for installation, like underlayment and adhesive. If considering self-installation, be aware that purchasing or renting essential tools, such as a saw and tapping block, can increase the overall cost.

Laminate Flooring Cost According to Sq. Footage

Square. FootageCost Estimate
Small Room100 sq. ft.$300 – $800
Medium Room250 sq. ft.$750 – $2000
Large Room500 sq. ft.$1,500 – $4000
Open Concept Space1000 sq. ft.$3,000 – $8,000

Pricing Factors To Consider

Below are some factors that can influence the price of your laminate flooring installation project:

  • Type of surface area: The surface type you choose can impact the cost of your laminate flooring project. For instance, high gloss surfaces may be more expensive than distressed or hand-scraped surfaces.
  • Season/Time of year: Prices for laminate flooring can change depending on the time of year. You may consider waiting until the off-season (typically October through March) to benefit from lower prices if you’re planning a renovation project.
  • Complexity of installation: If your space has a lot of corners, angles, or other obstacles, the installation process may be more complex, leading to a higher cost.
  • Labor: The cost of labor may vary depending on the installer’s experience level and location but laminate floor installation, without materials, runs anywhere from $2 to $8 on average.
  • Geography: The cost of materials and labor may be influenced by your location. If you live in an isolated area, such as mountains or an island, materials may be more costly to ship or manufacture.

Remember that these factors can vary based on the specific project. I recommend you obtain a detailed estimate from your installer before deciding.

What Is A Good Price To Pay For Laminate Flooring?

The price of laminate flooring is influenced by various factors such as the quality of the materials, the complexity of the job, and the location. While the cost per square foot for laminate flooring and installation can range between $3 and $8, it’s important to note that the cheapest option may not necessarily be the best. Investing in higher quality materials and hiring experienced installers can cost more initially, but can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for future repairs or replacements.

Benefits Of Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring has several benefits that make it an attractive option for homeowners. Here are some of the top benefits of choosing laminate floors:

  • Cost-effective: Laminate flooring is much less expensive than hardwood flooring, making it a great option for homeowners on a budget.
  • Easy to install: Laminate flooring is relatively easy to install, which can help keep installation costs down.
  • Low maintenance: Laminate floors are easy to clean and maintain, making them a great choice for busy households.
  • Durable: Laminate flooring is scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and water-resistant, which can make it a good choice for high-traffic areas.
  • Variety of styles: Laminate flooring comes in a wide range of styles, colors, and surface types, so you’re sure to find a look that matches your home decor.

Laminate Floor Installation Considerations

The price of installing laminate floors may vary depending on factors such as job complexity, material quality, and installer expertise, and typically ranges between $2 and $8 per square foot.

One of the advantages of laminate flooring is its ease of installation, which can save costs. However, for those who are not comfortable with DIY projects, it’s advisable to hire a professional to ensure proper installation. Should you choose to do the installation yourself, the per-square-foot cost may vary depending on the installation method. 

Two commonly used installation methods for laminate flooring are click-lock and glue-down:

  • Click-lock flooring is user-friendly, snapping together easily, and is perfect for DIY projects. However, if the space has complex angles, corners, or obstacles, the installation could be challenging, leading to increased costs.
  • Glue-down installation requires more skill and experience since the planks are glued directly to the subfloor, costing more than click-lock installation due to the time and expertise required. Nonetheless, it results in a more stable and durable floor.

The state of your subfloor is another factor that can impact installation costs. If it’s uneven or damaged, it may require repair or replacement before the laminate flooring can be installed, which can increase the installation cost.

Ultimately, the cost of laminate flooring installation depends on various factors, including job size and complexity, material quality, and installer experience. It’s best to get quotes from multiple installers to ensure you’re getting a reasonable price.

Cost Of Laminate Floor Removal

Removing laminate flooring is typically a straightforward process, but it can still be time-consuming and physically demanding. Laminate flooring is usually installed as a floating floor, which means it’s not glued or nailed down to the subfloor. Instead, it’s held in place by interlocking grooves and tongues on the edges of the individual planks. Removing laminate flooring from your home can cost around $1.95/sq. foot.

To remove laminate flooring:

  1. Start by removing the baseboards or moldings around the perimeter of the room 
  2. Locate a seam between two planks and use a crowbar or other pry tool to lift one of the planks from the floor 
  3. Once you’ve removed one plank, you should be able to slide the rest of the planks out of place relatively easily.
  4. As you remove each plank, be sure to stack them neatly to one side so you can dispose of them later
  5. Once you’ve removed all of the planks, you may need to remove any remaining underlayment or adhesive from the subfloor, depending on how the original laminate flooring was installed.

Removing Other Floor Types To Install Laminate

The expense of taking out an old floor can quickly increase, especially if the existing flooring material is glued down or challenging to remove. Before installing laminate flooring, some common flooring materials such as carpet, hardwood, and tile may require removal.

  • Carpet removal is generally the most affordable, with an average cost of around $0.50 to $1 per square foot. Nevertheless, the cost may rise if there’s a lot of glue or adhesive used to hold the carpet in place.
  • Removing hardwood floors is typically more expensive, with an average cost of around $2 to $4 per square foot, since hardwood floors are often nailed or glued down, making them harder to remove.
  • Tile removal is usually the most expensive, with an average cost of around $3 to $6 per square foot, due to the strong adhesive used to hold tile floors in place, which can be hard to remove without damaging the subfloor.

Apart from the removal cost, you may also have to consider the expense of disposing of the old flooring material. Some installers may include the cost of disposal in their quote, while others may add an additional fee for disposal.

In general, the cost of laminate floor removal may vary depending on several factors. If you’re planning to install laminate flooring and need to remove an existing floor, getting multiple quotes from professional installers is essential to ensure you’re getting the best price.

Flooring Removal According to Type & Square Footage

Cost Per Sq. Ft.Considerations
Carpet$0.50 – $1.00Cost may increase if there’s a lot of glue or adhesive used to hold the carpet in place
Hardwood$2.00 – $4.00Hardwood floors are often nailed or glued down, making them more difficult to remove
Tile$3.00 – $6.00Strong adhesive is used to hold tile floors in place, which can be difficult to remove without damaging the subfloor

How Much Does It Cost To Put Laminate Flooring In A 12×12 Room?

Determining the expense of laminate flooring installation in a 12×12 room is contingent on a number of factors, such as the quality and type of materials used, installation costs, and any required preparatory work. 

The estimated cost range for installing laminate flooring in a 12×12 room is between $400 and $1,200. 

Keep in mind that various aspects can affect the final cost, including the type of surface area, the time of year, the intricacy of the job, labor expenses, the function of the room, and geographic location.

Is It Cheaper To Install Laminate Or Vinyl?

Homeowners looking for an economical flooring solution often choose either laminate or vinyl flooring. Compared to hardwood flooring, both options are relatively affordable. The cost of installing laminate flooring ranges between $2 and $8 per square foot, while vinyl flooring installation typically costs between $2 and $5 per square foot. Nevertheless, the final cost may vary as previously mentioned.

If you’re aiming for a hardwood-like appearance, laminate flooring is an ideal option. On the other hand, if you prefer a resilient, low-maintenance flooring material that can imitate stone or tile surfaces, vinyl flooring is the perfect choice.

Laminate And Your Needs

Laminate flooring can be an excellent choice for homeowners who want an affordable and visually appealing flooring option. By carefully weighing the cost per square foot, the various types of laminate available, and the factors that can influence installation costs, you can make an informed decision about whether laminate flooring is suitable for your home. Additionally, by taking into account the low maintenance and durability benefits of laminate floors, you can feel secure in your decision to install laminate floors in your home.

I trust you found this article helpful in understanding the cost of laminate flooring per square foot. If you have any feedback or questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below. And if you found this article informative, kindly share it with your loved ones.

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AUTHOR

Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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