How Much Does It Cost to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Homeowners who need new flooring in their home may want to consider durable vinyl plank flooring. The cost to install vinyl plank flooring ranges from $988 to $3,891, with the national average at $2,399.
- The cost to install vinyl plank flooring typically ranges from $988 to $3,891, with the national average cost at $2,399.
- The major factors affecting the cost to install vinyl plank flooring are the floor size, labor, materials, flooring brand, geographic location, installation method, and plank thickness.
- Vinyl plank flooring is a great choice for most because it is relatively affordable, waterproof, customizable, durable, easy to install, and low maintenance.
- Vinyl plank flooring is easier to install than many other flooring materials; however, homeowners will need to have experience and specialty tools to complete the job. Hiring a professional is typically a more efficient route than DIY installation.
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Vinyl plank flooring can be installed over existing flooring without needing to be glued or nailed down since it snaps together edge to edge. It’s common to use vinyl plank flooring as a faux wood floor option. Since it can be reinforced with urethane, it’s scratch- and stain-resistant. According to HomeAdvisor and Angi, the cost to install vinyl plank flooring ranges between $988 and $3,891, with the national average at $2,399. Vinyl plank flooring costs approximately $2 to $10 per square foot installed, and luxury vinyl plank flooring costs between $1 and $6 per square foot for materials, plus $1 to $5 per square foot for labor. Vinyl plank flooring is considerably more expensive than other vinyl sheet flooring that can run from $0.50 to $2 per square foot. Vinyl flooring professionals typically charge around $36 per hour, or $1 to $5 per square foot for labor, not including the materials needed for the project. Many homeowners choose to install vinyl flooring一whether it is vinyl planks, sheet, or tile一because it’s water-resistant, low maintenance, cost-effective, durable, long-lasting, and comfortable underfoot.
What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Vinyl planks are available in varying thicknesses, with the thicker planks being more expensive but easier to install. Vinyl plank flooring is designed to click together, so it doesn’t have to be nailed or glued down. Thinner planks are more difficult to click together and install, which can significantly increase labor costs. The best vinyl plank flooring on the market is waterproof and requires less maintenance, so it is a fantastic alternative to hardwood flooring since it has a natural-looking wood grain, and works well as a floating floor over a concrete subfloor. It is also a viable alternative for those who are weighing the pros and cons of laminate flooring and potentially considering the cost to install laminate flooring. Luxury vinyl planks are a higher-quality flooring material. The planks are thick, and they have a durable, long-wearing top layer. Luxury vinyl planks have more realistic wood grain and give the appearance of natural hardwood flooring. They also click-lock together and work well over any type of subfloor.
Vinyl Plank Flooring vs. Luxury Vinyl Tile
Like vinyl planks, luxury vinyl tiles come in different thicknesses. Vinyl tile is durable and an outstanding choice for flooring in areas with high moisture. The tile shape successfully mimics stone or wood tiles since it has embossed design patterns. It has a thicker top layer, and it can also be treated with urethane for more scratch and stain resistance. Vinyl tiles are easier to replace than vinyl planks and sheet vinyl. The price of luxury vinyl tile depends on the size and pattern of the flooring, but falls between $3 and $10 per square foot.
Vinyl Plank vs. Vinyl Sheet
Vinyl sheet flooring is one of the most budget-friendly flooring materials. Vinyl sheet flooring comes in precut sheets or rolls that are 6 or 12 feet wide. Certain types of sheet flooring must be glued down on only the edges, and others need to be glued down completely. The cost averages between $1 and $2 per square foot. Sheet vinyl is also stain- and scratch-resistant and waterproof. It is a superb option for high-moisture areas, and it also has fewer seams than vinyl plank installation. One downside of vinyl sheet flooring is that it’s difficult to replace since the entire sheet will need to be removed.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
Like any other flooring installation costs, calculating the cost to install vinyl plank flooring depends on several factors. Prices can differ from the national average due to labor costs in your area, materials, quality, geographic location, installation method, plank thickness, and core construction. It may be useful to consult an online vinyl plank flooring installation cost calculator to get a sense of the total cost.
A larger flooring area will result in a higher cost both for labor and materials. The cost of vinyl plank flooring itself is about $2 to $7 per square foot. Labor costs and additional $1 to $4 per square foot. Below are the total average costs for installing vinyl plank flooring by size.
|100 square feet||$300 to $1,100|
|200 square feet||$600 to $2,200|
|300 square feet||$900 to $3,300|
|500 square feet||$1,500 to $5,500|
|1,000 square feet||$3,000 to $11,000|
The labor cost to install vinyl plank flooring is around $36 an hour. This averages out to $3 to $10 per square foot, not including the cost of the flooring materials. Labor prices can vary from the norm due to the cost of labor in the area where the home is located. Labor costs in large cities are typically higher than in more rural areas of the country. Tyler Morelan, owner of Midwest Flooring Company, adds, “Rooms with complex layouts or difficult access, such as those with lots of tight corners or that are located on multiple levels, may incur additional labor costs, which can drive up the overall price tag for installation as [can] accessibility to plumbing or the need to remove appliances.”
Materials and Quality
The quality of the vinyl materials will affect the overall cost of the flooring installation. Printed vinyl flooring has the color and pattern printed on a layer of paper affixed to the top layer of vinyl but below the finished surface. This type of flooring has varying levels of quality, with a higher level of quality at a more expensive price point. Most sheet vinyl, vinyl composition tile (VCT), and plank vinyl are printed and typically cost between $1 and $7 per square foot. Inlaid vinyl flooring is created by driving color granules through the top layer of vinyl. This method gives the flooring more depth, detail, and texture than printed vinyl flooring. Luxury plank vinyl and tile use this technique to produce realistic stone and wood patterns. Inlaid vinyl flooring costs between $5 and $12 per square foot.
There are quite a few brands of vinyl plank flooring on the market, and costs can vary significantly from company to company. Some of these brands specialize in planks, while others offer a selection of tiles, sheets, and more. COREtec and Shaw are some of the priciest options with some materials costing up to $16 per square foot installed. On the other hand, Flooret, Mohawk, and NuCore carry products in a more affordable price range. See prices for the most common vinyl plank flooring brands below.
|Brand||Cost per Square Foot|
|COREtec||$4 to $16|
|Flooret||$2 to $8|
|Mohawk||$2 to $8|
|NuCore||$3 to $7|
|Shaw||$3 to $14|
The geographic location of the home will affect the overall vinyl plank flooring installation cost. Labor fees and material prices will vary from the national average depending on the cost to move and deliver materials. Higher costs of living typically dictate higher labor fees.
The installation method of vinyl plank flooring can affect the overall price of the flooring project. There are three ways to install plank flooring: a floating floor, a peel-and-stick floor, and a glue-down floor. The glue-down method takes more time and is more labor intensive, so it’s the most expensive option. A floating floor is the most budget-friendly method of installation.
High-end vinyl planks are more expensive because of how thick they are. The thicker the plank and the wear layer are, the sturdier and longer lasting it will be. While 5 millimeters is a suitable thickness, 8 millimeters is considered the best. Any planks under 3 millimeters should only be used in areas that don’t see much foot traffic. It’s recommended that the wear layer be 12 mils (as in a thousandth of an inch) or more. For busy homes and high-traffic areas, a thickness of 20 millimeters or thicker is suggested.
Vinyl plank flooring has either a flexible or rigid core. Flexible core vinyl flooring is vulnerable to warping and bending when placed in direct sunlight. It needs a level and smooth subfloor to ensure the best installation.
Rigid core vinyl flooring is a stable and durable option. The additional rigid layer makes it more expensive, but it is easy to maintain. Rigid core planks have a solid center that creates a more realistic wood-like feel. It comes in various textures, colors, and styles that can simulate the look of hardwood and vinyl. It’s sturdy and better cushioned than other vinyl flooring. One of the biggest advantages of rigid vinyl planks is that they’re 100 percent waterproof. There are two types of rigid vinyl flooring, and their prices range from $3.50 to $12.
- Wood plastic composite core (WPC). WPC costs between $3.50 and $12 per square foot for materials. It has a vinyl surface with a wood plastic composite core. The solid core is waterproof, and it won’t warp or ripple. The vinyl layer is protected by a wear layer that protects it from scratches. It comes in a variety of patterns and designs, and it’s perfect to use with uneven subfloors.
- Stone plastic composite core (SPC). Also called stone polymer composite, SPC costs between $3.50 and over $9 per square foot for materials. Many homeowners use SPC to mimic the look of natural stone or wood in their homes. It’s suitable for high-traffic areas since it’s so durable.
Additional Costs and Considerations
There will be additional price factors and considerations when budgeting for the cost to install vinyl plank flooring. These include the removal of old flooring, underlayment, trimming, design, stairs, and warranty.
Old Flooring Removal
Removing old flooring costs $1 to $2 per square foot. Installing a new floor costs approximately $36 per hour and could take upwards of a few days. If the homeowner decides on a non-floating floor, it will take longer to finish the job, with labor costs in the thousands. If the existing flooring was glued down by an adhesive and was installed in the 1980s or earlier, there is a good chance the adhesive contains asbestos. Homeowners are advised to call a professional to get it tested so it can be removed properly.
Subfloor Repair or Replacement
If the subfloor is old or damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced before the new flooring can be installed. This may help reduce the risk of paying for sagging floor repair costs down the road, so don’t skip this step if it is recommended by a flooring professional. Replacing a subfloor costs $3 to $10 per square foot on average depending on what materials are used. Subfloor repairs cost a total of about $400 on average. The best vinyl plank flooring installers can typically perform these repairs as part of the same project.
Some vinyl flooring professionals recommend using an underlayment beneath vinyl flooring. Using an underlayment is beneficial for reducing noise and making the surface more comfortable. This typically costs $0.50 per square foot. Thicker vinyl floors that are floated do not need an underlayment.
Trim and Molding
Trim and molding hide gaps near the walls after vinyl flooring has been installed. It provides a consistent look by pulling together the flooring and the rest of the room. Some homeowners will reuse the old trim and only pay for labor costs for the reinstallation. Another option is to purchase new trim. Prices can vary based on the trim type and how much area needs to be covered.
Vinyl plank flooring comes in a variety of designs, patterns, and colors. Since the design is printed on the top layer, the patterns and colors can fade over time. Down the line, the homeowner may need to replace some of the planks, especially in high-traffic areas. Laying vinyl planks in custom designs will also increase costs. Custom designs will require more preparation, different materials, and more labor.
Homeowners may also consider adding some special features to the flooring. One common addition is transition strips, which are placed on the edge where the vinyl flooring meets the floor from the next room. These strips make for a cleaner floor finish and cost between $5 and $30 apiece. Having new flooring installed is also a good opportunity to put in radiant floor heating. This will cost $10 to $25 per square foot on average. A vapor barrier is another feature to consider, especially in parts of the country with humid climates. A base layer of concrete is laid underneath the vinyl flooring to absorb moisture, costing around $0.15 to $0.40 per square foot.
Installing vinyl plank flooring on stairs is time-consuming and labor-intensive. The planks need to be cut to size, and trim will be required to hide the edges. More trim results in more money spent on materials.
Considering that vinyl planks cannot be refinished, purchasing a warranty on vinyl flooring may be worth the extra cost. Some vinyl plank flooring brands offer a warranty on materials, and reputable contractors will guarantee their work.
Cost to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring by Type of Installation Method
Vinyl plank flooring is installed in one of three ways, each with its own benefits.
|Floating Floor||$3 to $11|
|Peel-and-Stick||$2 to $8|
|Glue-Down||$3 to $11|
This is the cheapest option of the three at the low end of the cost spectrum for labor. A floating floor clicks together edge to edge and doesn’t need to be glued or nailed to a subfloor. The existing floor doesn’t need to be removed, which can help save additional money. The typical cost per square foot for a floating floor is $3 to $11.
Peel-and-stick vinyl planks have an adhesive on the back that will stick to the subfloor. While adhering the vinyl planks to the subfloor is easy, the prep is not. Peel-and-stick vinyl planks are a flexible core product. Flexible core flooring needs a strong and even subfloor to adhere correctly, or else it will bend and warp if the subfloor is not perfectly level. Peel-and-stick vinyl planks generally have a lower installation cost of $2 to $8 per square foot.
Gluing down individual vinyl planks costs $3 to $11 per square foot. Glue-down installations are costly because they’re so labor intensive. Keep in mind that the price of a glue-down installation for vinyl plank flooring is similar to the price range for engineered hardwood flooring. If you’re interested in low-VOC vinyl flooring, the glue used to affix it is typically high in VOCs, which can make this installation method not eco-friendly.
Benefits of Choosing Vinyl Plank Flooring
Choosing a new type of flooring can feel overwhelming. It can be challenging to compare the pros and cons of different flooring options with so many choices available, including other composite choices, such as laminate flooring. There are several pros and cons of vinyl flooring, but it has become a favorite of homeowners for many reasons, including that it successfully mimics the natural look of stone and wood.
With vinyl plank flooring, lofty hardwood flooring costs can be avoided while achieving the same look. Vinyl plank excels at imitating many types of wood flooring. Many homeowners prefer vinyl plank flooring since it’s more affordable to install than hardwood, it doesn’t require special maintenance. In addition, if a vinyl plank is damaged, it’s easy to replace and match the existing flooring.
One of the most significant benefits of vinyl plank flooring is that it’s waterproof, which even the best hardwood flooring installers can’t beat. However, it’s still a good idea to avoid pooling water on the vinyl plank floor since it can seep through and damage the subfloor, underlayment, and insulation.
With vinyl plank flooring, it’s possible to get any look that can be desired. Whether a homeowner prefers lighter woods or dark ones, they can create the aesthetic they want without breaking the bank. Creating a custom design in vinyl plank flooring will also save more money than doing a custom design in hardwood.
Vinyl plank flooring can be as durable as hardwood flooring for a fraction of the price, depending on the quality. It can withstand high-traffic residential and commercial environments.
A floating click-lock vinyl plank floor is relatively easy to install. Peel-and-stick and glue-down floors are more complex and time intensive. Keep in mind that subfloor prep and accurate plank cutting are essential to easy installation.
Compared to other types of flooring, vinyl plank flooring is easy to maintain. Regular cleaning is recommended to keep scratches and damage at bay. Vacuuming or sweeping will eliminate dirt and debris, and mopping with hot water and vinegar will cut the dirt and grime without streaks.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Installing vinyl plank flooring as a DIY project is an option since this material is one of the easiest to install. While you can save money by learning how to install vinyl plank flooring yourself, mistakes can be costly. It also takes more than just the flooring planks for installation. Keep in mind that the estimated cost for materials and tools for a 500-square-foot DIY project is around $3,300. According to Morelan, “Hiring a professional installer has several benefits. They will have the experience and expertise to ensure that the flooring is installed correctly and without any major mistakes. They will also have access to special tools and equipment that most homeowners do not have, which can make the installation process much easier.” The best flooring companies can complete the installation in less time, and many reputable contractors will warrant their work.
How to Save Money on the Cost to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
The cost to install vinyl plank flooring can be high, and the additional costs associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save on the cost of vinyl plank flooring is to buy the cheapest materials, but there are other ways to save without compromising quality.
- Get multiple estimates. “The best way to get an accurate estimate for your specific project is to contact a few reputable contractors in your area,” says Morelan. Request at least three estimates from reputable flooring contractors. The cheapest bid may save you money up front, but the contractor dedicated to quality workmanship will take the correct steps to ensure the job is done right.
- Choose the right material for you. Knowing what type of wear and tear your flooring will face will help save money in the long run. If you buy a cheaper material and it wears out fast, you’ll end up spending more money in the long run on replacement materials.
- Maximize your budget. Sticking to your budget and maximizing scheduling and timing will help avoid wasted hours. This is why hiring experienced flooring contractors is the best idea.
- Look for deals. Some flooring suppliers may offer sales or discounts. Do your research and get the best possible price for your flooring.
Questions to Ask About Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation
Asking a professional the right questions about the cost to install vinyl plank flooring can minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask a vinyl plank flooring professional.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have workers’ compensation?
- How long have you been installing vinyl plank flooring?
- Do you have references?
- Does the estimate include subfloor preparation costs?
- How long will the flooring installation take?
- Who will install the floor?
- Will you dispose of the old flooring?
- How will you handle cleanup?
- What kind of warranties do you offer?
Deciding on new flooring while staying within budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about vinyl plank flooring to help guide these decisions.
Q. How much does it cost to install 1,000 square feet of vinyl flooring?
On average, it can cost between $2,000 and $7,000 to install vinyl flooring in a 1,000-square-foot space. This price is for materials only, and it does not include labor.
Q. How long does it take to install vinyl planks?
How long the project takes depends on the size of the space and the installation method. Click-lock planks are the easiest to install, and the glue-down process will take longer.
Q. Can I place my refrigerator on top of vinyl plank flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring is durable, and heavy appliances such as a refrigerator will not damage the flooring.
Q. How do I clean my vinyl plank flooring?
It’s recommended to vacuum or sweep the flooring regularly and mop with hot water and vinegar. For stubborn marks or stains, dish soap can be added to the water.
Sources: HomeAdvisor, Angi, Fixr, FlooringInc.com