Before you go and rip up your flooring, make sure you budget for how much it will cost. As experienced flooring contractors, we know that one of the biggest pitfalls to replacing your floors is setting a realistic budget. So, if you’re considering renovating your floors, these up-to-date estimates (in Canadian dollars) on how much replacing your floors will cost should help you budget accordingly for a successful floor replacement.
The Cost of Ripping Up Your Old Floors
One of the most overlooked costs that flooring contractors see is not budgeting how much it will cost a flooring contractor to actually rip up your old floors. Hiring a professional flooring contractor to take up the existing floors will run you roughly $1.25/sq. ft. Further, if there is any damage to the subfloor or if you need to replace it, you’re looking at around $2.10/sq. ft.
How Much Will Flooring Cost You?
Certain flooring materials require underlay, which is a thin layer between your subfloor and new flooring. Underlayment is made of felt, fibre, foam or rubber and can vary in thickness from ¼” to ½.” The type and thickness of underlayment you need for your project depends on the new flooring material you’re installing. Depending on the type of material you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0.20-$5/sq. ft. for underlayment.
The main reasons to install underlayment are:
- To smooth and even out the surface
- Certain materials like ceramic tiles require an underlayment like cement board for better adhesion
- To help reduce noise
Reducing noise is one of the most common reasons for installing underlayment; it makes a noticeable difference in your home.
When homeowners envision their ideal flooring, it’s often synonymous with hardwood. Hardwood is a timeless choice that increases the value of your home; it’s also one of the more expensive flooring options.
The cost of hardwood varies depending on the width of the boards, the type of wood, if it’s engineered, and the product brand (brand names are pricier). Here is what installing hardwood flooring by a flooring contractor may cost you:
- The average cost of hardwood is around $7/sq. ft.
- You’re looking at $8-$12/sq. ft. for premium hardwood varieties, exotic or distressed wood
- Having a flooring contractor install or refinish hardwood flooring is about $2.50/sq. ft.
Laminate is excellent for busy homeowners (especially if you have pets or kids) that love the look of hardwood but it doesn’t match their lifestyle. Laminate is a hugely popular hardwood alternative as it is more affordable, more durable, can be water-resistant and comes in a wealth of wood-look patterns.
The average cost per square foot for laminate is $2-$4, and to have it installed by a flooring contractor — without subfloor replacement — will run you $2-$2.50/sq. ft.
Vinyl has come a long way. It has become a hot seller in recent years due to its affordability, ease of installation, durability, and bonus—it’s waterproof. Vinyl also comes in various patterns from wood-look to stone-look to suit your desired aesthetic. In addition, vinyl comes in plank floorboards or luxury vinyl sheets (perfect for the DIYer). Hiring a flooring contractor to install vinyl plank floors will cost you $3-$5/ sq. ft. and $2-$2.50/ sq. ft. in labour.
Natural Stone Tile
You’ll need a sizable budget if you’re ready to add natural stone tile to your space and a reputable flooring contractor to ensure the job gets done right. Marble is on the higher end of the price scale, coming in at around $15/sq. ft. for just the material.
Installing tile is definitely not easy, so it’s best to hire a flooring contractor, which will cost you around $6-$8/ sq. ft. Additionally, if you opt for stone, you may want to install underlayment/subfloor or radiant heating, which further increases the price.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
Surprisingly, you can get the look of wood or natural stone with man made tiles. The key difference between the two man made tiles is that ceramic is usually used more as a backsplash, while porcelain is more water-resistant, making it a good flooring choice.
Some key notes on these two tile options include:
- Ceramic tiles come in various patterns to bring interest to your backsplash. The typical material cost is about $3-$5/sq. ft, not including underlayment or labour.
- Porcelain tile is durable and comes in many patterns like stone-look, but it comes at a fraction of the cost, $6-$8/ sq. ft.
Porcelain tile can be a great, but often overlooked, option for your flooring.
Carpets are an affordable choice for many homeowners. It will cost you about $3-$4/sq. ft. for material, and for a flooring contractor to install them is $1-$2/sq. ft. Carpet brings a cosy, comfortable vibe and can warm up larger rooms, but it’s not a great option for high-traffic areas.
Replacing Your Floors
The feeling homeowners get when they see their newly installed floors is priceless, but understanding the realistic costs of replacing floors is key. You’ll want to have a budget that fully covers the costs of material and flooring contractor expenses (if needed) before you start any work.
The first step is knowing the square footage of your space and then establishing how much money you can comfortably put towards flooring and labour. Once you know your budget, you can determine which flooring material you can afford to install and then choose your favourite.
We know setting a budget and budgeting for material and labour costs isn’t easy, so don’t hesitate to call The Brothers Flooring for a free, no-risk consultation. We have over 20 years in the industry, so we’re confident in our ability to help you make sense of your budget and flooring project and end up with the floors of your dreams.