How To Budget Your Next Flooring Project
Transforming the look and feel of your home can be intimidating when you’re unsure of the final price tag that comes with it. At Dalton Floor Tailor, we want you to enhance the comfort, functionality, appearance, and enjoyment of your home without breaking the bank — and with no surprises. When shopping around for different flooring options, knowing the overall cost will keep your budget on track.
Below, you will find price ranges per square foot for each of our four products, as well as factors that affect the overall cost:
- Luxury Vinyl
- Installation Process Options
For carpet, you can expect to pay between $1.10 to $20 per square foot. We know this is quite a wide price range, so read below to find out what can affect the price point.
Stain-resistant carpet is considered a solution to pet- and kid-friendly households. It’s a great choice if you want something comfortable with high durability and resistance to everyday spills in living rooms, basements, and bedrooms.
A carpet’s stain resistance comes down to two factors: fibers and coating. The best carpet has a combination of both, but the fibers you should look for include top quality nylon, triexta, polyester, or polypropylene. We understand that these words likely don’t fit into the average consumer’s vocabulary, so you can rely on our Flooring Experts to help you find the right fiber type for your lifestyle.
While there is such a thing as stain-resistant carpet, it’s important to remember that it is not 100% invincible. It easily repels most liquids and messes that would otherwise destroy traditional carpet, but if you fail to clean it within the recommended time frame, and with the proper supplies, there’s a chance it won’t look so new anymore.
We’re going to focus on the three most popular types; Nylon, Polyester, and Triexta. With the proper care, carpet flooring can last for many years no matter what fiber type it may be.
Nylon has a long history of proving itself to be the most durable and resilient, making it one of the most expensive synthetic fibers used in carpet. It stands up well to abrasion and has great texture retention to maintain its original appearance. It is only stain-resistant though if the fiber is coated.
Polyester is the least expensive option because it’s easier to produce, and most polyester carpet fibers are made using recycled plastics. This fiber type is stain-resistant as well. Olefin (polypropylene) carpet fibers are best suited for lower-traffic areas. It’s valued in the carpeting industry for its wool-like appearance.
Triexta is the perfect blend of Nylon and Polyester, because it has the strength of a Nylon fiber and the stain resistance of a Polyester fiber. This means this fiber type is more durable all around, however, this product is typically not available in as many color options because of its makeup.
We always recommend getting a new carpet pad to lay underneath the carpet. Any kind of antimicrobial protection inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria, and other allergens which are significant triggers for asthma and allergies. Antimicrobial backing prevents unwanted odors and disables the microbes’ ability to function, grow, and reproduce.
Aside from health benefits, padding can make your floors feel like you’re walking on a pillow! The softer surface proves beneficial for those with joint issues, such as arthritis.
At Dalton Floor Tailor, our installation process is healthier! With our Neutralize Installation System, you know your home will be left cleaner than when we arrived.
Hardwood could cost anywhere from $4.00 to $15.00 per square foot.
Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood
This is another wide price range, but there are a lot of features to factor into the price point. For starters, one of the first decisions you may be faced with is choosing between engineered versus solid hardwood. As the name suggests, solid wood flooring is made of solid oak, maple, or walnut. Its advantages include the ability to be sanded and refinished multiple times throughout its lifespan.
On the other hand, engineered wood flooring looks very similar but is made from a thin layer of hardwood bonded over high-quality plywood. The top layer is called the veneer, and its thickness and core varies depending on the design and manufacturer. The hardwood veneer can typically be 0.5mm to 4.5mm or more in thickness. For this reason, engineered wood is less expensive than solid wood, but engineered wood can be more resistant to dents because of the layering of the compressed wood underneath the veneer.
Plank Width, Length, & Hardness
Wide plank flooring typically costs less for installation since there are fewer boards to cover the area, so less labor cost. However, wide boards call for longer planks, which ramps up the price for the extra materials.
Additionally, the harder the wood flooring, the longer it will take to install. Hardwoods, such as teak and Brazilian walnut, will have a longer installation time compared to softer woods like pine.
Character Marks & Finish
Wire brushing and hand scraped flooring are increasing in popularity, although they’re similar when it comes to appearance, benefits, and functionality. Hand scraped flooring describes a type of wood floor that undergoes a scraping process to produce a base with a natural and rustic feature. Conversely, wire brushed flooring uses a brush with hard bristles to brush the surface during production, leaving the flooring with a rustic appeal.
The main difference between the two comes down to cost. Hand scraped floors involve a large amount of manpower when compared to wire brushed floors, making the latter the cheaper option. Many mistake both flooring options for the other because of the similarities in appearance.
Our current price range for laminate is $5.00 to $7.00 per square foot.
Many people long for water and scratch resistant flooring, but of course, that comes with the cost of a pretty penny. The industry average for water resistant laminate floor is about $7.00 per square foot — landing at the top of the price scale. While there are hundreds of designs for laminate flooring, there are only a few dozen variations that fall under the waterproof category.
Luxury vinyl flooring reigns king as a true water-resistant flooring option; however, laminate’s harder surface offers significant advantages when it comes to scratch and dent resistance.
Textures, Patterns, & Edge Details
The beauty of laminate is how closely it resembles the look of wood flooring. It’s made up of four different layers — wear, decor, core, and backer. These synthetic materials are sealed together in the lamination process and are designed to be durable as well as affordable.
For the surface type, you can choose between smooth, textured, and distressed. Smooth is the easiest surface to clean, but it tends to look less natural or realistic, making it the more affordable option. Textured or embossed laminate flooring looks more accurate to the materials it’s modeled after. Distressed or hand scraped flooring is a great option if you’re aiming for a timeless appearance at a lower cost with higher durability. Overall, you’ll find that laminate floors that simulate varieties of hardwood flooring raise the price.
This versatile flooring provides you with plenty of pattern options, from traditional and thin to wide and herringbone. The more complex the pattern, the higher the price will climb for the cutting, trimming, and laying of the floor.
Furthermore, beveled edges are desirable as they offer an authentic wood look and are easy to maintain. Beveled laminate flooring edges are nothing more than small grooves between the planks that come in different styles and depths. Opting for the newer, more natural bevel look will increase the price point as well.
Sound Quality & Thickness
Although only a few millimeters doesn’t seem like much of a difference, the price suggests it does. Many types of laminate flooring come with a pad attached, but it’s not included in the thickness. The thickness of laminate is arguably more important when it comes to aesthetics, although it still affects the durability and sound absorption. The core of the product makes it more sound absorbent compared to products like Luxury Vinyl. Laminate also requires a foam underlayment, which helps with sound and feel as well. The benefits of installing laminate include:
- Hardwood feel underfoot
- Allows opportunity for detailed designs
- More impact resistant
- High-quality sound absorption
The thicker the floor, the more likely it is to hide imperfections underneath if the floor is not level
Laminate will fall between 6 and 12 mm thick. The thicker the floor, the more high-quality the materials are. Aiming between 10 and 12 mm will offer you the closest look and feel to hardwood. For more budget-friendly options, 8 and 9 mm seem to be the sweet spot.
Finally, luxury vinyl costs between $3.50 and $10.00 per square foot.
Visual & Texture
This waterproof flooring earned popularity over the years for its realistic look, durability, and low-maintenance options. Luxury vinyl is also jumping on the bandwagon to achieve the authentic hardwood finishes. Like laminate, selecting embossed in register (EIR) flooring not only looks realistic, but it feels realistic too. The more visually unique you go, the higher the cost.
It’s important to research the wear layer or consult a professional before buying any LVP. The wear layer is the upper and most important layer of luxury vinyl flooring to prevent scratching, denting, and more. Many often come with a UV layer to shield the planks from sun exposure.
The thickness of the wear layer ranges from 12 mil to 20 mil. In many homes, luxury vinyl flooring with an 18 mil wear layer works well and provides long-term protection. High-traffic residential spaces are encouraged to select flooring with a wear layer thickness of 20 mil.
Sound Quality & Thickness
Much like laminate, luxury vinyl flooring comes in various thickness ranges that determine the durability and price per square foot. You can find planks from 2 mm to 8 mm thick, but it’s advised to stick with 6 mm or more for traffic-prone areas.
The backing layer and their respective core-layers are where the cost is ultimately affected. The backing layer serves as the bottom layer that typically doubles as a cushion and sound barrier. As for the core, you can choose from stone plastic composite (SPC) or wood plastic core (WPC). SPC is more budget-friendly and is recommended for its durability. WPC is comparatively pricier, but it compensates for its price tag with its sound absorption, underfoot appeal, and water resistance.
Installation Methods For Flooring Types
Finally, the desired method of installation will need to factor into the total cost. Keep in mind the subfloor type, square footage, flooring material, and size and shape of the planks.
Nail Down – Hardwood flooring must be either nailed, stapled, or glued down. Nailing hardwood floors involves nailing the individual planks directly into your subfloor. Nailing allows for a more natural expansion and contraction of the floorboards with fewer problems. Because it’s the most recommended and durable installation method, it costs more than opting to glue or staple.
As for carpet, stretch-in carpet installation is growing in popularity. This method involves strips of wood being nailed to the floor around the edges of the room. Customers would opt for this method of installation, because it makes rolls or folds, especially in doorways, in the carpet less likely to form.
Staple Down – Stapling floor planks gives a stronger, less-forgiving hold due to its two-pronged construction. While stapling is relatively quick and easy, it’s recommended to stick with the nail-down method for installing exotic hardwoods due to the force needed to install staples into harder woods.
Glue Down – Many installers prefer the glue-down method because it decreases any chance of shifting and creaking, thus resulting in the most realistic feel of hardwood flooring. This method doesn’t require a vapor barrier, which reduces the installation cost. This option is available for laminate, vinyl, and engineered hardwood. Carpets can also be glued onto all types of flooring.
Floating – The click-and-lock method is the most favored by renovators and homeowners because it’s less challenging, doesn’t have to involve tearing up old flooring, and it’s budget-friendly. Additionally, simply laying your new flooring on top of previously installed flooring could potentially increase your resale value. If you currently have original hardwoods but refinishing isn’t an option for you, buyers may be interested in knowing they could easily remove the floating floors to sand and refinish the hardwood. Laminate, vinyl, and engineered floors are most commonly seen installed as floating floors. It should be noted that some product warranties by the manufacturer require flooring to be floated over subfloor, rather than existing flooring, so be sure to inspect the warranty when making this decision.
Bottom line, depending on the size of your project and the materials you select, new flooring can quickly add up. We offer customizable financing options to fit your needs, allowing you to make an investment that will pay off over time. Schedule an in-home appointment to allow professional installers to provide knowledge, tools, and supplies to guide you in the selection process and ultimately lay your new floor.