A new floor is a big investment and if you are the kind of person who is doing this for your first time you want to know what your material options are, the costs and everything to budget for from start to finish. What I want to attempt to do is build a basic model and framework from which to work with. Some of the terms I will use are abbreviations which you may or may not have heard of, but I will just clarify them here. Square foot is abbreviated as (sqft) and linear foot is abbreviated as (lnf).
Step One: Measure your flooring space to calculate material requirements
A measurement should be taken of the area to be replaced by calculating the surface area (Length x Width). Another 10% should be added to account for the cutting waste that is created, also known as adding a contingency. I will use a figure of 1000 sqft (50×20) and add 10% for a total material requirement of 1100 sqft.
Step Two: Estimate demolition costs
We now know how much material is needed, but before you go out looking for it, the area in which it needs to be installed in must be demolished and prepared so that your new material can last a long time and keep its warranty intact. Knowing that the space is 1000 sqft, the contractor you hire will have to demolish the existing material first. The prices in the market to remove and dispose of the following materials are:
- Floating floors – $1.00/sqft
- Old carpet – $.75/sqft
- Tile – $4.50/sqft
- Baseboards – $1.00/lnf
- Glue-down hardwood – $2.25/sqft.
These figures can be multiplied by your area to find your cost for demolition. For example, demolishing 1000 sqft of old laminate flooring is simply:
1000 x $1.00/sqft=$1,000.00 +GST.
This might seem like a high figure at first, but keep in mind that the contractor already has the tools, labour, and means of transporting this heavy and messy material to the dump. The contractor is also held responsible for any damage that may occur in the process, which is a safeguard for you the homeowner.
Step Three: Cost of preparing a subfloor
When the subfloor is exposed there might be a few things that need to happen. In areas where the floor dips, self levelling mix will need to be used. This is a concrete like substance that is poured to create a perfectly flat floor which is a requirement for your new flooring material and the installers’ warranties to remain valid. This figure is based on a per bag cost and has to be agreed upon by you and your contractor.
Typically, it is safe to budget about $100/bag for levelling (supply and pour) and that figure is exclusively subject to the condition of your subfloor. If your subfloor is plywood and is rotting, then the individual sheets of plywood will need to be replaced and you will be charged on the material costs of that plywood, labour costs to pull out and replace with new plywood and the agreed upon figure for levelling. In my experience, this really is the most challenging part of the process and is the part you want to make sure you do right, as the subfloor is the foundation upon which your new flooring will sit.
Typically on a 1000 sqft job, we see the floor prep and levelling range from $300 – $2,000, dependant on the condition of the subfloor which is why this number is pre-agreed upon on a site by site basis. There are also small items like your mouldings which are used at doorways and where different materials meet, and would be in the range of $100-$200 supplied and installed for a 1000 sq ft project.
Step Four: Cost of different types of flooring materials
Now for the exciting part – your material choices! I will touch on the four most popular materials that are sold by flooring stores. I will not talk much about which flooring material is the best for you, as this post is strictly to give you an understanding of the cost per square foot associated with the flooring material.
You can find high quality AC4 rated laminate flooring starting at $2/sqft, wide plank engineered hardwood starting at $5.30/sqft, waterproof Vinyl Plank starting at $3.79/sqft, and extremely durable, waterproof and fire resistant SPC (stone particle composite) flooring starting at $3.98/sqft. You will also need to factor in that some companies include underlay and delivery for these products, but if they do not, then you would need to budget around $0.15/sqft on delivery charges and $0.60/sqft for a good quality underlay.
Another item to keep in mind is baseboards and their installation. Baseboards are measured on a perimeter basis in linear feet, and a suggested 20%-25% contingency should be added onto them. A good baseboard can be found starting at $1.00/lnf and the installation including caulking on a 1×3 board would start at $2.50/lnf.
Working from our previous example, we now use the figure with contingency for our delivery and material costs while using the base figure without contingency for the underlay calculation.
- Material cost: $2.80 x 1,100 sqft=$3,080.00
- Underlay cost: $0.60 x 1,100 sqft=$660.00
- Delivery cost: $0.15 x 1,100 sqft=$165.00
- Baseboard cost: $1.50 x 600 lnf=$900.00
Total cost on materials=$4,805+ PST/GST
Step Five: Installation
The final component is the installation. The installation prices per square foot for the mentioned materials are as follows: Laminate flooring at $2.00/sqft, WPC/Vinyl Plank and SPC start at $2.50/sqft, floating engineered hardwood starts at $2.50/sqft and finally baseboards start at $2.50/lnf. It’s important to make sure your flooring contractor is licensed and insured, and that they are reputable and have a good portfolio. I have seen many instances where the biggest problem is from an install done wrong due to lack of experience, time, or care. Your installer should work with you; if you have appliances that need to be moved or couches – leave it to them. There may be a nominal fee charged for it, but keep in mind that as with the demo, the liability is with the contractor, so when it comes to moving appliances, they have the coverage.
Let’s continue with the example of the laminate flooring to calculate our installation costs:
- Laminate installation cost: $2.00 x 1,100 sqft=$2,200.00
- Baseboard installation cost: $2.50 x 600 lnf=$1,500
- Total installation cost=$3,700
Total cost for new laminate flooring=$9,505 +GST/PST
I hope that this detailed guideline for calculating your flooring cost in Langley has helped. It is something that I have put together from my experience in the flooring industry. I wish you all the best in your choice of flooring store, flooring material, and flooring contractor.
Unit 109 19897 56 Ave Langley, BC.