If it’s time to replace your current flooring and you’ve begun to look at your options, the price tag is probably your biggest concern. And while you certainly should only purchase what you can reasonably afford, you also shouldn’t buy something that’s not a great fit for your needs just because it’s cheaper. In the long run, even the cheapest of floors can cost you big bucks if it becomes damaged and needs to be replaced after only a few years. Read more below to learn what types of flooring can fit into your budget AND cover your needs:
Sand & Stain Hardwoods – According to Angie’s List, you can expect to pay $7 to $12 for high-quality hardwood flooring plus an additional $2 per square foot on average for installation. That means a 1,000 square foot space will cost you anywhere from $9000 to $14000 when all is said and done. But the resale value is great, and in areas that aren’t at risk for water damage or very high traffic, hardwood flooring is a great low-maintenance choice despite the high price tag.
Pre-Finished Hardwoods – Expect to pay $7-$9 per square foot for pre-finished or engineered hardwood flooring plus an additional $1.50 – $2 per square foot for installation. So you can count on spending approximately $8500 to $11000 to have pre-finished hardwood floors installed in your 1,000 square foot home. They’re certainly a cheaper alternative to sand and stain hardwood flooring and can even sometimes be sanded and refinished if they are thick and can withstand a sanding.
Tile – You’ll find a huge range of pricing for tile – from $1 up to $20 per square foot depending on the type. Installation can run you $2-$4 per square foot so for a 1,000 square foot space, you’re looking at $3000-$24,000, although most typical installations will fall somewhere towards the lower end of that range. Durable and easy to clean, tile is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
Laminate – Laminate is a cheaper option for those who want the look of tile or hardwoods without the high cost. Unfortunately, you also sacrifice quality as laminate doesn’t hold up well to water at all, so avoid it in the kitchen, bathrooms or laundry room. Expect to pay $.50 to $8 per square foot plus an additional $2 per square foot for installation.
Carpet – Carpet generally runs from $2 to $5 per square foot for both carpet and padding. Carpet is great for second story bedrooms and playrooms since it muffles sound and offers warmth, although it easily stains in high-traffic areas. Installation is typically cheaper for carpet than for tile and hardwood flooring, so expect to pay around $1000 to install 1000 square feet of carpet although big box stores often offer great deals on installation.
In the end, focusing just on the cost and not what will fit your needs can be a big mistake. Do your research on the front end and cost compare over the life of the flooring to ensure you’re making the best choice!