Vinyl flooring continues to be one of the most popular flooring materials we sell. We say this often, and that’s because it’s remained true for as long as we’ve been in business. Vinyl flooring is a great budget-friendly floor. The exact cost of vinyl floors is different, however, from project to project.

There are a number of factors to consider, some of which may or may not apply to your project. To better estimate vinyl flooring cost, we’ll break down each factor that can contribute to the final estimate.

Just as we did with our article on hardwood flooring cost, we’ll create a fictional scenario to illustrate this.

For this pretend scenario we’ll work with a floor plan that includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, and half bath; a total square footage of 537. The subfloor is wood and no transition pieces are necessary. Vinyl plank is perfect for this type of floor plan because it can hold up to moisture very well, especially, in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms.

MATERIALS

There are two installation options available with vinyl flooring: glue-down or floating. The choice to do one over the other simply comes down to personal preference. For our illustration, we’ll focus on a floating installation, as it is very DIY-friendly.

A floating vinyl plank floor means that the planks connect together with a click and lock mechanism around each plank. For this scenario, we’ll work with a waterproof vinyl plank that comes with a pre-attached underlayment, priced at $3.69 or $3.49 per square foot.

The option to use planks with a pre-attached underlayment is based purely on convenience. Click vinyl planks without underlayment are also available if that is your preference.

In this calculation, you need to account for an extra 10% of flooring material for waste factor (cuts and occasional mistakes).

537 sq. ft. + 10% = 596 sq. ft.

596 sq. ft. x $3.69/sq. ft. = $2,199.24

If you order online, then add a line for shipping cost. Our shipping cost is a flat rate of $199.

$2,199.24 – vinyl plank flooring

+ $199 – shipping cost

Materials Total: 2,398.24

INSTALLATION

Because this is a click vinyl floor, the cost of installation is very small if you do-it-yourself. In our pretend installation scenario, this would go over a wood subfloor.

Subfloor Preparation/Removal

This step often includes:

  • Demo of existing finished flooring to get to subfloor
  • Removal of adhesive residue from carpet pad, prior glued down flooring, or   mortar from ceramic / porcelain tile
  • Grinding / sanding to remove residue or subfloor inconsistencies
  • Floor patch or self-leveling compound to ensure flat / smooth surface for performance and structural integrity of new vinyl plank flooring

Keep in mind; if your existing finished floor is ceramic or porcelain tile, VCT, or sheet vinyl, then you can easily install the vinyl planks over the existing flooring. Thus the four steps listed above would not be necessary.

Moisture Testing

Moisture testing is important in many installations. With an install like this, it would only be necessary if you are concerned about mold growing underneath the planks.

Other materials needed

If you plan to do the install yourself, note the following materials you will need. Prices for each of these items may vary. Reference your local hardware store for accurate cost breakdown.

  • Knee pads
  • Table saw or miter saw
  • Utility knife and square edge ruler (in lieu of saw for cutting thinner planks)
  • Tape measure or laser distance measure
  • Pen, pencils or marker
  • Flooring paper to protect newly finished traffic areas
  • Patience 🙂

The cost to install vinyl plank floors is going to vary based on the cost of flooring material and installation method. This fictitious installation scenario should give you an idea of what to account for, and help you better understand how to budget.