How to Estimate Flooring Cost

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Flooring projects have an end number of variables involved that need to be analyzed carefully before calculating any element. There are vast differences in the material and flooring type which makes the estimation process more complex and peculiar with every new project.

A flooring estimate would be the total cost of key processes, materials, and labor that plays a vital role in the completion of work. Nowadays, companies and contractors also choose estimate software to calculate their costs within some easy steps and go along with further bidding processes.

We are here to guide you on how to prepare a flooring estimation with related key factors that any flooring contractor or company can use to estimate their flooring project precisely and smartly. Let’s get an answer to this question – how to estimate flooring costs.

If the construction is new and the project is about completely new flooring then factors will be different from a commercial renovation project. Existing flooring adds some extra precautions and steps whereas first-ever flooring makes the process a bit easier and more flexible.

The contractor can get the basic essential information and provide a rough estimation or he can hire a professional estimator as well to be more attentive and confident about the flooring installers estimates.

Significant Factors of the Flooring Project

significant factors of the flooring cost

High-quality service with professional craft requires a very focused execution from the contractor’s side. To ensure such results every step should be perfectly implemented from the estimation to installation.

Calculating a flooring cost per square foot is not an easy task. Material and flooring structure might not be always flexible to conclude a precise cost per square foot. That’s why it’s easier and more sensible to find the cost of total square footage.

Before starting with the estimation part there are some common factors every estimator and business person should know that affect the flooring process.

  1. The extent of the project

    The extent of the project is the nature of the project. It is one core piece of information that supports every other element of the estimate.

    If the project is about redoing an existing floor, then an extra cost of removing the old flooring would be added. The removal process might take a random amount of time and labor which totally depends on the floor type. With this, the estimator will have to think closely about other related expenses and according to that particular project as well.

    On the contrary, installing new flooring in a room that is still under construction eliminates such expenses and allows an estimator to calculate everything according to the company’s standard procedure.

  2. Expenses of Some extra installations

    If the client’s requirement includes some extra layers of underflooring or some other extra layer of flooring then this creates a huge difference in the estimation. Residential or commercial buildings may require some soundproofing, heat insulation, or any other feature which directly increases the flooring installation effort and then final installation costs. So, this aspect is also important for the estimator and contractor.

  3. Budget and Deadline of the Project

    For obvious reasons, the budget and deadline are the two main concerns of any project. With flooring work, if the client is restricted with the budget and asks for cheap tiles and basic quality material then it is the contractor’s or company’s responsibility to educate him about the quality, outcome, lifespan, and issues related to that material.

    The same kind of proper knowledge should be shared when the timeline is tough and the quality of the resources or work has chances to get compromised. With such consideration and the client’s approval, an estimator can decide the weight of each element in his estimation.

Types of Floors

Flooring type is the key deciding factor of the project because the maximum share of expenses will be on flooring material and each material has a different price range and installation process. Complete knowledge about floor types is very important for flooring contractors and estimators to practice accurate estimations.

Nowadays, there are a large number of options available in the market. Depending upon the requirements and preferences, clients can choose any kind of material for their room. However, as a contractor you need to understand the look, benefits and durability are the key aspects of any material and you should help your client with the selection of material based on these parameters.

Different floor materials will have different requirements for sub-floor, insulating materials, skilled workforce, and timely inspection. So, let’s understand different flooring types in order to help the estimation process.

  1. Hardwood flooring

    The cost of hardwood floors would be much greater than installing the laminating floors. Still, many people go for hardwood flooring for a more dense and robust flooring experience. There are two types of hardwood flooring: solid floors and engineered floors.

    With solid wood floors, clients get different wood choices from different tree species. They are usually ¾’’ thick and known as a more expensive flooring type than engineered ones. Price range varies from wood type. If the choice is more of exotic wood, then the overall estimate would be higher.

    On the other hand, engineered wood flooring has a layer of hardwood with ⅛’’ thickness and more layers of plywood underneath. They are quite popular in today’s time because of their affordability factor. Nevertheless, engineered hardwood flooring cannot serve impressive longevity as compared to solid hardwood floorings.

  2. Laminate Flooring

    laminate flooring cost

    The reason behind the remarkable popularity of laminate flooring is that it provides a satisfactory look in an affordable price range. There are ample designs, textures, and looks available in laminate flooring materials.

    Stone, ceramic, tile, or wood can be expensive but their look and feel can be achieved with laminate flooring. And that’s why it is a very commonly used material in flooring works.

    Laminate flooring cost depends on the thickness of the laminate tile. The thicker the tile is costly it would be. Moreover, costing also depends on the brand, supplier, and laminate type.

  3. Vinyl Flooring

    Similar to laminate, vinyl flooring can also give a rich stone, tile, or wood appearance on a reasonable budget. Therefore, vinyl and luxury vinyl are most people’s choices for the flooring job.

    The installation process varies according to the construction and subfloor conditions. Additionally, Underlayment is sometimes necessary when the subfloor surface is not smooth.

    Generally, low-quality vinyl tiles cost $2-$3 per square foot and premium quality ones range between $5-$7 per square foot.

  4. Carpet Flooring

    carpet flooring cost

    Carpet flooring is not as inexpensive as laminate and vinyl but it is an attractive and widely used option as well by a number of people. There are carpet tiles and wall-to-wall carpets as well which come in one size. The cost of carpet flooring depends highly on the size to be covered.

    With synthetic and natural options carpets have different thicknesses. Therefore, it’s essential to know what type of carpet is required in the project and what’s the rough budget of the client.

  5. Tile and Stone Flooring

    tile and stone flooring

    The most expensive flooring choice is tile and stone type. Be it porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, or clay tiles there are so many varieties of designs, textures and colors are available in tiles which makes them the most used flooring material in the world. Stones are available in some regions only which makes them more expensive and exclusive as well.

    The installation process is more expensive in tile flooring than in tiles themselves. That’s why contractors and companies need to calculate everything attentively while estimating tile or stone flooring projects.

    And let’s not “overestimate” our capabilities, remember all these rates and costs are next to impossible for busy contractors like you.

    So, let the InvoiceOwl remember clients’ information and all the item rates and costs for you, and you channel your efforts on other vital business operations like marketing, supervising, and collaborating with subcontractors.

Cost of Labor

The productivity, experience, and availability of labor play a huge role in flooring estimation. When the floor type is certain, the flooring contractor can easily tell what kind of workers he might need to install laminate flooring.

If the project requires you to recruit some extra workers, skilled professionals, and supervisors then a separate calculation should be done for them as well. With them, risks of accidents are always involved and that should also be well thought of before the final estimation.

Some extra fees for the recruitment process and union labor are also notable factors in the labor costs which need to be addressed smartly.

Other Expenses

There can be many miscellaneous expenses involved in the project which many estimators and contractors forget to include.

  • Multiple elements would be associated with preparation work before the main execution. If subflooring work is involved or concrete layers are needed then extra materials should be calculated beforehand to make the estimation more accurate.
  • If other tasks related to carpentry, plumbing, or electricity are required by the client then a different section should be explained in the estimate regarding the total cost of such services.
  • High-end projects might need insurance which needs to be discussed and calculated in the estimate.
  • Specially requested fast-track projects might add expenses of overtime jobs. So, those overtime wages need to be calculated in the estimate with proper planning of the contractor or project head.
  • Safety precautions, accessories, and uniforms might also be part of the project if the company works with such rules. Therefore, every other expense related to workers’ safety, transportation, and well-being should be part of the estimation calculation.

Ways to Calculate the Flooring Installation Cost

Flooring estimate is a complex task. A detailed description of each element is required to achieve a valid estimate. It is a time-consuming and exhausting process that is usually done by three methods.

  1. Conventional Calculation

    It is a widely used and most reliable method as it is practiced by a professional person who knows exactly how to deal with the numbers according to the project. It is a lengthy, complex, and effective way to create an approximate or accurate estimation with the help of spreadsheets and other simple tools.

  2. Estimating Software

    Flooring estimating software is the future of the estimation process. This refreshing technological advancement is very helpful in estimation and many related complicated tasks. It can be expensive or inexpensive depending upon the features and accuracy of the product but it can surely save time and provide an effective estimate for the project. When it comes to adopting any estimating software, you can opt for InvoiceOwl which is the best commercial flooring estimating software with a range of features.

  3. Flooring Cost Calculator

    There are many estimating calculators available on the internet and they are for free usage. Anyone can use them with their easy interface and get an estimate to see where the project lies in terms of financial range. By inserting some basic important data, you can get an idea about the cost of the project. It is simple and quick but not highly reliable and practical for every project.


The flooring cost can be determined with a clear understanding of the client’s requirements, market trends, labor conditions, and construction analysis. With the actual project, flooring installation is not the only primary task. Many duties are supposed to be taken care of before the main work and after that as well.

Thus, creating estimates manually is not an option if you want to handle multiple projects simultaneously. Moreover, the game doesn’t end at estimating, you need to create invoices, purchase orders, credit memos, and payment receipts timely to maintain the cash flow.

If this skyrockets your stress level, just —InoviceOwl, and relax!

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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