Vinyl Floor Costs

A few options to think about when determining vinyl floor costs …

Peel ‘n Stick
This cheap and easy-to-install option allows for decent flooring for not a lot of money.

The drawback of this type of floor covering is that it can deteriorate faster if in a heavy traffic area such as a kitchen, or in a moisture-laden environment such as bathroom. Other factors such as poor room ventilation and improper installation can lead to quick tile deterioration as well (See kitchen floor replacement below).

Expect vinyl floor costs to be around 40¢ to 50¢ per sq.ft.

installing vinyl squares

Vinyl Tiles
An Excellent option in that you get commercial quality without sacrificing a lot of money. Tile sizes generally come in 12″ x 12″, or 18″ x 18″ pieces. Colors generally come in a neutral shade of beige or light tan that can blend with many different types of decor/design. With a comparatively easy installation process, products such as Armstrong vinyl tile provide quality flooring option at an affordable price.

The 12″ x 12″ tile comes packaged with 40 pieces per container, at a cost of about $32 per container, or 80¢ per sq.ft.

Vinyl Sheets
Vinyl sheeting comes in sizes ranging from 6′ to 12′ wide. This option provides more of a stable, sturdy type of vinyl floor as compared to the peel ‘n stick option, but for more money.Very tough, scratch and stain resistant models are available that can stand up to most abuse in any surrounding. Excellent for families with young kids and pets. Vinyl floor costs can range from $2 to $4 on the low end, on up to $15 to $20 per sq.yd. on the upper end.

Installation Costs

Professional installers generally estimate by the square yard, as opposed to by the square foot. This situation can be remedied, however, with some simple arithmetic.

Take your total square footage (length x width of room), and divide that number by nine. That will give you the what that space equals in square yards (with a square yard equaling 3 sq. ft.)

Average vinyl floor costs for installation is around $4 to $6 per square yard.

(Confused yet? That’s O.K. considering that you’re reading a lot of “square this”, and “square that”! Just stay with us a little longer)

Using the original example of our 12’x 15″ kitchen floor replacement, we can see that we have a total of 180 sq. ft., or 20 sq.yds. Using an average of $5 for vinyl installation, we get a price of $100 ($5 times 20 square yards). If we add in the price of the material and any extra floor prep, we will have total vinyl floor costs.

Speaking of Floor Prep …

some clarification is in order to understand just what exactly may need to happen to get the floor ready to install the vinyl in the first place.

Many times floors in the kitchen, and especially the bathroom have to be torn-out, and replaced entirely due to any rotted or weakened wood sub-flooring. Once that is done, a smooth-surface type of covering such as luan will be installed, with a final light skim coat of floor leveler to even-out any minor indentations or nicks and scratches. This procedure is usually extra, with the price determined by the amount of work to be done, plus the cost of materials.

Example of replacing deteriorated vinyl squares:

picture of deteriorating vinyl tile

After removing the old floor, it was determined that the one layer of vinyl beneath the top layer of peel ‘n stick floor was sound (tightly glued to the floor).

Armstrong vinyl tile was installed after some minor skim coat of floor-leveler was applied.

The result is a beautiful new floor.

picture of new Armstrong vinyl tile installed

Total demo and installation time was approximately 5 hours, with total vinyl floor costs being approximately $100 (Materials: 2.5 boxes of tile, and 2 pints of adhesive)

For you do-it-yourself types, be sure to take proper care with all aspects of installation with such things as:

  • Proper floor prep ensuring a smooth, dry sub-floor surface
  • Consistent application of adhesive to tile, and, in the case of peel ‘n stick vinyl, proper pressure applied to tiles when installed. Individual tiles can slip over time, causing a noticeable separation. This, in turn, will lead to the slipping and overlapping of other tiles, which can ultimately result in floor (and sub-floor) deterioration.

Bottom Line of Vinyl Floor Costs

Using our 12′ x 15′ kitchen floor replacement example from above, we can determine vinyl floor costs for all three vinyl options, either by the square foot, or by the square yard:

Peel ‘n Stick (12″) – Material cost = $72 using per square foot (180 pieces x 40¢ each)

Or by the square yard (1 sq. yd. = 9 pieces @ 40¢ x 20 sq.yds.)

Vinyl Tile (12″) – Material cost will be $144 Either by the square foot (180 pieces x 80¢) Or by the square yard (1 sq. yd. = 9 pieces @ 80¢ x 20 sq.yds.)

Vinyl Sheet – Material cost (using an average cost of $10/sq.yd.) will be $200 Either by the square foot (180 sq. ft. x $1.11) Or by the square yard (1 sq.yd. costs $10)

Installation Tips

In many older homes, you’re likely to see old, worn-out vinyl piled on top of more old vinyl, resulting in the following replacement scenarios:

  • A spongy-feel when you walk on it because of many layers of flooring
  • A ripple effect (kind of the same principle at work as in carpet ripples)
  • Excessive separation of old vinyl from proceeding layer(s)

Address this type of situation with a total floor replacement starting with the tear-out of all old vinyl. Repair any sub-floor issues, and install new vinyl. Even for a small bathroom, total replacement vinyl floor costs could be $150 to $200, but well worth the money.

There should never be anymore than two layers of vinyl flooring installed at any one time, as that would ensure a faster deterioration of any new vinyl you might install.

Communicate to your installer to rip the old stuff out, repair any sub-flooring problems you might encounter, and then after proper floor prep, install new vinyl. This is especially true of older homes because you just won’t know the condition of the sub floor to see if it’s stable or not until you remove the older stuff first. If the floor seems to be solid, and in good shape, you can probably lay another layer over the existing (one layer only) layer of vinyl.

Ask the installer to make sure the existing vinyl is firmly glued to the sub-floor, as you would not want loose flaps of vinyl to not adhere correctly with the new flooring.

Also, be sure to mention to the installer that you want the metal finishing strips (gripper) set as well. Request that this be done, as he won’t automatically do this step.

These metal strips come in gold and silver color at 12′ lengths, and cost around $8 per piece.

Also …
For a great solution for small-to-medium-sized rips in your existing vinyl floor, see my page on a really good vinyl floor repair alternative.