What should it cost me for new flooring?

22 Replies

For those out there that are very familiar with costs and do a lot of rehabs. What should it cost me labor + materials (everything out the door) to:

-New tile for a 289sf kitchen and laundry area?

-New vinyl for a 289sf kitchen and laundry area?

-New laminate floors living room and dining room 537 sf area?

-New carpet/pad floors living room and dining room 537 sf area?

-New carpet/pad hallway and bedrooms 708 sf area?

This is not in a high cost area (Albuquerque NM). Is there a rule of thumb frequent rehabbers use for cost per sf for these types of flooring?

Thanks!



This is practically impossible to answer because there are so many different levels of quality/price, and because labor varies so much from market to market. Why don't you start with a trip to Home Depot and see what the materials you'd pick would cost and what they would charge to install it. Then call a few contractor/handymen and see what prices they give you. That way you'll have a range (and maybe find a good contractor as well)

Look at rentals near your or houses. Get very slightly better than their, nothing more. If your area consist of 1 per sq ft carpet and your put in 5, you will not see a return. I just got a fantastic deal on a custom home. This person put in custom everything would have cost twice what I paid to build. He lost all that money because no one cares when it comes to the appraisal. The only way to recoup that lost would be if someone paid the difference in cash. It happens but it is rare.

Thanks Jean. But I have networked with a lot of rehabbers at my local investment club and a lot of them have narrowed it down to a rule of thumb cost per sf. I actually don't think it varies that much. My guess is there is a standard of what people spend on flooring for a standard middle class type of house. We are talking about the lower end of the scale (but still decent) carpet (standard beige), laminate, tile and vinyl.

I have heard $1-1.50 is a good price for laminate labor cost (I think you can get materials for .75-$1.25 laminate + under layment.. $2 sf good price tile labor. Not sure on vinyl have never done that. Vinyl material I've seen is .75-$1 a sf I have done carpet on my rentals for $1,100 total labor + materials (including ripping up and halling away old carpet) for 710sf hallway and 3 bedrooms & stairs.

Just wanted to get some rules of thumbs of what others are paying for this stuff who do it a lot. It can help to quickly estimate costs when you have a good rule of thumb for costs on a per sf labor & materials cost.

I also don't think labor varies as much as people think it does per market. I have been able to get labor a lot cheaper in San Diego CA then in Albuquerque NM for example. If you shop around you can get things done low cost, even in places like San Francisco.

Also, I walked though dozens if not 100's of your standard middle class type neighborhood flips on the market in my areas. And they ALL had the same beige carpet, same 2 tone paint jobs (light brown walls and white ceiling), same type of laminate floors, similar tile, same kitchen cabinets, same stainless steel appliances, same fixtures. You can't tell me that there aren't rules of thumb for costs that high volume rehabbers use.

We are talking about the lower end of the scale (but still decent) carpet (standard beige), laminate, tile and vinyl.

Well that's much more specific, which would actually make it a question that someone could answer.

There is a book that BP has put out on estimating rehab costs (look under "Resources) that might be useful to you

@Rob Cee a good rule of thumb is to pay what you pay for per sq ft of material in labor. Exp. If you buy ceramic tile $2 a sqft you should pay $2 per sqft in labor. Same thing for sheet rock, paint, roofing etc.

The level of finish can vary the cost by thousands. Higher priced materials warrant better workers at a higher wage. Here's my rough numbers on an average rehab project.

Tile install: $15/sqft plus cost of tile $1-$2/sqft

Laminate: $1/sqft install $1-2/sqft materials

Carpet: $1.50-2/sqft including materials

Vinyl floors: $5-7sqft including materials

All these favor in demo, some prep, some trim. There are so many variables so add 20-30% and get bids. If you have access to the house bring a general contractor in to bid your whole project line by line with different scenarios and you can make a better decision.

Menards has Shaw Jules carpet (frieze) in 2 colors (brownish and lighter brownish) for .69 cents a sqft. Pad is .25 cents a sqft

Vinyl for .79 cents a sqft

Labor will vary by region. I use an independent guy. He charges $4.50 a sq yd for carpet with or without pad.

Rehab costs are going to vary based on a lot of things:

- Location

- Type of contractor

- Level of finish

- Your negotiation skill

- Size of job

- Time of year

- Etc...

That said, as long as you don't hold me to it, I'll throw out some rough ranges that are probably good for much of the country (though may or may not hold true for you). This assumes investor pricing, above builder grade but below middle-grade finishes for a reasonable sized job:

- Tile: Labor - $2-6/sf Materials $1-4/sf

This is going to be the most variable in your scenario, as there are lots of levels of tile. Is it 2"x2" or 18"x18" tile? Is it laid square or in an ornamental pattern? How many cuts are needed?

- Vinyl/Carpet: Labor - $4-6/sy Materials $8-14/sy

Good rule of thumb for 30 ounce nylon carpet is about $2/sf installed

- Laminate "Wood": Labor - $1.50-3.50/sf Materials - $.70-2.50/sf

Depending on the type of laminate and how it needs to be installed, you're looking at $2-6/sf. If you need to pay any more than that, you should be about to find site-finished solid oak for nearly the same price.

Again, this are very rough guidelines...

Thanks J Scott that is excellent info.

Originally posted by @Michael Do :
The level of finish can vary the cost by thousands. Higher priced materials warrant better workers at a higher wage. Here's my rough numbers on an average rehab project.
Tile install: $15/sqft plus cost of tile $1-$2/sqft

Laminate: $1/sqft install $1-2/sqft materials

Carpet: $1.50-2/sqft including materials

Vinyl floors: $5-7sqft including materials

All these favor in demo, some prep, some trim. There are so many variables so add 20-30% and get bids. If you have access to the house bring a general contractor in to bid your whole project line by line with different scenarios and you can make a better decision.

Thank Michael for the info. $15 sf for tile labor??? Is that a typo? Really Vinyl is that much? You can get decent Vinyl for .75-$1 a sf...so you are talking $4-6 sf labor costs for Vinyl installation? You seem closer to what I've seen with carpet and laminate.

Rob,

All depends on project. If I'm bidding a 25 sqft bathroom its not worth me making $100 at $4/sqft for having to come back three days to install, grout, then seal.

My tile price includes all Backerboard, installation and usually any design.

I know some installers at $3-5/sqft then you need to factor in demo/hardi/ etc.

Those are all rough pricing if I were to just guess to make it worth my time.

If I was doing two bathrooms and kitchen price would decrease because id put one day in all the demo and hardi, another day or two on tile etc.

Different areas warrant different pricing. I have a $3/sqft low end tile installer and a $15/sqft custom/highend tilers. One Id use for cheap flips other I would trust in custom granite tile counters with special cuts and polishing if edges.

I.e I had a custom counter job a few weeks ago at 60 sqft including backsplash. If I hired the $3/sqft guy it would be $180. Job took 50 man hours to do. I paid my higher end tiler $1000 for labor for a perfect job and a happy customer .

Originally posted by @Brandon Hicks :
Menards has Shaw Jules carpet (frieze) in 2 colors (brownish and lighter brownish) for .69 cents a sqft. Pad is .25 cents a sqft

Vinyl for .79 cents a sqft

Labor will vary by region. I use an independent guy. He charges $4.50 a sq yd for carpet with or without pad.

Brandon what is the labor cost per sf for vinyl in your experience?

Sorry @Michael Do but 60 sq ft taking 50 hours - sounds like somebody is ripping off somebody there ...

Steve,

It actually wasn't. This was custom so I bidded $1250 for labor. Every piece of granite needed to be trimmed, cut at an angle straight, polished, beveled and fit perfectly on a set of cabinets that wasn't perfectly square.

Other misc things were demo of old counter, rebuilding plywood base with cement board. Custom cutting and installing granite tile. Custom cut and polish all the front edges. Grout and seal afterwards as well as install glass mosiac tile backsplash, grout and seal.

It was a full week of work easily if not more. The kitchen counter had two 45 degree angles as well as a couple weird turns we had to fit in.

All in all I'm happy, my tiler made money, I made money and my client was super happy.

My goal iof saying that was a $3/sqft tiler would've got frustrated and did a bad job. We would have to rip up $750 worth of granite tile after and buy new.

Pay for professional when its needed. Lesser sqft price for a simple bathroom floor.

@Rob Cee

Looking at 2 jobs from October.....

3 areas for a total of 198 sqft of vinyl

Job 1.....Install only was $150 for one job

Job 2.... they did the removal and disposal as well and it was $275

my rule of thumb is $2.50 sf for carpet including pad, $4 sf for tile labor, $1 sf for materials, and $1 to crazy per sf for the actual tile. Sometimes you can get better overall pricing from a company that does all the types of flooring and not just carpet or tile.

Originally posted by @Blake Shaw :
my rule of thumb is $2.50 sf for carpet including pad, $4 sf for tile labor, $1 sf for materials, and $1 to crazy per sf for the actual tile. Sometimes you can get better overall pricing from a company that does all the types of flooring and not just carpet or tile.

That seems a little high on carpet. Carpeting a 800 sf area would cost you $2,000?

yes but that's a good mid range carpet. More builder basic would be 1/2 to 2/3 that price. All depends on the target market for the house.

Originally posted by @Blake Shaw :
my rule of thumb is $2.50 sf for carpet including pad...

Blake -

I noticed you were in Atlanta. Just a recommendation -- if you're using a decent amount of carpet, head up to Dalton (the "carpet capital of the world") and you can get it for less than half of retail -- a very decent 30-35 ounce nylon will run you $4-6/sy. Add $1.50/sy for 8 pound pad and $4-5/sy for installation, and you should be looking at no more than $1.50/sf for very decent carpet. And many of the suppliers up there will deliver for $75 or so down to Atlanta metro.

Good to know, thanks @J Scott . I've never gone straight to the farm like that but it would definitely be worth it if I did a lot of carpet. All my clients want hardwood everywhere if they can afford it.

Although as a Shaw, I should be able to get a substantial discount! :)

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.