Floor Installation Tips, Resources, and Pricing

So, you’re finally ready to upgrade the flooring as part of your next home improvement project. You’ve scrolled through Pinterest, grilled your friends, eyeballed the flooring you admire in restaurants and hotels, and now it’s time to take the plunge and get estimates. But you probably still have many questions!

Have I considered all of the cost factors?

Should I install flooring myself? 

What about the existing floor?


Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

Before you shop, read our tips below.


» Measure your space

Flooring prices are calculated by the square foot, so you won’t get very far without pulling out a measuring tape and crunching some numbers first. Even if it’s been awhile since you were in math class, it’s easy to get a rough estimate of your square footage. Simply measure the length and width of your room and then multiply those two numbers together. Voila! You completed this math pop quiz. 

If your space is not a perfect square and, for example, has a smaller entryway or closets, imagine those as smaller squares. Measure each square individually, find the square footage for each one, and then add those numbers together. If an obstacle, such as a kitchen island is part of the equation, find its square footage and subtract that from the grand total. You’re practically a math professor! 

» Have a flooring type in mind

The type of floor will also determine the price. Hardwood is the most expensive, and bamboo flooring is slightly cheaper but not as durable. Hardwood and bamboo flooring work best in rooms with high foot traffic, but low humidity. Ceramic tile and laminate are generally the cheapest. Most homeowners opt for ceramic tile or laminate flooring in areas with potential exposure to water, such as a bathroom, laundry room or kitchen.

» Other budget considerations

Depending on the type of flooring or location, you may also need a water barrier or underlayment. The moisture barrier protects your hardwood floor from moisture, while an underlayment can reduce noise in upstairs areas and make walking on your floor more comfortable. Some underlayments have a built-in moisture barrier. Take these into consideration when deciding on your final purchase.

You may also need to factor in the price of adhesive, which may or may not be necessary depending on the type of new flooring and the existing subfloor — or substrate — in the area.

» Measure twice; buy once

You’ll need more exact measurements before you make your final purchase. For tile, the larger the pieces, the more waste you can expect to have when cutting in around corners and cabinets. Ceramic tile generally has 10 square feet per box, so consider purchasing an extra box to ensure you have enough. For hardwood or laminate, add an extra 5 percent to your final numbers just to be safe.


» Once you have decided on a type of flooring material you will have to prep the area.

Decide if you will do the existing flooring removal yourself or hire a professional. Old vinyl flooring or linoleum installed with glue can be a labor-intensive process to remove, especially if it was adhered to wood or plywood subfloor. The same goes for old tile set in mortar. For both jobs, you’ll need a hammer, a chisel, safety goggles, scraping tools and a whole lot of patience. Ask a professional or a flooring company about the best ways to prepare the room for your new flooring to avoid expensive mistakes.


Once the floor is a proper blank canvas, you’ll also need to prep the room. Furniture removal is first, and then don’t forget about wall art and objects on shelves. You’ll also need to have a plan for your pets and small children. This is now a construction site. If you’re also planning to paint the walls, hold off on that step until after your flooring installation is complete, just to be sure scrapes from boxes or dings from stray hammers don’t ruin your new paint job. If you’re hiring professionals, ask what measures they take to keep the area clean during flooring installation.


DIY flooring installation can save money on your home improvement project, but will take lots of time and may cause frustration. To help you make that call, here are the average installation costs for each type of flooring. These prices do not include the cost of materials.

Carpeting Installation  $1,498
Ceramic/porcelain tile Installation $1,588
Laminate Installation $2,816
Natural stone tile Installation $1,830
Vinyl or linoleum Installation $357
Wood Installation $4,240

Keep in mind, River City Flooring can combine the cost of installation and materials into the total square footage cost estimate, and in many cases, it may save you money. When considering the price, you’ll need to consider both materials cost and cost of labor before making a final decision.

For those who don’t need a full installation but are interested in flooring repair costs, we can help with that, too. Depending on the type of flooring you have, repair costs could vary. For example, tile repair costs will be anywhere from $300 to $600, depending on the amount of damage. It’s best if you have a few matching tiles on hand from the original installation. Also, if the subfloor needs work, you can expect to pay more. Laminate flooring repair costs are often higher than tile, especially if the area is heavily damaged from water. 

Notes on Floor Repairs

Carpet repair costs are generally less expensive, but again, it’s helpful if you have leftover material that matches the original. You can expect to pay around $200 to $500 for carpet repairs, if the damage is not too extensive. Common reasons for carpet flooring repair might be stains, lumps, tears, or exposed seams, and sometimes it’s cheaper to remove the old carpet and start over. 

And now you’re ready to get started on your flooring installation project! Don’t hesitate to call us at River City Flooring if you have questions or need further assistance. We are happy to help!

Average Installation Prices

  • Avg. Installation Pricing