Guide To Floor Replacement – 2024 Newest

Replacing your floors can completely transform the look and feel of your home. However, it’s important to carefully consider all aspects of a floor replacement project before getting started. This guide covers everything you need to know about floor replacement, from costs and materials to DIY vs hiring a pro.

Replace wood flooring


What To Pay Attention To When Replacing Floors?

Installing new floors is an exciting project, but there are several factors to consider beforehand:

1. Purpose of the Room

Think about how the room will be used. For high-traffic areas like kitchens, durable surfaces like tile or vinyl are best. Bedrooms and dining rooms suit hardwood’s elegance. Carpet works for offices seeking sound absorption.

2. Style Preferences

Your flooring should complement your interior design style. For modern looks, concrete, tile and hardwood are sleek options. Farmhouse styles look best with wide-planked floors. Tile and laminate provide versatile Hampton style flooring.

3. Budget

Setting a budget upfront will guide your flooring selection. Quality materials like hardwood and tile have higher upfront costs. But affordable options like laminate and vinyl can still provide style. Get quotes from flooring companies before deciding.

4. Maintenance Requirements

Consider how much maintenance you’re willing to do. Tile and vinyl are very low maintenance. Hardwood needs occasional refinishing. Carpet requires frequent vacuuming and immediate stain treatment. Know your floor’s needs before installing.

5. Allergies

Flooring with hard, nonporous surfaces like tile and vinyl prevent allergens from getting trapped. Carpet holds onto allergens like pet dander. Hardwood and laminate are better allergy-friendly options than carpet.

6. Installation Skill

DIY installation can save money but requires skill and time. Hiring a pro ensures proper installation but costs more. Consider if you can handle the project or if a professional’s expertise is worth the investment.


By weighing all these factors beforehand, you’ll choose flooring tailored to your home’s needs.

tile and wood flooring


Brief Introduction To Floor Replacement Costs

The costs of new floors vary widely based on the materials and size of your space. Here’s an overview of average floor replacement costs for different types:

a) Hardwood
  • Cost per square foot: $7-$23
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $3,000-$10,500

Known for elegance and value addition, hardwood is on the pricier end but often worth the investment. Durable finishes help it stand the test of time.

b) Tile
  • Cost per square foot: $1-$20
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $3,500-$5,500

Tile costs span a wide range. Porcelain and ceramic tiles fall on the higher end. Customization also increases costs. But tile resists high-traffic areas.

c) Carpet
  • Cost per square foot: $2-$12
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $1,500-$4,000

Offering cushioned softness and noise absorption, carpet is an affordable flooring option starting around $2 per square foot. Higher quality carpets cost more.

d) Vinyl
  • Cost per square foot: $3-$7
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $1,250-$2,750

Easy to maintain vinyl resists moisture, stains and heavy impacts. Costs stay on the lower end, making it ideal for basements and kitchens.

e) Laminate
  • Cost per square foot: $3-$10
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $850-$2,300

Laminate provides the look of wood or stone for less. Advanced wear-resistant laminates have durable finishes, retaining appearance despite scratches.

f) Linoleum
  • Cost per square foot: $3-$7
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $1,250-$2,750

Similar easy maintenance as vinyl, linoleum works well in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Costs are low, starting around $3 per square foot.

g) Bamboo
  • Cost per square foot: $5-$15
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $1,750-$5,500

Eco-friendly bamboo needs few resources to produce. It resists moisture damage but costs more than basic hardwoods. Expect to pay at least $5 per square foot.

h) Cork
  • Cost per square foot: $5-$12
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $1,750-$4,500

Naturally antimicrobial cork fits well in kitchens, bathrooms and basements. Cost is mid-range but provides comfort and acoustic absorption.

i) Concrete
  • Cost per square foot: $2-$8
  • Total 500 sq ft installation: $750-$3,000

Industrial chic polished concrete is cost-effective and durable. Moisture-resistant concrete works in wet areas starting around $2 per square foot.

Replace tile


In-Depth Look At Popular Flooring Types

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive deeper into pros, cons, costs and installation considerations for the most popular flooring options:

1. Hardwood Floors

Hardwood never goes out of style. Available in a variety of wood species like oak, maple and cherry, hardwood offers unmatched warmth and beauty. Custom stains and finishes let you tailor the look. Dents and scratches can detract from appearances over time. But they can be refinished instead of fully replaced when worn.


  • Materials: $7-$15 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $3-$9 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $2-$5 per square foot.


  • Acclimate the wood before installation to prevent later warping or gapping.
  • Nail down installation provides the most stability.
  • Use plywood subflooring for best support.
  • Choose wider planks for fewer seams and a seamless look.
  • Apply polyurethane finishes for protection and sheen.

Best for:

Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.


2. Tile Floors

From natural stone to ceramic and porcelain, tile offers unmatched durability. Water-resistant qualities make tile ideal for kitchens, baths and laundry rooms. Grout requires sealing to prevent stains. Dropped items can crack tiles. Prices range widely based on material and tile size.


  • Materials: $1-$20 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $6-$8 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $2-$5 per square foot.


  • Select appropriate tile format based on room size.
  • Use leveling systems to prevent uneven tiles.
  • Properly seal grout and apply grout release for easier cleaning.
  • Match tiles and grout color for a unified look.

Best for:

Kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, entryways.


3. Luxury Vinyl Floors

Vinyl has come a long way. Luxury vinyl plank flooring realistically mimics hardwood and tile looks. 100% waterproof construction makes vinyl ideal for baths, kitchens, basements and beyond. Easy snap-together floating installation enables DIY-friendly vinyl installation.


  • Materials: $2-$7 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $3-$5 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $1-$2 per square foot.


  • Use underlayment for noise reduction.
  • Avoid low-quality, builder-grade vinyl for longevity.
  • Look for durable wear layers of 20 mils or more.
  • Choose stone-plastic composite cores for stability.

Best for:

Kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms.


4. Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring combines affordability and durability. High-resolution photographic prints mimic luxurious hardwood looks. Advanced scratch-resistant finishes protect against scrapes and scuffs. Laminate isn’t truly waterproof despite some claims, making it unsuitable for moist areas.


  • Materials: $1-$5 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $1-$2 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $0.50-$1 per square foot.


  • Use foam underlayment to smooth subfloor imperfections.
  • Avoid using laminate in basements, bathrooms or laundry rooms.
  • Look for AC ratings of 3 or higher for durability.
  • Use plank widths of at least 5 inches for a natural look.

Best for:

Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.


5. Carpet Floors

Plush softness makes carpet a popular choice despite higher maintenance. Various fiber types like nylon and polyester each have pros and cons. Padding improves comfort and extends carpet life. Frequent vacuuming and immediate stain treatment are musts.


  • Materials: $2-$12 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $1-$3 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $0.50-$1 per square foot.


  • Use tack strips for securely griping carpet edges.
  • Choose low-VOC adhesives when installing over concrete.
  • Consider allergen-resistant fibers like SmartStrand.
  • Select the right padding thickness and density.

Best for:

Bedrooms, home offices, finished basements.


6. Bamboo Floors

Eco-friendly bamboo has a distinctive grain pattern. Strand-woven bamboo offers exceptional hardness and durability. Solid bamboo exhibits natural color variations. Bamboo requires sealing and refinishing like hardwood. Moisture causes swelling and warping if unchecked.


  • Materials: $5-$15 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $4-$8 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $3-$5 per square foot.


  • Acclimate bamboo flooring before installation.
  • Use plywood instead of concrete for subflooring.
  • Choose low-VOC bamboo flooring and adhesives.
  • Expect to refinish bamboo floors every 5-10 years.

Best for:

Bedrooms, living rooms, kids’ rooms.


7. Cork Floors

As a renewable resource harvested from tree bark, cork is naturally sustainable. Sound-dampening qualities provide quiet comfort underfoot. Antimicrobial properties resist mold and mildew. Dents are common given cork’s softness.


  • Materials: $5-$12 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $4-$8 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $3-$5 per square foot.


  • Use floating installation over concrete subfloors.
  • Expect to refinish cork floors every 3-5 years.
  • Opt for factory-finished options for convenience.
  • Choose thicker cork layers for durability.

Best for:

Bedrooms, playrooms, offices.


8. Concrete Floors

Refined concrete creates an edgy, urban look. Stain-resistant and moisture-proof properties work well in kitchens and entries. Lack of give can fatigue legs and feet. Cracking and chipping are concerns. Costs stay relatively low.


  • Materials: $2-$8 per square foot.
  • Professional installation: $4-$6 per square foot.
  • DIY installation: $1-$2 per square foot.


  • Pour at least 5 inches thick for supporting weight.
  • Use crack-inhibition additives to prevent cracking.
  • Consider radiant floor heating, as concrete holds heat.
  • Opt for matte finishes to limit tire marks and oil stains.

Best for:

Kitchens, bathrooms, basements, garages.

Replace vinyl flooring


Should I DIY Or Hire A Professional?

Deciding between DIY or professional installation is a key decision when replacing floors. Both options have advantages and disadvantages to weigh.

If you’re handy and have the time, DIY provides total control and significant labor cost savings. But it requires acquiring all the right tools and skills. Demolition and installation are physically strenuous. Any mistakes become costly setbacks. And you have no warranties or accountability for the work.

Hiring a pro ensures your floors are perfectly installed by experts. Their skills and tools guarantee high-quality results. Licensed and insured professionals provide liability protection. The speed and efficiency of a team shortens the project timeline. And warranties give you peace of mind. Yet all this skilled labor is expensive. Communicating your vision and material choices takes extra work. Schedules may be inconvenient. And you miss the chance to learn new skills yourself.

Consider your abilities, time and budget when deciding. DIY is best for those confident in their skills with flexible schedules. Seeking professional installation is recommended if the scope seems daunting. Either way, weigh the pros and cons carefully based on your specific situation. The right choice comes down to aligning the best qualities of each route with your needs and goals for the project.

Replace flooring


Steps To Professionally Installed Floors

Replacing your floors? Hiring pros makes the whole process smoother. Take it from me—I’ve been there!

First things first—know your budget. Get a few quotes to compare prices on materials and labor. Pick some flooring types you love in your price range. Go ahead and order everything upfront so it’s ready to go.

On installation day, the crew will check out the subfloors first. Gotta make sure there aren’t any issues that need fixing before the new floors go down. Tearing out the old floors is tough work, but the pros have the muscle and the right tools to rip it all out efficiently.

Here’s the fun part—watching those experienced installers work their magic laying the new floors you picked. They really know how to make them look amazing and last. They’ll finish up all the final details too like sealing the grout and putting on protective finishes. Finally, a good thorough cleaning leaves your space looking shiny and new, ready for you to enjoy your awesome new floors!

To keep them looking great, follow the manufacturer’s tips for care and cleaning. Regular sweeping and mopping keeps floors fresh and clean as a whistle. Wipe up spills on tile, vinyl and hardwood right away so they don’t stain. Use cleaners made specifically for your floors to be safe. Reseal grout and refinish surfaces when needed to maintain that like-new look. Throw some rugs down at the entrances to keep dirt at bay. Stick felt pads under furniture legs so they don’t scuff up your floors when you move them. And fix minor scratches and dings early before they turn into bigger issues. Do all that, and your new floors will look fabulous for many years to come!


When To Replace Floors?

Several visible signs indicate when it’s time to replace worn floors:

  • Outdated styles– Install new floors to match current home trends and tastes.
  • Visible damage– Deep scratches, cracks, stains, and warped planks necessitate floor replacement.
  • Excessive wear– Thin carpets with exposed subfloor and hardwoods with several refinishings need replacing.
  • Moisture issues– Water damage like cupping planks, mold or musty odors point to moisture problems underneath.
  • Installation problems– Popping sounds from loose subfloors or nails, uneven surfaces and gaps signal the need for replacement.

Addressing these issues promptly with new floor installation prevents further deterioration in your home’s structure.

damaged floor


Benefits Of New Floors

Aside from aesthetic upgrades, new floors provide these benefits:

  • Increased home value– Updating worn floors often yields a 70-100% ROI. New hardwoods in particular boost resale value.
  • Improved safety– Eliminating uneven surfaces, worn carpeting and slippery tile prevents falls and injuries.
  • Health improvements– Removing moldy, allergy-aggravating carpets creates a healthier indoor environment.
  • Energy savings– Insulating carpet and laminates can reduce energy bills compared to cold tile and concrete floors.
  • Noise reduction– Soft surfaces like carpet absorb sound rather than amplifying it like hard flooring materials.
  • Customized appearance– Contemporary styles and on-trend colors refashion your home’s look.

Considering these benefits will get you excited about all the positives new floors offer!


Flooring Replacement: An Investment In Your Home

While costs can add up, new floors are an investment that pays dividends for years through added enjoyment, functionality and value in your home. Evaluate your needs thoughtfully, research all options extensively and plan carefully. This helps ensure your replacement project stays on-budget and hassle-free. With a better understanding of what’s involved, you can install new floors tailored to your home’s style for a beautiful transformation.

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