Laminate and Vinyl Plank

Laminate and Vinyl Plank are some of the most cost effective floors you can get, they look great and are incredibly durable. What’s not to love with these floors?
There is a lot to consider when choosing your Laminate and Vinyl Plank, but when it comes to installation, the three most important factors are quality, timeliness, and cost, which you will notice are the main factors in most standard floor installations.

Quality is a given. You want a professional quality of work, without soft spots and humps. A smooth and sturdy floor. Laminate and Vinyl Plank that disappears under the baseboard, with no gaps at the walls, or even worse, gaps between boards in the middle of the room.

To achieve the smooth floor, proper prep must be done, keeping the flatness of the floor within industry standards, or 1/8” over 10 feet. If you had a Laminate and Vinyl Plank or hardwood floor installed in the area before, it should hopefully already be level enough from the previous installation. If carpet was installed before, then the necessary prep was probably not done. If tile was installed, the prep may have been done, but often the substrate will need to be gone over again as demolition of tile can be a messy and damaging process. Either way, floor prep and leveling is considered an additional cost, and should be planned for, especially if the substrate is so out of level that it will need to be fixed with self leveler. Vinyl Plank is more sensitive then Laminate to sudden ridges and inconsistencies, as it is a soft material that can conform to the substrate.
Having a smooth substrate will give you a smooth finished floor, without the humps that make furniture uneven, or the soft spots that dip when you step on them. They also help prevent floor failure and gaps, as the strength of the tension system suffers when the boards are not sitting flat with each other.

Finally, a simple and quick check of each board before installing it is imperative. A good installer will have a quick look at each board to check for chipped edges or broken lips in the tongue and groove system. Some installers do this so fast that most people don’t even see it, scanning the board visually in the time it takes to pick it up and click it in place, while running their fingers along the groove system. If you plan on doing it yourself, take a bit longer, because it’s no fun taking out half a room because you realize too late that one is chipped, or coming apart due to a damaged lip, in the area you installed a few hours ago.

You may have been recommended to a company that you are absolutely set on, having seen their work, and knowing they have great pricing, and call them to have them install your new floor two days from now. They may have an opening, or they may be booked for the next 3 months. When you have a specific time line, it’s best to plan ahead, because your first choice may not be available on short notice.
It can be a good idea to plan at least two weeks ahead, but a month is even better. Giving a bit of extra time is never a bad thing, and prevents the uncomfortable situation of having to go with your second or third choice company, or paying a premium for short notice installations.

Here Laminate and Vinyl Plank installations are often a lot simpler then other types of flooring. In all installations, there will be a minimum charge, so a single bedroom will often not be charged by the square foot, but by the minimum charge. Also, in installations over a certain size, there is often a price break, or multiple price breaks, which comes into effect when dealing with contractors who build multiple units.

The variables that affect the price of Laminate and Vinyl Plank installation include, but are not limited to, how big or small the areas are, diagonal or curved walls, and how many areas they connect to. Stairs are considered separately, and with laminate or vinyl plank, carpet is often chosen for stairs.

Each transition to a different type of flooring may require a different style of transition. Often the supply store we deal with will have a greater selection of transitions then your local big box store.

Current floor removal
Laminate and Vinyl Plank can go over top of hardwood, linoleum or tile, if the floor is within flatness tolerances, but not over other laminate and floating vinyl plank or carpet. This can adversely affect the height of your floor, particularly where it connects to other flooring, making it much higher then the flooring in the rest of your house.

Substrate preparation
Making sure your substrate is withing flatness tolerance of 1/8” over 10 feet can add to the cost, depending on how far out of flatness tolerance it is.

Furniture and appliance removal and replacement
Furniture moving is often charged per room, or per hour, appliance moving is often charged per appliance. If anything with gas or water lines need to be moved, you will often need someone qualified to unhook them and hook them back up.

Baseboard removal and replacement
When any floor except carpet is installed, the baseboard needs to come off and be put back on at the new proper height. We always try to save the old baseboard if you plan on reusing it, but sometimes it is too badly damaged, or simply to old.

Garbage removal
We include garbage and waste removal, however if you have a garbage bin on site, let us know and we can account for that in our quote.

The laminate and vinyl plank material is always separate from installation costs. The underlayment, which ideally includes soundproofing and a vapor barrier, will normally be included in the material cost at time of purchase. We have installed product from most stores in town, and can pick up and deliver material to the installation site.