Average Labour Cost/Price to Fit/Install Wooden/Laminate Floors (Carpenters' Rates)
To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…
(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)
How Much Does it Cost To Fit Wooden/Laminate Flooring?
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Your 15’ x 15’ (4.5m) living room is getting the treatment with a “click” laminate floor. The builder is taking up the carpet, (you are going to lay it down in the garage for some inexplicable reason), moving the furniture, (not the electrical stuff) and putting it all back on completion. He will screw the floor down where necessary, lay the new floor, supply and fit the quadrant, and fill any tiny gaps.
This will take 2 men, 2 days.
Their materials £35, Labour £650, £685.00
Still with the same room, the builder’s taking up the carpet and moving the furniture etc. but this time he’s laying a solid wooden floor. He will use felt underlay as before but this time all the tongue and grooved joints will have to be secured with a good wood glue. This is obviously more labour intensive as the fitter will have to apply glue to each joint, force them together and remove any excess glue with a damp sponge.
This will take 3 days
A Price Guide and Information Sheet on the Cost of Fitting Wooden and Laminate Floors
You mean you don’t already have it! Come on, where on earth have you been?
There are two types really, solid and laminated and there are two types of laminated. Good stuff, which can be sanded a couple of times when necessary (though you will have to varnish it again) and the thin, cheap and cheerful stuff which goes in the kids’ bedrooms!
Solid wooden flooringJust like floorboards really, except that each piece is identical in size and “tongue and grooved” so they interlock. This is the most expensive, you can choose from a vast array of timbers and different finishes. Some are “virgin” timber which will need waxing or varnishing on completion. Others come already finished either matt or gloss.
Laminated boardsNice timber on the top, the stuff they make tea chests with on the bottom. These also come in identical sized sections, also tongue and grooved but instead of just one piece of wood there may be a dozen smaller pieces making up each section, so the overall effect in the room is a bit like “parquet” flooring.
FittingRemember, you can’t just take it up like floorboards, so make sure all of the under floor pipe work and electrics are as you want them and that the existing floorboards are thoroughly screwed down (to stop squeaks), before you start.
The new flooring arrives packaged up and has to be left in the room where it is being laid for a few days, in order for it to “acclimatise”. This is usually with the wrapping still on, but read what it says on the packet to make sure. You may have to do this as the floor layer won’t be arriving till next week, so make a space first, you won’t want to move it twice.
Firstly a thin foam underlay goes down followed by the new floor. Ideally this is laid at right angles to the existing floorboards, particularly if they are warped, to avoid the new stuff rocking slightly when its joints line up with the warps below. If you can’t do this because you want the new stuff to run the same way as the floorboards, make sure the old floor is nice and flat by sanding if necessary. (A long room needs the new floor sections to run down its length not across it and ideally run from the doorway away from you).
When it first became popular, all the joints had to be glued but then so called “click” flooring emerged. This sounds so easy doesn’t it? But we have had floors that needed seriously belting with hammers to get them together. (This tends to be a rather one sided affair, destruction-wise, if you see your floorer doing this, diplomatically suggest he might use an off cut to soften the blow a fraction)!
The first few pieces to be laid can be quite annoying because it is not intended to be laid right up to the skirting boards. A small (10mm) gap is left at each edge to allow the new flooring to expand and wedges are used when laying to maintain this spacing. If the skirting board is dead straight and there are no radiator pipes to cut round and if the click system actually does just click into place, then things aren’t too bad but if all three problems arise the air can get pretty blue!
Actually it is the edges which ruin the job! What you should do is remove all the skirting boards, lay the floor just short of the wall all the way round and then put them (or new ones) back. The skirting then sits on top of the new floor, it’s a proper job and the floor looks like it was always there.
Removing skirtings can be a nightmare however, they always split, plaster often comes away with them and not to be outdone, so can your lovely flock wallpaper! You then ruin the new floor by getting paint all over it when you paint the skirts.
You’ll probably just fit wooden quadrant beading round all the edges though. And why not? They’re virtually the same colour as the floor, they’re cheap and effective and it’s what everyone else does. (Go on, convince yourself you’re right, but just how you can live with yourself, is beyond us)!
Don’t forget, it’s a floating floor so pin it down with a piece of furniture here and there.
Questions to ask the floor layer during his quotation visit.
Do you have any preference as to which floor you would like to lay?
He might know that the one you have chosen is a pig to lay. This might influence your decision. It will definitely influence his price!
Will your quote provide for the quadrant and also the acrylic filler to hide any small gaps that inevitably occur?....... (You will have paid for the floor and underlay).
These won’t be his fault, the offending piece was fouled up in Sarawak six weeks ago when the bloke making it caught his panga in the rolling mill.
Will you secure, patch up if necessary, prepare (and sand) the existing floorboards boards?
Will you get rid of the old carpet?
Will you move all the furniture and computers and the T.V. with all those digiboxes and all those cables and put them all back together afterwards?
Have a little think about this one! If you have a seventeen year old boy in the house, he might just be worth his keep now for the first time in his gormless life. If you are 55 just remember, it took you 3 hours to work out how to record “Strictly Ballroom” when you had to go out to that Sixtieth Birthday party last Saturday night!
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