Guide to Flooring Costs in Southern California

There is no question that installing new flooring is one of the most impactful ways to improve the look, style, and appeal of your home. Right after painting your walls, new flooring is probably the simplest, fastest, and cheapest way to achieve a new look for your home.

Conversely, old, worn, or outdated flooring has an outsized impact on making your home look dated. Consider that your flooring is throughout the entire home and therefore constantly visible to you and your guests. If you have green shag carpet, you’re going to suffer looking at just about anywhere you go in your home.

Once you’ve decided to upgrade your flooring, the next thing you need to know is the flooring cost for different material options. Fortunately, there are now options for every budget, so you’re sure to find something that fits your cost constraints.

In this article, I will provide you with the various popular flooring options along with their flooring costs in Los Angeles and Southern California. 

Related: Home Construction Costs in Los Angeles

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, or San Diego with reliable flooring installers, we speak to homeowners every day about home flooring costs – here are some average costs to get you started.

What Are Home Flooring Costs Near Me?

Flooring Cost

For residential flooring costs, the range averages between $3 and $15 per square foot and obviously depend on the type of flooring. Of course, exotic stone materials can cost significantly more, but in this article, I’ll go into detail about the flooring costs of the most popular and common materials.

So I’ll discuss carpet costs, hardwood costs, laminate flooring costs, engineered hardwood costs, vinyl plank costs, and finally tile and ceramic costs. 

Please keep in mind that flooring installation costs vary significantly by region. Because labor costs (and cost of living) are higher here in Southern California, flooring installation costs will be higher than what you’ll find nationwide.

If you’re searching online, be weary of websites quoting nationwide costs. If you find a range of costs, please assume Los Angeles will be at the higher end of that range. 

Related: Whole House Remodel Cost & Tips for Los Angeles

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Costs:

hardwood flooring

Engineered hardwood is a terrific and attractive option and costs $8-15 per square foot, including material and installation. Engineered Hardwood is a durable material that is made by bonding a thin, solid portion of wood on top of layers of plywood.

It’s cheaper than solid hardwood flooring but maintains the beautiful look of hardwood. And it comes in many different colors, finishes, and species of wood (ie. Oak, Maple, Walnut, Bamboo, etc). 

Engineered wood is installed using a glue application or using nails, or sometimes both. This kind of floor feels very solid as it is truly attached to your concrete slab or subfloor.

Because of the real wood veneer of engineered wood, this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished or re-stained if it gets worn or scratched. 

Many engineered wood floor materials currently are water-resistant, so they can be used in a kitchen or laundry room. It can withstand spilled water for a brief amount of time, but it will get damaged with standing water.

Finally, Engineered hardwood is currently in style and gives your house a warm and elegant feel.

Laminate Flooring Costs:

laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is a functional and well-priced alternative at $3-8 per square foot, including labor and materials. Laminate material has no solid wood, but rather a fiberboard or MDF material with a thin veneer of plastic on top for protection.

It comes in many different styles that try to replicate the look of real hardwood floors. 

Laminate is also called a floating floor material. It is installed by snapping the planks together without attaching them to the surface underneath.

For this reason, it is very quick and cost-effective to install laminate flooring. However, it doesn’t always feel as solid on the floor as a hardwood product. 

Most laminate floor products are also water resistant and can be used in kitchen and laundry room applications. They are not suggested for bathrooms.

These cheaper products could look a bit ‘fake’ but the nicer products replicate the look of wood pretty well.

This flooring is a nice step above the carpet, especially for those people with pets or allergies that don’t want to have carpet in their homes. 

Vinyl Plank (LVP) Costs:

Luxury Vinyl plank flooring is a new and interesting option that costs $5-10 per square foot, installed. Vinyl plank (LVP) is similarly constructed to laminate flooring, but with higher quality layers and exterior finish.

It is more dent and scratch resistant than laminate and is also waterproof. Most people find it looks more like real hardwood.

Vinyl flooring can be installed as a floating floor-like laminate or glued down for a more solid feel underfoot. So, it can be just as quick and inexpensive to install as laminate, so most of the cost difference is in the material cost.

The great thing about vinyl floors is they can be used in all parts of the house including the bathrooms because it is waterproof.

By using one single flooring product throughout the entire home, you get an elegant seamless style instead of multiple flooring varieties.  LVP also works great in the kitchen because it is scratch and dent resistant. 

Related: 2023 Los Angeles Kitchen Remodel Costs and Tips

Hardwood Flooring Costs:

hardwood flooring cost

Solid hardwood flooring will cost you $12-18 per square foot in Los Angeles (installed). Hardwood comes from a solid piece of wood and is both strong and beautiful.

However, with a pure wood product, it is more prone to splintering or shrinking/expanding. It is not as well suited to installation in areas like the kitchen with possibilities for water or moisture.

It will, however, feel extremely solid and can be refinished as many times as needed.

Ceramic Tile Costs:

tile flooring

Ceramic or porcelain tile flooring costs about $10-15 per square foot, installed. In the case of tile, most of this cost is for the installation and less for the material itself. Many attractive tile options can be purchased at local tile or home improvement stores for less than $5 per square foot.

Tile requires a concrete or backer-board material on the floor under the tile. A concrete material called thin-set is then used as mortar to attach the tile, and finally, grout is then used to fill the gaps in the grout. 

It takes quite a bit of skill to lay tile, including cutting, stacking, leveling, etc., and it’s very time-consuming. Therefore, floor tile installation costs are high compared to other floor types.

Tile is very water resistant and is commonly used in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. However, tile can easily crack if something falls from a countertop and impacts the tile. 

Tile comes in an almost endless quantity of styles and colors, and can be used to create a vast number of styles, designs, or mosaics. It’s also extremely easy to clean; another reason it’s a good option for a bathroom.    

Carpet Costs:

carpet flooring

Carpet in Los Angeles generally costs $3-6 per square foot for an average quality product. Luxury or high-end carpets can cost significantly more.

Although carpet isn’t as popular as it used it be, it still has a place in the home, especially in areas like bedrooms where a soft and comfortable floor is appealing.

Carpet is quick and easy to install, so installation costs aren’t high. The major costs include the carpet and the carpet pad that sits underneath. 

Carpet is harder to clean than the other solid surfaces discussed below, even though many products now are stain-resistant. Carpet is also beneficial for areas with cold climates, as it won’t feel as cold to the feet as other surfaces.

Carpet is a good, well-priced residential flooring option, especially when it’s new and clean. However, it traps dirt and allergens, so it may not be a good fit for some families.  

When it comes to finding the best flooring contractor for your project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides project support from start to finish.


In Southern California, Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information:

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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