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If your carpet has seen better days, or your kitchen floor desperately needs updating, you might be pining for a new surface underfoot.
Vinyl flooring is easy to maintain and is hard-wearing – great for high traffic areas. But what is the full cost of vinyl flooring installation in the UK, and is it something you could easily do yourself?
Having been in a new-build for the past 7 years, I'm looking for something inexpensive to replace the carpet in our entrance hall. Something that's durable, easy to clean and looks great. Here's what you need to consider.
What is Vinyl Flooring?
Made from glass fibre and a foam layer underneath, vinyl flooring is a great option if you're looking for comfort and insulation. Its make-up means a greater reduction in noise than you'd get with laminate, or slate tiles, for example.
With a durable wear layer set on top of a realistic printed decor, it's also water-resistant, making it a great place for kitchens and bathrooms.
Luxury vinyl flooring (LVT) is 100% waterproof and is manufactured with a click fitting system, making DIY easier.
Should you DIY or Hire a Professional to Fit Your Vinyl Flooring?
If you're looking to keep your costs down, you might well consider fitting the floor yourself. But, before we look into that, it's worth finding out how much you could be paying a professional to do the work for you.
You need to work out whether you have the time to install the flooring yourself. Think about the potential disruption it could bring to the day to day running of your home, especially if you can't complete the job in one go.
If you decide you'd rather pay a qualified tradesperson, consider some of the other costs that may be involved, as mentioned below. If the fitter is going to pass on the cost of taking up and disposing of your old flooring, you might wish to keep the bill low by doing this bit yourself.
Professional Vinyl Floor Installation: What should you consider?
- As well as the cost for disposing of waste mentioned above, there will also be a charge for removing and disposing of existing underlay at an approximate cost of £35 - £65 per room*.
- A professional fitter will expect furniture to be moved before they can lay the floor. This is something they could do for you but will likely charge. Make sure you get them to include this in the quote.
- There may also be a minimum charge for laying your new floor, so if you are looking at a small area, keep this in mind when weighing up the costs of a professional vs. fitting it yourself.
- Obtain a selection of quotations. Ask for a price breakdown and for the above costs to be included if applicable. You'll want them to show individual costs for labour, materials, waste disposal etc, to make price comparison easier.
- Don't necessarily go for the cheapest option. Ask to see reviews or testimonials.
- Get a price for the complete job, not the per-hour rate.
The following prices are intended as a guide only. Costs include labour and materials but are exclusive of VAT. *Prices based on a guide by ‘Which?’, published June 2018.
Fit vinyl flooring - small room
Approximate room size 2.1m x 2.2m
£145 - £180
1 - 2 hours
Fit vinyl flooring - medium room
Approximate room size 3.3m x 3.0m
£240 - £280
Fit vinyl flooring - large room
Approximate room size 4.08m x 3.0m
£320 - £400
2 - 3 hours
Note: scroll left/right to view the entire table above
DIY Vinyl Floor Installation: What should you consider?
As Ben Hillman discusses in the video below, there are a number of things to be mindful of when fitting new flooring yourself:
- Firstly, ensure there is no debris or protruding objects, e.g. floor nails, as these will show through once the floor has been laid.
- Check for damp before laying your floor. Any sign of damp will need to be rectified first.
- Repair any existing surface damage, to ensure an even and tidy finish.
- Record the length and width of the area to be covered, including doorways and recesses.
- For vinyl sheet flooring, add 75ml to each edge to allow for cutting and trimming.
- Leave your vinyl flooring to acclimatise in the intended room for 24 hours. Turn off any underfloor heating.
- Avoid joins in wet areas to prevent water from getting underneath the vinyl.
- Some types of sheet vinyl will require full adhesion to the floor, and other types may simply need a perimeter bond using double-sided tape. Check the product for the manufacturer's instructions. You may also need an adhesive spray.
- Bathrooms and kitchens will need a silicone sealant around the edges to avoid water ingress. For a neat finish in other areas such as hallways or living rooms, add a trim between the floor and the wall. You will also need to install a threshold bar in the doorway to complete the finish.
- For a full tutorial on fitting sheet vinyl, check out this video from DIY.com.
- As LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) have a fit and click system, the process will differ from that described above. For information on fitting this type of flooring instead of sheet vinyl, check out this video.
If you don't feel comfortable with carrying out this type of job yourself, you can find a trusted expert through Rated People.
Your choice: Do it yourself or hire a professional
As an advocate of DIY and keeping costs down, I'm certainly tempted to do this myself. The tutorial videos provided above make the process seem fairly straightforward.
However, you need to choose the right course of action for you. Ultimately, your decision will be down to your time and availability, confidence in your ability to do the job, and your budget.
If hiring a professional is the best option for you, Rated People can help you find a trustworthy tradesman.
Perhaps you've already had experience fitting a vinyl floor. If so, how did it go? Let us know in the comments below, and please share!