Wondering how much it costs to install luxury vinyl planks? So were we! Installing luxury vinyl planks was actually more expensive and a little trickier than I imagined but we are happy with how it turned out. 

We chose luxury vinyl because we have three little kids and a mischievous pet (a boxer) and knew that our floors would be taking a beating for probably the next 10 years. There are tons of luxury vinyl options that look exactly like hard wood but are super durable and waterproof, which we needed given the aforementioned humans and pet. Not only that, but you can expect to pay about half (or even less! much less) of the cost of wood. That said, buyer beware! Don’t simply select the cheapest luxury vinyl you can find. We’ve had a few friends and heard all kinds of horror stories of cheap luxury vinyl that was too thin, kept breaking, and the homeowner ended up having to start all the way over with new flooring. You may want to do your floors on a budget, but if you get poor quality flooring, you’ll spend more in the long run. So instead of thinking “I want the cheapest” aim for “biggest bang for my buck” line of thinking. 

Here’s what our flooring looked like before. We had a mix of carpet and tile. Demoing the tile was by far the worst part of this project. Underneath our oversized tile, we had underlay with screws 1-2 inches apart throughout the entire ~1000 square feet of tile. It was ROUGH getting it off and unscrewing so many screws. The carpet on the other hand was extremely easy to pull up. 

Ok, on to how much it actually costs to install luxury vinyl planks. We paid $3.78 per square foot. That is definitely on the high end for LVP but I wanted our planks to be thick and nice looking. I definitely didn’t want to end up getting started on our flooring just to have it chipping and breaking and having to start over. I wanted to get it right the first time. We installed the floors ourselves, so obviously if you are going to pay someone to do it you will need to factor in that to your costs to install luxury vinyl planks. 

We went with this Smartcore Ultra XL luxury vinyl from Lowes. The planks are super wide (about 9 inches) and really long (about 73 inches) which makes it look expensive. We live in a +6000 square foot home that we may want to sell some day and knew that the type of person who would buy our home would want things to look expensive. But for our kids and pet, we would have otherwise chosen hardwood because of this fact. 

Also, as a heads up, the longer and wider the planks you get are, the harder they are going to be to install, as a general rule of thumb. We were super surprised at how tricky these were to install at first. Once we got into a groove it went ok but there is a bit more of a learning curve with big ones than you’ll find with regular sized LVP. 

Here’s a break down of our costs to install luxury vinyl planks:

LVP: $3.78/square foot x 1800 square feet x 10% = $6872. You want to buy 10% more flooring than you actually need to account for mistakes that will inevitably happen. Seriously don’t skimp on the extra 10%! It’s better to have too much than too little. You can always take unopened boxes back. 

Underlay: $1,000. Completely optional. Just makes the floor absorb sound a little better and feels a little softer. 

Demolition drill: $65/day x2 = $130. Tile demolition drill was $65 a day rental for 2 days. We could easily have done 1 day in hindsight so if you need to rent one of these just be sure to plan it out right so you don’t needlessly get charged for days you’re not using it. 

Pry bar x3 = $15.97 = $47.61

Chisel = $11.97

LVP Install kit: $16.93

Grinder: $39.97

Jig saw: $199. You don’t necessarily need one but it made corners and odd shapes in our space a heck of a lot easier. 

Floor leveler pre-mix: $10.47

Dumpster rental: $400. I sure as heck hope you don’t have to rent a dumpster. I will go into a whole post about how to be careful selecting a dumpster rental company. But we had so much demolition on the interior as well as SO MUCH garbage that the former owners left behind, we couldn’t get around renting a big 30 cubic yard dumpster. 

Other tools we used that we already had: mallet hammers, screw drivers, drills, measuring tape, utility knife, shop vacuum, brooms. If you don’t have a shop vacuum, I highly recommend getting one if you are doing demolition yourself. There is going to be more dust than you’ve ever seen in your life, and if you can actively suck that dust up while you are demoing it helps a ton. 

If you use Lowes or any other fairly well known store for your tools or flooring, make sure you use Rakuten to do your shopping! We earned 2% back on our shopping, which came out to about $150. (And if you’ve never signed up for Rakuten, you can earn $20 the first time you try them out. It’s a website, browser extension, and app that allows you to earn cash back on the shopping you’re doing. I LOVE it). 

Total cost: ~$8,727

Cash back: ~$150. 


Wondering if luxury vinyl planks add to the value of your home? If you are looking to add the most value to your home, you should install hard wood floors. But keep in mind, they will cost a great deal (more than double) of what you would pay for luxury vinyl. That said, any new flooring, especially luxury vinyl, will help your home sell faster. 

If you are living in a higher end home, know that the type of person purchasing your home will likely want higher end finishes, such as hard wood. And you’ll be able to sell your home for more. Luxury vinyl is still a great option that looks beautiful and can help your home sell faster

Our next task is baseboards and quarter round! But here’s a current before and after shot with the LVP and painting done:

Have you installed LVP before? What was your experience like? 

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