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Floor Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
The floors in your home get a lot of use every day. And while wear and tear are common and to be expected, sometimes that wear and tear can actually be small to moderate amounts of damage that can ruin your floors. Depending on the flooring type, your floor could sustain many types of damage, from gouges and water damage to sagging and buckling. Regardless of the damage type, flooring repairs tend to be less expensive when they are done quickly because many issues can worsen with time, so waiting can increase your total costs.
The national average for floor repair ranges from $500 to $3,000, with most people paying around $1,600 to repair 200 sq.ft. of hardwood flooring with moderate damage. This project’s low cost is $100 to repair a small tear in carpeting. The high cost is $10,000 to replace 5 rotting floor joists to fix and stabilize a sagging floor.
Cost to Repair Flooring
|Floor Repair Cost
|National average cost
Floor Repair Cost by Material
The flooring type you have is the most significant driving factor behind the cost to make repairs. Each material wears and acquires damage in different ways, dictating how the repairs are carried out and the average repair cost. For example, hardwood floors may sustain water damage or be gouged, which has a different cost than carpeting with stains or rips. This can mean that various materials have different types and levels of repair. For this reason, the cost to repair flooring can range from $1 to $25 per square foot, depending on the flooring material from and the extent of the damage. Below are the average costs per square foot to repair the most common flooring types.
|Repair Cost per Sq.Ft.
|$1 - $3
|$2 - $7
|$2 - $8
|$5 - $25
|$5 - $25
|$5 - $25
|$7 - $10
|$7 - $13
|$10 - $15
Carpet repairs average $1 to $3 a square foot for most repairs. Carpets can develop several problems over their lifespan, and many of them are easily fixed to restore your carpet to its former condition. These include rips and tears, burns, stains, and sagging of the carpet. If the carpet has been used for a long period and has several tears, repairing it may not be possible. Also, carpets that have significant problems that cannot be stretched or patched to repair may also require replacement. Older handmade carpets are more expensive to fix because they require a specialist to inspect and repair the weave.
Vinyl Floor Repair
The cost to repair vinyl flooring averages $2 to $7 a square foot. Vinyl is a flexible, resilient, plastic flooring material that comes in many forms, from sheets to floating tiles and planks. It can develop many different problems, from cracks and tears to curling and lifting, depending on the vinyl type, how it was installed, and how old it is. The material may become more brittle as it ages, so some very old vinyl should not be repaired. Some very old vinyl may contain asbestos and require a special assessment before repairs can occur. Sheet vinyl may be heated and stretched, then glued back into place to hide a tear, while curling tiles are removed and replaced. Floating vinyl floors can be removed and replaced with a new tile or plank where the damaged one had been.
Laminate Floor Repair
The cost to repair a laminate floor ranges from $2 to $8 a square foot, depending on the issue and repair method. Most laminate surfaces have similar problems. Minor issues include scratches and gouges, while larger issues can include swelling and buckling from improper installation or moisture. Minor surface damage may sometimes be filled with putty, but replacing the affected planks is the most common method of repairing a laminate area. This is done by removing all planks to the affected one, replacing it, and reinstalling the rest.
Hardwood Floor Repair
The cost to repair hardwood floors averages $5 to $25 a square foot, depending on the level of damage. Hardwood surfaces can be made of many wood species. The floors themselves can be made of solid or engineered wood, impacting how they are made and installed. This also affects how easily damage is made and how it is repaired. The most common issues that impact hardwood floors are various surface damage types - stains, scratches, and gouges. However, some surfaces in a wet area may be damaged by water and need replacement, increasing the total cost.
Engineered Wood Floor Repair
The cost to repair engineered wood flooring is $5 to $25 a square foot on average. Engineered wood is a subtype of hardwood. Rather than being made of a single piece of solid wood, the planks have a piece of wood veneer on top of layers of plywood running in opposite directions. This type is more stable and resistant to moisture. It is fixed just like solid hardwood, but it usually needs repairs less often. The one difference is that while solid hardwood can be refinished an infinite number of times, engineered hardwood may only be refinished 5 or 6 times over its lifetime.
Bamboo Flooring Repair
The cost to repair bamboo flooring ranges from $5 to $25 a square foot. The age and type of your bamboo dictate a large part of your repair costs. Many older bamboo surfaces are only a thin veneer that scratches and gouges easily. The only way to fix bamboo is to replace the impacted planks. Newer options have a thicker veneer and can be refinished to remove surface damage, while materials like woven strand bamboo may withstand much more wear and only need occasional refinishing to help it stay its best.
Concrete Flooring Repair
The cost to repair a concrete floor is $7 to $10 a square foot, depending on the repair level. Concrete is a trendy flooring type found in many modern homes. It can also be found in basements and other areas where the concrete has been polished to become the main surface, rather than installing another surface on top. Concrete is durable, but it cracks and is susceptible to moisture. The most common repairs are filling cracks and leveling, which are required if the surface settles or slumps. You may also need to refinish it periodically because it can stain.
Cork Flooring Repair
The cost to repair cork flooring ranges from $7 to $13 a square foot on average. Cork is a fairly resilient material that holds up well long term, but it can still be damaged from heavy use. Cracked planks or tiles and gouges are the two most common problems. The method to fix it is usually to replace the impacted section. This may mean digging up the affected tile or taking up a floating floor the way that some laminate and vinyl floors are repaired and replacing the impacted section before reinstalling the rest.
Tile Floor Repair
The cost to repair tile floors averages $10 to $15 a square foot. The most common problems you find with a tile surface are cracking and lippage. Cracking occurs when there is movement beneath the tile or when the tile was improperly installed. Lippage is a condition where a corner of the tile sticks up, which can cause trips or breakage of that corner. In either case, the best scenario is to chisel out the old tile, replace it, and regrout the surrounding area. If cracking is extreme, you sometimes need to remove all the tiles and replace the substrate below them as well.
Floor Repair Cost by Problem
Flooring can develop many problems over the years. Some may be superficial, such as scratches, stains, and tears in carpeting. Other types go below the surface with buckling, sagging, and squeaking caused by failing substrates or support joists.
This can lead to a wide range of different repairs and associated costs. Some problems may be widespread, meaning you need to take care of an entire room at once. Other issues may be confined to a very small area, making the repairs much faster and more affordable. This can even be the case with similar issues. For example, a localized area of water damage on a wood floor will cost much less to repair than water damage that impacts all the flooring on one level of your home. You may have a single plank buckle or all the planks along one side of the room, leading to wide cost ranges for each repair type.
Below are the most common problems affecting floors and the costs to repair them based on the most common sizes of the problem or affected area.
|$100 - $1,000
|$200 - $1,000
|$225 - $600
|$225 - $3,000
|$225 - $3,000
|$1,200 - $5,000
|$2,000 - $20,000
|$2,000 - $20,000
|$2,000 - $20,000
Floor Scratch Repair
The cost to repair scratches on a floor ranges from $100 for a few small scratches to $1,000 to refinish the surface of the entire floor. Scratches are common in laminate, some types of vinyl, and many types of wood floors. Minor scratches may be filled or buffed away, particularly on wood. Deeper scratches in laminate and vinyl require lifting and replacing the damaged planks, while deeper scratches in wood require you to refinish the surface. Scratches confined to a small area are the easiest and least expensive to fix. The larger the impacted area, the more time-consuming the repair and the higher the costs.
Fix Squeaky Floors
The cost to fix squeaking floors ranges from $200 for a single area that squeaks to $1,000 if you need to fix the underlayment within an entire room. Squeaking happens for several reasons, usually due to movement in the underlayment or weakening of the structure itself. The underlayment may need to be screwed down more tightly. Or, you may have gaps between the floor and the subfloor that can be filled with a little adhesive and some wood shims. Generally, the repair is simple, but the flooring must be removed first to fix it. The more flooring that needs to come up, the higher the overall cost.
Fix a Bubble in Vinyl Flooring
The average cost to fix bubbles in vinyl flooring is $225 to $600, depending on how large the impacted area is. Some vinyl flooring types, including sheet,d glue down tile, and older sheet linoleum, may get a bubble. This is caused by the adhesive separating unevenly in this area, allowing moisture or air to become trapped and form a bubble. To fix this, you need to lift the area, reapply the adhesive, and stretch, reset, and roll the affected section back down. Sometimes, you may need to replace a section if it is too worn to reattach.
Floor Buckling Repair
Repairing a buckling section of flooring costs $225 to $3,000, depending on how large the affected section is. When buckling happens, it is because of one of two reasons: the floating floor planks were installed without an expansion gap around the perimeter, or water infiltrated the flooring, causing it to swell. In both cases, the fix is the same. Remove the baseboards, and unclick and remove the flooring until you reach the affected section. Replace the buckled boards, and reinstall the rest.
Warped Floor Repair
The cost to repair a warped floor is $225 to $3,000, depending on the size of the affected area. Floors warp for the same reasons that they buckle; improper installation or moisture. The most common reason for warping is standing water or heavy moisture below the surface, although high humidity can also be an issue if the flooring is not given an expansion gap to expand and contract over time. It can result in it losing its shape or deteriorating in quality. The surface needs to be fixed before it causes more serious problems. The flooring needs to come up, the damaged boards replaced, and the rest of the boards reinstalled.
Water Damage Floor Repair
The average cost to repair water damage to a floor is $1,200 to $5,000, depending on the type of water and how large the affected area is. Water damage can take on many forms. A small amount of moisture causes buckling and warping in wood, bamboo, laminate, and vinyl. A significant amount of water can damage the subfloor, which means that in addition to fixing the upper surface, you also have costs associated with subfloor repair. Small amounts of water damage can mean removing and replacing the affected section. More severe issues can mean removing all the flooring, fixing or replacing the subflooring, and installing a new surface. You may have additional problems with mold if it is not caught quickly, and the area may need to be cleaned and dried before repairs begin.
Sunken Floor Repair
The average cost to repair a sunken floor ranges from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on the extent of the issue. If you have a sunken floor, the problem is not with the surface itself. What is below the surface is causing the issue. In most floors, the subfloor and joists cause the issue. These need to be repaired and often replaced to fix the issue. With concrete, a sunken area means that the floor needs to be lifted or jacked up from below. In most cases, fixing a sunken surface is done by “sistering” the joists by installing new material beside the existing joists to strengthen or replace them. Fully replacing a joist can cost up to $2,000 per joist, so the larger the area, the higher the total costs.
Fix Uneven Floors
The price to fix uneven floors is $2,000 to $20,000, depending on how large the area is. Uneven surfaces have the same cause as sunken ones: old and sagging joists, and the floor needs to be lifted and reinforced with either sistered joists or brand new ones, depending on the issue. Many uneven surfaces need to have all the joists done, even if only one side is sloping because bracing one side stresses the other if it is not done simultaneously. Therefore, this is rarely an easy issue to fix and often requires completely replacing the flooring above the joists as well.
Sagging Floor Repair
Depending on how large the sagging area is, the price to fix a floor ranges between $2,000 and $20,000. Sagging is another problem with old damaged joists and older softening subfloors. It can be caused by wood-eating insects, rotten wood due to water leaks, undersized beams, or soil settlement. The process to fix sagging is similar to that of uneven and sunken floors. The sagging or damaged joists need to be braced, reinforced, or replaced. This brings the surface back to level and frequently requires you to replace all the flooring above the issue once the subfloor is replaced.
Floor Repair Cost by Solution
Depending on the issue, there are many different ways to repair a floor. Most of the time, any issue you encounter with your surface has one recommended solution to fix the problem. However, some issues have a few different solutions. For example, a scratched surface can be locally treated in some cases, while in others, it may look best if you refinish the entire floor. Not every solution is the best choice for each situation. Sometimes, delaying significant repairs only puts a band-aid on the problem and will cost more money down the road. However, there are also times when you may have the ability to opt for a less expensive repair to stop further damage from occurring. Below are the most common solutions for floor repair and their average costs.
|$100 - $350/board
|$250 - $1,200/room
|$250 - $1,200/patch
|Floor Joist Repair
|$500 - $2,000/joist
|$800 - $1,600/room
|$1,200 - $20,000/room
The cost to replace a damaged floorboard is $100 to $350 per board. If you have a single floorboard or just a few floorboards that are damaged, they can be repaired in a couple of ways. If the board is scratched or cracked, it can be filled with putty and sanded and stained. Or, a strong glue can join the two ends of the floorboard if the crack is small. However, buckling, warped, or swollen boards need to be replaced to repair the floor as a whole. This has a range of costs, depending on how the boards connect and how easy or difficult it is to get the damaged board out and the new one installed.
The cost to repair a subfloor is $250 to $1,200 per room, with additional costs for installing new flooring over the repaired surface. Repairing a subfloor means removing and replacing the damaged section or sections. If your subfloor has sustained damage, you may need to fix it to keep your floor level and even. Sometimes, subfloor damage is found when replacing flooring. Other times, you may notice it because it causes problems with the flooring above, such as squeaking, bouncing, or sagging. You may also need to fix or replace the subfloor if the floor above has been affected by moisture. However, if you notice more significant problems like flooding, uneven installation, or bouncing while walking across it, it is better to replace the subfloor rather than fix it.
The cost to patch a floor is $250 to $1,200, depending on the patch size and material. If you have old sheet vinyl, carpet, or linoleum that has a hole in it, patching can be a good repair method. Patching includes removing the damaged section and replacing it with a new piece, either from leftover material or new material that is a close match. There are also several pre-mixed patches used to fill holes in different materials. Keep in mind that patching often means removing more flooring than is impacted for the cleanest repair. Some older glue-down flooring types may contain asbestos, and others may become more difficult to remove with age, which can raise the project cost.
Floor Joist Repair
Joist repairs range from $500 to $2,000 per joist. Floors that creak, squeak, and move may indicate a problem with the joists. Some joists may begin to separate from the subfloor or rot, which can weaken the entire structure. The joist may also simply be giving way under pressure from the weight. Often this is discovered as part of a larger problem, such as water damage, significant renovation, or floor replacement. If you have a damaged or weakened joist, it can sometimes be repaired by bracing the floor or the most common method of repairing, sistering the joists. This is usually done by putting a new joist alongside the old one to help carry the load. It lends strength to an existing joist so that you do not need to remove the old joist to fix the structure. If significant wood rot or fungus is the issue, replacing the joist is the only repair method.
The price of refinishing is between $800 and $1,600, depending on the size of the area you want to refinish. Refinishing is a great way to restore old hardwood and some older stone floors with surface damage like scratches, gouges, and minor hills or valleys. It involves sanding or grinding down the existing surface and giving it a new finish. This removes scratches and other minor surface wear and protects it from future damage.
Leveling has a price range of $1,200 to $20,000, depending on the room size. If your surface is uneven, sagging, sloping, or not level, you likely have sagging joists. Your joists need to be braced or replaced to level the surface. This type of leveling is different from subfloor leveling. Leveling a subfloor does not require replacing the joists or floorboards, but only the subfloor, which is why it is much less expensive than leveling the structure. Leveling requires the floor to be removed, reinforced with new joists, and put back, which would make the surface look even. It is very uncommon for a single joist to go at once, so you likely need to do several, if not all, to fix the problem. Doing this keeps the floor leveled and fixes its visual imperfections. It also ensures that the pressure is more evenly dispersed throughout the whole surface.
Floor Repair Cost by Type of Replacement
When your flooring, subfloor, or floor joists are damaged, replacing them may be the best option available. Sometimes, the damage is so widespread that the cost of repairs approaches the replacement costs. Other times, there is no available material to make a repair that is not obvious, leaving you with mismatched flooring. In these cases, replacing the affected area can give you better results than attempting a smaller repair. If the issues were caused by faulty installation, such as squeaking or buckling from a lack of an expansion gap, replacing the surface may also allow you to address these issues so that they do not recur. Three main areas in flooring may need replacement - the subfloor, the flooring surface itself, and the floor joists.
|$3 - $12/sq.ft.
|$5 - $65/sq.ft.
|$500 - $2,000/joist
The cost to replace your subfloor is $3 to $12 a square foot, depending on the material. Subfloors are typically made of plywood, but some can be made of OSB and other materials as well. The subfloor is the basis for good flooring and ensures that the surface is sturdy and stable. In most cases, when the subfloor is uneven, soft, sagging, or squeaks, it can be repaired. But when water damage, wood rot, or termites attack it, the only solution is to replace it. Many of these issues are not discovered until the flooring above it has been removed, so subfloor replacement costs are often added to the flooring replacement.
Replacing flooring averages $5 to $65 per square foot. The most common reason for replacement is surface damage, including scratches, dents, holes, tears, and significant water damage. Sometimes, your flooring may start to sag, squeak, or feel spongy. Other times, it may warp, hump, or buckle in multiple places, which may indicate the need for replacement. In many cases, replacing a small section solves the problem. However, if you need to replace more than 50% of the flooring in the room, it makes more sense to install new flooring.
Floor Joist Replacement
If you need to replace the joists completely, the price is much higher at $500 to $2,000 per joist. The joists are one of the most important parts of your flooring structure. They support the weight of the floor and ensure the surface flooring and subfloor will withstand the pressure of the furniture and traffic. The higher price of replacement is because you need to brace and hold the floor while the new joists go in or the entire floor needs to be replaced at the same time.
Cost to Repair Floor by Location
Any room in your home may need to have flooring repaired at some point. Busy areas like foyers, mudrooms, and living rooms often see a lot of wear and tear that can necessitate repairs over time. Areas that are subject to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms, also see a lot of flooring repair because of the potential for water damage.
Each of these rooms may use several different flooring types, which can also impact costs. Bathrooms are most likely to use tile flooring, while mudrooms tend to use flooring that is durable and easy to clean. Kitchens, foyers, and living rooms may use a very wide range of flooring types, meaning they have a wider cost range regardless of size.
Below are the most common costs for flooring repair based on the room, assuming average sizes and the most common materials installed in those areas and the damage it may receive.
|Bathroom (35 - 75 sq.ft.)
|$350 - $2,000
|Mudroom (40 - 75 sq.ft.)
|$400 - $2,000
|Foyer (100 - 200 sq.ft.)
|$500 - $6,000
|Kitchen (100 - 200 sq.ft.)
|$500 - $6,000
|Living Room (300 - 400 sq.ft)
|$900 - $10,000
Labor Cost to Repair a Floor
Contractors charge between $25 and $100 per hour or $15 to $50 a square foot, depending on the professional you need and the type of flooring and repair required. A contractor may charge a flat rate for small repairs rather than by the hour or square foot. Things like repairing scratches or replacing a single tile or plank may have a flat rate of $100 to $250 to account for the contractor’s time getting to the project and the repair. Once the repairs become larger and take more time, you will often be quoted based on size or time. In many cases, labor makes up the bulk of the repair cost because materials may be leftover from the original job and low-cost items like filler.
Because there is such a wide range of necessary repairs and solutions, most repairs start with an assessment. This is usually free and involves the contractor looking at the damaged area and the space below it whenever possible. Because some damage may have another cause that needs to be addressed, you may have additional costs beyond the initial repair to ensure that the problem does not recur once the repairs are made.
Floor Repair vs Replacement
There are times when your flooring has sustained some damage, but it is not entirely clear whether repair or replacement is the best option. In some cases, it can be clear. For example, very small areas of damage can usually be repaired quickly, while damage that takes up most of the floor may require replacement.
However, there are times when repair and replacement may be more interchangeable. For instance, some damage may require replacing small areas of material. This can mean replacing single planks or tiles in a floor or a single section of subflooring. If the other surrounding areas are undamaged, this level of replacement can be the repair.
The general rule of thumb is that if the repair cost exceeds 50% of the replacement cost, you may want to consider replacement to get the best value for the project. Below is a comparison of the cost to repair or replace the various areas of the floor.
|$3 - $12/sq.ft.
|$1.50 - $5/sq.ft.
|$5 - $65/sq.ft.
|$1 - $16/sq.ft.
|$500 - $2,000/joist
|$200 - $500/joist
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Sometimes, cleaning the floor after the repair helps the repaired area blend in better with the rest of the flooring. Costs vary depending on the flooring type, with carpet cleaning costing $75 to $300, hardwood cleaning $150 to $300, and tile cleaning $250 to $700.
Radiant Floor Heating
When replacing your flooring, this may be a good time to install radiant heating. Radiant heating installs below your flooring and is an efficient way to heat a room evenly. Costs range from $10 to $25 a square foot, depending on the type.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Repair size. The repair size has a big impact on the total costs. Larger repairs take more time and cost more than smaller repairs.
- Accessibility. The accessibility of the damaged area also influences the cost. Difficult-to-reach joists cost more to repair than the flooring. Planks in the center of the room that need to be removed are priced more to fix than planks closer to a wall. The easier the area is to access, the lower the costs.
- Reinstallation. Improper installation can be the cause of buckling, warping, and cracking over time. These can be some of the easiest repairs because it only requires reinstallation.
- Repair time. Repairs take from an hour to several days, depending on the level of damage and its accessibility.
- Permits. It is unlikely you need a permit for this project unless you decide to make major structural changes at the same time. The one exception may be the replacement of floor joists.
- Home value. Repairs do not raise your home’s value. Instead, they help your home maintain its current value, which is why it is important to take care of them in a timely way. Damaged flooring can lower the value of your home if not addressed before the sale.
- How much does it cost to repair a water-damaged floor?
The average price to repair water damaged flooring ranges from $1,200 to $5,000. When the damage is more severe, replacement is often needed, which increases the total cost.
- How much does it cost to replace floors in a house?
Full replacement is more expensive than repairs, costing $5 to $65 per sq.ft. on average, depending on the type being replaced.
- How much does it cost to fix hardwood floors?
The average price to fix hardwood floors ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. If there is more damage below the hardwood, your costs could be higher.
- Who do I hire to fix a floor?
This depends on the material in question. Some installers also do repairs. A handyman can do some small jobs, but you may need to hire a carpenter for work on subfloors or joists.
- How much does it cost to remove and replace a subfloor?
The average price to replace a subfloor is around $3 to $12 a square foot, depending on the type and placement.
- Can you repair water-damaged laminate flooring?
The planks themselves cannot be fixed. You need to remove the floor, replace the damaged sections, and reinstall the rest. This is a fairly easy process, particularly if only a small section is impacted.
- Is it normal for old houses to have uneven floors?
Yes, settling, movement, and uneven materials cause uneven floors. However, it is best to find out what is causing the issue because it can be serious, such as foundation problems.
- How much does it cost to fix squeaky floors?
The average price to fix a squeaky floor is between $200 and $1,000, depending on the size of the squeaky area.
- Are sagging floors dangerous?
Sagging floors are not necessarily dangerous. The problem is that weak joists and softening subfloors can cause sagging, and it can worsen over time. So while they may not be dangerous now, they could become so if you do not fix them.