How Much Does It Cost to Replace Subfloor?

Average range: $600 - $2,400
Low
$150
Average Cost
$1,500
High
$36,000
(200 sq.ft. area in a kitchen or living room using OSB board)

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How Much Does It Cost to Replace Subfloor?

Average range: $600 - $2,400
Low
$150
Average Cost
$1,500
High
$36,000
(200 sq.ft. area in a kitchen or living room using OSB board)

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by Fixr.com.

Subfloors are an important part of your flooring since they help to keep your floor even, provide added stability, improve your energy efficiency, and reduce the noise in your home. Over time subfloors can become damaged either from age, water, or other significant floor damage. When this occurs, you need to replace your subfloor to prevent further damage.

The national cost range for replacing a subfloor is between $600 and $2,400. Most homeowners pay around $1,500 for a 200 sq.ft. area in a kitchen or living room using OSB board. Prices run as low as $150 to replace a 50 sq.ft. section in a bedroom with plywood, to as high as $36,000 to replace the subfloor in the entire basement using high performance subfloor panels.

Cost to Redo Subfloor

Price to Replace Subfloor
National average cost$1,500
Average range$600-$2,400
Minimum cost$150
Maximum cost$36,000


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Replace Subfloor Cost by Project Range

Low
$150
50 sq.ft. section in the bedroom using plywood
Average Cost
$1,500
200 sq.ft. area in a kitchen or living room using OSB board
High
$36,000
3,000 sq.ft. basement with water damage using high-performance subfloor panels

Subfloor Cost per Square Foot

The cost of your subfloor 1 replacement largely depends on the square footage of the area. On average, you can expect to pay between $3 to $12 per sq.ft. to replace the subfloor in your home. The price you pay depends on where the subfloor is located, the materials used, and whether or not the installer installs the floor around walls. Below you will see some of the common subfloor sizes that may need to be replaced and their average replacement cost. It is possible to replace smaller subfloor sections, though that is often done for a flat rate.


Cost to Replace 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000 Sq.Ft. of Subfloor

Cost to Replace 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000 Sq.Ft. of Subfloor


Subfloor SizeCost to Replace Subfloor (Labor Included)
50 sq.ft.$150 - $600
100 sq.ft.$300 - $1,200
200 sq.ft.$600 - $2,400
500 sq.ft.$1,500 - $6,000
1,000 sq.ft.$3,000 - $12,000
2,000 sq.ft.$6,000 - $24,000
3,000 sq.ft.$9,000 - $36,000


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Subfloor Replacement Cost by Material

When determining the cost to redo the subfloor, another important factor that affects the cost is the material used. While the prices for each type of material differ, so do the properties. When deciding which one to choose, it is important to consider the characteristics and the price. Below are the most common types of subfloor material and the average cost you can expect to pay per square foot for each.


Cost per Sq.Ft. to Replace High-Performance Subfloor Panels, OSB, Plywood, and Concrete Subfloor

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Replace High-Performance Subfloor Panels, OSB, Plywood, and Concrete Subfloor


Subfloor MaterialCost per Sq. Ft. (Labor Included)
High-Performance Subfloor Panels$3.50 - $10.50
OSB$3.75 - $8
Plywood$4.50 - $10
Concrete$6 - $12


Cost to Replace High-Performance Subfloor Panels

Replacing your subfloor with high performance subfloor panels costs $3.50 to $10.50 per sq.ft. This type of material is similar to OSB but is manufactured using greater precision using resin technology. This process provides added protection, a better balance of stiffness, and greater stability. This option creates more stable floors with greater water resistance than OSB and only costs slightly more than plywood. Various options are available when picking high-performance subfloor panels. Below you will see some of the most common options and the average price per sq.ft.


Cost per Sq.Ft. to Replace Delta-FL, Dricore, Advantech, Barricade, Tyroc, and Amdry High-Performance Subfloor Panels

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Replace Delta-FL, Dricore, Advantech, Barricade, Tyroc, and Amdry High-Performance Subfloor Panels


High-Performance Subfloor Panel TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Delta-FL$3.50 - $8
Dricore$4.65 - $8.85
Advantech$4.75 - $9.25
Barricade$5 - $9.75
Tyroc$5.50 - $10
Amdry$6 - $10.50


Delta-FL Subfloor Cost

Delta-Fl subfloor is an inexpensive option that runs between $3.50 and $8 per sq.ft. Unlike other subfloor options, the Delta-FL is a flexible plastic gray membrane that provides a moisture barrier and is mold-resistant. It is ideal for concrete slab floors and basement floors, especially when there is a risk of water buildup. The product works by helping to dry out the floor below so that the moisture will not affect the floor above.

Dricore Subfloor Cost

Dricore is one of the least expensive high-performance subfloor panel options. For Dricore, you can expect to pay from $4.65 to $8.85. Dricore utilizes an air gap technology that protects your floors from mold, mildew, moisture, and small amounts of water damage. It softens hard concrete floors, makes them feel warmer, and provides for better insulation. The product is strong and works with any floor. It uses a tongue-and-groove installation and is strong enough to support over 6,000 lbs.

Advantech Subfloor Cost

Advantech subfloors are a mid-range subfloor option. They cost between $4.75 and $9.25 per sq.ft. Advantech uses a tongue-and-groove design which provides greater support and stability. It installs quickly and solidly and holds nails securely for the long term. Its moisture resistance makes it a great option for those worried about possible water damage.

Barricade Subfloor Cost

When choosing a Barricade subfloor tile system for your subfloors, you can expect to pay between $5 and $9.75 per sq.ft. Many homeowners choose Barricade for its versatility. It works well with all types of flooring, including engineered wood, vinyl, hardwood, and carpeting. It provides a strong, solid structure and keeps slab floors warmer while protecting against water.

Tyroc Subfloor Cost

Tyroc subfloor paneling systems are among the newer types of subfloors on the market and cost from $5.50 to $10 per sq.ft. Tyroc is considered a green subfloor system that is more environmentally friendly than other subfloor options. It uses a natural organic material combined with a layer of recycled tires to allow moisture to move through and freely toward the floor drains. It also prevents air underneath, reducing the risk of moisture buildup and mildew.

Amdry Subfloor Cost

Amdry subfloors are one of the costliest and run from $6 to $10.50 per sq.ft. They are known to have one of the highest insulating values of all subfloor options sold on the market today. They also come in panel sizes that are larger than other options, making them faster to install. They use a multi-layer system that consists of expanded polystyrene foam and oriented strand board. The design allows for greater airflow to dry up any moisture before traveling to the flow beneath.

Cost to Replace OSB Subfloor

The cost to replace your subfloor using OSB runs between $3.75 and $8 per sq.ft. Oriented strand-board is the cheapest option for subfloor and functions similarly to plywood. You can purchase it in heavy, thick panels that can be just as strong as plywood. The main drawback to OSB is that it swells with water, making it warp if your flooring has water damage.

Cost to Replace Plywood Subfloor

The cost to install plywood 2 subfloor runs between $4.50 and $10 per sq.ft. Plywood has been the most commonly used subfloor material since the 50s. Most builders choose a ¾” tongue-and-groove wood that interlocks and creates a more solid, stiffer floor. Plywood can be glued, nailed, or screwed in to secure it, making it versatile for any installation.

Cost to Replace Concrete Slab Subfloor

If you are looking to replace your subfloor with a concrete slab 3, you can expect to pay between $6 and $12 per sq.ft. A concrete subfloor is a popular option when you are looking for a hard and extremely durable subfloor. With a concrete subfloor, you can directly install tile and stone flooring but will always need underlayment for other types such as hardwood, carpet, or laminate. Since concrete floors are more susceptible to water, a moisture barrier is also recommended. Concrete has some other drawbacks, such as the fact it is cold and has little give. It also is virtually impossible to nail anything into it and requires more complicated installation with certain types of flooring.

Price to Replace Subfloor by Location

One factor that plays a role in the cost you pay to replace your subfloor is the room where replacement is needed. For example, certain rooms require more prep work, such as removing furniture. Other rooms are more likely to suffer water damage, leading to additional labor costs when preparing the area. Below you will see the average cost to replace a subfloor, based on the area where the damage has occurred.


Cost to Replace Subfloor in Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room, Kitchen, and Basement

Cost to Replace Subfloor in Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room, Kitchen, and Basement


LocationAverage Cost to Replace Subfloor (Labor Included)
Bedroom (100 - 150 sq.ft.)$300 - $700
Bathroom (35 - 75 sq.ft.)$400 - $750
Living Room (200 - 350 sq.ft.)$500 - $1,200
Kitchen (100 - 175 sq.ft.)$700 - $2,500
Basement (800 - 1500 sq.ft.)$3,000 - $15,000


Cost to Replace Subfloor in the Bedroom

Replacing a subfloor in the bedroom is usually one of the least expensive locations, costing $300 to $700. Typically, bedrooms don’t see much water damage, and replacing the subfloor is a straightforward process. Another factor that makes installation less costly is the fact that most bedrooms are simply shaped. Many bedrooms are also carpeted, which gives you more options for choosing the right subfloor.

Cost to Replace Subfloor in Bathroom

You can expect to pay between $400 and $750 to replace the subfloor in the bathroom. Even though bathrooms are typically smaller than most rooms, they can cost more than a bedroom for several reasons. The job is more difficult because many plumbing fixtures involved need to be worked around. To replace the bathroom subfloor around the toilet, you can expect to pay a smaller amount since it will only be a section. Costs run between $150 and $200, depending on the damage. Also, these rooms tend to need subfloor replacement mostly due to water damage, requiring additional labor.

Cost to Replace Subfloor in the Living Room

Living rooms cost from $500 to $1,200 to replace a subfloor, with the cost mainly depending on the type of subfloor you choose. Living rooms come in many flooring types, including hardwood, laminate, and carpeting. This plays a role in the type of subfloor you choose. They are often cheaper per sq.ft. to replace than a bathroom since they are less likely to have water damage, and there are no set fixtures to work around. The total costs will usually be higher since living rooms tend to be the largest rooms in the home.

Cost to Replace Subfloor in Kitchen

You can expect to pay from $700 to $2,500 to replace the subfloor in your kitchen. You will pay more if your subfloor replacement is needed because of water damage. The professionals will have to inspect the rotted area and determine if further repairs or inspections are needed. Another reason that the cost to replace a kitchen subfloor can be higher is that the installer will have to deal with and work around the appliance connections.

Cost to Replace Subfloor in the Basement

The most expensive subfloor to replace is a basement subfloor, which costs $3,000 to $5,000. Basement floors are expensive because they cover a significant amount of square footage. Additionally, there are areas where water damage and moisture are more common problems, which means you will likely not only pay more in labor but also may have to choose a higher-end subfloor option with greater moisture resistance.


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Labor Cost to Replace Subfloor

When you figure labor costs for your subfloor replacement, you can expect to pay from $25 to $45 per hour. Many factors determine your labor costs. While you may not pay a higher labor cost for moving the furniture out of the room, the total costs will be higher because it takes more time to complete. If you want your installer to remove your floor and remove and dispose of your old subfloor, your labor costs will increase to the $35 to $45 per hour range.

There is not much of an hourly difference between replacing a current subfloor and installing a new one, but your overall labor is likely to be less with a new install since you will not have the extra time that comes with removing the old subfloor.

On average, you can expect the project to take between 4 and 24 hours, depending on the size of the area and how much prep will be done. Laborers will typically work between six and seven hours a day, which means the project can take up to four days.

While some subfloors claim they are easy for DIY, it is always best to have a professional install your subfloor. Installing a subfloor is more than clicking panels together and nailing them into place. A professional knows how to correctly install and make needed adjustments to ensure that the floor is even. They also can determine if a rotted subfloor needs further investigation and can install your subfloor to make it as moisture-resistant as possible.

Cost to Replace Floor Joists and Subfloor

Replacing the subfloor 1 in a 200 sq.ft. room averages from $600 to $2,400. Floor joist replacement costs between $2,000 to $5,000 for the same size space. This would make the total cost to replace floor joists in a crawl space of 200 sq.ft. and the subfloor $2,600 to $7,400.

The joists are the strong boards that run along the walls and provide the bulk of the support for the floor. Experts recommend repairing damaged floor joists as soon as possible, because damaged ones affect the structural integrity of your home.

Replacing floor joists range widely in cost, mostly due to how accessible the joists are. In some cases, you can opt for sistering the joists instead of replacing them, which involves placing a new joist next to the already damaged one and then bottling the two together to provide the needed support. The cost to sister floor joists costs from $100 to $300 per joist.

Whether or not to replace joists when a subfloor is replaced is a concern for many homeowners who want to ensure their home is structurally sound. Joist replacement is not a necessity when replacing a subfloor, but it may be needed if you have sustained major water damage, such as a flood, or had a pest infestation from insects such as termites. Below you can see the basic costs when determining what you might spend if you need to replace joists along with your subfloor.


Cost to Replace 200 Sq.Ft. of Subfloor, Joists, or Subfloor and Joists

Cost to Replace 200 Sq.Ft. of Subfloor, Joists, or Subfloor and Joists


ReplacementCost to Replace 200 Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Subfloor$600 - $2,400
Joists$2,000 - $5,000
Subfloor and Joists$2,600 - $7,400


Cost to Replace Floor and Subfloor

The average cost to replace a subfloor on a 200 sq.ft. space ranges from $600 to $2,400. Replacing your floor runs from $600 to $6,400, depending on the chosen type of flooring. When done together, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $8,800. If there has been heavy water damage, replacing the flooring when you replace the subfloor will be a necessity. When you are replacing the subfloor because it is uneven, or you want a subfloor that is better for its soundproofing and insulating properties, you may choose to replace the floor for aesthetic reasons at that time since removal will be necessary. With some flooring such as tongue-and-groove laminate and tile, replacing flooring may be necessary because you may not be able to salvage the original flooring during the removal process. Below you will see the average costs for replacement based on your chosen flooring and the project type.


Cost to Replace 200 Sq.Ft. of Subfloor Only or Subfloor and Vinyl, Tile, Carpet, Laminate, or Hardwood Floor

Cost to Replace 200 Sq.Ft. of Subfloor Only or Subfloor and Vinyl, Tile, Carpet, Laminate, or Hardwood Floor


ReplacementCost to Replace 200 Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Subfloor Only$600 - $2,400
Subfloor and Vinyl $1,200 - $4,400
Subfloor and Tile$1,600 - $7,400
Subfloor and Carpet$2,000 - $4,800
Subfloor and Laminate$2,100 - $5,900
Subfloor and Hardwood$3,400 - $8,800


Other considerations you will need to make when determining the cost to replace both the finished flooring and the subfloor are padding and moisture-proof underlayment that need to be replaced. Hardwood floors require paper underlayment, while laminate flooring and carpet require padded underlayments. You may also need to cover the costs for added items such as tack strips and quarter round.

Cost to Replace Subfloor in a Mobile Home

If you are replacing the subfloor in your mobile home, you can expect to pay from $2,000 to $2,750 for a single-wide, ranging between 1,000 -1,200 sq.ft. The most common type of subfloor found in mobile homes is particle board 4, though some may have OSB. Replacing the subfloor in a mobile home can be difficult due to the confined space. Because it is considered specialized, it is best if completed by a professional. The process requires more intricate cutting and replacement of insulation, often damaged if the subfloor is.

How to Tell if Your Subfloor Needs to Be Replaced

While you may want to consider replacing your subfloor when replacing your flooring if the subfloor is older, some other issues indicate a need to replace your subfloor. One tell-tale sign that there may be an issue with your subfloor is areas that are uneven, sink, or squeak when you walk.

Another thing to watch out for is a musty smell in the room. This could be an indication that moisture is in your subfloor. This situation should be addressed immediately to reduce rot and lower your risk of mold and mildew. You may also consider replacing your subfloor if you notice issues with the flooring covering it, such as cracked tile, cupped hardwood, or bubbled-up linoleum 5. Rocking toilets and bouncy flooring could also indicate that your subfloor has become uneven.


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Comparison of Subfloor Types

Since there are so many options when it comes to choosing the right type of subfloor for your home, several things must be considered before making your decision. You will likely want to know how long each subfloor lasts, how well it insulates, and how durable it is. You also may be concerned about its environmental impact and soundproofing capabilities. Below you can see how each option compares.

Warranty

The length of the warranty on your subfloor is important to consider when making a decision. Since replacing a subfloor can be a lengthy and expensive process, you will want to make sure that the materials are backed by a warranty that covers yours for as long as you expect your subfloor to last. Below you can see how the different subfloor material warranties stack up against each other.


Comparison of the Subfloor Warranty by Material: Concrete Slab, Delta-FL, OSB, Amdry, Barricade, Dricore, Advantech...

Comparison of the Subfloor Warranty by Material: Concrete Slab, Delta-FL, OSB, Amdry, Barricade, Dricore, Advantech...


Subfloor MaterialWarranty
Concrete Slab10 - 20 years
OSB20 - 30 years
Delta-FL20 years
Amdry25 years
Barricade25 years
Dricore25 years
AdvantechLimited lifetime
PlywoodLimited lifetime
TyrocLimited lifetime


R-Value

Another important factor to consider when choosing the right subfloor for your home is the R-value. R-values indicate the energy efficiency of each subfloor option with higher numbers meaning greater insulation properties and higher overall energy efficiency. As you can see from the table below, while most options run around the same R-value, a few boast a much more significant energy efficiency.


Comparison of the R-Value of Subfloor Materials: Delta-FL, Advantech, Plywood, Concrete Slab, Dricore, OSB, Tyroc...

Comparison of the R-Value of Subfloor Materials: Delta-FL, Advantech, Plywood, Concrete Slab, Dricore, OSB, Tyroc...


Subfloor MaterialR-Value
Delta-FLN/A
Advantech1
Plywood1.1
Concrete Slab1.2
Dricore1.4
OSB1.4
Tyroc2
Barricade3
Amdry5


Environmental Impact

Another concern of yours might be how eco-friendly each subfloor option is. Many factors go into determining whether or not a type of subfloor is eco-friendly. First, you will need to consider what it is made of. Are the materials sustainable? Do they emit high levels of VOCs during the production process? Do they use up natural resources? Is there any recycled content? Is the material biodegradable? On top of these concerns, you should consider how long each option lasts. The longer the flooring lasts, the less often it will need to be replaced, reducing material use and waste. Below you can see the most common types of subfloor and how greatly they may or may not impact the environment.


Comparison of the Environmental Impact of Subfloor Materials: Advantech, Amdry, Tyroc, Barricade, Delta-FL, Dricore, OSB...

Comparison of the Environmental Impact of Subfloor Materials: Advantech, Amdry, Tyroc, Barricade, Delta-FL, Dricore, OSB...


Subfloor MaterialEnvironmental Impact
AdvantechLow
AmdryLow
TyrocLow
BarricadeMedium
Delta-FLMedium
DricoreMedium
OSBMedium
Concrete SlabHigh
PlywoodHigh


Durability

Finding a durable subfloor option is important because your subfloor acts as part of the supporting structure of your home. Determining durability considers several factors, including how well it resists moisture, how strong it is, how well it holds up to traffic, and how long it lasts. Below you can see how durable each of the following types of subfloor are by understanding how long you can expect them to last before replacement is necessary.


Comparison of the Durability of Subfloor Materials: Tyroc, Delta-FL, Advantech, Dricore, OSB, Plywood, Amdry...

Comparison of the Durability of Subfloor Materials: Tyroc, Delta-FL, Advantech, Dricore, OSB, Plywood, Amdry...


Subfloor MaterialLifespan
Tyroc15 - 20 years
Delta-FL20 - 22 years
Advantech20 - 25 years
Dricore20 - 25 years
OSB20 - 25 years
Plywood20 - 30 years
Amdry25 - 30 years
Barricade25 - 30 years
Concrete Slab40 - 50 years


Strength

When it comes to subfloors, strength also plays a critical role. You need a strong subfloor to support your floors and the furniture on top of it. Stronger subfloors support greater weight, lowering the risk of damage if you have heavy objects on your floor. Stronger subfloors typically wear down at a slower rate, allowing them to have greater longevity. Below you can see how strong each type of subfloor is by understanding how much weight it supports.


Comparison of the Strength of Subfloor Materials: Plywood, Delta-FL, OSB, Tyroc, Dricore, Barricade, Amdry...

Comparison of the Strength of Subfloor Materials: Plywood, Delta-FL, OSB, Tyroc, Dricore, Barricade, Amdry...


Subfloor MaterialPSF (Pounds per Sq.Ft.)
Plywood50 - 60
Delta-FL60 - 80
OSB60 - 100
Tyroc65 - 85
Dricore65 - 85
Barricade70 - 90
Amdry80 - 110
Advantech85 - 95
Concrete Slab125 - 150


Water and Moisture Resistance

Depending on where you are having your subfloor installed, a serious consideration could be the moisture resistance each subfloor option offers. Subfloors in basements and bathrooms run a much higher risk of water damage and moisture accumulation, leading to rotting, mold, and mildew. If you plan to install a subfloor in one of these rooms or your area is prone to flooding or heavy rains, consider one of the higher moisture resistance options.


Comparison of Subfloor Water and Moisture Resistance by Material: Plywood, Concrete Slab, Delta-FL, Dricore, Advantech, Amdry, Barricade...

Comparison of Subfloor Water and Moisture Resistance by Material: Plywood, Concrete Slab, Delta-FL, Dricore, Advantech, Amdry, Barricade...


Subfloor MaterialMoisture Resistance
PlywoodLow
Concrete SlabMedium
Delta-FLMedium
DricoreMedium
AdvantechHigh
AmdryHigh
BarricadeHigh
OSBHigh
TyrocHigh


Soundproofing

If you have echoing or loud sounds when you walk on your floors, soundproofing may be a consideration when installing your subfloors. Some subfloors, such as those with higher R-values, naturally lessen the sound as it is more absorbed when you walk on the floor. If you want to minimize sound in your home, especially for rooms like bedrooms, consider higher R-value subflooring, adding flooring insulation, and installing carpet.

Finished Floor Options

Your finished floor material may affect the subfloor material you choose because certain materials are better suited for certain finish options. If you want tile or stone for your finished floor, they can easily be installed directly over a concrete subfloor. If you have hardwood floors or laminate, you need to include an underlayment when using a concrete subfloor.

When choosing hardwood floors and laminate, high-performance subflooring is a good option to provide better insulation, soundproofing, and efficiency.

For homeowners looking for the most versatile options, plywood and standard OSB work well with any finished flooring and work with gluing and nailing installations. Below you will see which types of flooring work best with the most common subfloor types.


Type of SubfloorBest Options for Finished Floors
PlywoodCarpet, laminate, tile, hardwood
OSB

Carpet, laminate, tile, hardwood

High-Performance Subfloor PanelsHardwood, laminate
ConcreteTile, stone


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Subfloor Installation vs Replacement Cost

The cost to remove and replace a subfloor is slightly higher than a new subfloor cost. While the subfloor installation cost includes the materials and labor for installing your chosen subfloor, the replacement cost includes more to cover the labor for removing and disposing of the previous subfloor. Subfloor replacement is more common. Typically, new subfloors will only be installed on new builds, new additions, or when adding a crawl space or basement. Below you will see the basic cost difference between installation and replacement.


Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install or Replace Subfloor

Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Install or Replace Subfloor


ProjectCost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
Installation$2.40 - $10
Replacement$3 - $12


Subfloor Repair Cost vs Replacement

The average cost to repair a subfloor in a 300 sq.ft. space is from $330 to $470. Replacement for this same size space runs $600 to $2,400. The labor costs for installation tend to be on the higher end of $30 to $40 an hour, while repairs normally fall in the $25 to $30 per hour range. However, it is important to note that complicated subfloor repairs can take longer, especially if water damage has occurred, making the total labor costs almost as high as they would with a new install.

Most homeowners choose to repair a section of subfloor instead of completely replacing it if the area is small and the damage was caused by an incident isolated to the area. This could be small uneven sections or small areas damaged by minor water problems. If significant water problems have occurred, such as flooding, the floor seems completely uneven, or there is bouncing when walking across the floor, it is advisable to replace it.


Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Repair or Replace Subfloor

Comparison of the Cost per Sq.Ft. to Repair or Replace Subfloor


ProjectCost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Repair$1.67 - $2.33
Replacement$3 - $12


Subfloor vs Underlayment

Subfloor and underlayment are terms that can be confusing because they are both designed to be underneath the flooring in your home. The subfloor is part of the structure of your floor and is designed to create a flat, stable surface on the flooring rests. Underlayment lies between the floor and the subfloor and is designed to compensate for any roughness or imperfections that are present in the subfloor beneath. They can provide a little bit of cushion and absorb sound.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Mold Remediation

In some cases, the damage to your subfloor can occur as a result of water damage. When water seeps through your flooring into your subfloor, it can lead to rotting, making the floor unstable and unsafe to walk on. But when you have water damage, you could have mold, which can lead to health issues if not properly remediated. If you suspect mold, it is best to have the area inspected before being replaced.

Flooring Underlayment Cost

You can expect to pay from $0.42 to $0.47 to have floor underlayment installed. You need to use underlayment when installing a floor that does not directly adhere to the subfloor. Floors, such as laminate floors, are floating floors that require underlayment.

Average Cost of Replacing Vapor Barriers

Including labor and materials, you can expect to pay from $1,200 to $4,000 to have a vapor barrier installed. Flooding can be a serious issue with basements and can lead to mold and moisture buildup. A vapor barrier is plastic or foil sheeting designed to prevent water vapor from passing through the floors or walls, depending on where it is installed.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits. You do not need permits to replace the subfloor in your home. However, if you are part of a homeowner’s association, you may be subject to regulations that need to be followed.
  • DIY. You can replace subflooring yourself, which homeowners often do when replacing a small area. If you are replacing a larger area or your subfloor has significant rotting, it may be best to have a professional replace it to ensure the new floor is safe.
  • Added value. If your subfloors are lumber, damaged, or make noise when you walk, replacing them adds value to your home. The cost to replace the subflooring is rarely less than the amount of the increase in your home’s value. However, it is often close enough to make it worth the cost.
  • Lumber subfloors. Subfloors used to traditionally be made from soft woods such as fir or pine. In most homes, these floors have been replaced with plywood. If the flooring has not been replaced, the lumber subfloor may still be present. Lumber is no longer used because it involved nailing it into the joists, which would loosen over time and cause the floor to squeak.
  • Wet flooring. Wet lumber such as panels and joists needs time to dry before being sealed with underlayment and top floor. If there has been water damage, the joists need to dry before the new subfloor can be laid.
  • Acclimating. New flooring materials need time to acclimate to the environment. Let them sit in the home for a couple of days to get used to the surrounding air, which helps prevent warping or settling after it’s installed.
  • Leveling the subfloor. It is crucial to level a new subfloor with your current subfloor to prevent damage. Your professional may need to plane down the thickness of the subfloor to make it thinner or add shims to make it thicker if the thickness of the two materials doesn’t match, which can be quite common in older homes.
  • Other subfloor options. There are other high-performance subfloor options that offer extra features. For example, Warmboard sells subfloor panels that also function as radiant floor and that are installed directly over joists. This usually works best for new constructions, but they also offer options that can be installed over your existing subfloor if you are remodeling.

FAQs

  • How long does it take to replace the subfloor?

Replacing a subfloor can take anywhere from 4 to 24 hours, depending on the size of that section needing to be replaced.

  • Can I put a new subfloor over the old subfloor?

While it is most common to repair or replace subflooring, if you notice damage when installing new flooring, you can choose to cover the existing subfloor with a completely new one.

  • How much does it cost to replace floor joists?

The cost to replace floor joists runs as low as $2,000 when replacing the joists under one room, approximately 200 sq.ft., to as high as $5,000 if you have to replace the floor joists on an entire level.

  • How to know if you should replace the subfloor?

Many signs indicate the need to replace your subfloors. If your floors squeak, shift, or bounce when you walk on them, they may need to be replaced. Other signs include sunken or uneven areas, damage such as cracking of your floor, and a musty smell in the room.

  • What is the best material to use for a subfloor?

The most popular material used for subfloors and the best material in most situations is plywood. While standard plywood is sufficient, ¾” tongue-and-groove plywood tends to work the best.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Subfloor 1 Subfloor: The bottom-most layer of a floor, supported by joists, over which finished flooring material is laid
glossary term picture Plywood 2 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
glossary term picture Concrete Pad 3 Concrete slab: A flat area of concrete that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as a patio or a driveway
glossary term picture Particleboard 4 Particle board: An engineered wood product used in construction projects and composed of wood chips, sawmill shavings, and/or sawdust and a suitable binding agent, such as resin.
glossary term picture Linoleum 5 Linoleum: An inexpensive flooring material made from linseed oil, resins, recycled wood flour, cork dust, limestone and mineral pigments, on a canvas or jute backing.

Cost to replace subfloor varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
Concrete Subfloor Being Replaced
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Cost to replace subfloor varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources