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Flooring: Cost Considerations

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In today’s construction market, architects, specifiers, contractors and owners are taking a careful look at the flooring being selected for both new construction and remodeling projects. The sheer volume of choices in types, textures, colors and price ranges makes the decision making process an important part of the design process.

In today’s construction market, architects, specifiers, contractors and owners are taking a careful look at the flooring being selected for both new construction and remodeling projects. The sheer volume of choices in types, textures, colors and price ranges makes the decision making process an important part of the design process.

Masonry or stone flooring can be used for beauty and durability. These types of flooring can be found in industrial locations and in luxurious commercial and residential structures. According to the 2011 Means Building Construction Cost Data, prices for the most common masonry and stone flooring can range from about $10 per square foot to over $25 per square foot. Substantially higher prices will be found for rare or imported stone flooring.

Wood flooring comes in many forms. End grain block flooring, parquet flooring and strip flooring each have different uses and purposes. A variety of species are also available with each species having characteristics that are desirable for both form and function. Laminates and pre-finished flooring have gained in popularity within the home improvement market. Costs can range from $4 to over $20 per square foot.

In any discussion of commercial and residential flooring, resilient types must be mentioned. Rubber, vinyl, cork and linoleum in both sheet and tile form are used extensively in the construction industry. Costs can range from $5 to over $20 per square foot.

Cast in place terrazzo flooring will be found in areas of very high foot traffic. Terrazzo is both aesthetically pleasing to the eye and durable under foot. Unique patterns and shapes can be created with divider strips and the color variations seem unlimited. Terrazzo flooring will remain attractive for years with proper maintenance, thus provided a good life cycle cost. Prices can range from about $20 per square foot to over $40.

Of course, carpeting in all its forms and materials must be mentioned. Available in rolls, tiles and in specific sizes, carpeting covers much of the world’s floor area. Carpet is available in synthetic and natural materials and becoming more popular with the green movement is recycled material for carpeting. Many manufacturers are building recycling centers where they accept old carpeting and recycle it into new carpeting instead of just placing it in landfills. Carpeting is usually priced per square yard with a range of anywhere from under $25 to over $100.

The flooring industry along with most of the construction industry is facing the economic challenges that 2010 is presenting. The decrease in new home starts certainly has an impact on the amount of product being sold, but increases in production and transportations costs will most likely offset any price fluctuations due to reduced demand.

by RSMeans Engineering Staff

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