Flooring Basics: Planning the Installation

Buying a new floor can be a challenging task. At Wylie’s we do our very best to make this process easy for you. If you are just beginning to plan your project, below are some of the basic guidelines our sales representatives use when first assessing a project installation.

What is currently on your floor?

  • Take a close look at your existing flooring. Do you have carpet, laminate, hardwood, ceramic tile, sheet vinyl, or no flooring at all? In most cases, the existing flooring will have to be removed before installing the new flooring. The cost of removal will vary by product and installation method due to the difficulty of removal and the cost of disposal or recycling.

What is the subfloor?

  • Typically the subfloor is either concrete or plywood. Even if the subfloor is still covered by existing flooring, the type of subfloor can be determined simply by stomping on the floor and assessing the sound. Wood will sound hollow compared to concrete, which will absorb most of the impact. Another way to check the subfloor is by lifting up an air conditioning vent if one is located on the floor. The vent will allow you to see the various layers of flooring.
  • The type of subfloor is important because it usually determines how the flooring will be installed (floated, glued, or nailed). It can also be a significant factor in determining what kind of flooring to install. For example, solid hardwood should not be installed over concrete due to issues with moisture and movement, but ceramic tile performs exceptionally well over smooth concrete.
  • While assessing the subfloor, check for signs of water damage and uneven surfaces as these can cause issues with existing and new flooring if not addressed.

What kind of flooring will best suit the people walking on it?

  • Floor covering options are diverse in size, color, longevity, texture, warmth, price, and warranty coverage. Each type of flooring represents its own set of installation challenges and opportunities. To learn more about the different types of flooring check out this article : Floor Coverings (article coming soon)

What costs are involved in the installation?


  • Wylie’s is charged freight on every item we receive from our distributors. Many floor covering stores include freight in the product cost, but we like to itemize it in order to be transparent and create opportunities to save our customers money if additional shipments can be minimized. Freight is also tax free when itemized separately from the material cost.

Demo and Prep:

  • Tearing out existing flooring will vary by product and installation method. Carpet is rather inexpensive to remove, while more unusual products and installation methods can cost as much as the installation itself (like ceramic tile or glue-down hardwoods). After existing flooring is removed, general subfloor preparation is often included in the flooring installation cost; however, products that telegraph the imperfections in the sub floor typically will require extra attention in order to ensure a smooth surface before installation. These products include: linoleum, sheet vinyl, vinyl composite tile, rubber tile, and some luxury vinyl tile.

Remove and replace trim:

  • Nearly all floor coverings (with the exception of stretch-in carpet) require expansion gaps between the outer edges of the flooring and walls. In order to remove the existing flooring and install new flooring, the installation crew typically will have to remove wall trim or quarter round. In most cases they can simply re-install the same trim. Some clients prefer having quarter round installed, which is usually about double the cost of resetting the existing baseboards due to the added material expense.
  • Please note: Wylie’s prefers to leave caulking trim and touching up paint to the painting professionals. This detail work is not included in our estimated price for addressing trim unless otherwise noted.

Moving furniture and appliances:

  • Your floor must be free of all items and furniture prior to the installation. We recommend forming a plan during the estimate process to determine where you will store your furniture during the installation. Often furniture can simply be moved into a different room, the garage, or outside all together. Our installers can move some of the heavy items for you. Check with our estimators to provide pricing for furniture moving. If you choose to have our installers move furniture, we request that all small items are removed from the tops of tables, drawers are emptied, and electronics disconnected prior to their arrival. Wylie’s installers do not move pool tables, grandfather clocks, grand pianos, safes, and some other types of furniture. For insurance reasons, our installers will not disconnect gas appliances.

Reset toilets and sinks:

  • Whenever we install flooring in a bathroom, we have to remove the toilet (and pedestal sink if you have one) in order to install the flooring underneath. We charge $75 for this service, and this also covers the cost of a new wax ring and a supply hose if needed.
  • While our installers remove and reset toilets everyday, it is not uncommon that a plumber will have to get involved if the supply or drain lines have not been serviced recently. If your toilet is old or has shown signs of leaking, we recommend that you hire a plumber to remove the toilet before we arrive to install the floor. Our installers do not fix existing plumbing leaks, move/raise the toilet flange, or repair broken water shut-off valves.


Here is a list of line items you might see on your estimate:

Install Carpet

  • Labor Stretch Carpet
  • Labor Stretch Carpet / With Pattern
  • Labor Glue Down Carpet
  • Labor Install Releasable Carpet Tiles

Carpet Installation Materials

  • 6 lb Carpet Pad
  • 8 lb Carpet Pad
  • 8 lb Carpet Pad / With Vapor Barrier
  • Tack Strip
  • Glue Down Carpet Adhesive
  • Releasable Carpet Tile Adhesive

Install Sheet Products

  • Labor Install Residential Sheet Vinyl Felt Backed
  • Labor Install Residential Sheet Vinyl Cushion Backed
  • Labor Install Residential Sheet Vinyl / With Pattern
  • Labor Install Linoleum
  • Labor Install Linoleum / With Welded Seams
  • Labor Install Commercial Sheet Vinyl
  • Labor Install Commercial Sheet Vinyl / With Welded Seams

Sheet Product Installation Materials

  • Pressure Sensitive Adhesive
  • Linoleum Sheet Adhesive
  • Linoleum Sheet Heat Weld Coil
  • Commercial Sheet Adhesive
  • Commercial Sheet Vinyl Heat Weld Coil
  • Plywood Underlayment + Installation
  • Skim Coating + Floor Prep Labor

Install Resilient Tiles

  • Labor Install Vinyl Composition Tile
  • Labor Install Floating Luxury Vinyl
  • Labor Install Glue Down Luxury Vinyl (Pressure Sensitive)
  • Labor Install Glue Down Luxury Vinyl / With Grout (Pressure Sensitive)
  • Labor Install Linoleum Modular Tiles
  • Labor Install Glue Down Rubber Tiles
  • Labor Install Click-in Rubber Tiles

Resilient Tile Installation Materials

  • Plywood Underlayment + Installation
  • VCT Adhesive
  • Pressure Sensitive Adhesive
  • Linoleum Adhesive
  • Rubber Tile Adhesive

Install Wood-Based Products

  • Labor Install Lift and Click Laminate
  • Labor Install 2 1/4″ Nail Down Hardwood/Engineered
  • Labor Install 3 1/4″ Nail Down Hardwood/Engineered
  • Labor Install >= 4″ ┬áNail Down Hardwood/Engineered
  • Labor Install Glued Edge Floating Engineered
  • Labor Install Glued Down Engineered

Wood Installation Materials

  • Laminate Underlayment
  • Hardwood Underlayment
  • Hardwood Fasteners
  • Glued Edge Adhesive
  • Glue Down Adhesive
  • Vapor Barrier 6 mil plastic sheeting

Install Tile

  • Labor Install Basic Floor 1×1 to 16×16 Straight Lay
  • Labor Install Basic Floor 17×17 or Larger
  • Labor Install Pattern Surcharge
  • Labor Install Wall Tile 1×1 to 12×12
  • Labor Install Wall Tile 13×13 or Larger
  • Labor Install Wall Marble and Stone
  • Labor Install Shower Floors
  • Labor Install Countertops
  • Labor Install Backsplash
  • Labor Install Glass Tile Mosaic
  • Labor Install Heating Systems
  • Labor Install Ceramic Cove Base
  • Labor Install Ceramic Bullnose
  • Labor Install Chair Rail
  • Labor Install Underlayment

Tile Materials

  • Underlayment
  • Thin-Set Mortar
  • Thin-Set Mortar White
  • Sanded Grout
  • Unsanded Grout
  • Epoxy Grout
  • Fusion Pro Color Match Grout
  • Grout Sealer
  • Tile Sealer
  • Heating System
  • Metal Trim
  • Niche Including Install

Miscellaneous Labor Charges

  • Remove and Reset Toilet
  • Install Primed White Quarter Round
  • Remove and Replace Standard White Baseboards
  • Move Basic Furniture / Per Bedroom
  • Move Refrigerator
  • Move Electric Stove (Cannot Move Gas Stoves)
  • Move Large Items (Assessed Individually at Estimate)
  • Undercut Door Jambs (for laminate, hardwood, and LVT)
  • Level Floor
  • Skim-Coating / Basic Floor Prep