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Costed: Flooring options and prices for the all-important finish

Nicola Herring

Flooring finishes can make or break a design, but there are other factors to consider too, such as substrate, whole life costs and specific applications, says Nicola Herring, executive quantity surveyor at Gleeds

Floor finishes are an important consideration for a project, as they need to be suitably robust and also create the right environment and ambience. Floor finishes are required in a wide range of different building types and there are many floor types available to suit the nature of the project – be it residential, commercial or another setting.

To achieve the desired appearance and performance it is equally important to ensure the right substrate. The substrate is important to achieving a neat finish as it will pick up any issues with levels/surface irregularities and the like.

As floor finishes are a heavily used element of a building, whole life costs can be considered, reviewing maintenance and replacement time­scales to ensure that the correct selection for the intended use is made at the outset. Depending on the use of the building there may be other considerations, such as acoustics, hygiene, fire, safety, etc. There may also be heritage or conservation matters to consider if refurbishing an existing building.  

There can be many factors influencing costs of floor finishes, such as the shape of the rooms/area (as an irregular shape may increase wastage), the quantity, substrate, where the finish is to be sourced, and quality. The following guide rates are for supply and installation of a range of floor types, reflecting typical rates seen in tender returns. The rates do not include costs for main contractor preliminaries or overheads and profit, nor professional fees/other add-ons. The rates also do not allow for any attendances such as power, protection, storage, etc.

At the time of preparation (1Q21) there are some implications from Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to consider the origin of materials, whether they are to be imported, and what the lead-in times are.


Rates are a guide only and are Q1 2021 excluding VAT. They do not include any contractor prelims

Floor type                                                                                                    £/m2

In situ screed and floor finishes; laid leveI
Self-levelling latex screed; 3mm thick on existing sub-base prior-receiving floor finishes 7.50-12.50
Cement and sand (1:3) screeds; steel trowelled; 100mm thick 25.00-32.50
Granolithic; laid on green concrete; 38 mm thick 35-50
Resin; 3-part solvent-system; up-3mm thick 50-65

Sheet/board flooring                                                                               £/m2
Chipboard; 18mm-22mm thick chipboard flooring; t&g joints 17.50-25
Wrought softwood t&g strip flooring; polished; including fillets  30-40
Sprung composition block flooring (sports), court markings, sanding and sealing 150-225

Rigid tile/slab finishes                                                                            £/m2
Quarry tile flooring 140.00-170.00
Glazed ceramic tiled flooring; anti-slip standard plain tiles 47.50-60
Glazed ceramic tiled flooring; designer tiles 110-130
Terrazzo tile flooring 28mm thick white Sicilian marble aggregate tiling 65-85
York stone 50mm thick paving 170-210
Slate tiles, smooth; straight cut 90-110
Portland stone paving 280-340
Roman Travertine marble paving; polished 275-330
Granite paving 20mm thick 230-300
Parquet/wood block finishes; wrought hardwood block floorings; 25 mm thick; polished; t&g joints 150-200

Flexible tiling; welded sheet or butt joint tiles; adhesive fixing        £/m2
Vinyl floor tiling; 330mm x 333mm x 2.00mm thick 20-30
Vinyl safety flooring; 2.00-2.50mm thick 35-45
Vinyl safety flooring; 3.5mm thick heavy duty 45-60
Linoleum tile flooring; 333mm x 333mm x 3.20mm thick 40-50
Linoleum sheet flooring; 2.00mm thick 35-45
Rubber studded tile flooring; 500mm x 500mm x 2.50mm thick 50-60

Carpet; including underlay, edge grippers                                            £/m2
Heavy domestic duty 40-75
Heavy contract duty 50-70

Entrance matting                                                                                                    £/m2
Barrier matting with polished brass/stainless steel frame 300-500

Access floors                                                                                                               £/m2
Raised access floors: including 600mm x 600mm steel encased particle boards on height adjustable pedestals 300mm; light/medium grade duty 40-60
Raised access floors: including 600mm x 600mm steel encased particle boards on height adjustable pedestals 300mm; heavy grade duty 60-80

Common floor coverings bonded-access floor panels                        £/m2
Anti-static vinyl 30-40
Needle punch carpet 20-30


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