How much does it cost to install hardwood floors

Hardwood Floor Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$2,200

200 sq.ft. of Northwood’s Oak Toffee hardwood flooring

Average Cost
$4,020

200 sq.ft. of Rosewood hardwood flooring

High $8,500 300 sq.ft. of premium Rosewood hardwood flooring

Cost of Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is among the most common flooring options you can choose. Unlike engineered wood which is made of multiple layers of wooden strips, solid wood is made entirely of a single block. 

The price of solid wood flooring is mainly influenced by the type of wood used. As such, the cost of solid wood flooring varies greatly. For more exotic wood like oak, the cost could be higher as compared to standard wood like maple. 

Still, on average solid wood flooring is anywhere between $8 to $20 per square foot. When everything from installation to material, coatings, and finishing is taken into account. For a standard 1000 square feet of surface, the cost will vary between $8000 to $20,000.

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Overall how much does it cost to install hardwood floors

Factoring in both labor and materials, ‘you can expect to pay around $8 to $12 per sq. foot for installing hardwood flooring,’ says Fung. ‘On average, installing 1000 sq. feet of hardwood flooring will cost you between $8,000-$12,000.’

Cost Factors to Install Hardwood Flooring

Several factors go into determining the ultimate cost of your hardwood floor. The first is size; as the floors are sold and installed by the foot, the total cost goes up as the size of the project goes up. The location also plays a role. If your floors have a lot of tight angles, closets, and small spaces, this could increase the cost as installation may become more difficult.

The final factor is the type of flooring that you purchase. Hardwood floors are available in several different species and several finishes and styles.

Domestic hardwoods tend to be less expensive than exotics, due in part to their availability and the cost of transporting the wood. Unfinished hardwoods are less expensive to purchase but may cost more to install. The installer must sand and finish the floors on site. Prefinished floors are more expensive to purchase but are faster and easier to install, affecting costs on this side of the equation.

The finish of the material may also affect cost. Handscraped floors cost more than polished floors, as they are more labor-intensive to create.

Hardwood Flooring Cost: Types of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring costs can vary due to the type of wood used in the floorboards. Each type has different ranges in color and price. Renowned for their rich tones and durability, exotic woods and wood from tropical areas are more expensive than the more budget-friendly domestic woods.To help guide your decision, here are some of the most commonly used hardwood species.

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Maple

The average cost for maple flooring runs from $6.50 to $11 per square foot. Maple is dent resistant and good for high-traffic areas. It can range in color from white to pale red.

Pine

Pine is usually the cheapest of the wood flooring types, commonly running from $4.50 to $10 per square foot. It’s known for the rustic knotty patterns in the grain, with colors ranging from light beige to a rich golden amber. The downside of pine is it’s on the softer side and dents easily.

Bamboo

Sustainable bamboo flooring can cost between $5 and $11 per square foot. The main benefit of bamboo is it’s extreme hardness and durability. The color can run from pale yellow to green.

White Ash

White ash flooring averages $9 to $13 per square foot. It can range in color from soft, light tan to pale gray, with either visible knots or a clear grade without color variations or imperfections. It’s worth noting that white ash can be difficult to stain.

Hickory

Hickory flooring can cost from $6 to $13 per square foot. It has notable color variation and is hard and durable. Hickory is a great option for high-traffic areas.

Red Oak

The average cost for red oak flooring is between $8 and $13 per square foot. It has a reddish, tightly visible grain and is exceptionally durable. Red oak flooring is known for creating a warm and welcome ambiance in any room.

White Oak

White oak flooring ranges from $8 to $15 per square foot. Despite its name, it’s darker in color than red oak and has brown and yellow undertones. White oak has a minimal smooth grain and lends itself to more modern home decor.

Brazilian Walnut

Brazilian walnut flooring runs from $11 to $20 per square foot. As an exotic hardwood, it’s extremely hard and durable but is expensive to install.

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Cypress

The cost of cypress flooring averages $8 to $18 per square foot and can run between $4 to $8 per square foot for labor. Cypress is a relatively soft wood that will take on a distressed and aged look when used in high-traffic areas. It has an arching, swirling grain and is honey-gold in color.

Hardwood Flooring Installation Cost Per Square Foot

Hardwood flooring installation costs $6 to $23 per square foot with most homeowners spending between $8 and $15 per square foot on average. The main pricing factors include the type of wood you select and labor costs for professional installation.

 Hardwood Floor Cost Per Square Foot   Hardwood Ty

Hardwood Floor Cost Per Square Foot
Hardwood Type Low Grade Mid Grade High Grade
Traditional Hardwood $6 – $11 $9 – $18 $12 – $23
Engineered Hardwood $6 – $14 $9 – $19 $12 – $23

Average Labor Cost For Installing Hardwood Floors

The average labor cost for installing hardwood floors ranges from $3 to $9 per square foot to hiring a professional contractor. Expect labor costs to make up approximately 50% of your total project cost. Always get multiple bids from various hardwood flooring contractors so you can make an educated decision.

How Much To Install Hardwood Floors On 1,000 Sq. F

How Much To Install Hardwood Floors On 1,000 Sq. Feet?

The average cost to install hardwood floors on 1,000 sq. feet is between $6,115 and $10,140 with most homeowners spending about $8,127 for materials and professional labor.

Hardwood Stairs Cost

Installing hardwood stairs costs between $100 and $200 per step on average, which includes all materials and professional labor. Typically a flight of stairs has 12 to 15 steps, which would be a total of $1,200 to $3,000.

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When Not to Install Hardwood Flooring

Despite the popularity of solid wood flooring, it’s not suited to every situation. In some ways, hardwood flooring is hardy and durable. In other scenarios, installing hardwood is begging for disaster.

Hardwood flooring doesn’t thrive in wet situ
Hardwood flooring doesn’t thrive in wet situations or high-traffic areas.

I’ve gathered some useful tips for trouble areas that will help keep you from damaging your hardwood flooring:

  • Don’t install hardwood flooring in damp basements or basements that flood.
  • It’s better to use wood-look vinyl flooring in bathrooms, as it’s typically entirely waterproof (avoid products with absorbent backing).
  • If you truly want hardwood flooring in your bathroom, only install it in low-traffic bathrooms with floors that don’t get wet frequently.
  • In bathrooms, always mop up moisture from the floors immediately after using the bath or shower.
  • Consider applying an epoxy sealant or another wood sealant to protect your hardwood flooring in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Always install a waterproof underlay to protect your floor. Otherwise, water may seep up from below and damage the floor.
  • Don’t install hardwood flooring in workshops, or high traffic areas, unless you’re willing to refinish the floor often.
  • Install floor protectors on your furniture legs to avoid scratching the wood.
  • Use pH neutral cleaning agents on hardwood (check out my how to clean hardwood floors guide for more).

Additional costs

Followtheflow/Shutterstock Followtheflow/Shutterstock

When calculating your budget, it is also imperative to consider the additional services and materials that are needed, as these make up a significant amount of the total cost.

Before installing a wood floor, it is imperative to fully check the subfloor’s condition. Any signs of mold, rot, dampness, or insect damage must be fully addressed. Angi noted that replacing the joists or floorboards will incur an additional $40 to $60 per square foot, while treatment and leveling of concrete floors costs an average of $6 per square foot.

As mentioned, the method of installing new flooring can vary depending on the type of subfloor and the type of wood chosen. In addition, HomeServe pointed out that other contributing factors such as the room’s shape, how many doorways there are, if an underlayment is necessary, and accommodating features such as fireplaces or closets will all affect the total labor price, as will complex layouts like herringbone or parquet.

To complete the installation, you will likely need some additional materials. Using a high-quality underlayment adds a layer of moisture protection, helps with soundproofing, provides support, and smooths out imperfections in the subfloor, according to From the Forest. Underlayment prices can range from $0.25 to $1 a square foot. Additionally, you will need to factor in transition strips for joining to other types of flooring in doorways and moldings around the outer edges of the walls.

There are two primary choices when choosing the type of wood: prefinished and unfinished. The Spruce noted that prefinished wood typically comes with a UV-cured polyurethane coating and is generally more expensive. However, it is quite easy to damage during installation. Unfinished boards can be treated with your choice of polyurethane, oil, or wax once the floor is completed and generally adds $2 to $5 per square foot for materials and labor.

Hardwood Installation Labor Costs

When you’re working with solid hardwood, you don’t want to make mistakes during the installation process. The material is already a lot more expensive than engineered wood options, so the precision of the labor is key to avoiding unnecessary waste.

Most flooring contractors will charge $4 to $8 per square foot for installation, depending on the complexity of the project. The skill level of the contractor and geographic area can influence the cost of installation.

Hardwood Floor Installation Considerations

Hardwood installation typically starts with removing a home's existing flooring. The cost for removal varies depending on the materials in place and the area covered. Carpet is easier to remove and costs around $1 per square foot, whereas glued-down flooring costs around $2-$4 per square foot to remove.

The installation cost increases significantly if self-leveling concrete needs to be used to fix low spots in the concrete or if the subfloor needs to be replaced. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 for materials and labor to pour concrete to level the subfloor.

The installation requirements for different types of hardwood, especially engineered hardwood, vary significantly. It is important to always check the manufacturer's guidelines to learn if subflooring or other supports are recommended. Of course, these come with a price tag of their own. 

If there are many cuts and trims of hardwood needed to cover the floor, installation will take more time and could cost more money. This might be the case in a home with a non-traditional layout or lots of alcoves or angles. Also, installing hardwood on stairs is usually estimated separately because installation costs more for this time-consuming work. 

Of course, if you're handy and patient, installing hardwood flooring yourself could shave hundreds off the total cost. But installation companies tend to bring large crews that can speedily get the job done, so your family can get back to living faster. DIY projects of this magnitude can be disruptive and lengthier than anticipated.

In Short

  • On average, installing a standard hardwood floor in the US costs around $6,500 – $11,500 for 1,000 ft2.
  • You can change the appearance of inexpensive or existing wooden floors by staining.
  • It’s best not to install hardwood floors in basements that flood or other wet areas.
  • You can save money by waterproofing your own subfloor and installing your own underlayment.
  • Refinishing hardwood floors costs about ½ of the value of a new floor installation.
  • Hardwood pricing varies, depending on the quality, type, and finish of the boards. 
  • Before scrapping your old floor, check out my hardwood care repair guide—it might be salvageable.

Cost of Hardwood Flooring With Factory Finish

Wooden flooring often requires a whole host of furnishing procedures to bring in the familiar shine and glow associated with such kinds of floors. However, there are also varieties of factory-finished hardwoods available in the market. As the name suggests, factory-finished hardwoods do not need to be stained, varnished, or sanded after they are installed. Instead, each block comes pre-finished, where the manufacturer does all the necessary finishing before the hardwood is sold. 

The main advantage of factory-finished hardwood is that the floor is ready as soon as all the blocks are laid out and fixed in their place. 

The type of wood also influences the cost of factory-finished hardwood flooring. In any case, factory-finished hardwood floors cost around $8 to $15 per square foot. A typical 1000 square feet surface will cost a total of $8000 to $15000.

Installing New Carpet

Carpet generally runs cheaper than most other flooring options. Homeowners can expect to pay around $1 to $7 per square foot of carpet. However, you can also find luxury carpets and other high-end options that will cost up to $20 per square foot. Many homeowners choose more expensive carpeting for its higher quality and special features, such as greater durability, water resistance, and hypoallergenic designs.

Cleaning and Repairing Carpet

If your carpet isn’t looking good these days, you might just need to give it a little TLC. Most homeowners don’t clean their carpets as often as they should. Shampoos or other deep cleaning solutions can get rid of dirt and stains. You can even hire a professional cleaning service to make your carpet look and smell like new again. In the event of burns, snags, or other damage, see if you can replace that patch of carpet instead of the entire floor. Professional services can remove and replace small areas, creating a seamless end result that looks as good as new.

Factors To Consider

In addition to installation and labor costs, you must factor in the cost of a carpet pad, tack strips, and other materials. The type of space you want to refloor also influences the price. A typical square or rectangular room is simple enough and will have lower installation costs. Complicated corners, squares, or tight areas will make installation more difficult and more expensive. Many homeowners also remove and replace their baseboards when installing new carpet, so that might be another factor to think about when estimating costs.

How to Save Money on Hardwood Flooring Cost

Installing hardwood flooring can be expensive and the additional costs associated with installation can quickly add up. One way to save money is to install the cheapest flooring option, but there are other ways to save money without compromising on the quality and style of wood flooring you really want.

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  • Refinish instead of replace. This may be the least expensive option if you like the appearance of the existing floor. If there is no extensive water or structural damage to the wood flooring, consider sanding and refinishing to restore the existing hardwood floor.
  • Consider species. Many homeowners start shopping for hardwood flooring with the flooring color in mind. Keep in mind that there are many species of wood and each of them varies in color and price.
  • Consider grain. The way that the wood is cut affects the appearance of the grain and the hardwood flooring cost. Grain patterns that run across the plank are usually the least expensive, while grains that run down the length of the plank will be more expensive.
  • Choose the grade. Wood flooring that has been graded “clear” has a uniform color and lacks knots or other imperfections. The “clear” grading is the most expensive and the price goes down according to the grade. If you don’t mind a more natural character to your wood flooring, you can save money.
  • Opt for engineered flooring. Solid hardwood flooring is typically more expensive than engineered wood flooring, but since some types of engineered flooring have high-end exotic veneers, the price can be similar.
  • Do it yourself. If you have strong do-it-yourself skills and are interested in tackling the entire project to save on hardwood flooring cost, it’s recommended you consider engineered wood flooring for ease of installation. Buying Home Depot flooring, for example, can also save money on hardwood flooring costs. However, if you want to save money but the thought of installing a hardwood floor makes you nervous, consider doing just part of the job yourself. For example, a professional may charge you to rip out and dispose of the old flooring but completing this task on your own is an option.

Why you need new wood flooring

Studio Romantic/Shutterstock Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

While it’s true that wood flooring isn’t cheap, it is an investment that will bring character to your home and elevate your living space. In addition, there are some other solid arguments for installing a new wood floor.

One of the main advantages of installing wood flooring is the increased value and saleability it adds to your home. Simpleshowing suggested that hardwood floors may increase a home’s value by as much as 3% to 5%, while SBV Wood Floors noted that 82% of real estate agents agree that homes with wood flooring sell faster than those without.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Whatever kind of floor you have, be it wood, carpet, or tile, it will eventually deteriorate and look worn out. If you currently have wood flooring, Bob Vila pointed out several signs that it is ready to be replaced, including excessive creaking, which can also indicate underlying structural problems, warping or signs of rot, which is often caused by water damage, or serious scratches or gouges that sanding cannot remove.

Installing New Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

When calculating how much it costs to refloor a house with vinyl or linoleum, homeowners can expect to pay between $3 and $10 per square foot. Better quality products like luxury vinyl will be at the top of this price range. Vinyl and linoleum are both lightweight materials that are easy to use. You can also install these types of flooring directly over the old floor, which makes for affordable installation costs even in more complicated rooms.

Repairing Vinyl or Linoleum Flooring

Scratches, scuffs, and burns can wear down vinyl or linoleum flooring. Like laminate, vinyl and linoleum floors are fast and easy to repair. However, you should always work with a professional to complete the job. Improper installation can lead to buckling or bubbling, which ruins the appearance of the floor and causes problems down the road.

Factors To Consider

Vinyl and linoleum floors come in sheets, planks, and tiles. The type of flooring you choose affects installation costs. The price will also vary according to sealing and applicant costs. As with all flooring options on this list, you have to factor in the cost of cleaning, repairing, or replacing your subfloor when you install new flooring. Finally, if you choose to get rid of your old flooring instead of installing directly over it, you will have to pay to properly remove and dispose of the existing floor.

Which options are best for your home? If you want to delve deeper into wood flooring options, you can explore species, grades, stains, and other endless designs at From the Forest. Check out our warm natural red oak hardwood flooring and many other collections today.

Reducing Hardwood Floor Installation Costs

As you can see, hardwood flooring can be pricey, so reducing installation costs is the goal of many homeowners. Here are some tips for shaving a few bucks off the total cost of installing hardwood floors:

Lower Material Costs

Choose a cheaper species of wood. Try a mid-range wood such as maple, bamboo or oak instead of pricier mahogany or teak. The results are still beautiful, but you’ll save a huge chunk of dough.

Do the Grunt Work Yourself

Contractors charge a lot for extras like moving furniture or appliances and pulling up old carpet. Do these things yourself to reduce your overall installation costs.

Or, Do the Entire Project Yourself

If you have the time and possess basic carpentry skills — including the ability to use tools like sanders and power saws to make precision measurements and cuts — you may be able to install hardwood flooring yourself.

Selecting Your Flooring Contractor

When creating your shortlist of contractors, there are a few criteria you can consider that may help set your mind at ease. Look for contractors with some or many of the following boxes checked:

  • Members of the Better Business Bureau
  • Decades in business
  • Great reviews on HomeGuide and Google
  • Specialize in hardwood flooring
  • Licensed, bonded, and insured

Whether you have recently bought a new home or plan to renovate your current residence, new flooring can make all the difference. Although it is more expensive than other options on the market, it tends to be the preferred choice. Hardwood flooring is known for its warm, character-rich appearance, versatility, and durability. Also, hardwood floors add value to a home.

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