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Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Cost: What to Expect

When it comes to home improvement, hardwood flooring is a popular choice due to its timeless elegance and durability.

However, before embarking on a hardwood flooring project, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the associated costs.

In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence hardwood flooring costs, providing you with valuable insights to help you plan your budget effectively.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

Before delving into the specifics of hardwood flooring costs, it’s crucial to emphasize the significance of careful planning.

By thoroughly understanding your requirements and conducting comprehensive research, you can make informed decisions and avoid unexpected expenses along the way.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

When considering hardwood flooring, it’s important to be aware of the two main types available: solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is crafted from a single piece of wood and offers unmatched authenticity and longevity. It is available in a wide range of wood species, including oak, maple, and cherry, each with its unique characteristics and price points.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring consists of multiple layers of wood veneer stacked together, providing enhanced stability and resistance to moisture. This type of flooring offers versatility and can be installed on various subfloor types.

Factors Affecting Hardwood Flooring Costs

Several factors contribute to the overall cost of hardwood flooring. Understanding these factors will help you estimate and plan your budget effectively.

Materials and Quality

The type of hardwood and its quality significantly impact the cost. Exotic wood species and premium-grade hardwood tend to be more expensive than domestic options or lower-grade materials. Additionally, factors such as plank width and finish can influence the overall cost.

Installation Method

The installation method chosen also affects the cost. Nail-down installations are generally more affordable, while glue-down or floating installations may incur additional expenses. Complex patterns or designs can also increase labor costs.

Floor Area

The total area to be covered plays a crucial role in determining hardwood flooring costs. Larger areas require more materials, resulting in higher expenses. It’s important to measure the space accurately and consider any additional wastage during installation.

Additional Preparations

Certain scenarios might require extra preparations, impacting the overall cost. Subfloor repairs, leveling, or moisture barrier installation may be necessary, depending on the condition of the existing floor. These additional steps can add to the overall expenses.

Average Hardwood Flooring Costs

To provide you with a rough estimate, let’s break down the average costs associated with hardwood flooring into material costs, installation costs, and additional expenses.

Material Costs

On average, hardwood flooring materials can range from $5 to $15 per square foot. However, exotic woods or high-quality options can exceed $20 per square foot. It’s essential to consider the quality and grade of the wood when estimating material costs.

Installation Costs

Installation costs typically vary between $2 and $8 per square foot, depending on factors such as the complexity of the project, location, and labor costs in your area. Hiring professional installers ensures proper installation and reduces the risk of costly mistakes.

Additional Expenses

Additional expenses might include underlayment, moisture barriers, trim, transition pieces, and any necessary repairs or modifications. It’s advisable to allocate a contingency budget of 10-15% to account for unexpected costs.

How to Save on Hardwood Flooring Costs

While hardwood flooring can be a significant investment, there are several strategies to help you save money without compromising on quality.

Comparing Quotes

Obtain multiple quotes from reputable suppliers and installation professionals. Comparing prices, warranties, and reviews will give you a better understanding of the market and help you make an informed decision.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

If you have experience and the necessary tools, you may consider installing hardwood flooring yourself. However, keep in mind that improper installation can lead to costly repairs in the future. Hiring professionals ensures a high-quality installation and minimizes the risk of potential issues.

Timing and Seasonal Discounts

Timing your hardwood flooring project strategically can result in cost savings. Some suppliers and installers offer discounts during off-peak seasons or specific times of the year. Researching and taking advantage of these promotions can significantly reduce your expenses.


Hardwood flooring adds value, beauty, and durability to any home.

By understanding the factors that influence hardwood flooring costs and planning your budget accordingly, you can embark on your project with confidence.

Remember to consider the materials, installation method, floor area, and any additional preparations when estimating expenses.

By comparing quotes, considering DIY options, and taking advantage of seasonal discounts, you can make the most of your investment.


How long does hardwood flooring installation typically take?

The duration of hardwood flooring installation depends on various factors, including the size of the area, complexity of the project, and the type of installation method. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Can hardwood flooring be installed in moisture-prone areas?

While solid hardwood is not recommended for moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms or basements, engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture and can be a suitable option.

Are there any eco-friendly hardwood flooring options available?

Yes, there are eco-friendly hardwood flooring options available. Look for products certified by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that promote sustainable and responsible forestry practices.

How often does hardwood flooring need to be refinished?

The frequency of refinishing depends on various factors, including the type of wood, wear and tear, and maintenance. On average, hardwood flooring may require refinishing every 7-10 years.

Can existing carpet or tile be installed over hardwood flooring?

In most cases, it is not recommended to install carpet or tile over hardwood flooring. Removing the existing flooring and properly preparing the subfloor is crucial to ensure a durable and long-lasting hardwood installation.

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