The average cost to install hardwood flooring is $4,150 with most homeowner's spending between $2,200 – $8,100. You can expect to pay $2–$5 per square foot for materials, and an additional $2–$5 per square foot for installation. Get free estimates from wood flooring pros near you.
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. Known for its warm, character-rich appearance, versatility, and durability, hardwood can also add value to a home.
Since there are so many available options, it is important to understand what variables will impact the final cost of your project. Whether you opt for traditional hardwood materials or engineered hardwood flooring, you need to choose an option that makes sense for you and your home. This guide is intended to help you through your wood flooring journey, helping you better understand the costs involved. That way, you can plan accordingly and most importantly, stay within your budget.
The average cost to install hardwood flooring is $4,150 with most homeowner's spending between $2,200 – $8,100. You can expect to pay $2–$5 per square foot for materials, and an additional $2–$5 per square foot for installation. The installation includes finishing, trim, and removal of your old floor.
|Hardwood Flooring||Average Costs|
|National Average Cost||$4,150|
|Average Range||$3,100 to $6,200|
When budgeting for your wood flooring project, you need to consider a number of variables. These include the type of wood you select and the cost of that wood per square foot. As discussed, you may need to hire a professional to install your flooring, as this can be a big job, requiring key skills.
Average hardwood flooring costs per square foot:
|Hardwood Floor Type||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Traditional Wood Flooring||$3–$6|
|Engineered Wood Flooring||$3–$5|
In terms of installation, get multiple estimates from licensed, insured contractors. Most homeowners report spending between $3 and $9 per square foot for professional installation but typically, you can expect to spend $2–$5 per square foot.
Average prices for wood floor installation:
|Hardwood Floor Type||Install Cost Per Square Foot|
|Traditional Wood Flooring||$3 – $8|
|Engineered Wood Flooring||$4 – $9|
Traditional flooring is solid wood without any layers – in comparison to engineered wood, which we will discuss momentarily. Both are durable, high-performance options, so it just depends on your personal preference.
Most often, traditional flooring is available in narrow boards or planks. These range of approximately 3 inches to 7 inches in width respectively. In terms of how much traditional wood flooring costs, the biggest factor is, of course, the type of wood you select.
|Wood Floor Type||Material Cost Per Square Foot||Install Cost Per Square Foot|
|Lowest tier||$3 to $6||$3 to $5|
|Middle tier||$5 to $10||$4 to $8|
|Highest tier||$8 to $15||$4 to $8|
The hardest hardwoods, such as walnut and oak are the most durable. However, they are also more costly. Although prices will vary depending on the supplier, you can expect three key pricing groups based on the hardness and rarity of the wood.
When comparing traditional and engineered wood, the main difference is in the construction of the wood itself. As discussed, traditional wood is just solid wood, prepared into boards or planks.
In contrast, engineered wood is constructed with multiple layers of hardwood and plywood. Based on the way these layers are created and positioned, engineered hardwood helps prevent any bowing or warping of the wood following exposure to moisture.
|Wood Floor Type||Material Cost Per Square Foot||Install Cost Per Square Foot|
|Lowest tier||$3 to $5||$3 to $9|
|Middle tier||$5 to $10||$4 to $9|
|Highest tier||$8 to $14||$4 to $9|
Available in the most popular species, including maple, hickory, and oak, you will also find varying finishes, such as matte, semi-gloss, or gloss. Based on the number of engineered wood flooring options available today, you benefit from greater flexibility in regards to pricing and where you can install the wood.
Similar to traditional hardwood, engineered wood is offered at varying price points:
In some cases, homeowners install engineered hardwood below ground level without any worry. Once again, this is possible because engineered hardwood offers greater heat and moisture resistance than solid hardwoods. It can also be used in places that traditional hardwoods are not typically used, such as in the kitchen, in basements, or in high-humidity summer homes.
When you have a basic understanding of hardwood flooring types, mainly in regards to the species of wood used, you can make more informed decisions based on your personal style and budget. It's also important to note that if you have pets, hardwood may not be the best option – particularly if you opt for a softer wood.
To help guide your decision, here are some of the commonly used and requested solid hardwood species.
|Hardwood Flooring Type||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Pine||$2 to $4|
|Engineered Heart Pine||$10 to $11|
|Maple||$3 to $6|
|Engineered Maple||$10 to $12|
|White Ash||$5 to $6|
|Engineered White Ash||$12 to $13|
A softwood, pine isn't the best option when pets are in the house, as it can scratch and dent more easily than some of the other woods available. However, the appearance of pine is stunning, offering warm tones that range of beige to amber and rustic knots throughout. Average cost: $2 to $4 per square foot. In comparison, engineered heart pine is around $10 to $11 per square foot. However, this style of wood includes attractive knots and vintage charm.
This wood is very hard and much more resistant to dents, making it a great material to use in high-traffic areas. The only downside is that it can be harder to work with which is why professional assistance is recommended. The coloration ranges from white to a light red tone. Average cost: $3 to $6 per square foot. In comparison, engineered maple typically goes for $10 to $12 per square foot.
White ash is durable and typically tough to stain. Its coloration ranges from soft tan to pale gray. Average cost: $5 to $6 per square foot (compared to $12 to $13 per square foot for engineered).
Bamboo comes in a wide variety of colors with interesting patterns. Prices range from $2–$4 per square foot.
Hickory is a very hard wood that embodies fantastic grain patterns with many color variations. It works great in high-traffic areas and prices range from $3–$6 per square foot.
Red oak has a narrow but visible grain in reddish earth tones. Prices start at $2–$6 per square foot.
This wood comes in many different exotic brownish shades. It's extremely hard and durable with a price tag at $5–$9 per square foot.
Whether you prefer bamboo or red oak, traditional hardwood costs less than engineered wood types. Remember, engineered wood flooring offers increased durability and higher moisture resistance. This means that if you have young children or pets, you should consider engineered wood.
Of course, the best thing you can do is shop around. Choose 2-3 styles and/or wood types so that you can easily compare. To ensure that you remain within your budget, contact contractors to obtain an installation quote. Also, ensure that the workspace is ready-to-go when contractors arrive. This means moving furniture and even removing old flooring. You can then purchase wood flooring yourself, pick it up, and bring it home. That way, the flooring company will only need to install the flooring – not supply it or remove your old floor.
Last but not least, if you have a tight budget, consider the layout of your design and keep it as simple as possible. As soon as you request bordering or inlaid patterns, you can anticipate significantly higher costs.
There are multiple reasons why people chose wood floors over other possibilities.
It is not unusual to see wood flooring throughout the entire home because of its longevity over carpet and tile. If treated well, the life of a wood floor can stretch to over forty years, and even then, it can be sanded, stained, and varnished—significantly cheaper than having it replaced.
To give your floor the longest life and ability to stay looking beautiful, a coating of a protective seal called a finish must be applied. These finishes are usually made of either polyurethanes or prefinished UV-cured urethane, oils, or oil hybrids.
If you maintain a hardwood floor properly, it might never need refinishing. A solid wood floor can last from 20 to 160 years without a refinish, depending on its thickness and quality. Hardwood floor refinishing costs just over half that of a new floor at $5 /per square foot.
Once your wood flooring is installed, the contractor installs trim molding on the base of the wall around the edges to hide any gaps. Even in the uncommon situation where there are no gaps, over time, with contraction and expansion of the wood and slight shifts in the foundation, they will become visible without trim being installed.
When looking at 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:
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