Ashburn, VA

How much does hardwood floor installation cost?
$4–$9 /per square foot

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.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwood Flooring?

Author: Daniel W.
Millions of people ask HomeGuide for cost estimates every year. We track the estimates they get from local companies, then we share those prices with 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.

Hardwood Flooring Costs

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
Minimum Cost $2,200
Maximum Cost $8,100
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
Pine $2–$4
Maple $3–$6
White Ash $5–$6
Bamboo $2–$4
Hickory $3–$6
Red Oak $2–$6
Brazilian Walnut $5–$9

Hardwood Floor Installation Costs

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 Wood Flooring Costs

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

Hardwood Flooring

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.

  • Lowest tier – Soft woods, including pine and poplar, generally cost anywhere from $3 to $6 per square foot, as well as an additional $3 to $5 for installation.
  • Middle tier – These woods will be hardwood options, which are fairly common, including oak, teak, or American cherry. In comparison, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5 to $10 a square foot for the flooring itself, in addition to around $4 to $8 per square foot for professional installation.
  • Highest tier – The most expensive hardwoods are those that are rare and/or exotic, such as tigerwood, mahogany, or Brazilian walnut. These typically cost anywhere between $8 to $15 per square foot, in addition to $4 to $8 per square foot for installation.

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Engineered Wood Flooring Costs

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.

Hardwood Flooring

Similar to traditional hardwood, engineered wood is offered at varying price points:

  • Lowest tier – This will be your most basic engineered hardwood, consisting of three layers, finished with a top layer of veneer. The cost of material will be between $3 and $5 per square foot, and depending on the complexity of the project/layout, installation can cost anywhere between $3 and $9 per square foot.
  • Middle tier – You can also invest in an upgraded version, which typically includes a five-layer core, finished with a thicker veneer. Installation costs are generally the same. However, the wood itself is slightly more, costing an average of $5 to $10 per square foot.
  • Highest tier – Top-of-the-line engineered hardwood can have as many as seven layers or more. The top veneer is also significantly thicker and the layers are often made from exotic woods. These typically cost around $8 to $14 per square foot, with installation costs remaining the same.

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.

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Hardwood Flooring Costs by Type

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
Bamboo $2–$4
Hickory $3–$6
Red Oak $2–$6
Brazilian Walnut $5–$9

Pine Flooring Cost

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.

Hardwood Flooring

Maple Flooring Cost

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 Ask Flooring Cost

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).

White Ash Hardwood Flooring

Bamboo Flooring Cost

Bamboo comes in a wide variety of colors with interesting patterns. Prices range from $2–$4 per square foot.

Hickory Flooring Cost

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 Flooring Cost

Red oak has a narrow but visible grain in reddish earth tones. Prices start at $2–$6 per square foot.

Brazilian Walnut Flooring Cost

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.

Wood Floor

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.

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How to Save Money During Your Wood Flooring Project

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.

Where to buy:

  • Online – When shopping online, request flooring samples so that you can determine the best options for your home. If you are not fixated on a certain species or color of wood, you can often find some great deals. Start by looking at online suppliers that offer free shipping or free local pick-up.
  • Local retailers – Home improvements stores often carry a wide range of styles at varying price points. You can request samples to take home and based on the size of the area you want to floor, you can ask for a rough estimate.
  • Discount options – There are also lumber liquidators who sell a vast selection at a reduced cost. Once again, if you're open to various types of wood and varying styles, this is a great option.

Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood Flooring Benefits

There are multiple reasons why people chose wood floors over other possibilities.

  • Visual appeal – While available with patterns (usually structured shapes), real hardwood flooring will create a natural look because of each piece’s unique color and grain. There is a vast array of wood flooring options that will bring your creative vision to life and be perfectly tailored to your color scheme and decor plans.
  • Easy maintenance – Hardwood floors are low maintenance and a typical cleaning process includes weekly sweeping, dry mopping, or vacuuming and the occasional deep clean. When compared to carpet, wood floors with the right finish are wonderfully stain and odor resistant.
  • Life span – Quality wood flooring that has been installed and finished professionally can last for generations, even in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen, dining room, and hallway.
  • Great return on investment – Whether you are replacing a wood floor or upgrading flooring, quality wood flooring installed by a professional contractor will always raise the property value, making it a long-term investment.
  • Eco-friendly – In addition to being kinder to those sensitive to allergens, hardwood floors are also kinder to the environment because wood is a renewable resource. This is even more so with some options that incorporate bamboo elements, because bamboo grows very quickly.
  • Acoustics – A real hardwood floor has a solid sound to it when you walk across the floor, and it will very much improve the acoustics in a room, making your home theatre or music system sound even better.

How long do wood floors last?

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.


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Hardwood Floor Sizes

  • Thickness – A fairly standard thickness for wood flooring is 3/4”, but some vendors produce a range of thicknesses down to 5/16.”
  • Width – Standard widths of wood for flooring are usually 2¼ wide, and wider pieces, known as plank floors, are available in 3”– 6”. Typical, and also cheaper, installs will feature the standard widths and uniform lengths; however, a more organic and natural appearance in your flooring can be accomplished using wider wood or combining wood of different lengths.
  • Length – Lengths of wood will vary by manufacturer and will generally carry a length classification. Typical plank lengths are:
    • Short - 3– 6’
    • Medium - 7’
    • Long - 8–10’
Some manufacturers, like Hull Forest, sell pieces of Eastern White Pine as long as 16 feet. Longer pieces of wood come from older trees, so they will be of a higher quality and come at a higher price.

Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood Floor Finish Options

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.

  • Factory-finished wood flooring has the stain and protective topcoat already applied as part of the manufacturing process. Because this wood will arrive at your home already protected, you will be looking at a shorter time to project completion—because installers don’t need to finish the wood and you don’t have to wait before allowing your family back in to walk on it.
  • Unfinished wood flooring, which is usually the cheaper option in regards to raw materials, can have the finish completed in your home after the contractor has it installed. The finish treatments to be applied by your contractor will add to your labor costs.
  • Polyurethane finishes are more resistant to stains and damage, and most suitable in homes with small children and pets; but when significant damage occurs, it is usual for a whole board to be replaced, followed by buffing and recoating the entire floor.
  • Oil finishes result in a more natural look and afford easier maintenance of the wood. Not being as hard as the polyurethane finish, the finish can damage more easily, but you can take care of nicks and scratches by applying more oil and allowing it to soak in.
On average, prefinished wood costs around $2 more per square foot than unfinished wood, but it is less expensive when the finishing costs for unfinished wood are added in.

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Additional Cost Considerations

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Costs

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.

Trim and Molding Costs

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.

Depending on your choice of either manufactured trim or custom trim, prices range between $2 to $10 per linear foot.

Selecting Your Flooring Contractor

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:

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

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