How Much Does Hardwood Flooring Cost?


Hardwood flooring adds beauty and value to any home. If you’re considering installing hardwood flooring in your home, you might be wondering about the cost. We will explore the various factors that affect the price of hardwood flooring and provide an overview of how much it might cost.

Average Hardwood Flooring Cost

The cost of installing hardwood floors can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your home and the type of hardwood you choose. On average, homeowners can expect to pay around $4,200 for hardwood flooring installation, including both materials and installation labor.

However, it's important to note that the actual cost can fall within a range. For smaller areas, like a 200-square-foot room, the cost could be as low as $2,000, while for larger spaces, such as a 500-square-foot area, it could reach up to $6,300.

The final cost may also be influenced by additional factors such as the complexity of the installation, any preparatory work needed on the subfloor, the specific type and grade of hardwood selected, and the region's labor costs.

To get an accurate estimate for your specific project, it is advisable to obtain quotes from multiple contractors, considering your unique requirements and preferences. This way, you can compare prices and find the best option that fits your budget and preferences.

Hardwood Flooring Cost by Type of Hardwood

The cost of hardwood flooring can vary based on the materials used and the labor involved in installation. There are several types of hardwood flooring available, each with its own price range:

1. Solid Hardwood Flooring

Traditional solid hardwood flooring is made of real wood planks cut from trees and installed end-to-end. The material costs for solid hardwood can range from $2 to $20 per square foot, while the installation costs typically range from $3 to $8 per square foot. Thus, the total cost per square foot can be around $5 to $28.

2. Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring consists of a real wood veneer attached to a plywood base. It is usually slightly less expensive than solid hardwood. The material costs for engineered wood range from $3 to $14 per square foot, and the installation costs range from $3 to $9 per square foot. This results in a total cost per square foot of approximately $6 to $23.

3. True Parquet Flooring

True parquet flooring involves using smaller pieces of real wood to create intricate geometric designs, such as a herringbone pattern. It is the most expensive type of hardwood flooring to install. The material costs for true parquet can range from $3 to $18 per square foot, and the installation costs are higher, ranging from $10 to $22 per square foot. Therefore, the total cost per square foot for true parquet can be around $13 to $40.

4. Parquet-Style Tiles

For a lower-cost alternative that still provides the appearance of parquet, there are prefabricated parquet-style tiles. These tiles are easier to install than true parquet. The material costs for parquet-style tiles typically range from $3 to $5 per square foot, and the installation costs range from $7 to $10 per square foot. This results in a total cost per square foot of approximately $10 to $16.

How to Calculate Hardwood Flooring Cost

Calculating the overall hardwood floor installation cost beforehand can help you avoid any unexpected expenses later on. To estimate the hardwood flooring cost per square foot, homeowners should follow these steps:

  1. Measure the Square Footage: Measure the length and width of the room to determine its square footage. For example, if the room is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, the square footage would be 300 square feet.
  2. Account for Cuts and Waste: Add 5 percent to 10 percent to the total square footage to account for cuts and waste. For our example, with 5 percent waste, the calculation would be: 300 sq. ft. + (300 sq. ft. x 0.05) = 315 square feet.
  3. Determine the Price per Square Foot: The price per square foot of hardwood flooring typically ranges between $6 and $12.
  4. Calculate the Total Cost: Multiply the adjusted square footage by the chosen price per square foot. For instance, if the price is $8 per square foot: 315 sq. ft. x $8 = $2,520.
  5. Include Additional Expenses: Don't forget to factor in the cost of extras like nails, moldings, thresholds, and any other necessary materials.

So, the formula for calculating the overall cost would be:

Total Cost = (Square Footage + 5% to 10% of Square Footage) x Price per Square Foot + Additional Expenses

Example calculation: For a 300 sq. ft. room with 5% waste and a price of $8 per sq. ft., the total cost would be:

(300 sq. ft. + (300 sq. ft. x 0.05)) x $8 + Additional Expenses = $2,520

By following these steps, you can get a better estimate of the low and high-end possible costs for your hardwood floor installation project and make informed decisions accordingly.

Factors in Calculating Hardwood Flooring Cost

Calculating the cost of hardwood flooring involves several factors, including:

Wood Width: The width of the wood planks affects the overall cost. Wide plank flooring may range from $4.50 to $18 per square foot for the boards plus installation, and it could lead to lower labor costs due to requiring fewer boards to cover the area.

Wood Color and Grain: Different wood species offer various color options, from light and airy to dark and rich tones. The grain pattern, such as plain-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn, also affects the price.

Wood Style and Pattern: The style and pattern chosen for hardwood flooring can influence the overall cost. For example, wood-look tile, though not actual hardwood, can be more expensive than traditional hardwood but offers added durability. Herringbone patterns can increase installation costs by about 30%, while parquet-style flooring kits may have a different price range.

Wood Thickness: The thickness of the wood flooring impacts its durability and refinishing potential. Thicker boards generally cost more upfront but can be sanded and refinished multiple times, making them a long-term investment.

Labor: The complexity of the installation, wood hardness, and pattern influence labor costs, which can range from $3 to $9 per square foot or about 50% of the overall cost.

Geographic Location: The cost of hardwood flooring installation can vary depending on the region. Prices may differ significantly between states, and if the desired wood material needs to be shipped from afar, it can increase the overall cost.

Square Footage: The size of the area where hardwood flooring will be installed affects both material and labor costs. Larger spaces generally incur higher costs. On average, hardwood installation ranges from $6 to $12 per square foot. For very large spaces, like an entire floor of a home, the price can go up to $13 to $25 per square foot. Smaller spaces of around 500 square feet may cost between $3,000 to $6,000, while larger areas of 2,000 square feet can cost up to $24,000.

Wood Type: The type of wood used for the flooring impacts its color, durability, and cost. Different wood species come at various price points. For instance, pine is usually the cheapest option, ranging from $4.50 to $10 per square foot, while Brazilian walnut can be more expensive, reaching $11 to $20 per square foot.

Wood Grade: Wood floors are graded based on their appearance. Clear grade has a uniform color and no imperfections, while select grade has a more natural look with knots and color variations. No. 1 common and No. 2 common have even more color variation and rustic characteristics. The price varies accordingly, with No. 1 common costing between $6 and $11 per square foot installed, and No. 2 common costing between $9 and $18 per square foot installed. Clear grade is the most expensive, ranging from $12 to $23 per square foot installed.

By considering these factors, homeowners can make informed decisions and select the hardwood flooring that best suits their budget and preferences.

Additional Costs to Hardwood Flooring Installation

When homeowners are budgeting for hardwood flooring costs, there are several additional price factors and considerations to keep in mind:

Labor Costs

Labor costs for hardwood flooring installation typically range from $3 to $9 per square foot. The actual cost can vary based on the type, width, and style of wood flooring being installed.

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Choosing unfinished hardwood flooring, which requires finishing after installation, may lead to additional costs for finishing materials and labor.

Repair vs. Replacement

If the current hardwood flooring is in good condition, homeowners may choose to refinish it to restore its appearance. Hardwood floor refinishing costs about $1,800 on average. Engineered hardwood flooring can also be refinished, with refinishing costs ranging from $3 to $5 per square foot.

Traditional vs. Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring is a more affordable option with a plywood base and a finished wood veneer on top. It offers superior durability and moisture resistance compared to solid hardwood. Prices for engineered wood can range from $4.50 to over $16 per square foot, depending on the wood type and quality.

Floor Joist Repairs

If there is extensive rot, moisture, or insect damage in the subfloor or floor joists, repairs may be necessary. Repairing the subfloor costs around $500 to $800, while joist repairs can add another $40 to $60 per square foot.

Finish and Coating

Adding a protective finish to the wood flooring can enhance its durability. Prefinished wood flooring, where the finish is applied in the factory, costs an extra $2 per square foot. Installing unfinished wood flooring requires additional labor costs of $2 to $7 per square foot for finishing after installation.

Alternative Flooring

Wood-Look Tile Flooring: Wood-look tile flooring, which mimics the appearance of wood, is an alternative option that costs between $10 and $20 per square foot. While more expensive than wood flooring, it offers increased resilience and resistance to rotting and warping. Parquet-style tiling is another option, with costs ranging from $7 to $10 per square foot.

Hardwood Flooring Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Considering whether to install hardwood flooring yourself or hire a professional? While taking on the task yourself may save money on labor costs, it's essential to recognize that installing hardwood flooring can be quite challenging and demanding. As such, we strongly recommend hiring a professional flooring contractor instead.

Though the best flooring installation companies may come with a higher cost, the peace of mind you gain from knowing the job will be done right and endure for years is invaluable. Professional installation can help you avoid mistakes and potential issues that could lead to expensive repairs down the line. Moreover, experts have access to specialized equipment and tools, which ensures a faster and more efficient installation process.

By choosing a professional, you can guarantee a high-quality outcome, giving your home a stunning and enduring hardwood floor that you'll enjoy for a long time.