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Most hardwood flooring projects cost homeowners around $6 to $12 per square foot,* averaging $6,000 to $23,000 for a 1,000 square foot room. Hardwood flooring offers an elegant, classic look, but installing it can be a substantial investment. This guide explores the factors that affect hardwood flooring costs, such as floor size and wood type, to help you better understand this home improvement project.
*All cost figures in this article are based on 2023 reports from The Home Depot, Angi, and HomeGuide.
The Cost of Hardwood Flooring
The national average cost of installing hardwood floors is $3 to $13 per square foot for the flooring and $3 to $8 per square foot for labor, totaling $6 to $21 per square foot. Your total cost varies based on factors such as the area size, the type of wood chosen, and any additional services required for installation.
Cost by Size
Project size is one of the most significant hardwood flooring installation cost factors. The table below shows what you may pay depending on how much flooring you want replaced.
|Size by Square Feet||Average Cost|
$3,000 to $11,500
$6,000 to $23,000
$9,000 to $34,500
$12,000 to $46,000
$15,000 to $57.500
$18,000 to $69,000
Cost by Type
The other significant cost factor is the type of hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are the two most common types. In addition to cost per square footage, some key differences exist between different hardwood flooring options that we break down below.
- Solid hardwood ($6 to $23 per square foot): Solid hardwood flooring embodies timeless sophistication and durability. This option uses a single, solid piece of wood and offers more longevity. Its natural beauty and the ability to refinish it makes it a wise investment if you want to add value to your home.
- Engineered hardwood ($6 to $20 per square foot): Engineered hardwood uses multiple layers of real wood and high-quality plywood that delivers exceptional stability and resistance to moisture and temperature fluctuations. Engineered wood captures the allure of hardwood while offering a practical solution that adapts to various environments.
- Prefinished hardwood ($6 to $15 per square foot): Prefinished hardwood flooring focuses on convenience without compromising style. It features a protective finish and arrives ready for installation, eliminating the need for on-site finishing.
- Faux parquet ($8 to $15 per square foot): Faux parquet hardwood flooring replicates the charm of a traditional parquet floor at a fraction of the cost. It uses materials like laminate or luxury vinyl for durability and easy maintenance. It’s appealing for homeowners seeking a sophisticated aesthetic with modern practicality.
- Parquet ($20 to $45 per square foot): Parquet hardwood flooring is a captivating display of small wood pieces arranged in geometric patterns. Parquet flooring is renowned for its timeless appeal and for creating a luxurious focal point.
Additional Cost Factors
There are a handful of additional costs you should know about before starting your project. They include the following:
- Additional services: Additional services such as removing old flooring, leveling the subfloor, replacing underlayment, or installing baseboards can add to the overall cost.
- Labor: Labor costs vary depending on the installation’s complexity and the installer’s experience. Some installers charge a flat rate, while others charge by the hour.
- Material grade: The flooring material’s quality can impact the total cost. The most common grades you encounter when floor shopping are Prime Grade (AB) and Select Grade (ABC). These grades reflect certain flooring characteristics, such as the number of knots. Higher material grades will cost more up-front but are exceptionally durable.
- Type of installation: The type of installation can impact your project’s cost. A glue-down installation, often used for plank flooring, may be more expensive than a nail-down installation for solid wood flooring. Replacing existing hardwood floors will also cost less than putting in new hardwood floors during a new home construction.
- Wood type: The wood you choose for your hardwood flooring can significantly impact costs. High-end, exotic woods such as hickory, Brazilian walnut, or teak can cost more than common woods like red oak or maple.
Signs You Need a Hardwood Floor Replacement
You may want to upgrade your floors on your schedule, but if you notice any of the signs listed below, you’ll want to start your replacement sooner rather than later.
- Cracked and warped planks: If you notice that some of your hardwood planks are cracked, warped, or buckled, it may be a sign that the floor needs replacing.
- Mold growth: If you notice mold growth on your hardwood floors, it may indicate excessive moisture and the need for replacement.
- Surface damage: If scratches, dents, or other surface damage have rendered your hardwood floors irreparable, you should replace them.
- Termite damage: If you notice signs of termite damage, such as small holes or sawdust on your hardwood floors, it may be a sign that the floor needs replacing.
- Visible nail heads: If you can see the nail heads on your hardwood floors, it may be a sign that the floor has been sanded too many times and needs replacing.
- Water damage: If your hardwood floors have been exposed to water and have dark stains or feel soft, it may be a sign that the floor needs replacing.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Hardwood Flooring
Consider the following benefits and drawbacks before installing hardwood floors.
➕ Increases property value
➕ Improves air quality and doesn’t trap dust or allergens
➕ Provides durability for 30+ years
➖ Features a higher initial cost than other flooring options
➖ Expands or contracts during extreme temperature changes
➖ Warps due to moisture exposure
Professional vs. DIY Hardwood Flooring Installation
Opting for a hardwood flooring professional guarantees you have a seasoned installer who performs safe and correct installations. Professional flooring contractors complete projects swiftly, and many offer warranties that safeguard the investment and provide recourse for any unforeseen issues.
A do-it-yourself (DIY) hardwood flooring installation can lead to cost savings, which is particularly appealing to budget-conscious homeowners. However, a DIY project is best suited for simpler projects and individuals with some flooring experience. Hardwood flooring demands meticulous precision, and errors can occur even with the right tools. Therefore, we recommend you seek professional installation as it outweighs the perks of a DIY job.
A professional hardwood flooring installation elevates your home and guarantees sturdy and aesthetically pleasing flooring for decades. We recommend gathering at least three quotes from flooring experts to compare pricing and options closely. Our tool below instantly connects you with reputable and reliable flooring companies in your area.
Hardwood Flooring Cost FAQ
Are hardwood floors worth the money?
Yes, hardwood floors offer an excellent return on investment (ROI) due to their durability and potential to increase resale value. They can withstand heavy foot traffic and are less prone to wear and tear than other flooring options. Additionally, hardwood floors offer a natural warmth and elegance that can enhance the overall ambiance of a space.
In what room should you avoid using wood floors?
Don’t install wood floors in rooms with high moisture levels, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. Wood is susceptible to water damage, leading to warping, swelling, and deterioration.
When should you not install hardwood floors?
You shouldn’t schedule hardwood floor installation during the hotter and more humid months of the year. Hardwood flooring will absorb moisture from the air, which causes it to expand and swell.
Are hardwood floors a lot of maintenance?
No, hardwood floors only require regular maintenance to preserve their appearance and durability. While they’re durable, they can be sensitive to moisture and scratches. Routine care involves sweeping or vacuuming to remove debris, cleaning up spills, and using rugs in high-traffic areas.