Yes, concrete floors are generally more affordable than hardwood floors. Generally, a concrete floor costs between $2 and $15 per square foot, while hardwood floors cost between $12 and $20 per square foot, according to Floor Critics. While concrete requires preparation and pouring, its ease of finishing makes it a very affordable flooring option. Choose between finishes like acid stains, epoxy and more. While hardwood is not cheap flooring, it offers warmth and durability with infrequent maintenance.
If you're stuck between installing wood floors or concrete floors, reach out to a flooring installation professional near you.
Installing oak hardwood floors can add value and beauty to your home. The cost of hardwood floors is typically based on the overall square footage of your new floor, the type of oak you select, any repair work your subfloor requires prior to installation, and any demolition costs to remove your old flooring. Other factors that will affect your total cost can include the regional cost of labor and business overhead of your flooring company.
A flooring installation company may charge $3 per square foot for standard installation. For hand-scraped (higher-end) ¾-inch oak planks, the cost is approximately $7 per square foot, for a total cost per square foot of about $10 as long as no repair work is required. Standard oak planks are available from big-box stores for as low as $3 per square foot, so the quality of oak you want will affect your total project cost.
On average, Thumbtack customers nationwide pay $5,500 for floor installation. The cost can range much lower or higher depending on the type of flooring you select (laminate is far less expensive than exotic hardwood), the square footage of the project, and other important variables like demolition and repair work needed. Here are some examples of average floor installation cost:
- Basic floor installation cost: $3 per square foot (not including product).
- This can range up to $7 or $8 per square foot when tear-out and prep work is required.
- Laminate floor and installation cost: $3-$8 per square foot.
- Laminate is one of the most affordable materials and can start as low as $1.50 per square foot.
- Wood floor installation cost: $3 per square foot (not including product).
- $7 and up for hand-scraped oak planks and other specialized work.
- Luxury vinyl tile installation: $3.50+ per square foot (not including tiles).
- Cost includes prep work, underlayment, leveling and grouting.
- Examples of additional floor installation costs:
- Pouring concrete to level the under-flooring: $1,000-$1,500 for materials and labor.
- Removing carpet: 35 cents or more per square foot.
- Removing difficult ceramic or porcelain tile: about $2.25 per square foot.
- Includes removal of the dura rock.
- Floor repair: $75 minimum.
The cost of hardwood floors will depend primarily on the total square footage of flooring, the type of wood you select, the cost of labor in your region, and any preparation or repair work that needs to take place before installation. Selecting exotic woods, such as teak, will result in a higher cost for the project than a more affordable wood such as oak. The national average cost of hardwood floor installation is $5,750. Here are some examples of different woods and their average costs; actual costs will vary depending on the factors listed above.
- Basic wood floor installation: $3 per square foot from a wood floor installation company.
- The product cost for hand-scraped ¾-inch oak planks: $7 per square foot.
- 620 square feet of maple floor:
- Residential installation, total project cost: ~ $2,400 with five days of labor.
- ¾-inch dark stained maple installed on top of new concrete in three rooms, a hallways, and a staircase.
- Cost for total project: ~$3.87 per square foot.
Here are four popular types of flooring you can install in your home.
Solid wood flooring:
Solid wood flooring is made up of 100% wood, and has a very natural look and feel. It can add value to your home and. It can resist wear and tear, and be sanded and refinished multiple times. However, solid wood is susceptible to humidity and water damage. When it’s humid, solid wood could expand and if there’s a flood, it will be hard for the wood to return to its natural shape.
Laminate wood flooring is an artificial product that mimics real wood flooring. Its core consists of fiberboard material, topped by an image print layer and sealed with a clear protective film. Laminate flooring is UV-resistant and less expensive than solid hardwood (approximately $3 to $7 per square foot to install). However, it also has a lower-quality feel, is unable to be sanded and refinished, has a lifespan of around 25 years and will invariably have a repeated print, according to Consumer Reports.
A laminate hardwood floor is popular in living areas like dining rooms and kitchens. Their quality has improved dramatically in recent years, making them an attractive alternative to more expensive flooring types. Laminate flooring can also be scratch-prone, easy to clean and maintain, and resistant to moisture.
Vinyl flooring is made completely out of PVC plastic and is an excellent option for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens. It is durable, comfortable and inexpensive. Vinyl plank flooring and vinyl floor tiles can also imitate stone, tile and wood. However, it is fairly easy to spot vinyl flooring as synthetic. Install luxury vinyl plank and sheet vinyl flooring in areas where moisture is a concern.
Engineered wood flooring:
Engineered wood flooring often has a plywood-core substrate and a genuine hardwood veneer as its uppermost layer. Engineered wood floors are more impervious to humidity than regular hardwood, meaning that it’s less likely to expand, warp and buckle, according to Consumer Reports. However, it can dent easily. The best engineered hardwood has a thicker veneer, as well as a quality that allows it to be sanded down and refinished to increase its lifespan. It can be as durable as solid hardwood, and it’s often an affordable choice for many homeowners.
If you need help choosing the best flooring for your home, reach out to the top flooring companies near you.
Time it takes to install a hardwood floor: Several days to 2+ weeks
Hardwood floor installation can take anywhere from a few days to more than two weeks, depending on demolition, wood type, the condition of your subfloor, total square footage of the project and installation method. Demolition is necessary if you have existing flooring you want to replace with hardwood floors. New-construction homes do not require this step, as the subfloor is primed and ready for floor installation.
During demolition, the flooring crew may find that your subfloor has damaged wood, uneven surfaces or other problems that must be addressed before the new wood can be laid down. Subfloor repair can take a few hours to several days, depending on what’s hiding underneath your floor. The wood for your new floor generally arrives a few days before any work begins.
The actual wood installation may take several days or more, depending on the size of your home and what type of custom cutting and designs are desired. If your flooring is not prefinished, the unfinished wood must then be sanded and stained in the home to treat and protect your new investment. Typically, staining takes a full day to dry, and multiple coats are applied.
For a more accurate timeframe of how long it will take to install hardwood floors in your home, reach out to one of the best flooring companies near you.
Time it takes to install a concrete floor: 2 days to 1 week
Installing concrete floors can take anywhere from two days to a week, depending on what you need done. Some of the factors that can impact how long it will take to install concrete floors are:
- The size of the space
- The stain or finish
- The condition of your existing floor
- Whether you want intricate, simple or no designs
- The overall complexity of the project
To get an accurate estimate of how long installing concrete floors will take for your home, speak to a concrete contractor near you.
How to clean concrete floors:
Start by sweeping or vacuuming the entire surface to remove loose debris. Mopping will require different substances based on the type of concrete floor. For a polished concrete floor, use a specialized polished concrete cleaner. For a painted concrete floor, use a mild all-purpose cleaner. A sealed concrete floor can be cleaned with dishwashing liquid, while an unsealed floor is best cleaned with trisodium phosphate and stain removers. Use kitty litter or cornstarch for grease stains, and distilled white vinegar for rust stains.
For more tips on how to clean and maintain your concrete floors, consult with your professional concrete flooring contractor.
How to clean hardwood floors:
Cleaning hardwood floors typically requires a mop, bucket and some type of hardwood floor cleaner. Start by removing furniture and objects. Vacuum up all debris (or use a dust mop), moving with the grain. Spray your cleaner on a small section of the floor, and mop in a figure-eight motion, working backward. Make sure there are no puddles.
In high-traffic areas, you should mop one or two times per week. Low-traffic areas should be mopped at least once per month.
To ensure you're cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors properly, speak with your hardwood flooring installation specialist.
How to clean laminate floors:
Start by vacuuming to remove dust, dirt and other debris. The best mop for laminate floors is a microfiber mop with a sprayer feature. Spray and mop one small area at a time to avoid standing liquid on the floor. Go over the floor with a dry microfiber cloth after mopping to make sure all liquid is gone.
Although you can use a damp mop, never use a wet mop on laminate floors. Moisture can cause the flooring to bubble, swell and buckle. Instead, use a dedicated laminate floor mop with a laminate floor cleaner spray. The best mop for laminate floors is typically made with microfiber, which picks up dirt and absorbs moisture well.
Consulting with your laminate flooring installer is a good idea if you've never had laminate floors and need more tips on how to clean them properly.
How to clean vinyl floors:
Cleaning vinyl plank flooring is easy. Start by sweeping and vacuuming up dirt, dust and debris. Then use a damp — not wet — mop or rag with warm water. While vinyl is waterproof, an excessive amount of water can leak between the seams and affect the glue bond with the floor. When you feel a chemical is needed, make sure to choose cleaning products safe for vinyl planks.
Reach out to your vinyl flooring installer for tips on how to further maintain and care for your vinyl floors.
Yes, but engineered wood flooring has the same susceptibility to scratching as hardwood flooring. Engineering wood floors have a layer of real wood on top. For this reason, engineered hardwood reacts the same way that regular hardwood does to scratching. If you don’t mind a few character marks on your floor like small scratches and dents, this is not a problem. However, engineered wood can be sanded down and resealed if the damage gets too great.
Find a hardwood floor professional in your area who can tell you more about the pros and cons of engineered wood floors.