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. Crews may charge on an hourly rate for subfloor repair, and the work 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. This allows the wood to acclimate to the relative humidity in your house, which prevents it from shrinking or expanding after installation and causing gaps or buckling. 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, stain takes a full day to dry, and multiple coats are applied. Baseboards and trim must also be installed. With all these variables at play, you can see why it’s important for a wood installation pro to provide an estimate only after seeing your home.
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.
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.
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.