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.
The time it takes to install hardwood and concrete floors varies based on the condition of your current floors, the size of your floors and other factors. Use the following information to gauge how long your flooring installation might take.
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.
You can install hardwood floors without removing baseboards, but it’s recommended that you remove them to fix baseboards that aren’t properly aligned, cover the expansion gap, adjust the boards’ height and ensure the baseboards match the new flooring. When talking to contractors, ask if they recommend removing your baseboard before they install your hardwood floors.
It’s possible to install certain surfaces under hardwood flooring if you’re concerned about moisture or noise transmission. Builder’s felt, solid underlayment, plastic sheets and rubberized membranes are a few options you can consider. Talk to a hardwood flooring contractor or company to discuss all of your options.
Hardwood flooring generally comes in several thicknesses, with thicker, high-quality boards typically being more expensive and more durable. The thinnest is 5/16 inch thick. The next thickness is 3/8 inch thick, and the thickest solid hardwood flooring is generally 3/4 inch thick or 1/2 inch thick. The cost for each thickness varies by the brand, retailer and type of wood. Generally, you might see prices ranging as low as $2.50 to $6 per square foot.
The best hardwood floors are made from durable, hard species like oak, maple and cherry. Solid hardwood is typically the better choice over engineered wood because you can sand out the scratches multiple times. However, engineered hardwood is better equipped for humid households.
Consider buying prefinished hardwood flooring, which can be more durable and simplify the installation process. Plus, prefinished wood often comes with a warranty from the factory.
Bamboo is another popular option, though be aware that some might not be as eco-friendly as others due to its production process. Some of the popular hardwood floor brands are Bruce, Carlisle and Lumber Liquidators.
To ensure you choose the best type of wood flooring for your home, hire one of the top hardwood floor installation professionals near you.
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.
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.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a flooring professional during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To safely set up a consultation or appointment with a flooring professional and avoid the risk of transmitting COVID-19, start with an online search. Contact the professional through a message and ask to set up a video or phone call to discuss the project. This lets the professional visualize what needs to be done without physically needing to be there. Discuss the project’s timeline, budget, virtual payment capabilities and adherence to guidelines set forth locally and by the CDC.
Many local flooring professionals offer digital payments to conduct transactions for floor repairs, installation, replacement and more. This trend has been increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is prompting flooring professionals to take payments through Venmo, Square Cash, PayPal, Google Pay, Zelle and other convenient platforms.
To ensure you can safely pay for the service, contact the professional beforehand and ask which services are acceptable. Take any measures necessary to comply with guidelines on social distancing.