Wood flooring costs anywhere from $3-$22 per square foot to install. Installing solid wood floors costs around $5-$10 per square foot, and engineered wood floors cost $4-$9 per square foot to install. In total, homeowners pay an average of $3,172 to install solid wood floors and $4,730 to install engineered wood floors.
Wood flooring costs:
|Type of wood||Cost per square foot||Average cost|
|Solid wood||$5-$10/sq. ft.||$3,172|
|Engineered wood||$4-$9/sq. ft.||$4,730|
Certain complications — like uneven flooring, damaged underlayment, extensive prep or even expensive hardwoods — may impact how much you pay to install new wooden floors. Your costs may also vary depending on where you live, the type of wood you want to install and other factors.
Keep reading to learn more about hardwood flooring costs and how to get price quotes from floor installers and contractors near you.
What's in this cost guide?
- How much does it cost to install hardwood floors?
- Hardwood floors pricing per square foot
- Wood floor costs by species
- Hardwood floor installation cost factors
- Cost to repair subfloor
- How much does it cost to refinish wood floors?
- How long does wood flooring take to install?
- What are the best hardwood floors?
- How to care for hardwood floors
- Are hardwood floors worth it?
- How to hire someone to install wood floors
- How to save money on installation
- Find hardwood flooring services near me
It costs $5-$10 per square foot to install solid wooden floors and $4-$9 per square foot to install engineered wooden floors, according to Consumer Reports. But hardwood flooring costs will depend on how much prep work the installer needs to do, the species of wood you want and your flooring's total square footage.
Of course, the type of wood used for your flooring (and how much you need) affects hardwood flooring prices, too. High-end materials like mahogany cost more as a base than sturdy but lower-end woods like oak or pine.
Keep reading to learn how you can estimate your hardwood floor installation costs.
When it comes to solid wood and engineered wood, hardwood flooring costs $4-$10 per square foot. If you're installing solid wood flooring throughout a large home, you can expect to pay more for the installer's time.
Hardwood flooring prices:
|Total square footage||Wood flooring cost per square foot (installed)|
Most professionals charge per square foot — so installing hardwood flooring in a small, 500-square-foot living room will cost significantly less than replacing carpeting throughout a 2,000-square-foot home.
Not all floorings function the same — and the cost differences can be dramatic, too. Talk to your contractor about which type of solid wood may best suit your home. For instance, some woods dramatically expand and contract during temperature changes, leaving unsightly cracks during chilly seasons. If you live in the frigid north, you may want to pick a stabler wood.
Wood flooring cost by species:
|Laminate wood||$3-$7 per sq. ft.|
|Pine||$3-$6 per sq. ft.|
|Engineered wood||$4-$9 per sq. ft.|
|Solid wood||$5-$10 per sq. ft.|
|Oak||$5-$10 per sq. ft.|
|Cherry||$5-$10 per sq. ft.|
|Brazilian walnut||$8-$14 per sq. ft.|
|Mahogany||$8-$14 per sq. ft.|
|Red oak||$11-$14 per sq. ft.|
|White oak||$12-$15 per sq. ft.|
|Birch||$13-$16 per sq. ft.|
|Black Acacia||$14-$17 per sq. ft.|
|Maple||$15-$18 per sq. ft|
|Kempas||$16-$20 per sq. ft.|
|Tigerwood||$17-$20 per sq. ft.|
|Cabreuva||$20-$22 per sq. ft|
Common picks are oak, maple and cherry. You may also be interested in trendy hand-scraped engineered hardwood for your flooring. Or, you may want to consider bamboo, mahogany, tigerwood or teak, or a number of other specialty woods.
Your ultimate choice will likely come down to budget and decor. A common wood like maple may cost around $4 per square foot; a high-end choice like mahogany may come out to $14 per square foot.
Besides your floor's square footage and the type of wood you choose, there are other factors that impact the cost to install hardwood floors.
For example, a lot of work goes into the hardwood floor installation process. If your contractor must remove existing flooring, sand and prep the underlayment, retuck the transitions between flooring and carpet, and move furniture or appliances, expect to see the installation cost increase.
Looking for an ultra-chic herringbone pattern? Want a parquet floor? Choosing complex wood patterns may drive up the cost of hardwood floors.
If your subfloor isn't level, your contractor may pour concrete throughout the space to create an even surface. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500, based on a national average, for materials and labor if this is necessary in your space.
You don't want your shiny new hardwood flooring installed on a slope. (Trust us.) Getting your living space into hardwood shape may require leveling the subfloor, which is a rough surface that lays beneath both your underlayment and floor.
If your underlayment and subfloor have been hiding beneath carpeting, damage is possible — mold or rot may be lurking beneath the surface, which may require additional labor (and costs).
If your existing hardwood floors merely look a little schlubby, a complete revamp may not be necessary. Instead, consider refinishing your existing hardwood flooring. On average, refinishing hardwood costs $600-$5,000.
This process removes the scratches and cuts — common wood-floor features in homes with children, cats or dogs — and leaves behind a smooth, shiny surface. And as a bonus, refinishing is significantly less expensive (however, if you're hoping to stain your existing floors you may end up paying a bit more).
Based on a national average, here's what you can expect to spend on hardwood floor refinishing:
|Floor size (total square footage)||National average cost|
Solid hardwood flooring needs to be acclimated before installation — that means pallets of hardwood planks may sit in your living room for up to a week. During this time, the wood adjusts to the moisture content of your home's air, preventing unsightly expansion or contractions.
Once the hardwood is acclimated, expect the actual hardwood floor installation to take a few days. You can save time with pre-finished hardwood planks, which are sanded and stained at factories before installation.
The best hardwood floors for your home should:
- Fit your home's style and aesthetic
- Withstand your region's climate and weather
- Be high-quality yet affordable
For more tips on how to choose wood flooring, read our guide on the best hardwood floors.
Installing wooden floors in a home isn't cheap — you're most likely going to spend a pretty penny. Because wood floor installation is a big investment, it's important to take good care of your floors so they can last as long as possible.
Here are some tips on how to clean hardwood floors:
- Sweep and mop every day (or at least a few times a week).
- Wipe up any spills as soon as they happen.
- Avoid cleaning solutions that leave behind a residue.
- Don't go crazy with the water — too much may damage your wood floors.
You can get more tips for cleaning wood floors by reading our floor maintenance guide.
Installing hardwood floors can be worth the cost — it depends on what you value. For example, consider installing wood floors if:
- You value the look and beauty they provide.
- You have old, damaged flooring that needs to be replaced.
- You want to invest in home projects that have a higher return on investment.
For example, refinishing your wooden floors in the future may be worth the investment. A report by the National Association of Realtors and National Association of the Remodeling Industry found that refinishing recovers 106% of the project's value.
Most flooring contractors will be more than happy to provide a free estimate for your project. Take these steps to ensure you find the right hardwood floor installer for the job:
- Compare flooring installers near you. Search for hardwood floor experts in your area on Thumbtack, and check out their ratings, customer reviews and past project photos.
- Ask the pros a lot of questions. How long will it take to install wooden flooring in your home? How do you set your prices? What can I expect throughout the installation process?
- Give them details about the project. Will the floor need to be leveled? How much effort will tearing out the existing hardwood flooring entail? If you don't know the answers to some of these questions, the contractor should be able to visit your home and assess your current flooring.
- Get cost estimates from three pros (at least). You don't want to overpay. To ensure you're getting a fair price, it's always a good idea to get price quotes from at least three flooring installation pros near you.
The bill for hardwood flooring installation may seem worryingly high, but rest easy: Your home will look marvelous once it's finished. If you're hoping to trim a few dollars off the final price, there are a few things you can do:
- Move furniture yourself: Contractors may charge between $75 and $125 to remove furniture from a room. Save them time and save yourself money. Deal with the furniture yourself.
- Pull up the carpet: Does a room need de-shagging? Removing the carpet can save your contractors time — but be careful. Old homes may have asbestos beneath carpeting. Testing can reveal this problem before you start tugging.
- Choose a cheaper wood: Teak or mahogany may look stunning, but they're not easy on your wallet. Common mid-range woods like oak or maple are perfectly sturdy — so if you're tight on cash, consider downgrading.
- Install hardwood floors where it counts: Use hardwood flooring as an accent, supplemented by cheaper options like tile flooring or vinyl flooring.
- Do it yourself: Installing your own hardwood floor isn't too difficult, but it's a large project for the average do-it-yourselfer. Make sure you pay careful attention to the evenness of your flooring, and don't be scared to consult professionals if you're struggling.
Installing hardwood floors can be worth the cost. The end result: beautiful wood flooring improves your home's look, feels marvelous under your feet and creates a cohesive scheme that flows easily from room to room.
If you're thinking about installing wood floors in your home or replacing your carpet with hardwood, start reaching out to flooring installers near you today and ask for cost estimates.
What is the most expensive hardwood floor?
Typically, solid wood floors (like cabreuva, tigerwood, kempas and even maple) are the most expensive to install, ranging from $15-$22 per square foot to install.
Is it cheaper to refinish wood floors or replace them?
It depends on how damaged your existing floors are. And, in some cases, it might be impossible to refinish your wood floors — which means your only option is to replace your wood floors.
You might be able to refinish your engineered wood flooring several times. But oftentimes, you'll find you can only refinish engineered wood floors twice (maximum) or never.
If you're not sure if refinishing or replacing your hardwood floors is the most cost-effective option, talk to experts near you and get cost estimates for both projects.
How often should you replace your flooring?
You should replace your wood flooring when it's severely damaged or if it outlives its expected lifespan. Here's how long wood flooring can last, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors:
- All wood floors: 100+ years
- Exotic wood: 100+ years
- Engineered wood: 50 years