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.
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.
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.
Because flooring work has to be done in-person, flooring professionals are typically unable to perform work virtually. If you come across a pro's profile that states they're offering remote services, message the pro to see what those services include.
If you plan to get indoor flooring installed once the pandemic is over, you can ask potential flooring specialists if they host virtual consultations through video calls and digital messaging. Compare flooring professionals in your area online to find the right fit, and book an appointment.
If the flooring project is located inside your residence, performing the job would require the flooring professional to enter your home. This is not recommended by the CDC during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if a flooring project takes place in a separate location outside of your home, the flooring professional will not need to enter your home.
Talk to flooring professionals in your area to see if it’s necessary for them to enter your home. If so, you might want to postpone the project until social distancing guidelines are relaxed by the government.