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.
Carpenters are skilled craftsmen who build things out of wood. Depending on what the carpenter builds, they may be referred to by various names. A framer is a carpenter who puts up the framing on a house. A trim or finish carpenter installs the finishing touches of prefabricated or custom trim and detail work once a house has been built and the walls are up. A furniture maker or woodworker builds furniture — such as tables, beds and dressers — out of wood. A cabinetmaker is a carpenter who builds custom and semi-custom wood cabinets. If you’re having a home built or remodeled, your general contractor will either provide or subcontract the carpentry work for the framing, cabinets and trim. You can hire a carpenter directly to update the trim in your home, build you a piece of custom furniture, or repair or replace your wood cabinets.
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.
Carpenters are trained to work with wood. That means that any part of your home that is built of wood is very likely to involve a carpenter. Framing carpenters will put up the wood that makes up the bones of your home. If you’re having a wood floor installed, it may be done by a carpenter — although being a carpenter is not a requirement to install flooring. Trim, baseboards, wainscoting and any other detail work is typically installed by a finish carpenter. The wood boxes of custom cabinets will be built and installed by a carpenter.
Although all of these components in your new or remodeled home are built by carpenters who specialize in building things with wood, a general contractor typically oversees construction of the entire house. If the general contractor is also a carpenter skilled in all these areas, they may well construct your entire home. More often, the general contractor subcontracts out the various building stages to different individuals, including carpenters.
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.