Hardwood Flooring Cost Guide | Install & Materials (2024)

Trying to get an accurate and trusted flooring quote can often leave you on a wild goose chase. Luckily, this hardwood flooring cost guide will put that chase to an end. 

A whole symphony of factors is at play, from the type of hardwood you choose to the sq ft area you cover. A room spanning 500 square feet could set you back anywhere between $3,000 to $11,500 to bring that dream to life. Quite the gap right? Stick with us as we help you get an accurate estimate you can rely on.

Key Summary

  • Hardwood flooring installation typically ranges between $3,000 and $69,000.
  • The four greatest cost influences are labor, material, area, and complexity of installation.
  • Labor expenses can account for 50% to 70% of the total cost.
  • Additional costs include subfloor preparation and removal of existing flooring.
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    Hardwood Flooring Cost Breakdown

    When planning a hardwood flooring project, understanding the breakdown of costs is essential for budgeting purposes. Each component contributes to the overall expenses, from materials to labor and additional services. 

    Here’s a brief overview of the cost per sq ft:

    Size by Square FeetLow-End EstimateAverage CostHigh-End Estimate

    Materials: $4 to $12 per square foot

    The type and quality of hardwood flooring material significantly impact the project's overall cost. Hardwood options range from traditional oak and maple to more exotic species like Brazilian cherry and teak. Each species comes with its unique characteristics and price points.

    Domestic Hardwood

    Domestic hardwood species such as oak, maple, and hickory are more readily available and typically cost between $4 to $8 per square foot. These woods offer durability and versatility, making them popular choices for homeowners.

    Exotic Hardwood

    Exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry, teak, and mahogany are prized for their distinct grain patterns and rich colors. However, they come at a higher price, ranging from $8 to $12 per square foot. Despite the higher cost, many homeowners are drawn to the unique aesthetic appeal of exotic hardwoods.

    Hardwood SpeciesAverage Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)Average Total Cost per Square Foot (Including Installation)
    Oak$4 - $8$8 - $15
    Maple$5 - $9 $9 - $16
    Hickory$6 - $10 $10 - $17
    Cherry$7 - $11 $11 - $18
    Walnut$8 - $12 $12 - $19
    Ash$6 - $10 $10 - $17
    Birch$5 - $9 $9 - $16
    Teak$9 - $13 $13 - $20
    Mahogany $10 - $14 $14 - $21
    Average Total Cost per Square Foot (Including Installation)

    Labor: $4 to $8 per square foot

    Labor expenses can account for 50% to 70% of the total cost. Professional installation ensures the proper placement and finishing of hardwood flooring, resulting in a flawless result. 

    Labor costs typically include the installation of the flooring material, as well as any necessary subfloor preparation and finishing touches.


    Hardwood flooring installation requires precision and skill to achieve a seamless look. Experienced installers may charge between $4 to $8 per square foot for labor, depending on factors such as the complexity of the project and local labor rates.


    In addition to installation, labor costs may also cover finishing services such as sanding, staining, and sealing the hardwood floors. These final touches enhance the appearance and durability of the flooring, ensuring long-lasting beauty.

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    Subfloor Preparation: $1 to $2 per square foot

    Proper subfloor preparation is essential for ensuring the stability and longevity of hardwood flooring. Subfloor preparation may include leveling uneven surfaces, repairing subfloor damage, and installing moisture barriers.


    If the existing subfloor is uneven or damaged, leveling may be necessary to create a smooth surface for hardwood installation. Leveling costs typically range from $1 to $2 per square foot, depending on the extent of the work required.

    Moisture Protection

    Moisture can damage hardwood flooring over time, so installing a moisture barrier is crucial, especially in areas prone to humidity or moisture infiltration. Moisture barrier installation costs may vary but generally fall within the range of $1 to $2 per square foot.

    Removal of Existing Flooring: $1 to $3 per square foot

    Before installing new hardwood flooring, existing flooring materials such as carpet, tile, or laminate may need to be removed. Removing old flooring ensures a clean and level surface for the new hardwood installation.

    Carpet Removal

    Removing carpeting typically costs between $1 to $2 per square foot, depending on factors such as the type of carpet and the presence of underlying padding.

    Tile or Laminate Removal

    Removing tile or laminate flooring may require additional labor and equipment, resulting in slightly higher removal costs ranging from $2 to $3 per square foot.

    Summary of hardwood flooring cost breakdown:

    Hardwood Flooring Project Cost Breakdown

    Solid Hardwood Flooring Installation

    Solid hardwood flooring is renowned for its timeless beauty and durability. The installation cost for solid hardwood typically ranges from $11 to $25 per square foot, including materials and labor. 

    The variation in price depends on factors such as the type of wood, the complexity of installation, and any additional services required.

    Installation Method

    The installation method also plays a crucial role in determining the cost of solid hardwood flooring. Traditional nail-down installation is typically more affordable compared to methods like glue-down or floating installations.

    installation method

    Additional Services

    In some cases, additional services may be required during solid hardwood flooring installation, which can affect the overall cost. This includes floor preparation, such as leveling or moisture barrier installation, which ensures a smooth and long-lasting result. 

    Staining or finishing the hardwood floors may incur extra expenses but can enhance the aesthetic appeal and longevity of the flooring.

    Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation

    Engineered hardwood flooring offers versatility and stability, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. The installation cost for engineered hardwood flooring typically ranges from $7 to $20 per square foot, including materials and labor. 

    Exotic woods or specialty finishes may increase the overall cost. Engineered wood also offers the option of veneer thickness, with thicker veneers generally being more expensive.

    Installation Method

    The installation method for engineered hardwood flooring can impact the overall cost. Floating installations, where the planks are not attached to the subfloor, are often quicker and more cost-effective than glue-down or nail-down methods. 

    Additionally, the installation's complexity, such as over-radiant heating or uneven subfloors, may incur additional charges.

    Factors that Affect Hardwood Flooring Costs

    Wood TypeHardwood flooring comes in various types, each with its own price range. Common options include oak, maple, cherry, and walnut. Exotic woods like Brazilian cherry or teak tend to be more expensive.
    Wood QualityThe quality of the wood affects its price. Engineered hardwood is often cheaper than solid hardwood but offers similar aesthetics.
    Installation MethodThe installation method can impact costs. Nail-down and glue-down installations are typically cheaper than floating floors.
    Room SizeLarger rooms require more materials and labor, resulting in higher costs.
    Subfloor ConditionIf the subfloor needs repair or leveling before installation, it will add to the total cost.
    Additional FeaturesExtras like borders, inlays, or custom designs can increase the overall cost.
    Additional ServicesAdditional services include removing old flooring, leveling the subfloor, replacing underlayment, or installing baseboards.

    Professional vs DIY Flooring Installation

    When it comes to installing hardwood flooring, homeowners often decide to hire professionals or embark on a do-it-yourself project

    Both options have advantages and considerations, and understanding the differences can help homeowners make an informed choice that aligns with their budget, skills, and project requirements.

    Professional Installation


    • Expertise: Professional installers possess the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for precise and high-quality hardwood flooring installation. 
    • Efficiency: Pros use specialized tools to finish the installation quickly and within the agreed timeframe, reducing the chances of errors or delays.
    • Warranty: Many offer warranties or guarantees on their workmanship, giving homeowners peace of mind knowing any issues will be promptly addressed at no extra cost.
    • Professional Finish: Installers not only lay the flooring but also handle finishing touches like sanding, staining, and sealing, ensuring a flawless appearance.


    • Cost: Professional installation usually costs more upfront than DIY.

    DIY Installation


    • Save money: DIY cuts labor costs, especially for small spaces.
    • Flexibility and control: Work at your pace, customize, and adjust as you go.
    • Learn new skills: Gain valuable experience through the process.


    • Risks mistakes affecting flooring quality, like uneven planks or improper finishing.
    • Demanding and time-consuming as it involves heavy lifting and prolonged kneeling.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the pros and cons of hardwood flooring compared to other flooring options?

    Pros include durability, timeless beauty, and the potential to increase home value. Cons may include susceptibility to scratches and water damage, higher initial cost compared to some alternatives like laminate or vinyl flooring, and maintenance requirements.

    Are there any maintenance costs or considerations associated with hardwood flooring after installation?

    Maintenance costs for hardwood flooring may include occasional refinishing, cleaning supplies, and repairs for scratches or dents. Regular maintenance, such as sweeping or vacuuming and promptly addressing spills, can help prolong the life of the flooring and minimize long-term costs.


    Investing in hardwood flooring adds warmth, elegance, and value to your home. By understanding the factors that influence costs and choosing the right materials, you can achieve a beautiful hardwood floor that lasts for years to come. Contact us for a free quote to transform your home with beautiful hardwood floors.

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