How much does it cost to install wood floors?

Get educated on the typical costs of installing a wood floor.

There's nothing quite like the elegance and style that wood floors add to your home. However, with the vast amount of styles and prices available, picking which wood flooring you'd like to have can be a bit intimidating. Knowing the costs involved can help you start narrowing down your selection.

Typical Wood Flooring Costs

  • Bamboo: Considered one of the more environmentally-friendly options, bamboo flooring can cost $1.50-$12 per square foot just for the material. Price depends on the quality, size of planks, and if the bamboo is solid or a thinner veneer. Professional installation will add $3-$6 per square foot.

    The downside to bamboo flooring is that it can't be refinished. 

  • Engineered wood: Not to be confused with laminate flooring, engineered wood is a real wood veneer (typically about 1/8th of an inch thick) backed by less expensive wood layers. Materials can cost $3-$18 per square foot, depending on thickness of the veneer, quality, and style of wood. A more skilled wood to install, a professional might charge $2-$6 per square foot for installation.

  • Hardwood: With a great variance of wood types and colors, hardwood flooring can cost $2-$14 per square foot or more, depending on how solid the planks are, thickness, finish, and how exotic the wood is. Professional installation will cost $3-$10 per square foot, depending on the installation method, furniture and appliance removal, stair installation, and trim needed.

  • Cork: Another eco-friendly option, cork is becoming more and more popular. For materials alone, cork flooring typically costs $4-$8 per square foot. Professional installation adds $2-$6 per square foot.

  • Laminate: One of the easiest wood floors to install, laminates have a broad range of costs, starting at about $.75 and topping out at around $7 per square foot for just material, depending on quality and how realistic the image is. Professional installation will add $2-$5 per square foot to the total price.

Low-End Estimate for Wood Floors

  • For materials alone, a 200 square-foot area can cost as little as $150 for a basic laminate wood floor.

  • To have a 200 square-foot area done professionally, materials and labor will cost around $550.

High-End Estimate for Wood Floors

  • To have a 200 square-foot area done professionally with exotic wood, materials and labor will cost around $3,000.

Additional Costs

The addition of shoe molding or quarter round costs $1.50 to $30 per linear foot.

What to Expect

  • Materials: Depending on type of wood floor selected, you may need flooring planks, trim, underlayment, foam barrier, glue, nails, or staples.

  • Timing: Do-it-yourselfers can typically install a 200 square-foot area in a couple days, and professional installers can do it in about a day. For larger areas, anticipate additional days.

  • Mess: Typical mess includes wood scrap, sawdust, and the occasional nail or staple. Keep a lined trash can near the installation area to catch mess as it occurs.

Any Extras?

  • Waste: Even if the area where you're installing wood floors is perfectly square, it's virtually impossible to purchase the exact amount of flooring. The rule of thumb here is to purchase about 10-15% more than the actual measurement.

  • Tools: If you're planning on installing the wood floors on your own, make sure you have the right tools like a miter saw and a nail or staple gun for flooring. The job will go a lot more smoothly.

  • Sub-floor repairs: If rotting or damaged wood is discovered under the existing floor when it's removed, it'll need to be repaired or replaced before the new wood floor is installed, which will add a good chunk to the cost.

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