Imagine the warmth of meticulously crafted hardwood underfoot—inviting, enduring, and a testament to tasteful living. Understanding hardwood flooring cost is pivotal for homeowners considering this luxurious, yet sturdy option. Positioned uniquely among flooring choices for its timeless aesthetic and durability, hardwood offers a coherent narrative through each polished plank.

In this article, delve into cost factors per square foot, from oak to bamboo, acknowledging how choices in wood types and flooring characteristics such as prefinished versus unfinished surfaces influence your budget.

Explore installation factors like labor and the DIY approach. Learn about ongoing maintenance costs, the economic implications of seasonal cost fluctuations, and how leveraging local suppliers can affect overall expenses.

By journey’s end, anticipate a clear outline on managing the initial investment against the backdrop of long-term value, equipped with a blueprint for making informed, stylish choices in hardwood flooring.

Hardwood Flooring Cost

Material Type Average Cost/Sq Ft Installation Cost/Sq Ft Total Cost for 200 Sq Ft Room Durability Rating
Oak $3 – $6 $3 – $5 $1200 – $2200 High
Maple $4 – $8 $3 – $5 $1400 – $2600 High
Hickory $3 – $7 $3 – $5 $1200 – $2400 Very High
Cherry $5 – $10 $3 – $5 $1600 – $3000 Medium
Walnut $4 – $9 $3 – $5 $1400 – $2800 High

How to calculate hardwood flooring costs

As with other materials, you must take into account many things with hardwood floors. Are the hardwood floor water and shock-resistant? What are the available designs? The thickness of the hardwood floor? Even the installation affects hardwood flooring cost.

Everyone calculates the floors in meter or square foot. When acquiring tiles or porcelain, the price calculation is with the measurements of the floor. Similar case with hardwood floors. Even hardwood flooring installers calculate hardwood flooring installation in this way.

In addition, in the hardwood floor installation, you must take into account the existence of cuts and pieces that break. This is usually 5-12% more square footage to buy. Due to this, it is common that at the end of the work you have leftovers, but you can use them as a replacement in the future. Therefore, the hardwood flooring cost will be higher.

Other factors get out of hand and go beyond simple measurements. The work that the hardwood flooring installers have to do when installing the hardwood floor is one of them. For example, if the subfloor does not meet the requirements for laying the hardwood floor, they will need to fabricate a new one. The use of glue or nails for the hardwood floor installation can affect the hardwood floor cost too, although the change is minimal.

How much does hardwood flooring cost? 

Different options per square foot

Hardwood floors are one of the coatings with more alternatives on the market. This means that no matter your budget, you are likely to find something that suits your tastes and needs. Hardwood flooring prices vary according to their physical qualities.

For greater convenience, hardwood flooring cost is divided into 3 large groups. Each one is characterized by the qualities of the material.

The cheaper option

In the first place, we can find woods such as pine or poplar. They are mass-grown softwoods whose hardness is not very high, so their market price is lower. Usually, you can found them for a cost per square foot between $3 to $6. These are not the options you are looking for if you want hardwood floors, but you have to keep them in mind for lowering costs.

The most versatile options

If we are looking for hardwood floors, then we are interested in the middle group. The vast majority of the woods used to cover floors are in this category due to their somewhat higher resistance. Trees like American cherry, teak, or oak make this level, which are still found in large quantities for sale. They usually cost per square foot between $5 to $10.

The great exponents

Finally, we reached the highest point where we found the most exotic hardwood floors of all, with a cost per square foot that can exceed $8 to $15. Some of the most popular are mahogany or Brazilian walnut. In addition to being striking, the resistance of these hardwood floors is very high, so they are guaranteed for many years with hardly any damage. Of course, the solid hardwood flooring cost will be pretty high.

It should be noted that you must add the hardwood flooring installation labor to these costs. Usually, this is 50% more than the cost of the hardwood floor, so if you spend $100, the installation will be an additional $40 to $50. If you have the tools and the knowledge, you can even install your hardwood floor yourself.

Manufacturing drastically affects hardwood flooring costs

Solid Wood – Achieve the best designs with solid hardwood flooring

Beyond the origin of the material, how it is processed can drastically affect hardwood flooring costs.

The first option that comes up when talking about hardwood floors is solid wood. They are boards whose composition is entirely wood, which has only been cut, beveled and varnished to be part of a solid hardwood floor.

Solid Hardwood Floor

Solid wood has certain advantages that could reduce the hardwood floors cost in the long term. The first is that the installation is mostly done with nails, which is a simple job and not that expensive.

Another advantage of solid wood is that, as it is a solid block, you can repair and sand it many times. In this way, you avoid having to replace a complete piece if it ever splinters.

Solid wood also has a couple of drawbacks that should be considered before purchasing it. The first is its cost: being practically all wood, the flooring cost is higher (especially if it is an expensive tree). The second problem is that solid wood installation must be precise. Leaving the wrong expansion joints could result in the hardwood floor bending. Solid hardwood flooring looks great, but you have to treat it very carefully.

Engineered hardwood – Economical installation and resistance to forces


A cladding alternative that emerged to replace conventional hardwood floors is engineered wood. This is made up of several layers of scraps of wood and other materials compressed to create a uniform and thin piece. A final topcoat of hardwood is applied to create the design. Since it is a synthetic material, the hardwood flooring prices are lower.

Engineered hardwood, in addition to being cheaper than pure wood, is more resistant to the forces generated by the expansion of the board. It is the hardwood flooring par excellence in large spaces

Another feature is that engineered hardwood installation can be done using glue, nails, or leaving it floating on a subfloor. That is because each piece comes with tabs to assemble them as tongue and groove. You can install hardwood floors of this type without prior knowledge.

The main drawback of engineered hardwood is that it hardly has a layer of wood on top, so it cannot be sanded much. This means that if the part begins to chip, you will need to replace the hardwood floor.

Both processes are especially notable when you ask yourself “How much does hardwood flooring cost?

Installation of solid wood tends to cost per square foot $7. Engineered hardwood varies between $3 to $8 per square foot depending on the installer. More exactly, engineered wood can cost per square foot around $7 between installation and material purchase.

Data that will make your life easier

Give it a second chance

Wood is a versatile material: if damaged, it can be easily replaced. However, people forget that hardwood floors can be repaired with sanding and some paint. This process can be repeated several times until the top layer wears out completely, which will save you a lot of money on buying a new hardwood floor.

Hardwood flooring installation it’s a heavy job. You should not only ensure that you save money, but also save time and energy.

Change the mood with the right hardwood floors

Although it is not something unique to hardwood floors, the rooms can change drastically depending on the colors you combine in them.

Oak is a species of tree whose wood is quite clear and serves to create more cheerful and sober spaces. Using it as a hardwood floor can make any room look more cheerful.

On the contrary, walnut is an opposite alternative for those who want to create contrast or achieve an elegant atmosphere. You can test different combinations for different spaces as long as the flooring cost is reasonable.

Install hardwood floors according to the room and its use. For kitchens and bathrooms, it is better to opt for light colors for their neatness.

How much does hardwood flooring cost? – A difficult answer

As we have seen, choosing a single type of hardwood floor is quite complicated. However, it remains as one of the most durable, stylish, and useful materials that can be entrusted to any space in the home or business. Therefore, if you are willing to make an investment that will last many years, it’s worth spending the money on a hardwood floor installation.

Hardwood flooring prices are hard to calculate. In the end, it depends on the needs of each user. Our final recommendation is that, if you have a small budget for your hardwood floor, try to lower the flooring cost with small actions. You can install hardwood floors by yourself. You can select softwoods for the less transited sections. There are many tricks when it comes to hardwood flooring.

FAQ On How Much Does Hardwood Flooring Cost

What Factors Into the Cost of Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring is prized not just for beauty but durability. The primary cost factors include wood species, thickness, and whether you opt for solid or engineered wood. Location and labor fees for installation can also significantly affect the final price.

Is There a Price Difference Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood?

Yes, the costs differ. Engineered hardwood typically costs less than solid hardwood. This is due to engineered wood requiring less actual hardwood, which is only used as a top layer, coupled with other materials that are cost-effective.

How Much Do Different Wood Species Cost?

Exotic woods like mahogany are at the higher end cost-wise, impacting overall flooring costs dramatically. Common woods like oak, maple, and cherry are generally more affordable, balancing quality with cost efficiency.

What Is the Average Cost per Square Foot?

The average cost per square foot can range widely, typically from $5 to $15, depending on the quality of the material. Premium and exotic woods can push prices higher, especially with additional features like specialized finishes.

Can Installation Costs Vary by Region?

Absolutely. Labor costs for flooring installation services can vary significantly across different regions. Urban areas often have higher rates due to increased labor costs and logistical expenses compared to more rural locations.

What Additional Costs Should I Consider?

Beyond the basic cost of the wood and installation, consider potential expenses like floor finishing, underlayments, and any necessary subfloor repairs. Also factor in the long-term maintenance costs associated with different types of wood floors.

How Does the Thickness of Hardwood Affect Cost?

Thicker hardwood planks offer extended durability and a richer feel underfoot, which can lead to higher costs. Thinner boards, while cost-effective, might need replacing sooner, especially in high-traffic areas.

Are There Ways to Reduce Hardwood Flooring Costs?

Consider choosing less expensive wood species, looking for discounts during seasonal sales, or opting for less thickness. Some opt for DIY installations to save on labor costs, but consult a professional for advice to avoid costly mistakes.

How Long Does Hardwood Flooring Last?

With proper maintenance, hardwood flooring can last several decades. The longevity contributes to its cost-effectiveness over time, despite the higher upfront cost compared to other flooring types like laminate or vinyl.

What Maintenance Costs Should I Expect?

Maintenance is relatively minimal but essential. Regular sweeping and occasional polishing are key. Depending on traffic and wear, you might also need professional resurfacing every 10 to 15 years to keep your floors in prime condition.


In wrapping up, analyzing how much does hardwood flooring cost delivers insight into not just an initial financial investment but also the ongoing value it adds to a space. Flooring isn’t just a material purchase; it’s an enhancement to your everyday living environment, weaving style with durability.

Reflect on the core variables:

  • the choice between engineered hardwood pricing and solid hardwood floors,
  • the depth of hardwood installation costs,
  • and the inevitable nuances of upkeep with maintenance of hardwood floors.

Think of hardwood floors as a canvas, laying the foundation for a room’s aesthetic while offering a robust return on investment through decades of durability and timeless appeal. So, whether budgeting for a new build or renovating an existing space, consider hardwood flooring a wise choice, both for its enduring beauty and its solid functionality.

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