Hardwood Floor Installation Costs

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Hardwood floors give your home warmth and added value. When evaluating flooring projects, it's helpful to understand installations costs for hardwood floors. To help you figure that out, here's a breakdown of the cost categories you should include in your flooring budget.

Flooring Materials

  • When calculating the installation costs of hardwood floors, include the cost of floor boards, underlayment, vapor barrier and moldings. The largest cost will be the hardwood itself and those prices will depend on the brand and species you choose. Expect to pay between $5 and $15 per square foot for hardwood planks.

Tools

  • You may need to buy or rent tools, so include the money for that in your budget. You'll need a circular saw and a drill or driver. You'll also need other tools, including a hammer, utility knife, putty knife, tape measure, caulking gun, straight edge, pry bar and yard broom. If you're removing an old floor first, you'll need a long-handled scraper, too.

Other Materials

  • Rags, wood spacers, wood glue, leveling compound, pencils and sponges are other materials you'll need. These sound like small items, but everything adds up, so include them in your cost estimates.

Hiring a Pro

  • If you're thinking about hiring a professional, of course that will substantially increase the cost of installing a hardwood floor. Get estimates from at least three installers, as prices can vary greatly. In most areas, you can expect to pay about $2 to $8 per square foot to have hardwood flooring installed. The cost should be on the lower end if the hardwood boards are prefinished and on the higher end if the wood will be finished after installation.

Tips

  • If you're not intent on getting one particular color and not trying to match existing flooring, look for closeout deals. You can find hardwood flooring as low as $2 to $3 per square foot from discount dealers and liquidators, but the selection may be limited.
    If you plan to install hardwood flooring in more than one room over time, it's a good idea to buy all the wood at the same time so you don't have to try to match the color later.
    If you'll have to do work on your subfloor (which should be clean and dry for proper installation) include those costs in your budget.

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