When it comes to flooring, there aren’t many materials that provide the variety of looks and benefits for homeowners that hardwood flooring can. Whether it’s a modern aesthetic you’re after with European white oak or a more farmhouse feel featuring distressed and textured hickory, the possibilities of this durable material are nearly endless. Touting a timeless feel that invokes sensations of warmth and coziness, hardwood flooring is the perfect stage-setter for just about any design motif. And because it’s so popular, many homeowners find themselves wondering about hardwood flooring cost and if it’s something they can afford with their next project.
Our team has done extensive research on the topic, and we’ve got everything you need to know about hardwood flooring costs—including how the types of materials that are available and the complexities of the installation process will impact your budget.
It’s not uncommon for the words “long-term investment” to be used when describing hardwood flooring. And that’s because these floors tend to last when they are well-maintained. While it’s true that hardwood flooring costs tend to be more than what you’ll spend on other materials like carpet or wood laminate, you’re less likely to replace hardwood flooring down the road because it’s resilient and holds up against stains and scuffs.
Another benefit to hardwood flooring is that it doesn’t trap allergens, dander, mold, or unpleasant smells. It’s for that reason that hardwood flooring helps to promote healthier air quality and might be a better option for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.
Hardwood flooring is also easier to maintain than other materials like ceramic tile, which features grout lines that can become stained and discolored, requiring extensive cleaning.
The decision to skip carpet, tile, or laminate in favor of hardwood flooring is more complex than some might think, and each part of the equation plays a part in the total hardwood flooring cost.
For example, you can go with unfinished or finished hardwood flooring. Prefinished hardwood flooring will be sanded and sealed prior to installation, while unfinished gives the homeowner a chance to apply a custom stain for just the right color. But, as you might have guessed, your hardwood flooring cost is likely to increase if you go that route.
Additionally, there is both solid and engineered hardwood. Solid wood is exactly what it sounds like, which means it can be sanded and refinished over the years to bring it back to life. On the other hand, engineered hardwood is a veneer of real wood that gets glued to other layers of wood beneath it. While durable and perhaps more suitable for wet areas or below-grade basements, it simply can’t be sanded and refinished as often as solid wood. Because of this, engineered hardwood flooring costs will be slightly less than those associated with solid wood.
Lastly, there are several different species of solid wood, with some of the most popular including oak, maple, hickory, acacia, cherry, bamboo, and walnut.
In our last section, we talked about the differences between solid and engineered hardwood flooring—and another one of those differences is the way they are installed.
As mentioned, engineered hardwood can be installed in any room (including the basement), making it a very desirable option for homeowners looking for one cohesive flooring. Floating installation is most common for engineered hardwood, with the installers clicking or locking panels in place to prevent moisture from seeping into the joints.
Conversely, solid hardwood requires a wooden subfloor because installers will typically attach the planks to the subfloor with nails. That means that any home without one will need to have that added before installation can occur, which will increase your total hardwood flooring cost.
Comparing the installation costs of the two types, engineer hardwood generally costs less to install than solid hardwood, especially if a wooden subfloor has to be added first.
Now that you know the ins and outs of hardwood flooring, including that there are multiple types and species, let’s dig into some specifics around hardwood flooring costs.
It’s possible to get softwoods like pine and engineered hardwood for as low as $1 per square foot, but you’re more likely to spend closer to $3 to $6 per square foot for a good hardwood floor of decent thickness. However, the more exotic the wood, the more expensive it will be. Some species like mahogany can even fetch as much as $10+ per square foot.
Installation costs are typically dictated by the type of product used and how much square footage is being installed, but it’s best to budget anywhere between $5 and $10 per square foot for labor.
If you’re doing your research on hardwood flooring costs, you know that there are many manufacturers and installers throughout the country capable of doing the job. However, in our opinion, one stands out above the rest: LL Flooring.
You may not be familiar with the LL Flooring name, but you’ve probably heard of its former name, Lumber Liquidators. The company recently underwent a name change, but one thing that it hasn’t lost is its ability to offer high-quality floors at some of the best prices around.
In reviewing the LL Flooring website, we found nearly 300 results for hardwood flooring, with pricing as low as $1.89 per square foot for unfinished solid hardwood flooring. There is every type of species you can think of, from bamboo to Brazilian cherry, hickory to white oak, with color variations spanning seven different shades.
Homeowners can order online and pick materials up from their local LL Flooring store or have it shipped to their home in a matter of weeks. LL Flooring offers professional installation and even has special financing opportunities for homeowners who need a little help covering their hardwood flooring costs.
The company has over 400 locations in 47 states (and Canada), so you’re bound to find a showroom nearby if you need a little inspiration prior to ordering. For more information on hardwood flooring costs at LL Flooring—or to order free samples of your next hardwood floor—visit LLFlooring.com or fill out a free quote form below:
Our top pick for hardwood flooring