Hardwood Flooring

How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwood Flooring?

People often consider the cost of installing hardwood flooring when considering the cost of remodeling a bedroom or an entire house. This blog will provide you with a detailed view of the average cost of installing hardwood flooring and some insights into the factors influencing hardwood flooring costs.

The Average Cost of Hardwood Flooring

The average installation cost of hardwood floors is between $5 and $13 per square foot for the flooring and $3 and $8 per square foot for labor charges. Thus, the average cost ranges from $6 to $21 per square foot. However, the total cost of your hardwood floor installation may vary based on factors like the total flooring area, the type of wood, and the local laborers’ charges.

Based on Hardwood Type

The type of hardwood you want to lay in your space is the most crucial factor in determining the installation cost. Engineered hardwood and solid hardwood are the most widely used hardwood options. Besides the cost per square foot, some key differences exist among different hardwood flooring options. Let’s discuss them a bit.

  • Engineered Hardwood ($6 to $20 per square foot): Engineered hardwood floors use multiple layers of natural wood, and premium-quality ply to achieve exceptional stability and resistivity towards dampness and temperature fluctuations. This hardwood type captures the allure of hardwood while offering practicality and adaptability to adjust to various environments.
  • Solid Hardwood ($6 to $23 per square foot): Solid hardwood floors offer timeless elegance and durability. This hardwood type uses a single, solid piece of timber, offering more longevity. It has natural beauty and can be refinished, making it a wise investment to add value to your house.
  • Prefinished Hardwood ($6 to $15 per square foot): Prefinished hardwood floors focus on convenience without compromising style. It features a protective top layer and comes in a ready-to-install format, eliminating the need for on-site finishing.
  • Parquet ($20 to $45 per square foot): This hardwood flooring offers a captivating display of small wooden pieces arranged to make a geometric floor pattern. It is renowned for its timeless appeal and creating a luxurious focal point.
  • Faux Parquet ($8 to $15 per square foot): Faux parquet hardwood floors mimic the charm of traditional parquet floors but at a fraction of the cost. It uses materials such as laminate and luxury vinyl to offer durability and minimal maintenance needs.

Based on Size

The size of your project is an important factor in determining the total cost of wood floor installation. The table below shows how much you may have to pay to replace your existing flooring with hardwood.

Size by Square Feet

Average Cost 

500 $3,000 to $11,500
1,000 $6,000 to $23,000
1,500 $9,000 to $34,500
2,000 $12,000 to $46,000
2,500 $15,000 to $57,500
3,000 $18,000 to $69,000


Additional Factors Affecting Hardwood Flooring Cost

Even though the size of the space and the hardwood type are the most impactful factors in hardwood flooring costs, you should consider other factors to determine the total cost of your project. Here are some additional cost factors.

Alternative Flooring

If you seek the look of solid wood flooring but traditional or engineered hardwood does not fit your budget, alternative flooring options beautifully mimic the appearance of hardwood. Wood-effect porcelain tiles and vinyl or laminate flooring are manufactured to provide the look of wood at a fraction of the cost. You can also opt for alternative real wood options like floating floors to save money on installation.

Finish and Coating

While installing new hardwood flooring, you will either have prefinished boards or unfinished boards that need to be finished after installation. Unfinished boards are less expensive but require higher labor costs. Also, different finish types cost differently.

Floor Joist Repairs

While replacing your existing flooring, you may find the joists or subfloor have mold, water damage, or insects. Then, you need to repair the joists before you install the hardwood flooring, which can cost around $2,000 to $5,000.


Hardwood floors may be expensive to install, but they can be refinished. A professional sanding and floor refinishing service, which may cost around $3 to $8 per square foot, can help eliminate dents, dings, and gouges.

Installation and Labor

Hard and exotic woods come with higher material and installation charges, while softwoods like pine are cheaper and easy to install. Parquet and small wood-effect tiles are costlier to install.

Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring

This type of flooring offers several benefits, including durability of more than 50 years and allergen reduction. However, its huge drawbacks are its high up-front cost and potential water damage. So, let’s have a look at its significant pros and cons now.

Pros of Hardwood Flooring

Longevity and value are the two major benefits of hardwood flooring. Some other benefits are:

  • Good at raising the resale value
  • Comparatively low maintenance
  • Easy to repair and refinish
  • Versatile in looks
  • Less allergic than carpeting.

Cons of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are more likely to get scratches and moisture damage. Here are all the drawbacks that you might have to deal with.

  • Expensive to install
  • Noisy when you walk on it, as it taps and creaks
  • Prone to scratches and gouges
  • Uncomfortable walking experience for people and pets with mobility issues
  • Susceptible to moisture and dampness

DIY vs. Professional: The Most Appropriate Hardwood Flooring Installation

Hiring professionals with years of experience installing hardwood flooring is undoubtedly a safer option. They can provide secure and correct installation. Moreover, they are quick at their jobs. You can even find some professional hardwood floor installers who offer a warranty to safeguard your investment and provide solutions for any unforeseen issues. 

However, you can do a DIY hardwood floor installation if you want to cut down on costs, especially with budget constraints. But remember that a DIY project is more suitable for simpler projects or if you have any prior experience installing wooden floors. Improperly installed wooden flooring is more likely to crack, bow, and warp over time, so it is better to hire a professional for the job.

The Final Takeaway

The cost of hardwood flooring is substantial with no perfect flooring material. Still, it offers some excellent benefits, including higher property resale values. So, take your time, analyze all factors, and decide whether you should install hardwood flooring or not.

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