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Wood Flooring Cost Guide

Wood floors have always been a popular choice for homeowners. Installing wood floors in a home not only increases its value, but the overall look as well. Best of all, cleaning wood flooring is a lot easier than cleaning carpet and it will last a lot longer. Below is important information that homeowners should know about the cost of installing wood floors.

The Costs

  • Minimum: $5 per square foot

  • Maximum: $10 per square foot 

The cost of installing hardwood floors is broken up into two major categories. This includes the cost of the labor and the cost of the materials. In general, homeowners will spend about $3 per square foot in labor costs. Some contractors might charge more depending on the type of wood flooring the homeowner wants to install. For example, the cost of installing a wood floor that is simply snapped together, usually called click wood, will cost less than installing wood floors that need to be nailed down.

It is also important to remember that the overall cost will depend on the type of wood flooring. This is true not just because of labor cost but also due to material costs. Once again, when comparing click wood to solid wood floors, the click wood is cheaper because it requires no extra materials. Sometimes it may call for wood glue, but this is still cheaper than buying the nails that are required to install a solid wood floor.

Last but not least, the homeowner has to consider the additional costs that may arise. Additional costs usually include the disposal of the existing floor. This extra cost is avoided if the home is new and does not have an existing floor. Some contractors will haul away the removed floor for free, but others will charge a fee. It is important for the homeowner to talk to the contractor about this before starting the project.


There are not many materials that are needed for the installation of a wood floor. Below is a complete list of materials that are required for the installation. Often, the contractor that is handling the project supplies the materials.

  • Wood Flooring: Wood flooring comes in a wide variety. Homeowners should talk to their contractors about the type of wood flooring that they want to use. This includes color, style and the material out of which it is made.

  • Molding and Trim: Molding and trim is needed to complete the look of any wood floor project. The trim and molding is placed where the flooring and wall meet to give it a finished look.

  • Subflooring: The subflooring, or the underlay, is extremely important as well. This will give the wood flooring extra cushion, so it is not lying directly on the home's plywood floor. It also helps cut down on the noise that wood flooring can produce when people walk on it.

  • Installation Material: This includes everything from wood glue to nails. The type of installation material needed will depend on the type of flooring the homeowner wants to install.

Advantages of Wood Flooring

There are plenty of advantages to having wood floors. First of all, wood floors make just about any room look good. It provides a warm, clean look that simply cannot be done with carpet. Wood flooring also adds a lot of value to a home. This is because there are some home buyers who simply will not look at a home unless it has wood floors. It is a very sought-after addition and is more durable than carpet. It is not unheard of for wood floors to last 100 years or more. A lot of this has to do with the fact that wood floors are easy to maintain and completely repairable. Wood floors also do not contain allergens like carpets do. This is a nice feature for people who suffer a lot from allergies. 

Disadvantages of Wood Flooring

There are disadvantages to having wood floors too. First of all, wood floors cost more than installing carpet. Also, despite the fact that wood floors give a room a “warm” look, they are actually very cold. During the winter months, homeowners can expect wood floors to be pretty chilly to walk on. Pets also hate walking on wood floors because their feet slide out from under them. Pet nails also tend to dig into the hardwood floors, which not only makes a terrible clicking noise as they walk, but is also bad for the floor. Having wood floors in a room makes the room louder because carpet absorbs some of the sound. On hardwood floors, noise bounces off, causing everything to sound much louder. 

Solid vs. Engineered Flooring

The two types of flooring that homeowners have to choose between are solid and engineered. Each one has its drawbacks and advantages. For example, solid flooring typically costs more than engineered flooring, but engineered wood flooring tends to be stronger. That being said, solid flooring tends to make less noise than engineered flooring when it is walked on, especially if the engineered flooring is a click-together floor. The noise of engineered flooring can be reduced if it is stapled down or glued, but these types of installation materials do not last as long as the nails that are used for solid flooring. Solid floors can be stained a lot easier than the engineered flooring as well. Engineered flooring often comes with its own stain and clear coating.

Last updated on Sep 11, 2014

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