Hardwood flooring is one of the best purchases you can make for a room. It’s a beautiful, long-lasting and maintainable flooring choice. It’s also an investment you’ll see and interact with on a daily basis — for that reason alone, it’s worth hiring an expert to conduct your hardwood flooring installation.
We’ve put together this guide to help you calculate the cost, evaluate the factors influencing pricing and find ways to save on your hardwood flooring.
Figuring out the cost of hardwood flooring installation is a relatively simple process. You take the price per square foot of installation for the wood and multiply it by the square footage of the room. After that, add 5% or so to the cost to account for any additional cuts and other essential work.
To put it in perspective, a 16-foot by 20-foot living room adds up to 320 square feet. Depending on the hardwood you select and the price of labor and installation, you’re looking at a price of anywhere from $2000 to $7700.
An 11-foot by 12-foot bedroom can cost from about $800 up to somewhere around $3200.
So, what accounts for such a wide range of pricing, and why is hardwood flooring more expensive than other options?
You may notice that the price tag for hardwood is higher than most flooring choices. There are several reasons for this:
Hardwood floors are a popular interior design choice. This flooring material offers many appearance options while still aligning with the stylistic choices you make for a room, including various decor textures, colors, patterns, furnishings and more. The versatility of hardwood flooring is one of its biggest selling points.
When an owner properly maintains a hardwood floor, it lasts for countless years. Even the more delicate hardwoods can handle the wear and tear of home life, the frequent footfalls of guests and customers, and other exposures to weathering. Also, hardwood floors have a finish that keeps the floor looking new and extends its life by adding additional layers of protection.
The availability and popularity of a wood species are some of the biggest determining factors accounting for the cost of hardwood floors. Some species of wood only grow in certain climates or are difficult to source due to geographic location, so they are usually more expensive than plentiful hardwoods. Demand can also affect the price of this flooring option.
A hardwood floor is an economical long-term solution because it requires little ongoing investment. Other flooring surfaces are less expensive to initially install, but wear down quickly over time and require an entirely new installation. Hardwood floors are also comparatively easy to clean and help people with allergies.
The installation of hardwood flooring requires knowledge, patience and time. Installing hardwood flooring involves a degree of precision due to the nature of the installation process. Environmental elements such as humidity and temperature can make boards swell or change shape during the process of installation. A properly trained individual can navigate these conditions and deliver a level floor that doesn’t warp or swell with time.
Expert installers can also work through the time-consuming and potentially headache-inducing complications that arise in unique flooring installation projects. Obstacles such as the appropriate layout of HVAC vents, subfloor electrical wiring and pipework that might run through flooring are all challenges a well-prepared flooring specialist can navigate.
While hardwood flooring options may cost more in some instances, there are ways to save money when choosing which kind to install in your home. Some ways to stay within your budget include:
When you’re evaluating which type of hardwood floor to use, you should closely balance its appearance with the purpose and function of the floor and room you’re reflooring.
You may love the look of a Douglas fir hardwood floor, but it probably isn’t the best choice for your mudroom. This option is softer, so it may not be suitable for the amount of foot traffic and mud it would see on a day-to-day basis. Consider a harder cherry hardwood, instead.
There are so many different gorgeous species of hardwood to choose from that even if your first choice is an expensive option due to sourcing and scarcity, there’s almost always an alternative choice at a different price point that will look great and work well.
If you’ve found the perfect species for your next hardwood floor and you’re still looking to reduce the cost of installation, evaluate what grade of wood and type of grain you’d like.
Flooring grades vary depending upon the lumber manufacturer and are distinct from lumber grades. If you’re looking for a hardwood floor with some character, or you don’t mind the occasional knot or imperfection in your panels, a lower floor grade can save you money on your hardwood floor installation cost.
Wood grains are the patterns that appear on the surface of the wood. Grain patterns can vary significantly between species. Additionally, the angle at which the wood was cut and shaped into panels can affect the appearance of the grain.
Generally, hardwood floor panels with grains that follow the shape of the panel tend to be more expensive than ones that run against the grain. Looking at grain patterns can be another way to save on the cost of your hardwood floors.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking the advice of those who install hardwood floors professionally! Installers tend to have the most experience in working on a variety of different flooring projects with various hardwood species. As such, they may be aware of industry and market trends that are relevant to your project and can help you save more.
Flooring installation companies also have a depth of knowledge about the characters and qualities of different species of hardwoods, wood grades and grain types. Their specialists are often trained to help customers find the right fit — functionally, visually and financially — for their new floors.
Metro Flooring Contractors is the place to go when you want to install hardwood floors. We’re committed to helping you find flooring that’s right for your room and your wallet.
Call 301-684-5800 to speak with a flooring expert. We’re ready to help you determine the best species, grain and footage for your floor’s needs. Or, schedule an appointment today with one of our flooring experts and save $100 on your next project!