How Much to Put Hardwood Floors: Budgeting Guide

How Much to Put Hardwood Floors

The cost of installing hardwood floors typically ranges from $8 to $12 per square foot. Factors such as the type of wood, labor costs, and additional materials can affect the final price.

When it comes to upgrading your home, few things can match the timeless elegance and enduring quality of hardwood floors. Whether you’re considering a full house renovation or simply want to breathe new life into a single room, installing hardwood floors can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal and value of your property.

However, the decision to install hardwood floors is not one to be taken lightly, as it requires careful consideration of various factors. From material selection to labor costs, understanding the intricacies of hardwood floor installation is crucial for making informed choices and achieving the desired outcome. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key aspects of installing hardwood floors, including cost considerations, popular wood choices, and the overall value of this investment.

Introduction To Hardwood Flooring Costs

Hardwood flooring costs vary depending on various factors, such as the type of wood, installation method, and room size. It’s essential to consider all the expenses, including labor costs, materials, and additional expenses, to get an accurate estimate of how much to put hardwood floors in your home.

When it comes to home improvement, installing hardwood floors is a popular choice for many homeowners. Hardwood floors not only add beauty and elegance to a space, but they also offer durability and longevity. However, before diving into the world of hardwood flooring, it’s important to understand the costs involved. From materials to labor, there are several factors that can impact the overall cost of hardwood floor installation.

Why Choose Hardwood?

Hardwood flooring has long been favored for its timeless appeal and natural beauty. With a wide range of wood species and finishes available, homeowners have the flexibility to choose a style that suits their taste and complements their home decor. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, hardwood floors are also known for their durability and longevity. Unlike carpet or laminate flooring, hardwood floors can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. They are also hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues.

Factors Affecting Installation Costs

Several factors can influence the cost of installing hardwood floors. These factors include:

  • Room size: The larger the room, the more materials and labor will be required, resulting in higher costs.
  • Wood species: Different wood species come at different price points. Exotic hardwoods tend to be more expensive than domestic varieties.
  • Installation method: The installation method chosen, such as nail-down, glue-down, or floating, can impact the overall cost.
  • Subfloor condition: If the subfloor requires repair or preparation before installation, it can add to the overall cost.
  • Additional features: Extras such as stair installation, trim work, and floor refinishing can also increase the total cost.

It’s important to consider these factors when budgeting for hardwood floor installation. By understanding the potential costs involved, homeowners can make informed decisions and ensure they get the best value for their investment.

How Much to Put Hardwood Floors

Calculating Floor Area

Calculating the floor area for hardwood floors can help determine how much material is needed for installation. By measuring the length and width of the room, you can calculate the square footage and estimate the cost per square foot. This ensures you have an accurate understanding of how much to put hardwood floors in your space.

Measuring Room Dimensions

Before calculating the cost of installing hardwood floors, it’s important to measure the dimensions of the room accurately. You can do this by using a tape measure to determine the length and width of the room. Multiply the length and width together to calculate the square footage of the room. For example, if your room is 12 feet long and 10 feet wide, the square footage would be 120 square feet.

Adjusting For Waste And Extras

It’s important to adjust for waste and extras when calculating the cost of installing hardwood floors. This includes adding extra square footage to account for waste during installation, as well as factoring in additional costs for materials like underlayment, trim, and transition pieces. It’s recommended to add an extra 10% to 15% of square footage to account for waste and extras.

To calculate the total cost of installing hardwood floors, you’ll need to determine the cost per square foot of the hardwood flooring you want to install. Once you have this number, you can multiply it by the total square footage of the room, including the additional square footage added for waste and extras. This will give you a rough estimate of the total cost of installation. Keep in mind that labor costs, removal of existing flooring, and other factors may also impact the total cost.

In conclusion, calculating the floor area accurately is important in determining the cost of installing hardwood floors. By measuring the room dimensions and adjusting for waste and extras, you can estimate the total square footage needed for installation. From there, you can calculate the cost per square foot and estimate the total cost of installation.

Types Of Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to choosing hardwood flooring for your home, it’s essential to understand the different types available. Each type has its own unique features and benefits. Let’s explore the various types of hardwood flooring to help you make an informed decision.

Solid Vs. Engineered Hardwood

Solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood and is known for its durability and timeless appeal. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times, making it a long-term investment for your home. On the other hand, engineered hardwood consists of multiple layers of wood veneers, providing stability and resistance to moisture. It’s a great choice for areas with fluctuating humidity levels.

Wood Species And Prices

Wood species play a crucial role in the overall look and cost of hardwood flooring. Different species, such as oak, maple, cherry, and walnut, offer varying grain patterns and colors. Prices can range from affordable options like oak to higher-end choices such as exotic hardwoods. Consider your budget and desired aesthetic when selecting a wood species for your flooring.

Pre-installation Expenses

Installing hardwood floors can be a great way to add value and beauty to your home. However, before you start the installation process, there are a few pre-installation expenses you should consider. These include:

Subfloor Preparation

Before installing hardwood floors, it’s important to make sure your subfloor is properly prepared. This may involve removing any old flooring, repairing any damaged areas, and ensuring the surface is clean and level. Subfloor preparation can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s essential for ensuring your hardwood floors look and perform their best.

Removal Of Old Flooring

If you have existing flooring that needs to be removed before installing hardwood floors, you’ll need to budget for this expense. The cost of removing old flooring can vary depending on the type of flooring and the condition it’s in. For example, removing carpet is typically less expensive than removing tile or hardwood floors.

Labor Costs

Labor costs are another important expense to consider when installing hardwood floors. The cost of labor can vary depending on the size of your project, the complexity of the installation, and the experience level of the contractor you hire. In general, you can expect to pay between $3 and $8 per square foot for labor.


The cost of materials is one of the biggest expenses when installing hardwood floors. The cost of materials can vary depending on the type of hardwood you choose, the quality of the wood, and the amount of square footage you need to cover. On average, you can expect to pay between $4 and $12 per square foot for materials.


Finally, you may need to obtain permits before installing hardwood floors in your home. The cost of permits can vary depending on where you live and the specific requirements in your area. Be sure to check with your local government to determine what permits you need and how much they will cost.

By considering these pre-installation expenses, you can get a better idea of how much it will cost to install hardwood floors in your home. While the costs may seem high, the beauty and durability of hardwood floors make them a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Installation Costs Breakdown

When it comes to installing hardwood floors, it’s important to consider the installation costs. Understanding the breakdown of these costs can help you budget and make informed decisions. In this section, we will explore the labor charges and geographical variations that can impact the overall cost of installing hardwood floors.

Labor Charges

The labor charges for installing hardwood floors can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the complexity of the installation, the type of hardwood being installed, and the size of the area to be covered. On average, labor charges can range from $3 to $8 per square foot. It’s important to note that this cost typically includes the removal of existing flooring, preparation of the subfloor, and the installation of the hardwood.

Here is a breakdown of the labor charges for installing hardwood floors:

Installation Activity Labor Charges (per square foot)
Removal of Existing Flooring $1 – $3
Subfloor Preparation $1 – $2
Hardwood Installation $1 – $3

Keep in mind that these labor charges are just estimates and can vary depending on your location and the specific contractor you hire.

Geographical Variations

Geographical variations can also affect the installation costs of hardwood floors. Labor costs can differ from one region to another due to variations in supply and demand, local wages, and business overhead expenses. For example, labor charges may be higher in urban areas compared to rural areas.

Here are some geographical variations to consider when budgeting for hardwood floor installation:

  • In high-cost metropolitan areas, labor charges can be higher, ranging from $5 to $8 per square foot.
  • In suburban or rural areas, labor charges may be lower, ranging from $3 to $6 per square foot.
  • It’s important to research and obtain quotes from local contractors to get a better understanding of the labor charges in your specific area.

By understanding the labor charges and geographical variations, you can better estimate the total cost of installing hardwood floors in your home. Remember to consider these factors when budgeting and hiring a professional contractor for your hardwood floor installation project.

Additional Cost Considerations

When considering the cost of installing hardwood floors, there are additional factors to take into account. These include the size of the room, labor costs, and the type of wood chosen. It is important to carefully consider these factors to determine the total cost of the project.

When budgeting for hardwood floor installation, it’s crucial to consider various additional costs beyond just the basic materials and labor. These extra expenses can significantly impact your total expenditure and should not be overlooked.

Finishing And Staining

One important cost consideration is the finishing and staining of the hardwood floors. The type of finish you choose, such as oil-based or water-based, can affect the overall cost. Additionally, opting for custom staining or intricate designs will incur extra charges.

Trim And Molding

Another factor to account for is the trim and molding. Different styles and materials of trim can vary in price, so it’s essential to select an option that fits your budget. Customized molding or intricate designs will add to the total cost.

Budgeting For The Unexpected

Contingency Funds

Set aside extra funds for unforeseen expenses during hardwood floor installation.

Cost Of Potential Delays

Factor in additional costs due to possible delays in the installation process.

Long-term Value Of Hardwood Floors

When considering hardwood floors, it’s essential to evaluate their long-term value. Hardwood floors not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space but also offer various benefits that contribute to their enduring value.

Resale Value Impact

Hardwood floors can significantly impact the resale value of a property. Homes with hardwood flooring tend to attract higher selling prices due to their timeless appeal and durability.

Durability And Maintenance Costs

Hardwood floors are known for their exceptional durability, lasting for generations with proper care. While initial installation costs may be higher, the long-term maintenance expenses are relatively low compared to other flooring options.

Comparing Alternatives

Considering alternatives for hardwood floor installation cost is essential for budget planning. Whether it’s per square foot or a labor cost estimate, comparing options can help in making an informed decision. With various factors influencing the overall expense, exploring the different pricing structures is crucial for determining the most suitable option.

Hardwood Vs. Tile Costs

Hardwood floors typically cost more than tile but offer a timeless look and durability.

Laminate And Other Flooring Options

Laminate flooring is a budget-friendly alternative to hardwood, mimicking the look at a lower cost.

DIY Vs. Professional Installation

When considering how much to put hardwood floors, DIY installation may be cheaper upfront, but professional installation ensures a high-quality, long-lasting result. Professional installation also saves time and reduces the risk of mistakes. Investing in professional installation can ultimately save money in the long run by avoiding potential issues.

Skill Level Assessment

Before deciding whether to tackle a hardwood floor installation as a DIY project or hire a professional, it’s important to assess your skill level. Installing hardwood floors requires precision and attention to detail, so it’s essential to have a basic understanding of carpentry and flooring installation techniques.

If you have prior experience with similar projects and feel confident in your abilities, you may be able to successfully install hardwood floors on your own. However, if you’re a novice or lack the necessary skills, it’s recommended to hire a professional to ensure a high-quality installation.

Cost-benefit Analysis

When considering DIY vs. professional installation for hardwood floors, it’s crucial to analyze the cost-benefit aspect. While DIY installation may seem more cost-effective initially, there are several factors to consider.

  • Materials: DIY installation allows you to purchase the materials directly, potentially saving on markup costs. However, professionals often have access to discounted materials through their suppliers.
  • Tools: Installing hardwood floors requires specialized tools. If you don’t already own these tools, you’ll need to factor in the cost of purchasing or renting them.
  • Time: DIY installation can be time-consuming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Hiring a professional can save you valuable time and allow you to focus on other tasks.
  • Quality: Professional installers have the expertise to ensure a flawless finish and minimize the risk of mistakes or damage. This can result in a higher-quality installation that enhances the overall value of your home.

Ultimately, the decision between DIY and professional installation depends on your budget, time constraints, and confidence in your abilities. If you’re unsure, it’s recommended to consult with a professional to weigh the costs and benefits.

Financing Your Hardwood Flooring

Financing your hardwood flooring can vary depending on the size of the room, with costs typically ranging from $6 to $12 per square foot for materials and installation. It’s important to consider the quality of the hardwood and any additional costs for labor and underlayment.

Loan Options

If you’re looking to finance your hardwood flooring project, there are a few loan options available. One option is a personal loan, which can be used for any home improvement project, including hardwood flooring installation. Another option is a home equity loan, which allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. This can be a good option if you have a significant amount of equity built up and need to borrow a larger amount of money.

Saving Tips For Flooring Projects

If you’re on a tight budget, there are several ways you can save money on your hardwood flooring project. One way is to shop around for the best deals on materials and labor. You can also look for discounts and coupons from flooring stores or contractors. Another way to save money is to install the hardwood flooring yourself, although this can be a challenging and time-consuming process.

When financing your hardwood flooring project, it’s important to consider the long-term cost savings of hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors can increase the value of your home and are more durable than other types of flooring, meaning you’ll spend less money on repairs and replacements in the long run.

Final Thoughts

After considering all the factors, it’s clear that the cost of hardwood floors can vary significantly based on several factors such as the type of wood, installation method, and the size of the area to be covered. However, the benefits of hardwood floors, including increased home value and durability, often make the investment worthwhile. It’s important to carefully assess your budget and requirements before making a decision.

Summary Of Key Points

  • Hardwood floors can increase home value.
  • Installation costs depend on factors such as wood type and room size.
  • Wood floors are versatile and complement various interior styles.
  • Tile flooring may be cheaper but has different advantages and disadvantages.

Next Steps In Your Flooring Project

If you’re considering installing hardwood floors, the next steps involve researching different wood types, obtaining quotes from reputable contractors, and carefully planning the installation process. Be sure to factor in both material and labor costs when budgeting for your project.

How Much to Put Hardwood Floors

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Install 1000 Square Feet Of Hardwood Floors DIY?

The cost to install 1000 square feet of hardwood floors DIY is approximately $3,000 to $8,000.

Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value?

Hardwood floors can increase the value of your home. They bring natural beauty and versatility to any decor style. While it requires an investment of time and money, hardwood floors are usually worth it in the end.

Is It Worth It To Install Hardwood Floors?

Installing hardwood floors is definitely worth it. They add natural beauty to your home and can complement any decor style. Although it requires an investment of time and money, wood floors are almost always worth the cost. Consider the advantages and think about what works best for you.

Is It Cheaper To Install Hardwood Floors Or Tile?

Tile is generally cheaper than traditional hardwood floors. However, there are other factors to consider when choosing between the two, such as durability, maintenance, and design preferences. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your specific needs and budget.


Hardwood floors are a valuable investment that adds natural beauty and versatility to any home. Although it requires time and money, the long-term benefits make it worthwhile. Consider the cost comparison with other flooring options to make an informed decision for your home improvement project.

Md. Meraj

This is Meraj. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Home Improvement Way is a blog where I share Home Improvement Way tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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