How much will your project cost? Get Estimates Now

How much does it cost to install wood flooring?

National Average Change Location | View National
$4,397
Typical Range
$2,550 - $6,478
Low End
$1,100
High End
$10,000

We are still gathering data for this location.

View national costs or choose another location.

Let's get local cost data for you. Where are you located?

Can we help you find Flooring pros?

On This Page:

  1. Cost Per Square Foot
  2. Hardwood Flooring Types
  3. Engineered Wood Types
  4. How to Keep Costs Reasonable

When it comes to choosing the perfect flooring for a home, hardwood is often the first choice for many homeowners. While it is far from the cheapest option on the market, with the average homeowner spending about $4,396 to install wood floors, it’s popular for its classic and warm appearance, durability and versatility. They can add value to your home when it comes time to sell, and this material can make any space look more appealing.

With the extensive number of wood flooring options available, ranging from traditional hardwood to engineered hardwood floors, you must do your research to find the right option for your home. Additionally, installation can be a big job and it’s one that most homeowners need to hire professionals to complete. Use this cost guide to get a better understanding of the various expenses associated with installing hardwood floors in your home.

Cost Per Square Foot

When it comes to budgeting for this project, you have many factors to consider. Two of the largest considerations include the cost per square foot of the materials and the cost per square foot for installation. To help you understand the potential costs of installing hardwood, we researched the average cost per square foot for traditional and engineered flooring at three different price points.

Traditional Wood Flooring

Traditional wood flooring typically comes in narrow boards that are 3 inches wide or less, or planks that measure 7 inches or more. The cost you can expect to pay depends mainly on the type of wood you choose. The planks tend to fall into distinct pricing groups. For example:

  • Low: Soft woods, such as pine, typically cost $3 to $6 per square foot for the flooring, and another $3 to $5 per square foot for installation.
  • Mid: Some of the most popular flooring options include mid-priced varieties such as teak, American cherry and oak, which costs $5 to $10 per square foot for materials and another $4 to $8 per square foot for installation.
  • High: Some of the most expensive wood floors are made of exotic woods such as Brazilian walnut, tigerwood, mahogany and cypress. Costs tally $8 to $14 per square foot on average, with installation costs running around $4 to $8 per square foot.

Engineered Wood Flooring

This type of flooring has a real wood veneer bonded to multiple layers of lower-cost wood backing. With the variety of engineered hardwoods available now, you can enjoy greater options in where you install — even below ground level. This versatile, resilient option offers greater moisture and heat resistance than solid hardwoods do.

  • Low: Basic engineered hardwood has three core layers topped with a layer of wood veneer between 1/16- to 1/12-inch thick. It costs an average of $3 to $5 per square foot, with installation costs running between $3 and $10 per square foot depending on the complexity of the layout.
  • Mid: Upgraded mid-range options usually have a thicker veneer and a five-layer core. This type costs an average of $5 to $10 per square foot, with installation costs running $3 to $10 per square foot.
  • High: Some of the top-of-the-line engineered hardwood products have seven or more core layers with a top veneer that's around 1/6-inch thick, often made of exotic wood. These cost around $8 to $13 per square foot, with another $3 to $10 per square foot in installation costs.

Installation Cost Considerations

The amount you pay for installation depends on a variety of factors, including where you live and the intricacy of your project. For example, furniture removal and replacement, repairing the subfloor and removing and disposing of the old floor all bump up the overall cost of the project more than simply having an installer come in and lay the flooring does. To illustrate, some installers charge 20 cents per square foot for ripping up and removing carpeting or moving furniture. Others may charge a per-appliance fee for moving appliances.

Compare Local Wood Flooring Pros

Return to Top

Hardwood Flooring Types

Hardwood floors are not the best option if you have pets, although some options are still more durable than others if you want solid wood. When it comes to spills and accidents, you must clean them up quickly to avoid damaging the wood.

Although many people speak about hardwood floors as a single building material, it’s important to understand that they can be made from dozens of different tree varieties, and each has a different color, price and durability. Here are a few of the most popular hardwood flooring options, along with some unique characteristics of each and average pricing:

  • Maple: Very hard and dent-resistant, making it appropriate for high-traffic areas; creamy white to pale red in color; can be hard to work with ($3.50–$6/sq. ft.)
  • Pine: Rustic knot patterns and warm tones ranging from light beige to rich golden-amber; vulnerable to scratches and dents ($1.50–$4/sq. ft.)
  • Bamboo: Sustainably grown with interesting striations and a wide range of colors; strand bamboo floors are the hardest, most durable options ($2–$4/sq. ft.)
  • White Ash: Creamy color ranging from soft, light tan to pale gray with visible knots; durable and hard to stain ($5–$6/sq. ft.)
  • Hickory: Exceptional color variation with dramatic grain patterns; hard density that works well in high-traffic areas ($3–$6/sq. ft.)
  • Red Oak: Reddish, tight but visible grain; durable; most red oaks seem to glow in the light, which creates a warm ambience ($2–$6/sq. ft.)
  • Brazilian Walnut: Exotic hardwood in varying shades of brown; extremely hard and durable against pet scratching ($5–$9/sq. ft.)

Return to Top

Where to Buy

You can choose from a variety of options. Popular places to shop include:

  • Online: Vendors such as iFloor and HoskingHardwood.com specialize in hardwoods and carry a variety of hardwood flooring options.
  • Local Retailers: Local home improvement stores often carry a variety of in-stock options. Additionally, local flooring stores are often fantastic resources because they typically offer samples that let you see how the floor will look in your home. They also can give you on-site estimates to provide a good idea of how much the project costs.
  • Discount Options: If you’re looking to stay on a budget, you can consult lower-priced retail options such as Lumber Liquidators or Overstock.com to find a bargain.

Return to Top

Engineered Wood Types

With their increased durability and moisture resistance, engineered wood floors are a better option than traditional hardwoods if you have pets or spill-prone kids. Additionally, you can install engineered wood flooring in places that hardwoods typically can't go, including basements, kitchens and summer homes in high-humidity climates. This type of flooring is available in a variety of widths, colors and styles, including glue-down and floating floors.

All varieties provide increased durability over traditional wood, but buying engineered wood with more core layers and a thicker veneer offers the most durability. Engineered flooring is available in a wide range of woods, colors and finishes. Here are a few of the most popular engineered flooring options, along with some unique characteristics of each and average pricing:

  • Maple: Colors range from creamy white to rich red; can be fastened, glued down or glued together ($10–$11/sq.ft.)
  • Heart Pine: With nail holes, gouges and attractive knots, this engineered floor has vintage charm ($10–$11/sq. ft)
  • White Ash: A variation of colors and grain patterns give this flooring interesting character that hides imperfections well ($12–$13/sq. ft.)
  • Brazilian Cherry: Exotic wood with warm red-brown tones and rich hues ($3–$6/sq. ft)
  • Brazilian Koa: A distinct orange color with rich, dark brown striping makes this a standout option if you want a bold look ($5–$7/sq. ft.)
  • Acacia: Attractive contrasts of medium brown colors and interesting graining makes this a popular option if you’re searching for a rustic, Colonial look ($4-$5/sq. ft.)

Return to Top

Where to Buy

You have many plenty of different resources to rely on for buying engineered floors. Popular places to shop include:

  • Online: Vendors such as BuildDirect.com and HoskingHardwood.com offer a variety of engineered wood options. BuildDirect.com also lets you order flooring samples so you can see how your preferred options look in your home.
  • Local Retailers: Local home improvement stores often carry a number of engineered wood flooring products in stock. Additionally, local flooring stores can provide samples that let you see how the color and style of the engineered floor will look in your home. Either option may offer you an on-site estimate to give you a better idea about what your project could cost.
  • Discount Options: Start your search with Lumber Liquidators or Wayfair.com to keep prices down. Lumber Liquidators has a vast selection of engineered wood flooring to choose from.

Hire a Wood Floor Professional Now

Additional Cost Considerations

No matter which type of flooring you choose, if the subfloor, joists or other structural elements need work, you can expect to pay considerably more in both labor and materials. Plywood for the subflooring averages $22 for each 4-foot by 8-foot sheet. For a 12-foot by 12-foot room, you’d need five sheets of plywood, which increases the cost by $110. Additionally, carpenters often charge $20 to $35 per hour to install new floor joists and subfloors.  For laying a hardwood floor over concrete, it's best to use a floating floor system where the floor is not glued to the concrete.  Wood flooring is a major investment, so always have the concrete checked for moisture prior to installation.

Return to Top

How to Keep Costs Reasonable

One way you can trim your budget is to buy the wood flooring yourself, pick it up and bring it home so that the installation company only needs to install the flooring. If you want intricate details such as borders or inlaid patterns, you can expect to pay more. Keep the layout simple and you can save $1 to $2 per square foot in extra installation costs. Other ways to keep costs down include:

  • Shopping Around: Once you find a wood type, style and color that you like, price similar options online, at local retailers and at discount flooring stores to get the most competitive pricing for your budget.
  • Getting Multiple Estimates: Installation is a considerable cost for this project. Get estimates from two to three licensed, insured installation contractors to get the best prices.
  • Saving on Labor Costs: Removing and disposing of the old flooring, moving furniture to another room and prepping the area can help reduce the amount you pay for the extra fees or rates that most pros charge for these tasks.

Return to Top

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?

How could this page be more helpful?


Share your cost experience

Help others plan and budget for their projects

Mike Brogan More than 1 year ago
It would be much more helpful if your chart for hardwood flooring costs were based on an average square footage or $/square foot. When the cost is not attached to anything more specific than dollars spent, it doesn't turn out to be very helpful. That being said, my actual experience with contractors from Home Advisor has been very positive!!
TJ Seigler More than 1 year ago
I'd like to see what it cost per square foot all inclusive.Thanks and I have always had great experiences with Home Advisor.
Donna W More than 1 year ago
I would like to see how much an average square footage or $/square foot.
Jan Fuger More than 1 year ago
I would like to see what type of flooring stands up to heavy traffic, dogs, etc. for residential uses. Also, where the flooring comes from - China, reclaimed, etc. Cost/sq.ft. for each type of floor rather than total cost because we have no idea how large the room/area is.
Jalis Clark More than 1 year ago
Helpful for somebody like me who doesn't have much experience in dealing with the hardwood. Thanks. But yes, the total price including the labor per square foot would be even more helpful.
Linda Farina More than 1 year ago
Not impressed with lack of average cost PER SQUARE FOOT. Someone could spend 5,000 on 500 square feet? 600 square feet?  How is your chart helpful?
emily bell More than 1 year ago
I agree, cost for sq footage would have been helpful.
Brigitte Schlitt More than 1 year ago
A cost estimate of square footage with individual cost, i.e. installation, subfloor, etc.) would make more sense.  The quotes given don't make much sense and can be confusing to the average person.
Paul McKinnon More than 1 year ago
Would like to see an average price per sq. ft..
Martha Beals More than 1 year ago
Would be more helpful if you had an average price per square foot. 
Ghulam Aasi More than 1 year ago
A good orientation but it does not spell out as per square foot cost of labor? One can decide for materials based on prices available at stores, but there shall be an estimate cost of just labor per square foot!
Daphne Young More than 1 year ago
Pricing by square footage would be helpful
Peter Liu More than 1 year ago
1.49 per square foot, 360 sq ft.
james robibero More than 1 year ago
prices on hardwood flooring installations must be made by sq ft.  They used to be between one to two dollars a sq ft. I need to know if that is still a reasonable estimate
Stepan Stepanyan More than 1 year ago
Yes, cost by sq. foot would have been more helpful, but explanations were quite useful 
Brenda Clark More than 1 year ago
I would like to have sq. foot cost. 
Rufus DeLoach More than 1 year ago
Like others comments below, it probably would have been easier for me to understand cost, if it could have been broken down by square footage. However, overall, since I've never had hardwood floors installed, the information you did provide has been and will be very helpful to me as I  met and discuss this project with potential contractors. I did have a very positive experience with HomeAdvisor when I used them for my  heating project.
Marsha Groce More than 1 year ago
Guess I am not the only one that needs a Sq.ft. estimate.
Marsha Groce More than 1 year ago

315 sq.ft. for one room seems like a high cost quoted to me!

Sr. on a budget.

sreeram arshanapally More than 1 year ago
Very helpful to understand what goes in hardwood floors.
Lynia Wornum More than 1 year ago
I would have liked to see how much an average square footage or $/square foot. Other than that, very helpful
Demetra Mills More than 1 year ago
This estimate would be more helpful if it indicated the average square footage for installs in the estimate.
Nancy Reynolds More than 1 year ago
No average per sq. ft.??????
Marcus Loy More than 1 year ago
I was wanting an average labor/installation cost per square foot, exclusive of the hardwood flooring cost.
Robert Solano More than 1 year ago
It would make sense to have a cost per square foot that can be used as a base line for Demo and new install for the various floor finishes ex: carpet, ceramic, stone, porcelain, marble, wood, vinyl tile, etc. this info would helpful to vendors and customers in providing a ball park cost estimate for their projects.
Ruby Barton More than 1 year ago
I agree that it would be helpful if the cost could be indicated in square foot. I used Home Advisor for a referral to an electrician. I was very satisfied.
JEAN HAWLEY More than 1 year ago
Still looking, purchased home which needs floor refinished and some carpet replaced.
andrew papalno More than 1 year ago
REMOVE CERAMIC FLOOR TILE IN KITCHEN AND REPLACE WITH WOOD, NOTHING FROM CHINA
andrew papalno More than 1 year ago
TAKE UP CERAMIC TILE IN KITCHEN, LAY DOWN NEW WOOD FLOOR

Find Hardwood Flooring Installers Near You

How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.