Hardwood Flooring Cost
The following is intended to remove much of the mystery out of the cost
for hardwood flooring and its installation. The main alternatives are
laminates, planks and slats (solid hardwood), engineered wood surfaces and
parquet flooring (squares). Although, when one hears of 'hardwood' it most often
calls to mind slats which is what is here inferred, or engineered floors at minimum.
Installed Wood Prices
A 12 x 15 room will cost from approximately $1,080
to $1,640, for slats/solid hardwood. And this is assuming little in the
way of extra moulds and finishing.
For smaller rooms, 12 x 12 will be about $860 to $1,050 while a
12 x10, about a kitchen for example, will incur a lesser sum.
Those approaching this dimension and under will lean toward the disproportionate amounts given
the reduced square footage, which translates to less than a days labor
(if this is the only room to be done, etc). A minimum labor fee charged
with this involves too the built-in cost of a relatively fixed travel distance
& setup. If the room has obstructions, like a kitchen island, or else a lot of lineal mouldings
then expect roughly in the 20% to 30% range greater. Because these require additional
cuts, placements and fittings.
Labor note: Methods of installation can influence price, depending on whether
the installers do nail-down flooring or glue-downs. Also, be wary of rates
advertised at rock bottom, as low as $3 per square foot for instance.
And though probably requiring a material purchase, these are simply
starting rates with a list of common extras added to the
bill - to be discovered at the measuring estimate (see below).
Wood Floor Estimate Variables: Finish & Species
There are three main cost affecting variables. One is wood finish,
imbued with a main component which refers to the smoothness of surface,
with choices including; rustic, distressed, and rough sawn - along with
the other component of color,
which it is oft times married to - for example, a 'natural' finish that usually
implies little or no color staining, like for 'natural maple', a frequent
pick among homeowners.
'Clear' on the other hand, refers to the quality of having rare/no
knots and imperfections.
Another pronounced quality is dimension - the measured thickness (especially for slat flooring, where thickness dominates)
- and that is classed as either 'narrow' (2 3/4" or thereabouts) or 'wide'
(about 5"). As a rule, you can expect to pay somewhat under for the thicker
slats - however these do require a finishing process, as a price offset - but they are
customarily sold pre-finished - a selling point that normally tips the price at just over that for engineered
floors. Considering the 3/4" can be refinished, this might well represent
an attractive bargain to those expecting to stay in their homes over a prolonged period.
Noting that not only slats but parquet floors can ship unfinished as well.
If you are willing to pay for finishing the raw slats once installed in
, the extra $1.50 to $2.50 per foot for finishing provides for a color akin with
your choosing. Especially for deeper tones, that are achieved by lacquer staining and are not available
with the pre-finished.
Setting cost of labor aside for now, that other main factor is the wood species itself.
Which applies to both finished and unfinished, raw solid hardwood options.
Listed in approximate order of price are : ash, walnut, red & white oak, cherry,
maple and hickery. And while red and perhaps white oak
is commonly available, there is a decent chance the others might well have to be placed on order.
The engineered flooring materials are more flexible in terms of pricing since they are
produced via manufacturing.
Other Cost Variables
A number of extras necessary to the installation, potentially include:
Prior floor removal/disposal - which is not a major undertaking if it is, say carpet, but loose subflooring connected or any unforeseeable can add up quick.
At under a dollar per foot for carpet, and just over a dollar for other floating floors, this can be significant for nailed wood flooring, at around $4 per foot being hauled away.
Door Jamb Undercuts - note this is NOT cutting of the door slabs themselves, but rather sawing of the jamb bases to accommodate the new slats.
Trim, Transitions & Moulding - know that some companies require the customer to supply transitions & mouldings, and including shoe mould/quarter round, ridiculous as it sounds. Regardless, this should be chosen to match along with
the flooring material order. Failing to do so, can not only result in unsightly bridging but an unsafe match in floor levels. Be forewarned: prices for certain single mouldings can be exorbitant.
Patterns - such as for diagonal sets, and other custom patterns.
Underlayments & Support - depending on if this is a slab or plywood decking.
Moving Furniture - easily which can total $40 to $50, depending on the number of items and their weight. Plumbing, appliances and their connections
are all considered seperate, where $75 is not unheard of.
Quantities - price breaks are offered by the box, but for those willing, liquidators offer big savings. Then of course remains the
question of install.
Finishing - its not uncommon that a seperate outfit be hired for the finishing, which may be left to the buyer. Additional coats of urethane or other quality coating
beyond the norm come easily at a 12% to 15% premium.
Options to Refinish Hardwood Flooring
Given the attractive rate for refinishing, at around $2.50 to $4 per foot,
if you have either hardwood flooring already in place that is begging to show
its age, or possibly unexposed wood below another floor layer,
it is usually worth the effort to reveal the full surface by removal
of the floor covering, whether it is laminate, carpet or other, so the
prospect of refinishing can be figured. Although this runs the risk of absent
pieces or unforseen damages, the floor might prove feasible.
The experience of a professional refinisher might help to reveal the alternatives.
With the sanding of the uppermost layer providing the chance of a change in color if this is what you want.
Comment - Your Take on Hardwood Floors
Please provide specifics that pertain like wood type, and job
done by installers.