So, you are considering hardwood floors for your home. No matter if it is traditional, contemporary, brand new, or a hundred years old, hardwood floors add beauty and ageless style to your home. They are durable, easily maintained and healthy because hardwood flooring keeps dust, mold and animal dander accumulation to a minimum. Not to mention, hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home. Not sure about hardwood flooring costs? There are an array of factors influencing the price of hardwood flooring. Let us look at what you need to take into consideration.
There are two types of wood flooring:
Solid wood is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. It is the traditional style of wooden flooring lasting hundreds of years if made from the right type of wood. Solid hardwood flooring is ordinarily more costly than engineered flooring. However, depending on the thickness, it can be sanded and refinished between 6 to 12 times. How much you will pay for this flooring style depends on the thickness, quality, and species.
Engineered wood is wood from top to bottom, but with multiple wood veneers or slats glued together in alternating directions for added stability. There is also composite engineered wood with wood on the wearable surface, but the core and backing are made up of a composite material. It can be challenging to tell engineered boards from the real thing with high-quality products. It is hit or miss whether this style can be refinished, but you will get a more extensive selection of species to choose from with engineered flooring.
Species signifies the tree type used in the flooring. The two main species classifications are domestic and exotic.
Red oak, white oak along with hickory are the most popular domestic trees used in flooring because they are affordable and durable. Maple and walnut are a little more expensive. Cherry, beech, ash and birch vary in price. The hardest domestic flooring you can buy is maple. You can expect to pay around $4 to $9 per square foot for most domestic wood species. You can see some examples that we carry with L.W. Mountain and Somerset.
Wood from outside the United States is usually listed as exotic and more expensive than domestic wood. Some popular exotics are tigerwood, Brazilian cherry, Santos mahogany, teak and rosewood. It can be challenging to find some exotic species in solid hardwood. However, it is easier to find in engineered form and less expensive. Exotic hardwood flooring costs start at around $5 and can go over $15 per square foot. Noblewood and Mirage are good examples of some exotic wood that we carry.
The thicker the solid hardwood, the longer it lasts. However, thicker solid wood cost more. You can expect to give ¾" planks a good sanding three to four times during the life of the floor.
The thickness also affects the price of engineered flooring, but the veneer is more important than the thickness. If the engineered flooring has a thick veneer, it might be able to be refinished. Most premium engineered floors vary from 1mm to 8mm thick. Anything under 3mm cannot be safely sanded.
The more wood it takes to produce the plank, the more it will cost. Extra-wide planks might be what your heart is set on, but it will probably not be feasible on a tight budget. The cost goes up the wider and longer you go. Hardwood flooring can range from approximately 2 ½" to over 8" wide.
Do you want a prefinished floor, factory finished out of the box and ready to install without sanding? Or do you want an unfinished floor, raw hardwood that will be sanded and finished on-site?
Prefinished floors offer a more durable factory finish with aluminum oxide and ease of installation in a home that you are currently dwelling. For example, when installing prefinished hardwood, there is no drying time to wait for, so moving furniture around right after installation is not an issue. Most homeowners living in the house prefer prefinished floors for just that reason.
Another advantage of a prefinished floor is the new brushed or lightly scraped finishes that give the wood an artful texture. When you have active families and pets, brushed floors are great because they tend to hide scratches and wear better.
Unfinished floors are finished on-site and grant unlimited choices in color. You can also blend stains to create a custom color. Builders commonly install unfinished floors. Once all the other trades are finished working, the floor can be sanded, stained, finished and ready for the homeowner to move in.
Unfinished floors are also the way to go if you are remodeling. That way, you can continue your existing hardwood floors throughout the house. Once all the floors are installed, you can sand and finish them all at once for a seamless look.
Generally, prefinished floors range from $2 up to $4 a square foot. This might be more than unfinished floors, but after factoring in on-site finishing, the costs are similar.
With solid hardwood, quality is not an issue because it is milled from a piece of timber. The only issue that would come into play is if moisture and rot are involved. Engineered is a different story and not something to take without due consideration. It is best to stick with familiar brands. Also, the warranty can give you an idea of the quality of engineered flooring. The cheaper planks usually have a 15 to 25-year warranty where the better-quality ones have a lifetime guarantee. The warranty usually applies to the factory wear layer or finish with solid hardwood.
Professional installation is the way to go because they can tackle everything from beginning to end. They can give you a price to include the flooring, transitions, removal and disposal of your old flooring. If there are issues with your subfloor along with any other problems that tend to appear during the floor installation process, they can handle it. Engineered hardwood flooring installation is around $6.50 to $9 per square foot. Solid hardwood flooring range from around $8 per square foot, although it mostly depends on the species and thickness of planks. None of the estimates above include "extras" or subflooring repairs. They might be included in the professional installation price or itemized separately in your contract.
Hardwood flooring costs may seem high, but you are investing in your home, increasing its value. Not to mention that when it is finished, it will look amazing! However, if you are hoping to save a few dollars off the final price, you can do a few things:
Both solid and engineered products will give you an excellent return on your investment and outlast other flooring styles by decades when properly maintained making hardwood flooring costs worth it in the long run. If you are not sure whether solid or engineered hardwood is the right choice for you, our flooring consultants are here to help! We would love for you to visit our showroom locations in Mokena, Illinois and Highland, Indiana. You will find a limitless assortment of products to see for yourself. Contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you!
Dana is an experienced professional providing expert knowledge in all aspects of residential and commercial flooring. She has worked on large commercial jobs from residential remodels, small businesses and apartment buildings to assisted living complexes, hospitals and auto dealerships. With more than 13 years of flooring experience, no job is too big or small for Dana! Dana will be more than happy to provide you with flooring and design assistance in any magnitude. Dana is available for private consultations at our Highland, Indiana showroom.