How much does it cost to install hardwood floors?

On average, the total cost for hardwood floor installation is about $6- $15 per square foot, Material and labor inclusive. There are however some high-end hardwood floors that will go even upwards of $20 per square foot.

A two-bedroom apartment of about 1000 square feet will cost anywhere from $6000-$15000 to purchase the floor and to install.

So, what causes the difference in price?

Factors that determine the cost of hardwood floors

The type of wood determines the cost of hardwood floors, the amount of timber needed, the quality of the planks, and the installation costs. The type of wood selected is the most influential factor in determining the overall cost. Hardwood floors can range from affordable to very expensive, depending on the type of wood and the size of the area. Other factors such as the quality of the planks, the installation method, and the job’s complexity also affect the total cost.

Type of wood:

Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and cherry tend to be more expensive than softer woods such as pine and fir. The availability of the wood species also has an effect on cost. Some species of wood may be rarer than others, making them more expensive. The grade of the wood can also affect the cost; higher grades of wood are typically more expensive. The finish used on the wood can also make a difference in the cost. Prefinished hardwood flooring tends to be more expensive than unfinished hardwood flooring.

The amount of wood:

A bigger area means a larger quantity of hardwood to be used. The cost of installation will therefore be directly proportional to the size of the area required to be covered, as larger areas require more wood and more labor, resulting in a higher cost.

The thickness of wood:

The thicker the wood, the more expensive the hardwood flooring. Thicker wood flooring is more durable and will last longer than thinner wood, making it a more expensive option. Additionally, thicker wood requires more labor during installation, which can increase the cost of the flooring.

Method of installation:

The cost of hardwood floors can be influenced by the method of installation. Hardwood flooring can be installed in a variety of ways, such as nailed down, glued down, or floated. The type of installation chosen will affect the cost and labor involved, with nail or glue-down installations requiring more labor and generally cost more than floating installations. Additionally, the type of subfloor can also affect the cost, with concrete subfloors requiring more labor and materials than wooden subfloors.

How to install hardwood floors

There are many ways of installing floors. You can nail them down, glue them to the subfloor, or install them as floating floors.

How to install hardwood floors by glue-down installation method

Glue-down installation is the most common method, as it requires minimal preparation. With this method, the hardwood flooring pieces are glued directly to the subfloor. This method can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the type of subfloor, the type of glue being used, and the type of hardwood flooring being installed. The advantages of this method are that it can be done quickly and easily, and it is relatively inexpensive. The disadvantage is that it is not as durable as other methods, and it can be difficult to remove if repairs are needed.

  • Prep the Floor: Check the subfloor for flatness and cleanliness. Make sure there are no gaps or uneven areas. You may need to level the subfloor with a self-leveling compound, if necessary.
  • Lay the Glue: Before laying the glue ensure that the room is well-ventilated. Spread a layer of urethane adhesive onto the subfloor, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to spread the adhesive evenly over the entire area.
  • Place the Flooring: Begin laying the hardwood planks in a staggered pattern, starting from the longest wall and working towards the opposite wall. Make sure to leave a 1/4” gap between planks.
  • Secure the Planks: Use a roller to press the planks firmly into the adhesive. Be sure to roll over each plank several times to secure it in place.
  • Complete the Installation: Measure and cut the planks to fit against walls, doorways, and other obstacles. Install/Reinstall quarter-round moldings into the wall (not on the floor) to ensure a perfect finish. In cases where you have different floors in the rooms and corridors, install transition strips to ensure a seamless flow from one room to the other.
  • Clean Up: Clean any adhesive that has spilled onto the planks with a damp cloth. Let the adhesive dry for 24 hours before walking on the floor.

How to install hardwood floors by nail-down installation method

Nail-down installation requires special tools and more preparation, but it is more durable than glue-down installation. With this method, the hardwood flooring pieces are nailed to the subfloor. This method is best suited for solid hardwood flooring, as it is more secure than other methods. The advantages of this method are that it is more secure and durable

  • Start by preparing the floor by making sure it is level and free of any debris. Use a level to check the floor and make sure it is flat. If needed, use a floor patch compound to fill in any holes or cracks.
  • Measure the room and mark the starting point with a chalk line. This will help to ensure that you lay the hardwood in a straight line. Begin laying the boards starting at the chalk line. Make sure to leave a gap of at least ¼ inch between each board for expansion. Make sure they are straight and even. Use wood glue in the areas where the boards meet. This will help to ensure that the boards are securely attached.
  • Place a layer of underlayment between the hardwood planks and the floor. This will provide cushioning and some noise reduction.
  • Use a rubber mallet to tap down any boards that are not securely attached then begin nailing the planks down using a nail gun. Make sure to nail only into the tongue of each plank.
  • Continue laying out and nailing down each row of planks. Make sure to stagger the planks so that the seams do not line up.
  • Ensure that each row is straight and even before nailing it down.
  • Once all the planks are installed, use a floor trimmer to trim any planks that extend past the walls of the room.
  • Finally, apply a finish to the planks to protect them. This can be done with either a stain or a sealant.

Pros and Cons of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a great choice for many homeowners, as they can add value to a home and create a beautiful aesthetic. However, like any other floor, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of hardwood flooring before making a decision.

Pros of Hardwood FloorsCons of Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are easy to clean; they can be swept and mopped with ease.Hardwood floors are expensive to install and maintain.
Hardwood floors can last for decades with proper care and maintenance.They can be scratched and dented if heavy furniture or objects are moved across them.
They are hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for people with allergies.They can be slippery, especially when wet.
They are beautiful and give any room a classic, elegant look.They can be susceptible to water damage if not sealed correctly.
Hardwood floors come in a variety of colors, styles, and textures, allowing you to create the perfect look for your home.Hardwood floors can expand or contract depending on the temperature and humidity, which can cause warping or buckling.

How to protect hardwood floors against damage

In order to protect hardwood floors from damage, it is important to take certain precautions. The following steps should be taken to ensure the longevity of your hardwood flooring:

  1. Vacuum or sweep the floor regularly. Regularly vacuuming or sweeping the floor removes dirt, dust, and other debris that can scratch or damage the floor. It is also important to make sure the vacuum or sweeper is set to the correct setting for hardwood floors.
  2. Place floor protectors beneath the furniture. Placing floor protectors beneath furniture will help to prevent scratching and other damage from occurring. It is also important to move furniture periodically to ensure that all areas of the floor are getting equal protection.
  3. Clean spills immediately. Spills can cause staining and damage to the floor, so it is important to clean them up immediately. Using a damp cloth or mop is recommended.
  4. Use a floor mat at entryways. Placing a floor mat at entryways will help to catch dirt and debris that is tracked in from outside. This will help to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that comes in contact with the hardwood floor.
  5. Use area rugs in high-traffic areas. Placing area rugs in high-traffic areas will help to reduce wear and tear on the floor. It is also important to make sure that the area rugs are slip-resistant to prevent any falls.
  6. Avoid wearing shoes. Wearing shoes can cause scratches and other damage to the hardwood floor. It is best to remove shoes at the door or always wear slippers or socks indoors.
  7. Use furniture coasters. Furniture coasters help to reduce the amount of friction that is created when furniture is moved across the floor. This will help to reduce the number of scratches that can occur.

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