How Much Does Installing Hardwood Floors Cost?

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated August 9, 2022
Living room with rustic wood flooring
Photo: Woning Media/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The national average cost to install hardwood flooring is between $2,493 and $6,756

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Adding hardwood floors to your space is an investment that can lead to major benefits. For one, it’s easier to care for and maintain than carpet—so parents can say goodbye to juice stains forever. It’s also more long-lasting than tile because it can be finished (and refinished!) time and time again. In most cases, it can serve your home for a lifetime. 

The cost to install hardwood flooring comes down to a handful of factors, including the type of wood you’ve chosen and the specific needs of your home.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwood Flooring per Square Foot?

The national average cost to install hardwood flooring is $6 to $12 per square foot for both labor and material fees. For higher-end wood and larger spaces, like if you’re redoing your entire first floor in hardwood, you may pay more—possibly between $13 and $25 per square foot. In general, most projects end up costing between $2,490 to $6,760 total.

Here’s what you may pay depending on your home size and how much flooring you’re interested in replacing:

Amount of FlooringTypical Cost Range
500 sq. ft.$3,000 – $6,000
1,000 sq. ft.$6,000 – $12,000
1,200 sq. ft.$7,200 – $14,400
2,000 sq. ft.$12,000 – $24,000

How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwood Flooring Near You?

Much like home prices, the cost to install hardwood flooring can vary greatly from state to state. The types of woods that are available near you likely have the largest impact. If you’re outsourcing a wood that’s not local, for example, those shipping fees can hike up the final price. 

Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect based on your location:

StateCost
Alabama$3,020 – $6,090
Arizona$2,350 – $6,630
California$3,150 – $9,340
Colorado$2,650 – $6,700
Iowa$3,580 – $4,900
Michigan$2,680 – $8,410
New York$2,370 – $6,080
Pennsylvania$2,310 – $6,630
Texas$3,010 – $8,050

How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwood Flooring Yourself?

The majority of the hardwood installation comes from materials rather than labor. Wood panels can be anywhere from $6 to $25 per square foot, whereas installation costs will be only $3 to $6 per square foot. Doing it yourself also requires certain tools that you might not already have, including a pneumatic flooring nailer, which can cost anywhere from $200 to $400.

Because your DIY savings will be minimal, it’s best to hire a local wood floor installer to do the job right

Child's bedroom with herringbone pattern wood flooring
Photo: Portra/E+/Getty Images

How Much Does Hardwood Flooring Cost per Type of Wood?

There are many different types of wood to choose from, all with different costs.

Hardwood flooring prices vary, with pine flooring costing $4.50-$10 per square foot

Maple

Maple wood flooring is available in creamy white and warm red colors and will cost between $6.50 and $11 per square foot.

Pine

Pinewood flooring is among the more affordable options at $4.50 to $10 per square foot. It can have a light beige or golden color, but it also dents more easily than other varieties.

“Pine is a wonderful choice because it looks great, it’s lightweight, and it’s easy to install,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “The downside is that it dents easily, but you can also sand those dents out rather quickly.”

Bamboo

You’ll pay between $5 and $11 per square foot for bamboo wood flooring. It’s pale yellow (and sometimes green), hard and durable, and, because bamboo regrows much faster than other trees, more sustainable.

White Ash

White ash wood flooring is available in either pale grey or light tan colors at $9 to $13 per square foot. It’s also extremely durable, hard to stain, and softer to the touch than most woods.

Hickory

Hickory can be found in many different colors and will cost between $6 to $13 per square foot.

Red Oak

As its name indicates, this type of wood is slightly red, and it has a tight, highly visible grain that’s great for adding texture to a space. You’ll pay $8 to $13 per square foot.

White Oak

White oak wood flooring is light in color but just as strong and textured as red oak. It will cost between $8 and $15 per square foot.

Brazilian Walnut

This option is dark and cozy, but definitely on the pricier side at $11 to $20 per square foot.

How Much Does Hardwood Flooring Cost by Style?

Before choosing a type of wood, it’s important to consider the way you want it styled. Simpler models such as wide plank wood flooring will usually cost less than intricate designs like herringbone patterns.

Wood Plank Flooring Costs

Wood Look Tile: While not technically wood, wood-look tile is an affordable option for anyone who’s not ready to commit to hardwood flooring. This type of tile is glazed and colored to resemble wood, and there’s no risk of it rotting or warping in humid areas, so it’s perfect for your bathroom remodel! You can expect it to cost between $15 and $20 per square foot and from $900 to $2,900 for a full project.

Wide Plank: Installing wide plank wood flooring is a generally faster process because the planks cover a larger surface area, thus taking less time to install—that’s also why you’ll usually end up paying less for labor with this option. On average, the cost will be anywhere from $1.50 to $12 per square foot, plus $3 for $4 per hour of labor.

Herringbone Pattern: If you opt for a gorgeous herringbone pattern, none of the materials you need will change—but the amount of time the project takes and the overall cost will. Choosing this style can add an extra 30% to your final bill because of the extra care required for installation. Expect to pay $12 per square foot of any type of wood to have it arranged in this fashion.

Genuine Parquet: This is another style that costs more because it takes a lot of time and care to install. True parquet hardwood flooring can cost between $20 and $45 per square foot, but parquet-style tiles deliver a similar sophisticated look at a fraction of that price—you’ll pay $7 to $15 per square foot and $15,000 on average to install faux parquet.

Cost for Prefinished vs. Traditional Hardwood Flooring

Prefinished hardwood flooring is wood planks that have been finished before being installed, unlike traditional hardwood flooring, which is finished after installation. Opting for prefinished can cost between $6 and $12 per square foot. That might seem more expensive upfront, but it could actually save you money in the long run because finishing hardwood flooring on-site takes more time, which means more labor costs.

Adding the finishing after installation is also riskier because it’s a process that’s more likely to trap dust or debris on the surface of the wood. If the wood is finished beforehand, you don’t have to stress.

Cost for Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is a more economical option than solid hardwood because it’s built from layers of hardwood and plywood rather than a single type. On the low end, it will cost between $4.50 and $9 per square foot. On the high end, you’ll pay between $9 and $16 per square foot.

Think twice before deciding on this style because it’s not as durable as solid hardwood, which can last a century if the hardwood flooring is properly cared for

What Factors Influence the Cost of Installing Hardwood Flooring?

Along with material and installation costs, there are a handful of other factors that can affect the final price of installing your hardwood floor.

5 cost factors for hardwood flooring installation, including carpet removal
Photo: Alesia Kazantceva / Unsplash

Subfloor and Joist Repairs or Replacements

Subfloor repairs can cost an additional $500 to $800, while joist repairs will be extra $40 to $60 per square foot. Rot and insect damage are the root of these problems.

Carpet Removal

If you’re swapping carpet for wood floors, you’ll need to pay more to first have it removed. On average, the extra cost for carpet removal will be between $150 and $250.

Open living room and kitchen with a loft and wood flooring
Photo: in4mal/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Wood Hardness

The harder a wood is, the more of an effort it takes to install. Expect hardwoods (think Brazilian walnut) to require more elbow grease than softwoods (pine).

Thickness

Hardwood is typically 3/4 inches, 5/16 inches, and 1/2 inches thick, though you can also find options in other thicknesses. Thicker flooring can cost a bit more than thinner floors. For instance, hardwood floors that are 5/16 inches thick can cost $2 to $5 per square foot, while planks that are 3/4 inches thick can cost up to $6.

Angled Patterns

Herringbone and parquet patterns take longer to complete because of how intricate they are. Choosing them means your room will look great, but you’ll pay more in labor costs.

Ease of Installation

Installing wood flooring in a home with a complex layout may also take longer and cost more. Cutting wood to fit into unique corners takes time and care and will increase labor fees as a result.

Finishing 

Once you install your hardwood flooring, you need to finish it so the floor is protected and lustrous. The typical cost to refinish hardwood floors is $1,800, and you’ll need to refinish the floors every 10 to 20 years.

FAQs About Installing Hardwood Flooring

Are hardwood floors worth it?

Hardwood floors are expensive, but they are also incredibly durable and can last decades with proper care. Along with being long-lasting, hardwood floors can give you an incredible ROI—up to 55% on average. Most homeowners find hardwood floors worth the initial investment. 

What type of wood is most durable?

Hickory, red oak, white oak, and Brazilian walnut are among the most durable wood flooring options.

How do I maintain my hardwood floor?

Over time, hardwood floors can lose their shine, meaning you’ll need to refinish them. Refinishing not only keeps them looking great, but it protects your floors from scratches as well. You should refinish your hardwood floors every 10 to 20 years. 

You also need to clean your hardwood floors regularly and use the right tools to do so. Hardwood and humidity don’t mix, so you should never wet mop or bleach your floor boards. Instead, sweep, dry mop, or vacuum the hardwood floors to keep them sparkling.

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