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Hardwood Flooring Costs and Types: Everything You Need to Know

A natural, authentic and timeless style, wood flooring has a charm that is hard to resist. Smooth to touch, a warm glowing appearance and good insulation are what you get with hardwood flooring. However, when you start looking at hardwood flooring costs and types, things start to get confusing. 

There are so many options when you’re choosing flooring for your home and each with a different price tag! It’s hard to figure out what fits in your budget. And when you do finalize the choice of hardwood flooring type, installation cost pushes the budget beyond the limit.

The thing is, several factors play their part in influencing the cost of hardwood flooring. Therefore it’s vital to have a clear overview of the price and installation cost of hardwood flooring and all the variables involved that could influence the price. Further, you should keep in mind that prices vary with the species of wood. For an average quality wood like pine, hardwood flooring costs around $6 to $10, while high-quality wood costs $15 to $30 per square foot.

Here’s a complete breakdown of hardwood flooring costs and types that you can consider for your home remodel.

Average Cost of Hardwood Flooring Installation

hardwood flooring installation cost
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The cost includes both installation and materials. Most homeowners spend between $2,500 and $6,500 for hardwood floor installation, and the average cost sits at around $4000. 

But it’s the type of wood that affects the cost of hardwood flooring the most. Low-end hardwood flooring projects that involve pine or maple wood will cost between $6 to $10 per square foot. It’s best to hire a remodeling contractor and get the right estimate from them before finalizing the costing and types.

On the other end, high-end projects involving Brazilian walnut or teak could easily cost between $15 to $30 per square foot.

Hardwood Flooring Cost Based on Square Footage

Professionals usually charge per square foot basis for hardwood flooring. Homeowners, on average, spend between $10 and $15 per square foot for hardwood flooring. 

But the price could fluctuate between $6 to 30$ per square foot depending upon the wood species involved.

Labor Cost of Hardwood Flooring

flooring labor cost
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Laying hardwood flooring involves professionals with specific skill sets. Therefore, labor costs heavily impact the final bill of hardwood flooring. 

Furthermore, the labor cost will itself be influenced by the type of design and patterns selected by the homeowner. On average, the labor cost for hardwood flooring varies between $3 to $8 per square foot. In any case, around half of your estimated budget for hardwood flooring will go to labor.

Cost of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood differs from natural wood in terms of the construction process. Natural wood is simply a block of wood cut into boards or planks. In comparison, engineered wood is made with multiple layers of hardwood and plyboard. 

Depending upon the process used and the layers placed, engineered wood could offer higher durability than natural wood. As far as the price is concerned, engineered wood floor costs do not deviate much from the natural alternative. 

As such, engineered wood flooring costs between $5 to $10 per square foot in the affordable range, while the high-end options cost around $12 to $25 per square foot.

Cost of Hardwood Flooring Based on The Type Of Wood

hardwood flooring costs and types

The price of hardwood flooring varies with the type of wood chosen for the project. It’s crucial for you to choose the wood type that best suits your needs in terms of decoration and is also within your budget. 

Let’s take a look at the cost of the most common species of wood used in flooring projects;


Maple is perhaps the most inexpensive options for kitchen flooring. However, it does not offer high durability and is also prone to damage. 

Maple comes in yellow shades with subtle grains. It tends to darken over time. The cost of maple wood flooring comes around $5 to $7 per square foot.


Another wood flooring option that falls into the affordable category is Hickory. It offers way more durability than Maple and is more suited for busy spaces like living rooms. 

As for the appearance – Hickory wood takes a rusty look and comes in very pronounced shades varying from white to dark brown with a bold, prominent grain pattern. This makes it one of the best options for your kitchen flooring. The cost of Hickory wood flooring is between $6 and $10 per square foot.

Red Oak

Red Oak signifies strength and falls over the pricier end of the scale. In terms of durability, red oak wood exceeds Maple and Hickory. If you are looking for basement flooring options, red oak would be a better bet because of its durability.

Red Oak wood color varies from light red to dark brown with warm undertones. The cost of red oak wood flooring is around $8 to $12 per square foot.


Walnut is an exotic wood and therefore costs a hefty $20 to $30 per square foot of flooring. Walnut is a perfect blend of appearance and durability. Furthermore, the surface has well-defined grain patterns with a dark rich undertone. Walnut is suitable for high-traffic areas such as the kitchen or living room.

Additional Factors Influencing the Cost of Hardwood Flooring

cost hardwood flooring
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With so many options available, several variables to consider will add to the final cost of hardwood flooring.

Type of Work

Are you going for a completely new hardwood floor, or do you want to give life to the already existing floor? Depending upon the option you choose, the cost will vary.

The Type of Subfloor

The type of subfloor impacts the extent of modification needed to lay the new floor. It, therefore, influences the price too. There are usually two types of subfloors. 

One is wood, and the other is concrete. While the wood-based sub-floor allows all types of flooring, the concrete subfloor, on the other hand, needs to be treated in order to accommodate a hardwood floor.

Area to be Covered

The area you need to cover is another critical factor that directly impacts the overall cost of hardwood flooring. The larger the area to be covered, the higher will be the cost of flooring.

Aesthetic Consideration

Different homeowners have different tastes and, therefore, different aesthetic considerations. Some could be willing to pay more for specific designs or modifications. From the type of design to the patterns, these choices will ultimately influence the final cost of hardwood flooring.