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Solid Hardwood Flooring Costs: Professional and DIY Installation

Solid hardwood flooring has been replaced over the years by laminates and engineered wood flooring, but solid hardwood may still be your best choice if you want a floor that could last beyond your lifetime. The evidence is there in all the old historic homes that still have their original solid hardwood floors.

Many homeowners want to install their own floors, and solid hardwood may appear a bit daunting for someone who has not installed floors. In addition, you have to have a floor nailer, air compressor, and a compound mitre saw. If you don’t own these items you will need to rent them, resulting in costs which can approach the cost of a professional installation.

DIY Hardwood Installation

Keep in mind when installing hardwood yourself that your costs will be higher due to wastage from incorrect cuts, bad boards, and installation errors. These types of errors and costs will be lower when installation is done professionally, perhaps another reason to go with the pros. Also, if you have pets choose harder woods to prevent damage from their claws.

Here is an estimate of professional installation for different solid wood flooring types, including underlayment and labor:

Wood type and associated cost per square foot

  • Red Oak – natural finish, $11.00 – 13.50
  • White Oak natural, $12.00 – 14.50
  • Birch – tobacco brown finish, $13.00 – 15.80
  • Black acacia – taupe, $13.60 – 17.00
  • Maple – natural finish, $14.70 – 18.00
  • Walnut (5-in. wide) – toasted wheat, $15.00 – 16.30
  • Kempas – natural finish, $16.00 – 19.60
  • Tigerwood, $16.50 – 20.15
  • Cherry – natural finish, $18.10 – 22.10
  • Cabreuva, $20.00 – 21.50

For the do-it-yourselfer, there is no locking option as you will find with laminates and some engineered woods. Hardwood floors must be installed one board at a time with a pneumatic nailer. Sanding and finishing add additional labor and cost. As noted above you need the nailer, air compressor, and compound mitre saw to do the job right. You can’t install hardwood with a hammer and center punch. You will also have higher costs if you have to remove an old floor, or if you are installing hardwood over concrete. You must install a plywood subfloor above concrete both as a nailing substrate but also to act as a moisture barrier to prevent mold forming on the hardwood.

Estimated cost for self-installed solid hardwood floors including underlayment:

Wood type and associated cost per square foot

  • Red oak – natural finish, $7.30 – 9.00
  • White oak – natural finish, $8.00 – 12.00
  • Birch – tobacco brown finish, $9.40 – 11.50
  • Black acacia – taupe, $10.00 – 12.30
  • Walnut (5-inch wide) – toasted wheat, $11.00 – 13.00
  • Maple – natural finish, $11.20 – 13.70
  • Kempas – natural finish, $12.50 – 15.50
  • Tigerwood, $13.00 – 16.00
  • Cherry – natural finish, $14.60 – 17.80
  • Cabreuva, $16.10 – 17.90

The above estimates should not be used for any price negotiations, as labor costs can vary widely across the country. They are simply showing you a relative estimate for using different woods for solid wood flooring.

Regardless of your decision to use professionals or a do-it-yourself approach, you should purchase your solid hardwood flooring from Flooring.org. We have a wide selection of solid hardwood flooring at very competitive prices. Don’t waste your money by buying overpriced flooring, come to Flooring.org first!

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