Hardwood floors offer a simple and elegant look to your home. There are so many different kinds of hardwood flooring to choose from that it can be difficult to decide what kind of wood is right for you. The climate you live in needs to be considered. Some hardwood floor materials will split in arid conditions, or become damaged in humid conditions with an inadequate air conditioning system.
The Average Cost Of Hardwood Floors
If you have squeaky hardwood floors, you might be looking to have them replaced. Hardwood flooring prices average about $8 a square foot for solid strip hardwood planks. Wider planks will cost closer to $12 a square foot. Custom patterns and borders will add to the expense. The three general types of hardwood flooring are solid, laminate, or engineered. Factory finished wood is $0 to $14 a square foot, making the hardwood flooring cost for a typical 12 foot by 12 foot room $1140 to $2000. Some exotic types of materials you can consider are cork, bamboo, cypress, cherry, and mahogany.
Hardwood Flooring Installation Cost
The cost of hardwood floors will obviously be less if you install them yourself. However, some expertise is needed to do the job correctly. If there is damage to the subfloor, you will probably need the help of a carpenter at $20 to $35 an hour. After the subfloor has been assessed, installation can still be difficult, even for those with a modicum of do-it-yourself skills. Professional installation usually charges by the foot, not by the hour. Installation of hardwood floors costs about $3 to $5 per square foot.
Cost Variation Among Manufacturers
Three of the main manufacturers of hardwood flooring are Mohawk, Kahrs, and Shaw. Mohawk hardwood floors cost as little as $2 a square foot for their Oakland series. Hardwood flooring prices for their Bahia 5 series of floors can reach $15. Kahrs hardwood flooring cost begins at about $3.50 for their Spirit series of floors. The cost of hardwood floors for their World Naturals 1 Strip Tongue & Groove series is about $13 a square foot. Shaw’s cost of hardwood floors for their Epic Symphonic series start at $2 a square foot as well. The company’s Grand Canyon Eagle Rock series is about $12 a square foot.
Laminate Hardwood Flooring
Laminate flooring is also known as floating wood tile, and is an inexpensive hardwood flooring option. It is a synthetic product that mimics the look of wood or stone. It costs less than natural materials, is just as durable, and is easy to install with a glue backing. Laminate flooring comes packaged as tongue and groove planks that can be snapped into place. They get their name of floating wood flooring because they float over the sub floor. You might find the best laminate hardwood flooring prices at Sears or Sam’s Club. Laminate hardwood flooring cost is less than $2 a square foot. Although laminate flooring is scratch resistant, it is still a good idea to protect hardwood floors in a kitchen with an attractive area rug for under $250.
Maple Hardwood Flooring
The cost of hardwood floors made from maple is $2 a square foot and up. LM Flooring sells its Engineered Maple Hardwood Flooring at Lowes for just under $5 a square foot, and you can get a case that covers just over 20 square feet for about $100. To do a 12 foot by 12 foot room, the cost of maple hardwood floors will be about $800.
Exotic Hardwood Flooring
There are a number of exotic types of hardwood flooring that you might want to consider. Bamboo is one such option because it has a fresh natural look and is eco-friendly. Bamboo is a renewable resource that reaches full maturity much faster than trees. Cork is also renewable. The advantage of cork flooring is that it is water resistant, durable, and softer than most other hardwoods. Uninstalled, bamboo hardwood flooring prices are affordable at $4 to $6 a square foot.
How Much Do Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Floors Cost?
Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors cost more than less exotic types of wood. They start at $5 a square foot. The cost of hardwood floors made of Brazilian Cherry can be as high as $1900 uninstalled for a 12 foot by 12 foot room. Cases that cover 17 square feet cost upwards of $120.00
Brazilian Walnut Hardwood Floors
Brazilian Walnut is one of the most common of the exotic types of hardwood floors. The cost of hardwood floors made from Brazilian Walnut is similar to Brazilian Cherry, starting at $5 and going as high as $17 per square foot. IndusParquet has Brazilian Walnut hardwood flooring prices of $245 for a case that covers 20 square feet. To install this material in a 12 foot by 12 foot room will cost over $1800. Brazilian Walnut is extra hard and is resistant to insects, so it is perfect for homes in areas that are susceptible to termite infestations. It should be professionally installed, because exposure to the dust can cause skin irritations and respiratory problems.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors Cost
The style and charm that hardwood floors add to a home make it worthwhile to have them maintained. Hardwood floor prices are a bit much to just let the floors go unmaintained. For a floor in reasonable condition, a process known as screening will take two days and recoat an average sized room for about $1 a square foot. Completely refinishing hardwood floors costs $1.50 to $4 a square foot. Hardwood flooring prices for refinishing include sanding and then applying two to three coats of finish. To do it properly, the project can take weeks as it takes time for each coat of finish to fully dry.
Resurfacing Hardwood Floors Cost
When the top coating of a floor has been worn, the floor has to be resurfaced. Resurfacing of hardwood flooring includes removing the rest of the worn sealant coat first before reapplying. There are systems now that cost as little as $1 a square foot and take a significant amount of time from the project. Resurfacing is different from refinishing in that the floor doesn’t need to be sanded first, just buffed. Thus, the cost of hardwood floor resurfacing is less than it is for refinishing.
Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
Prefinished hardwood flooring is much easier for the do-it-yourselfer to install. This flooring material is finished by the manufacturer, so you will not have to deal with the mess, fumes, and aggravation of finishing your own hardwood floors. Mullican offers its Prefinished Exotic 3 series at hardwood flooring prices of $9.50 a square foot. European Ash sells one box of 25.58 square feet of prefinished floating wood flooring for $103. That is a hardwood flooring cost of $4 per square foot. Bellawood offers a 100 year transferrable warranty on its prefinished hardwood floors.
Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Unfinished has one distinct advantage over prefinished floors. With unfinished material, you can match your existing furniture and fixtures much more easily. Unfinished floors are better installed by a professional, however. The fumes from the finishing process can be dangerous and sickening. The finishing process cannot begin until two weeks after the floor has been installed. The process of finishing requires several coats, with days in between for each coat. During this process, the floors cannot be walked upon. All of this, of course, cannot start until the wood has been allowed to acclimate to your home by sitting out of the box for several days. This is why more people are choosing to use prefinished flooring and do it themselves.