Hardwood Flooring Prices | Solid & Engineered Hardwood

How Much Does Hardwood Flooring Cost?

$5 – $16 per square foot

The retail cost of solid and engineered wood flooring ranges from $5 and $16 per square foot for most flooring options. And the average cost for the most popular wood floors is $6 to $12 per square foot, or $6,000 to $12,000 for 1,000 square feet of flooring.

This hardwood flooring price report is focused primarily on your average cost to buy hardwood flooring prior to installation. If you choose to have the floor professionally installed, consider another $3 and $9 per square foot, with most flooring contractors charging between $5 and $7 per square foot. We have a separate report on the cost to install hardwood floors.


When shopping for a new or replacement hardwood floor there are a number of things to consider but usually the first question is “How much will it cost?” You may think that hardwood flooring is very expensive but that may not be completely true. This Home Flooring Pros report will provide you with the actual cost of buying hardwood flooring and give you a good idea of the various options so you can decide if wood flooring makes sense for you.

OVERVIEW OF HARDWOOD PRICES

The retail cost range for both solid and engineered hardwood is about the same, except in super-premium ranges where your only option is solid hardwood. This is a fact that can be surprising when you begin to shop for flooring.

The price differences for wood are based on the grade, species, finishes, and length and width of the planks. Generally, the wider the planks, the more expensive the flooring will be.

Inexpensive, lower grade, hardwood flooring can cost as low as $1.50 per square foot. High-grade, wide plank hardwood flooring is priced at $6 to $12 per square foot, and exotic species at $15 or more, per square foot.

Here are the most common hardwood flooring choices and their costs – they do not include hardwood floor installation.

  • Low-grade domestic hardwood flooring often in narrow and/or shorter planks – $1.50 to $5 per square foot
  • Mid-grade hardwood flooring in quality domestics and some exotics – $5 – $8 per square foot
  • Premium grade hardwood flooring of all types, often in wide planks with hand scraped finished or upgraded treatment – $8 to $20 per square foot

Why is there such a wide price range for wood flooring?

There is a wide range in cost for wood flooring due to the variety of types, quality, and grade of the wood. These factors are explained below under “Wood Flooring Cost Factors,” so you will have an idea of the cost range and what you get for your money before you shop and get estimates for wood flooring.

HARDWOOD FLOORING – SOLID AND ENGINEERED FLOORING

Wood flooring comes in two distinct types, solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood is one solid piece of wood milled into a plank. Engineered hardwood is made by binding layers of wood together with adhesives making the flooring sturdy and durable. The wood is then milled into planks. The bottom layer is plywood, and the top layer will be a veneer or thin layer of the wood you’ve selected. Some engineered hardwood flooring also has attached underlayment to eliminate one installation step.

In general, engineered hardwood won’t last as long as solid hardwood because you can sand and refinish it just once if at all. The advantage of engineered wood flooring is that it handles changes in humidity better, like below grade (not all engineered flooring can be installed in a basement), or in a bathroom where moisture on the floor can be an issue. Engineered hardwood is sometimes a little less expensive than solid wood of the same species from the same manufacturer.

WOOD FLOORING COST FACTORS

The cost of a hardwood floor is affected by several factors besides square footage including the grade of the wood, how the planks are milled, tree species, the thickness and the width of the planks, and the finish on the wood.

Hardwood Grades

The grading of wood does not measure the hardness or durability of wood, only the appearance of the wood.

Top graded wood is free of character markings like color variations, mineral streaks, and holes or knots, and is usually referred to as clear, premium, 1st quality, select grade, or FAS (firsts and seconds).

Mid-grade wood has a few character markings and is known as #1 Common, Blue Label, or Builder A

Lower grade wood will include many character markings and is graded as #2 Common, Rustic, Builder B, or Cabin grade.

The cost difference in grades can be dramatic. For example, the square foot cost for an engineered oak floor with 6” wide planks at ½” thick with lower grade wood averages $2.25, mid-grade wood is around $3.25, and top grade runs $8.75 or higher per square foot.

Milling

Plain-sawn planks show the wood grain running across the plank in a wavy pattern and are the most affordable. Quarter of rift-sawn planking shows the grain running in lines down the length of the plank and is more expensive.

Types of Wood

Solid and engineered wood is made from many kinds of trees and they all have different colors, durability, hardness scores, and prices. The least expensive wood is pine or fir. Mid-range woods include Oaks, American Cherry, Maples, White Ash and Hickory. Mahogany and woods known as exotics such as Brazilian Walnut and Cherry, Tigerwood, Cypress, Teak, and Peruvian Pecan are the most expensive. Bamboo floors are often considered a hardwood option, and price is in the middle of the cost range.

Plank Thickness and Width

The thickness of the plank affects the cost. Both engineered and solid wood floors will range between 5/16” to 1” in thickness. Hardwood flooring plank widths range from about 2 ¼” up to about 24”.  Wider planks are more expensive because they come from older trees with the tree producing fewer planks.

​Engineered Hardwood Wear Layer

The wear layer on engineered hardwood flooring is the top layer or veneer of the wood species that you selected. The wear layer thickness can range between 1mm to 6mm. The thicker the wear layer, the more expensive the flooring will be, but the floor will also last longer and have the ability to be refinished multiple times.

For instance, a 1mm wear layer will last about 15 years and cannot be refinished, a 3mm wear layer will last about 40 years and can be refinished 2 to 3 times, and a 4mm to 6mm wear layer can last 80 plus years with the possibility of refinishing it 4 times or more.

WOOD FLOORING PRICE RANGES

Here’s what your money will get you when purchasing hardwood flooring.

$1.50 to $4 per square foot: Lower grade engineered hardwood in domestic wood species including Oak, Maple, and Hickory. Plank widths will start at 2.25” and go up to 5-6” but as the width increases the grade of wood will decrease. Plank thickness will be about ½ “.

$3 to $7 per square foot: Mid-grade engineered or solid hardwood in additional domestic varieties like Birch, Cherry, and some Mahogany at ½ to ¾” thick and with plank widths at 2.5” up to 6”.

$6-$10 per square foot: Very good quality engineered or solid hardwood in additional domestic and some exotic species such as Mahogany and Acacia. Planks will be ½ “ to 1” thick and up to 7 or 8 “ wide. Engineered hardwood will have a 4mm to 6mm wear layer.

$9 to $17 per square foot: In this price range you can find top-quality wood in almost any species, except the rarest. Planks will be 1” thick with widths from 2.25” to 12”, or more. Engineered hardwood in this price range should have a 6mm wear layer.

$17 and up per square foot: The most premium woods and custom or specialty finishes and milling in exotic species like Teak, Zebrawood, Tigerwood, Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Walnut, Cypress and Ebony with planks up to 24” wide.

HARDWOOD FLOORING COST BY BRAND

There are many well-known manufacturers of engineered and solid hardwood in the flooring industry.

Because of the many variables such as grade, thickness, plank width, and tree species, there is a wide range in prices.

Manufacturer Type $ Per Sq. Ft.
Armstrong Solid $6-$15 Many species
Bruce Solid $5.00-$13.00 Hickory, Maple, Oak, Walnut
Carlisle Solid $10-$22 Wide Plank, mostly Oaks
Herne Hardwoods Solid $6-$24 Domestic & Exotic species
K.D. Woods Co. Solid $5-$22 Reclaimed Solid Hardwood
LW Mountain Solid $7-$12 Oak & Acacia
Armstrong Engineered $7-$15 Many species
Anderson Engineered $10.25-$22.00 Hickory, Maple, Oak, Walnut
Bruce Engineered $5.00-$13.00 Many species
Carlisle Engineered $8-$20 Wide Plank
Kahrs Engineered $10-$17 Many species
LW Mountain Engineered $7-$10 Oak, Hickory, Acacia
Shaw Engineered $4-$9 Many species
Woodland Reserve Engineered $7.00-$15.00 Wide and extra wide planks

HARDWOOD FLOORING COST BY SPECIES

Below are average cost ranges for some of the most commonly used wood flooring species that have been pre-finished.

Species Cost Range/Sq.Ft.
Pine $4-$12
Maple $7-$14
White Ash $10-$15
Hickory $7-$15
Red Oak $9-$15
White Oak $9-$18
Domestic Walnut $7-$13
Brazilian Walnut $12-$23
Cypress $9-$20
Mahogany $12-$30
Teak $10-$15

PRICE RANGES BY TYPE & STYLE

There are a variety of style factors that can affect the cost of hardwood flooring including plank size and the finish on the flooring. You can also purchase unfinished solid hardwood flooring and finish it yourself.

Unfinished hardwood: $1-$8 per square foot

You can find unfinished flooring in both solid and engineered hardwood, but properly finishing it yourself can be difficult, time consuming, and will cost an additional $2-$10 per square foot above the cost of the wood.

Oil-finished hardwood: $8 and up per square foot

Typically, oil-finished hardwood flooring will cost about 15-20% more than standard finishes.

Hand-scraped, wire brushed, distressed finishes: $8 and up per square foot

These types of finishes will add a warm, weathered, or rustic appearance to the flooring but can add 10-20% more than smooth finishes.

Smoked or fumed hardwood: $10 and up per square foot

Smoked or fumed wood has been exposed to ammonia which brings out the natural tannins in the wood, darkens it, and highlights the grain. Smoked or fumed flooring will cost about 25-40% more than non-fumed hardwood.

Patterned Flooring: Herringbone, Parquet, or Chevron patterned hardwood flooring is typically created at the time of installation and can add $5-$16 per square foot to the installation cost. You can also purchase pre-assembled hardwood flooring in various patterns at about $12-$25 per square foot.

Stain Choice: In some flooring lines, wood finished with a deeper, richer stain costs a little more.

INSTALLATION COSTS FOR WOOD FLOORS

As discussed at the start of this report we have an in-depth cost report for hardwood installation costs. However if you’re just looking for some ballpark figures and calculations then read on.

Labor: How much should labor cost to install a wood floor? Installation labor costs run from about $3 to $9 per square foot depending on the complexity and method of the installation. Expect to pay around $4-$8 per square foot for most choices.

Factors that Affect Cost: Some of the factors that increase installation costs include the complexity of the job, the number of cuts needed, and the hardness of the wood. Patterned floors like herringbone will need many more cuts than flooring installed in long or wide planks.

Removal/Disposal: If you need the old flooring removed and disposed of, plan on adding $2 to $4 per square foot. If a new plywood or OSB subfloor will be needed, the cost will increase an additional $3 to $6 per square foot.

Note: See our guides to the cost of tile, carpet and laminate flooring to compare prices on popular flooring materials.

FAQ’s

How much does it cost to install 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring?

The average total cost with professional installation will range from $18,000 to $28,000.

How much does it cost to install wood flooring in a 12’ x 12’ room?

A 12’ x 12’ room is 144 square feet so the cost will be between $1,008 and $2,016.

About the Author:

Rob Parsell

Rob joined the Home Flooring Pros team in 2014 and is a freelance writer, specializing in flooring, remodeling and HVAC systems.

“I’m the son of an interior designer and picked up an eye for design as a result. I started hanging wallpaper and painting at 14 and learned enough on the job to be the general contractor on two homes we built for our family and did much of the finish plumbing, electrical, painting, and trim work myself.”

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