Hardwood Flooring Price Guide – Solid and Engineered

How much does solid hardwood flooring cost? What is the price of engineered hardwood floor? This is your guide to material and labor prices for both.

kitchen price guide


Featured in this Hardwood Flooring Price Guide


Hardwood Flooring Prices

Here are the costs. Factors determining cost are discussed below.

Engineered hardwood flooring prices in price per square foot:

  • Good: $1.50-$3.50
  • Better: $3.00-$8.00
  • Best: $7.50-$12.00

Solid hardwood flooring prices in price per square foot:

  • Good: $1.00-$5.00
  • Better: $4.50-$8.00
  • Best: $7.50-$14.00

Factors Affecting the Price of Engineered and Solid Hardwood Flooring

As you can see, prices vary tremendously. Here are the reasons:

  • Five grades of wood flooring are sold, from best to worst – A/Prime, B/Standard, C/Common, Cabin/Tavern, D/Utility (and each has other names too)
  • Unfinished flooring costs less than prefinished flooring and is a good choice if you have the skills to finish it yourself
  • Wider planks sometimes cost more per square foot because they are rarer
  • Flooring with special features such as genuine hand-scraping or weathering may cost more
  • Product lines are often discounted or put on clearance to make room for newer or better-selling products

More extensive information on wood grades, their characteristics and potential defects is available in our Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide.

The Cost of Removing Hardwood Flooring

There are two ways to remove hardwood flooring: Quick and cheap or slow and costlier. The determining factor is whether you intend to reuse the wood. If not, an aggressive removal technique can be used that requires less time and cost. On the other hand, if you want to keep the wood in usable condition, you’ll have to carefully remove nails or pull the wood off the nails without damaging it.

Depending on your approach:

  • Hardwood floor removal cost: $1.00 to $3.00 per square foot

Hardwood Flooring Installation Cost

Installation costs are also roughly the same for solid hardwood and engineered flooring.

  • Hardwood flooring installation cost: $3.25-$6.50 per square foot

Factors Affecting Hardwood Flooring Installation Costs

Contractors base their estimates on these factors:

  • The size of the job – the price per square foot drops slightly as the amount of flooring to install goes up
  • The width of the planks, since it takes more time to cover a floor by installing and nailing narrow planks than it does wide planks
  • The amount of trimming around obstacles, doors and corners that is required, since trimming is time-consuming
  • The need for minor subfloor repairs and how may there are (Entire subfloor replacement may cost up to $3.00/sf more than the range given above)
  • The cost of living in your area
  • Whether you get multiple estimates, since installers tend to give better prices when they know that there is competition for the business

Stairs are often estimated separately, with costs for stairs being $35-$60 per stair.

Hardwood Floor Finishing Cost

Most homeowners choose unfinished hardwood when they intend to finish it themselves. Here’s what you can save, or here is what you can expect to pay if you hire a floor finisher. Prices are in square feet.

  • Wood floor stain and/or sealer and supplies: $0.60-$0.75
  • Application of wood flooring finish: $0.40-$0.60

In other words, if you buy the materials yourself and apply the stain/sealer to 500 feet of hardwood, you’ll keep $200-$300 in your pocket.

How to Save Money on Hardwood Flooring and Installation

There are ways to cut costs without cutting corners on your kitchen flooring project.

  • Remove the old flooring yourself
  • Choose unfinished flooring and finish it yourself (a good option only if you have experience, or you risk the floor looking less than its best)
  • Look for discontinued flooring that you like well enough that you’d buy it even if were not on sale or on clearance
  • Get bids from experienced local installers who will compete on price

How to Determine How Much Flooring You Need

If the room is a rectangle, simply multiply the length times the width. For example, a room 12×20 has 240 square feet of floor space. Take out the square footage of the island, if you have one.

For L-shaped space, measure the two rectangles separately, and add the two sums together.

Now, add 10% extra to account for trimming and waste. To do this easily, multiply your square footage of floor space by 1.1. So, in our example, 240×1.1= 264 square feet. Order as many boxes of flooring as needed to reach/surpass that total. You might also desire to have a half-box or so of planks left over for potential tile replacement in the future.

Hardwood Flooring Cost FAQ

Here are common questions we receive about flooring and costs.

I found Select grade flooring that costs the same as Prime grade flooring from the same manufacturer and the same wood species. Why was it the same price?

While Prime is considered the top grade with Select slightly below, the strength and structural integrity of the grades is the same. The difference is aesthetic, as perhaps you can tell by looking at the flooring. Select, or A Grade, is cleaner with fewer characteristics such as small knots and/or wormholes. Prime, or B Grade, has a few more of these. In other words, the difference in the two is strictly cosmetic; which one is preferred is simply a matter of personal taste.

Will I get better prices for flooring online?

You often can, since prices are very competitive online and retailers selling there have fewer overhead costs.

My handyman does a lot of flooring. Should I consider hiring him?

Only if he is both licensed and insured, so that you are protected against liability. However, if you’d like to get free estimates from leading hardwood flooring installers in your area, consider using our partner service. It is free, and there is no obligation. It will give you the opportunity to review additional estimates and learn about the experience and expertise about those companies.

Don’t hesitate to pay a bit more to get a truly professional installation that will look great and perform as it should in the decades to come.


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