Hardwood floors are beautiful, tempting, and costly. Add in the price of installation, and you may find yourself looking at other options.
But before giving up on hardwood flooring entirely, let’s look at the factors that affect its cost. It will also give you an idea about where you can save on hardwood flooring costs.
Wood Species & Their Costs
The more rare and exotic the wood, the more it will cost, of course. The hardest and most durable of these include mahogany, as well as Brazilian cherry and Brazilian walnut. Oak and black walnut are comparatively less expensive.
Pine is a softwood and usually the cheapest flooring option. Then there is bamboo, followed by maple, hickory, red oak, white oak, cypress, and white ash. The most expensive hardwood flooring includes African blackwood, Brazilian cherry, zebrawoods, ebony, mahogany, and Brazilian walnut.
Softwood is more affordable. The drawback to these species is that they are not very durable, so it tends to scratch and dent easily. Pine is the most popular softwood flooring option in the Toronto area.
In the middle, you can opt for non-traditional species like cork or bamboo. The latter is much more durable than the hardest hardwood, sustainable, and eco-friendly.
Grain also affects the price of wood flooring. Rift or quarter sawn planks with grain lines running down the board’s length is more expensive than plain sawn planks with grains running across them in a wave-like pattern.
Cost of Engineered Hardwood vs. Real Hardwood
Engineered hardwood floors mimic the look of real wood and are a lot less expensive because they use less real wood. The gap between the cost of real wood and engineered wood flooring widens as you move towards the look of more exotic wood. Even the installation price of the two differs a lot.
You will also find differences between the prices of engineered wood floors because their cost also depends on the thickness of their veneer and the construction of its core. Basically, the thicker the veneer, the higher the price. A thicker veneer also means you will be able to refinish your floor more often and hence make it last longer. Engineered flooring with a plywood core will be more durable and, so, more expensive.
How Floor Design and Installation Affects Cost
If you are looking for chevrons or herringbone parquet in your living room, be ready to spend more; the more intricate the pattern, the pricier the flooring. An intricate pattern will require a lot of installation work.
Talking about installation, most hardwood planks come with tongues and grooves and need to be glued, stapled, or nailed to the subfloor. And that’s why you will always need to rely on professionals to install them for you.
Others click together (these are called floating floors), where planks snap into each other. Thanks to friction and pressure, they stay. So the usual installation processes such as the nail-down method, gluing or stapling to the subfloor can be avoided. You can also install them by yourself, thus eliminating the cost of labour.
The condition of your subfloor also affects cost. Ideally, it should be level and dry before any wood flooring is installed. If it is damaged or uneven, it will cost more to make them fit for installation. On the other hand, floating floors are more forgiving of your subfloor’s shortcomings. But if it has moisture issues, you must address them to avoid mould problems later.
Hardwood flooring is a fabulous investment that adds a wow factor to your home and increases its real estate value. But with so much money on the line, it’s hard to make a decision on your own. Here we have answered one of the most frequently asked questions about hardwood floors, but ask the wisdom of your local retailer to make this decision easier. Before you give up on your dreams of having a stunning wood floor and go with engineered hardwood instead, ask the experts. Find out where you can save money and work together to make it happen because you can never go wrong with hardwood flooring.