Comparing the Cost of Wooden Flooring to Other Types of Flooring

Hardwood floors have higher initial costs than carpet or vinyl but their long-term durability significantly reduces average cost over life of floor. Explore options & budget considerations when deciding if hardwood is right choice for your home.

Comparing the Cost of Wooden Flooring to Other Types of Flooring

Hardwood floors have a higher initial cost than carpet or vinyl, but their long-term durability significantly reduces the average cost over the life of the floor. The material and installation costs of hardwood floors are more in line with those of quality tile floors and natural stone floors. When budgeting for hardwood flooring costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations that don't necessarily show up in a hardwood flooring cost calculator. At most hardwood flooring suppliers, you'll have to pay considerably more for high-quality wood, but it's the best option if you want to have a floor that will impress visitors. Engineered wood floors are more affordable than solid wood floors, as they only have a thin layer of quality wood on top of a layer of another material, usually one or two layers of plywood.

The term 'hardwood floors' sounds simple, but it actually encompasses a wide variety of different types of floors. A local flooring company is a good starting point when deciding who to hire to repair floors that don't work well, replace subfloors and joists, or fix a sunken floor. However, some companies charge more for wide-plank floors if they want sheets wider than the standard three inches found in most traditional hardwood floors. Installing unfinished hardwood floors, which require post-installation finishing, can result in additional costs, as can repairing or replacing existing hardwood or subfloor, repairing floor beams, adding additional cladding, or installing wood-looking tile floors. For homeowners who find the costs of real wood floors to be out of their budget, engineered floors are a lower-cost option with superior durability and moisture resistance.

Hardwood has become more expensive lately, but it has always been considered a luxury flooring option due to the amount of labor needed to transform a forest tree into a piece of wood suitable for flooring. The costs of installing a hardwood floor are negligible compared to the money you'll save in the long run and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your floor was installed correctly. For a considerably lower price, engineered wood floors give you most of what you're looking for in a solid wood floor. Take some time to explore your hardwood flooring options and how they fit your budget to determine if hardwood floors are the right choice for your home. If you hire a designer or general contractor to oversee all of the work, including hiring a flooring contractor, the cost of installing the wood floor is likely to be even higher.

If the wooden floor has chips and scratches that penetrate deep into the wood, the floor becomes prone to water damage due to a lack of coating or varnish. Engineered wood floors are more resistant to water damage than solid wood floors, although both types can stain, warp, rot, and separate if exposed to significant amounts of water due to plumbing problems or flooding. Floors that use a thin layer of hardwood supported by a composite material, plywood, or any other material other than solid wood are not considered solid wood floors.