House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Cost to Install Hardwood Floors (Cost Per Square Foot in 2024)


Credit: midascode, Pixabay

If you are looking to install a wood floor in your home or office, you probably have many questions, not the least of which is how much it will cost. Fortunately, for many homeowners, you’ll find that installing a wood floor isn’t that expensive or hard to do. It mostly comes down to what style of flooring you use and what kind of wood.

Join us while we discuss the different kinds of flooring you can install and the differences in how they look, feel and cost. We’ll also discuss how you install the different types and how much it would cost for a big job.divider 4

Types of Flooring

There are three main types of flooring you can use, and we are going to look at each one here.

Solid Wood Floor

solid wood floor-pixabay
Credit: yubowei, Pixabay

The solid wood flooring is the traditional style, and it’s probably what most people think of when you mention a wood floor. Solid wood floors require you to nail each board into a subfloor, but you cannot see the nails once you are finished. If you do not have a subfloor, you will need to install one which will increase costs and labor. The good thing about a solid wood floor is that it’s extremely durable and often lasts several decades. If damage occurs to one of the boards, it’s easy to replace.


  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to repair
  • Expensive
  • Requires subflooring
  • Typical Subfloor Cost = $2.70 – $4.35 per square foot
  • Typical Solid Wood Floor Cost = $7.80 per square foot depending on the type of wood used
How much does it cost to cover a 12’ X 18’ living room?
  • Subflooring = $583 – $939
  • Solid Wood Floor = $1684
  • Total = $2,267 – $2,623
How much does it cost to install 1,000 square feet of hardwood floors?
  • Subfloor = $2,700 –$ 4,350
  • Solid Wood Floor = $7,800
  • Total = $10,500 – $12,150

Engineered Wood

Credit: xshot, Shutterstock

Engineered wood is the modern style of wood floor preferred by many people because of its low cost and installation ease. This flooring locks together using a tongue and groove system that creates a waterproof barrier on nearly any surface, including concrete. You usually lay the boards over an inexpensive wood like particle board to increase strength, and since there are no nails, labor is often cheaper than it is for a solid wood floor. The downside to engineered wood is that it wears out faster than solid wood, and you will need to replace it more often. Also, due to the flooring’s puzzle-like nature, it may be challenging to replace a small area that gets damaged, so you may need to replace the entire floor.


  • Lower cost
  • Easy to install
  • Waterproof barrier
  • Not as durable
  • Difficult to repair
  • Typical engineered wood cost = $6.40 per square foot
How much does it cost to cover a 12’ X 18’ living room?
  • Engineered Wood Floor = $1,382
How much does it cost to install 1000 square feet of hardwood floors?
  • Engineered Wood Floor = $6,400

Consult a flooring expert

Find a flooring specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.

COREtec Wood Floor

The COREtec wood floor is a type of engineered wood that’s available in a wide range of appearances. Unlike most engineered wood, a COREtec floor will have woodgrain that you can feel.  You can also get it to look like stone, brick, and other surfaces, each one with a hyper-realistic appearance. It’s easy to install, like engineered wood but suffers from the inability to change a single panel. It’s also much more expensive and is similar in cost to a solid wood floor, but it is more durable.


  • Wide variety of styles
  • Durable
  • Realistic appearance
  • Easy to install
  • Waterproof
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to repair
  • Typical COREtec wood floor cost = $12 per square foot
How much does it cost to cover a 12’ X 18’ living room?
  • COREtec wood floor = $2,592
How much does it cost to install 1000 square feet of hardwood floors?
  • Engineered Wood Floor = $12,000

divider 6

Which Flooring Should I Use?

The type of flooring you use is mostly a personal choice. However, we recommend engineered wood for most people. You can probably install it yourself, and it only requires a few hand tools. It provides you with a durable, waterproof surface that’s perfect for kitchens and pets. It’s less expensive than the other methods and will last nearly as long.

COREtec is perfect for high-end homes when you don’t mind spending a little extra for real wood grain texture and for when you want something exotic like stone or brick that you may not be able to find in engineered wood. Real wood flooring is perfect for high traffic areas where you might need to replace a board now and then. A perfect example would be a commercial environment where you have customers coming and going every day.

divider 1


You can install any of these floorings yourself, but you may want to enlist professional help with a solid wood floor to make sure you get the subfloor correctly and no nails are sticking out. However, we think most people will be happiest with the engineered wood. It’s inexpensive, and there are many different colors available to suit any cost at roughly the same price. While it’s not quite as durable as solid wood, you can install it yourself, and it will likely last a lifetime unless you have large dogs, several children, or you move your furniture around a lot.

We hoped we have helped you choose the type of flooring you want to install in your home. If you think it can help others, please share this guide to the cost of installing hardwood floors on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured image credit: midascode, Pixabay


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools