When shopping around for the perfect hardwood flooring for your home, knowing the different options and how they affect price will help you keep your budget on track.

The average cost of hardwood flooring runs from $2,400 to $6,800, with the national average being around $4,500.

This cost includes installation fees per square foot, where charges can range from $6 to $12 per square foot, with a national average of $8 per square foot.

For a more high-end home and hardwood flooring selection, installation jobs can run as high as $13 to $25 or more per square foot.

About 50 to 75% of your budget will go towards materials and the rest going to the labor of installation by a flooring company.

Average Cost of Hardwood Flooring by Living Space

Flooring Total Square Footage:

For a 500 square foot house, the average cost of hardwood flooring, including installation would run you anywhere from $3,00 – $6,000

For a 1,500 square foot house, the average cost of hardwood flooring, including installation would run you anywhere from $7,500 – $14,500.

For a 2,000 square foot house, the average cost of hardwood flooring, including installation would run you anywhere from

Why Hardwood Flooring Can be Expensive

Hardwood flooring is definitely not a cheaper flooring option, although it is very common in Virginia homes. Over the decades, hardwood flooring has grown in price and it comes down to the following reasons:

  1. Hardwood trees are diminishing.
  2. Hardwood flooring is very labor intensive to install and finish.
  3. Technology has not improved to enhance the hardwood flooring process.
  4. Many alternatives to hardwood.

The first reason why hardwood flooring costs can cost you more than luxury vinyl wood plank flooring or carpet is due to its composition. Hardwood flooring is made up of real hardwood from various wood species. As decades pass and trees continue to be limited, the cost of hardwood flooring increases with the market.

Hardwood flooring also requires professional installation that is met with precision and care, unlike other, easier to install flooring options.

Hardwood flooring installation requires cutting the planks, installation, sanding, buffing, staining and sealant with such precision as to not create bubbles or what is known as fisheyes in your flooring. It takes more time and effort than most other flooring options. It also requires the use of more equipment and materials. These equipment and materials are large, heavy, and have not been updated in decades, which makes the hardwood flooring process still time consuming and in need of a skilled professional.

Hardwood flooring dates back to the 1600s. Today, there are laminate options that start at $0.49 per square foot that homeowners can install to “look” like hardwood, without the cost and feel.

Technology has allowed for a much wider variety of flooring since around the 1920s, when more flooring options began hitting the market.

All these things are contributing factors to the cost of hardwood floors. The majority of homeowners installing hardwood know the costs associated and are looking to maintain the tradition in their home.

Cost of Maintaining Hardwood Floors

Maintaining hardwood floors is fairly simple. You will want to avoid using water, as it can cause the planks to buckle and warp. Use hardwood floor cleaners such as Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner or Murphy Oil Soap. You can also use waxes like SC Johnson Paste Wax to keep your hardwood secure from damage and in pristine, shiny condition.

Despite what you’ve heard about using vinegar to clean your hardwood floors, it can cause the finishing to dull over time and is not highly recommended. There are other green hardwood cleaning options if you are looking for green cleaning supplies.

You can spray your hardwood floor cleaner down, then use a dry mop to clean and shine them. Do not dampen your mop to clean your floors!

Keep in mind that hardwood flooring also comes with the costs of repairs 10-15 years down the road when your floor may need to be sanded down, refinished and resealed so it can last another 10 years or more.