Homeowners often dream of adding hardwood flooring to their homes for good reason. It’s one of the best investments you can make, especially if you’re thinking about selling. It looks good. It wears great. It can add a touch of class to any living space.
But when you start to price hardwood for your home, it can send your dreams spiraling downward.
We’re not going to lie; hardwood flooring is expensive. Depending on your final selection, it can be one of the highest costs in your home renovation.
But what we often see is homeowners attempt to get the dream while taking shortcuts too. They find a “good deal” and think they’ll have a great quality flooring. That’s rarely the case.
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
But there are still ways you can save on hardwood flooring, and love it for years to come. It doesn’t mean sacrificing in terms of quality or labor to get what you want.
A look at how much it costs for hardwood floors
When people decide to install hardwood floors, they focus on the price of the hardwood. But there’s more to it than that. If you get an estimate on how much it will be to add hardwood flooring to different rooms in your home, it will contain several costs.
Materials – this is the one place where the homeowner has the most flexibility in controlling the costs. You can stick with a more standard hardwood and keep costs low. Or bump it up to an exotic species, and you’ll spend more. You can even move into engineered wood, where prices will vary widely, depending on the veneer top layer and the plywood underneath.
Labor – contractors typically charge for labor based on the square footage of the space they’ll be working in. They also charge based on the amount of work it takes to lay the flooring into place. Hardwood will take longer than engineered wood. You’ll also pay more if your space includes irregular shapes, or you’ll be combining it with other materials for a unique look.
Other – there are always unexpected costs that can arise during the project. Is your subfloor in good shape, or do the contractors find a problem? Costs are always based on what they can see at the time of the estimate. If something else arises during the process, it’ll cost more in the process. Plus, there may be costs for removing old flooring and hauling it away.
All of that can make your estimate a little shocking when you finally receive it. If you see hardwood planks on an endstand at your local big box store for a low price, and your estimate jumps up the cost significantly compared to what you calculated, these reasons are why.
If you want to install new flooring, and have the desire to save where you can, getting a handful of estimates will result in a variety of different bids. Why is one so much higher or lower than the others? How do you compare and make a selection?
Ultimately, it comes down to the materials. Every installer will have virtually the same amount of labor. They’ll have the extra costs of removing materials and dealing with unseen problems. Which means where they control costs is the final product they sell to you.
That’s why this is where you should put your attention. Look at the species, plank size and width, whether it’s solid hardwood or an engineered variation. Look at manufacturers and warranties. Understand the quality of the product.
And if you aren’t sure about something, ask. A reputable dealer will provide you with an answer that makes sense.
The easiest ways to save on hardwood flooring
If you’re getting closer to narrowing your choices down and installing hardwood flooring, here are few things that will help you save money and get the best product at the same time.
Adjust your desire for type or grade of wood
If you come into our showroom floor with one specific type of hardwood flooring in mind, you won’t have choices. It’s better to come in with a concept, and ask for variations around it.
For example, maybe you want dark hardwood floors. One of our associates can give you a variety of options. They can show you the differences between solid and engineered, as well as differences in species and color. They can let you feel different grades of hardwood. They can even give you advice on what’s worked for other customers.
Not every homeowner is the same. Maybe you like a little color variation throughout the planks. Maybe a narrower plank suits your needs. If you come in with an open mind, we can give you a wider array of options.
Install the hardwood yourself
This might not be a perfect solution for everyone, but for some, it is an option. If you have experience in home building and are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, installing hardwood can cut your costs in adding a new floor. Just keep in mind that hardwood is one of the most challenging flooring choices to install and get it right.
It’s important that you get everything in correctly, or you risk breaking the warranty. We don’t recommend installing unfinished and attempt sanding and staining yourself.
But if your goal is a DIY project, there are still lots of options. Instead of a traditional wood floor, maybe you move to a floating floor with click-in-place technology.
There are always options depending on your desires.
Split the work into multiple projects
If you find that your budget doesn’t get you everything you desire, you can always adjust the scope of work now, and add in other rooms later.
The good thing about hardwood is it lasts for a very long time. You can start with rooms in your main living space now, and add the rest as you save up.
If you’re going to do this, it’s wise to talk with a flooring dealer who understands the industry. Choose hardwood that stands the test of time, and will be there when you’re ready to add it to your home. They can also help you budget and select wisely, so it makes the most sense to your living space. They can make the entire process efficient, helping you save even more money in the long run.
It’s time to make your choice. How will you save on hardwood flooring, and get the home you truly desire?