Summary: How much does it cost to install a hardwood floor, average price of a hardwood floor and average cost of labour.
Although more expensive than alternatives such as parquet or tiles, a hardwood floor really is a thing of beauty. Installing a hardwood floor can instantly transform a room, providing a luxurious and durable floor to be enjoyed for many years to come. If you're thinking about installing a hardwood floor in your home, here are some things to consider before you get started.
Where in your home Because hardwood floors can be damaged by moisture, they are not generally suited to bathrooms or basements. If you plan to install a hardwood floor in a high traffic area such as a kitchen or hallway, you will need to select a wood with a suitable finish to protect against damage from water and feet. As hardwood flooring is priced per square meter, the size of the room or rooms you want to cover is another factor to bear in mind.
Type of flooring Cost isn't the only factor to bear in mind when thinking about the type of hardwood flooring to install. Anyone thinking about installing a wood floor will have to decide whether to use finished or un-finished wood.
Pre-finished wood is generally more expensive, but will save you time and potentially labour costs when compared with un-finished wood. A pre-finished floor can typically be installed in less than half the time of an un-finished floor, even before sanding and finishing is taken into account.
Floor condition Before even thinking about installing a hardwood floor, it is essential to check the condition of the underlying surface. Any damp rising from the surface beneath the floor will eventually warp and ruin the wood, so it's essential to make sure the underlying surface is completely dry. Should damp be an issue, this will need to be treated with a sealant or moisture barrier before installing your floor. If the underlying surface is uneven, this will also cause problems and make it impossible to get a high quality finish. If you plan to lay your hardwood floor on a less-than-perfect surface, you will need to use a self-levelling compound before you start.
Underfloor heating If you plan to use underfloor heating, this will have an impact on the type of hardwood floor you can use. Some woods are more suitable for use with underfloor heating systems, for example oak and ash. Others are not recommended for use with underfloor heating, so this will have an impact on cost.
Installation method There are three main methods of hardwood floor installation - nail down, glue down and floating. The right method for your floor will depend on the type of floor you plan on using (solid blocks or engineered, pre-finished blocks) and the condition of the underlying surface. Ask your flooring supplier or a qualified tradesman for advice on which is best for your home.
Skills Installing a hardwood floor is a time consuming and painstaking job. The vast majority of issues that arise with hardwood floors are caused by incorrect installation or sub-floor preparation - something to bear in mind if you are considering installing your floor yourself. Because a hardwood floor is something that should last a lifetime, many people decide to use a flooring contractor to install their hardwood floor.
Anyone thinking about installing a wood floor will have to decide whether to use finished or un-finished wood.
Check the condition of the underlying surface before installing a floor.
Installing a hardwood floor is a time consuming and painstaking job.
Materials The price of your materials will depend on the type, finish and thickness of the flooring you chose. Prices start from around £20 per square meter for European oak and go up to £50 plus for more exotic hardwoods such as Maple and Teak. As well as the wood needed for your floor, you will also need to pay for the materials needed to prepare your floor for installation. For example, if you need to install a damp membrane or use a anti-moisture sealant, this will need to be taken into account. Other materials and tools required will depend on the installation method chosen - for example, you may need a hammer and nails, or glue gun.
Labour If you decide to pay a flooring contractor to lay your new floor, you will need to factor in labour costs. To find a specialist flooring contractor, either ask for recommendations locally or your flooring supplier should be able to make a recommendation. All contractors will be able to provide a written estimate and project outline and you may be expected to pay a deposit against the price of materials if you decide to go ahead. Although hiring an expert to fit your new floor will prove more expensive than doing it yourself, the additional cost is well worth the money given the cost of wood and work involved.
If you decide to pay a flooring contractor to lay your new floor, you will need to factor in labour costs.
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