The age old questions -- how much does hardwood flooring cost? At first it appears easy, just look at the price per square foot and times it by the amount of square feet you need. It actually almost seems too easy.
Well, I'm here to give you the inside scoop and all the pieces that go into understanding the price of hardwood flooring. Factors like waste, quality, finish, manufacturing company, and so on.
The Range of Hardwood Flooring Prices
Pricing for hardwood flooring can range from as low as $3.99 per square foot to as high as $25.99 per square foot. This is a wide range, but it makes sense once you get into the details.
- Quality (Milling, Finishing & Type of Finish)
- Type of Wood
- Width of Board
- Lengths of Planks
- Environmental Impact / Ethical Manufacturing
- Amount of waste required (some places require up to 20% WASTE)
What's a bad floor for $3.99?
It's common to see hardwood flooring priced around the $3 - $6 mark. This is fine, but there are some important things you need to look out for.
Trap #1 - Poor Quality / Made in China / Environmental Impacts / A Lot Of Waste
Watch this video to understand the poor quality of hardwood flooring made in China. Did you know? -- 70% of flooring is made in China. Be aware!
In addition, if you buy a floor that's of poor quality you likely need to buy additional product since the amount of waste needed will be very high. Consider this -- you'll buy a hardwood floor that will require 20% wasted flooring, that's crazy.
Trap #2: Short Boards & A Bad Finish
It's common for a sample to look beautiful, but installing a floor with short boards will make it look choppy and cheap -- No one wants this! In addition to this, you need to be really careful about the finish quality. It's easy for someone to say "10 coats of...", but in reality, you need to understand what's in each coat and how thick it is.
What's a good floor for $3.99?
Believe me, it's actually hard to find good quality -- North American made hardwood floor for only $3.99. You'll want to look for quality Canadian or USA manufactures that have overrun sales. Since we manufacture all of our hardwood flooring in the USA and Canada we've create a discount outlet site www.gaylordflooringonline.com. Since we manufacture we will get our additional unfinished planks and make a large batch, giving you as the consumer a great deal.
Here's a beautiful $3.99 floor:
Flooring between $4.99 & $8.99
This is a common range for prefinished hardwood flooring prices. You'll really have to do your due diligence to find out what the product is really like, though. Consider this -- there are some flooring companies with "Canadian" or "USA" in their brand names, but all of their floors are actually shipped and manufactured in China. Ask the flooring sales person a few questions 1) Where is the wood milled? 2) Where is the wood prefinished and 3) Are you sure?
Length & Quality at $4.99 +
Make sure you understand the quality of the products before going ahead. Length of board is a very easy to miss question. At the $4.99 + range you should be able to get flooring that has lengths that don't average 2 feet. You want long boards -- ask what length of box the floor comes in is. If it's a 6 foot box, you know the longest piece is max 6 feet, that's not great.
Here's a beautiful floor starting at $7.50:
Wood Flooring $10 +
It's not uncommon to find hardwood flooring that's $10 to $25 per square foot. This may seem like a lot, but you really do get what you pay for.
Range of Selection (Width, Lengths, Finish, etc)
At this price point you will be looking at many more flooring options. Below $10 per square foot you will have a limited selection of wider boards, as this brings the cost of production up. Additionally, flooring in a higher price category should have longer lengths. Consider this, at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring we manufacture a beautiful wide plank white oak flooring in lengths up to 10 feet and widths up to 10 inches -- It's incredible stuff.
A Beautiful Wide Plank White Oak Floor:
Speciality Cuts of Flooring
At a higher price point you are able to get more speciality cuts of hardwood flooring. There are few important cuts 1) Livesawn and 2) Quartersawn.
Livesawn Cut - This is where they slice directly through the log. In the center of the wood you get a linear quartersawn look, but on the ends you get the plainsawn look. It's incredibly rustic, but also the speciality cut gives you a stable board. This allows you to have a wide wide plank, without worrying about it cupping. In addition, livesawn is one of the most desirable looks of flooring.
Quartersawn Cut - This is where they cut the wood in quarters and cut through vs. the plain sawn method. Quartersawn is by far the most stable cut of wood, so you don't have to worry about cupping. It's also a unique look that's very sought after. Consider this -- quartersawn flooring is typically the choice in high end museums.
See Lewis Gaylord and the various cuts below:
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