Q & A
Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.
How much does it cost to install hardwood floors?
The cost of hardwood floors will depend primarily on the total square footage of flooring, the type of wood you select, the cost of labor in your region, and any preparation or repair work that needs to take place before installation. Selecting exotic woods, such as teak, will result in a higher cost for the project than a more affordable wood such as oak. The national average cost of hardwood floor installation is $5,750. Here are some examples of different woods and their average costs; actual costs will vary depending on the factors listed above.
- Basic wood floor installation: $3 per square foot from a wood floor installation company.
- The product cost for hand-scraped ¾-inch oak planks: $7 per square foot.
- 620 square feet of maple floor:
- Residential installation, total project cost: ~ $2,400 with five days of labor.
- ¾-inch dark stained maple installed on top of new concrete in three rooms, a hallways, and a staircase.
- Cost for total project: ~$3.87 per square foot.
How long does it take to install a hardwood floor and a concrete floor?
The time it takes to install hardwood and concrete floors varies based on the condition of your current floors, the size of your floors and other factors. Use the following information to gauge how long your flooring installation might take.
Time it takes to install a hardwood floor: Several days to 2+ weeks
Hardwood floor installation can take anywhere from a few days to more than two weeks, depending on demolition, wood type, the condition of your subfloor, total square footage of the project and installation method. Demolition is necessary if you have existing flooring you want to replace with hardwood floors. New-construction homes do not require this step, as the subfloor is primed and ready for floor installation.
During demolition, the flooring crew may find that your subfloor has damaged wood, uneven surfaces or other problems that must be addressed before the new wood can be laid down. Subfloor repair can take a few hours to several days, depending on what’s hiding underneath your floor. The wood for your new floor generally arrives a few days before any work begins.
The actual wood installation may take several days or more, depending on the size of your home and what type of custom cutting and designs are desired. If your flooring is not prefinished, the unfinished wood must then be sanded and stained in the home to treat and protect your new investment. Typically, staining takes a full day to dry, and multiple coats are applied.
For a more accurate timeframe of how long it will take to install hardwood floors in your home, reach out to one of the best flooring companies near you.
Time it takes to install a concrete floor: 2 days to 1 week
Installing concrete floors can take anywhere from two days to a week, depending on what you need done. Some of the factors that can impact how long it will take to install concrete floors are:
- The size of the space
- The stain or finish
- The condition of your existing floor
- Whether you want intricate, simple or no designs
- The overall complexity of the project
To get an accurate estimate of how long installing concrete floors will take for your home, speak to a concrete contractor near you.
Should I remove baseboards when installing hardwood floors?
You can install hardwood floors without removing baseboards, but it’s recommended that you remove them to fix baseboards that aren’t properly aligned, cover the expansion gap, adjust the boards’ height and ensure the baseboards match the new flooring. When talking to contractors, ask if they recommend removing your baseboard before they install your hardwood floors.
Do you put anything under hardwood floors?
It’s possible to install certain surfaces under hardwood flooring if you’re concerned about moisture or noise transmission. Builder’s felt, solid underlayment, plastic sheets and rubberized membranes are a few options you can consider. Talk to ahardwood flooring contractor or companyto discuss all of your options.
How thick is hardwood flooring?
Hardwood flooring generally comes in several thicknesses, with thicker, high-quality boards typically being more expensive and more durable. The thinnest is 5/16 inch thick. The next thickness is 3/8 inch thick, and the thickest solid hardwood flooring is generally 3/4 inch thick or 1/2 inch thick. The cost for each thickness varies by the brand, retailer and type of wood. Generally, you might see prices ranging as low as $2.50 to $6 per square foot.
What is the best hardwood floor?
The best hardwood floors are made from durable, hard species like oak, maple and cherry. Solid hardwood is typically the better choice over engineered wood because you can sand out the scratches multiple times. However, engineered hardwood is better equipped for humid households.
Consider buying prefinished hardwood flooring, which can be more durable and simplify the installation process. Plus, prefinished wood often comes with a warranty from the factory.
Bamboo is another popular option, though be aware that some might not be as eco-friendly as others due to its production process. Some of the popular hardwood floor brands are Bruce, Carlisle and Lumber Liquidators.
To ensure you choose the best type of wood flooring for your home, hire one of the top hardwood floor installation professionals near you.
Do engineered wood floors scratch easily?
Yes, but engineered wood flooring has the same susceptibility to scratching as hardwood flooring. Engineering wood floors have a layer of real wood on top. For this reason, engineered hardwood reacts the same way that regular hardwood does to scratching. If you don’t mind a few character marks on your floor like small scratches and dents, this is not a problem. However, engineered wood can be sanded down and resealed if the damage gets too great.
Find a hardwood floor professional in your area who can tell you more about the pros and cons of engineered wood floors.
How do I choose which type of flooring to install in my home?
If you’re ready to install new floors in your home -- or replace old flooring -- you’re probably wondering where to start. After all, there are many options to choose from: hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, linoleum and the list goes on. If you’re stuck on which type of flooring you should choose, start with learning the pros and cons of several popular options.
Engineered vs. Solid Wood Flooring:
Typically, engineered wood flooring is better than hardwood when it comes to humidity -- it’s less likely to expand. It’s also easier to install engineered wood, and it can be more moisture-resistant when compared to solid wood. Solid wood, on the other hand, can be more durable. Plus, you can refinish and sand it multiple times. If you have engineered wood, you’ll only be able to sand it maybe once or twice.
Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Flooring:
Solid hardwood flooring is an authentic product — full-thickness, high-grade wood with all of its textures and imperfections. Wood floors add considerably more value to your home, with a 70% to 80% return on investment, according to Realtor.com. Unlike laminate floors, they can be repaired by sanding and refinishing.
Laminate wood flooring is much more affordable than hardwood, as it is made from composite wood, an image of hardwood’s texture and a clear protective layer. It's resistant to both sunlight and moisture. While it’s harder to repair, hardwood laminate better resists scratches.
Laminate vs. Vinyl Plank Flooring:
Laminate and vinyl floors are both synthetic products that imitate high-quality flooring materials like wood, stone and tile. Vinyl floors are made entirely from PVC plastic and may come as planks, tiles or sheets. They are inexpensive and waterproof. Vinyl plank flooring is a great choice for moist areas like bathrooms, kitchens and entryways, while laminate flooring is a good choice for living rooms, bedrooms and other non-wet areas. Vinyl flooring is also a bit easier to clean and maintain.
Laminate consists of a fiberboard core, a printed image layer and a clear protective film on top. Laminate floors are susceptible to damage if there is excess moisture. However, laminate flooring is superior to vinyl flooring in terms of its aesthetic quality, so you’ll have an easier time making your floor look like real stone, wood or ceramic. Laminate flooring is also more environmentally friendly than vinyl.
If you need more help choosing flooring for your home, reach out to the top flooring companies near you.
What's the best flooring for basements, kitchens and bathrooms?
When installing flooring in your home, keep in mind that some materials are better suited for certain rooms while others are not. Use this guide to help you make the best decision for your home.
Best Flooring for Basements
Basement flooring should be highly resistant to moisture, as many basements are below grade. Choosing the best flooring for basement spaces depends on what they’ll be used for. For example:
- An epoxy basement floor is a durable finish for concrete.
- Vinyl basement flooring is generally waterproof or water-resistant.
- Laminate floors can be an affordable option, but they’re often not 100% waterproof.
- Ceramic tile floors are also water-resistant.
If your basement isn’t moist, carpet tiles are also an option — just make sure to use a moisture barrier.
Best Flooring for Kitchens
Kitchen flooring does more work than almost any floor in the house, so you’ll want to choose a durable floor. The following are among the best flooring types for kitchens:
- Porcelain tilescan be fashionable, moisture-resistant, and cost less than stone or wood to install.
- Vinyl flooringcan withstand dents, is generally inexpensive and it’s easy to install.
- Linoleum flooringcan be durable, easy to maintain and affordable.
- Wood flooringcould be damaged by dropped pots and pans, furniture and pets. However, hardwood and engineered wood floors in kitchen spaces are still popular among homeowners.
Best Flooring for Bathrooms
Bathroom flooring must withstand high moisture levels while also being comfortable on bare feet. Here are some of the best flooring options for bathrooms:
- Porcelain tilesare generally comfortable, waterproof, stylish and less costly than stone or wood.
- Vinylflooring is waterproof, cost-effective and can imitate wood convincingly.
- Natural stonecan be expensive, but it’s typically hard and durable.
Reach out to a flooring installation and repair professional near you to see which type you should install in your home.
How much are oak hardwood floors?
Installing oak hardwood floors can add value and beauty to your home. The cost of hardwood floors is typically based on the overall square footage of your new floor, the type of oak you select, any repair work your subfloor requires prior to installation, and any demolition costs to remove your old flooring. Other factors that will affect your total cost can include the regional cost of labor and business overhead of your flooring company.
A flooring installation company may charge $3 per square foot for standard installation. For hand-scraped (higher-end) ¾-inch oak planks, the cost is approximately $7 per square foot, for a total cost per square foot of about $10 as long as no repair work is required. Standard oak planks are available from big-box stores for as low as $3 per square foot, so the quality of oak you want will affect your total project cost.
Reviews for Ashburn hardwood floor professionals
We hired MidCounty Hardwood Floors to install hardwood on 2 levels of our home. Kenia responded to our request for an estimate immediately and every bit of communication afterwards was just like the first - super quick, ultra courteous, and information rich. The craftsmanship delivered by MidCounty was top notch, with the team led by Salvador, who is extremely passionate and took great pride in his team's work.We are extremely delighted with results andwould definitely hire MidCounty again for my next flooring job! We will also be recommending them to any friends who are also seeking to have their flooring replaced.
MidCounty Hardwood Floors LLC
Robert installed several hundred square feet of hardwood flooring in our Ashburn, VA home during the summer of 2014, and also installed 13 hardwood stair treads. Along with his professional installation work, he went above and beyond to advise us on the the different choices of materials, where to buy them, budgeting, and how much to buy. He worked more as a teammate and problem solver than as a contractor. We are glad we chose to work with Robert and we would certainly do so again.
From the beginning, Peter has been responsive and helpful in determining the best way to meet the needs for our project (refinishing an existing hardwood floor). We found him on thumbtack and are so glad we did. The work was done quickly and looks great. We would recommend using this business.
Amazing work done by the team. They were extremely professional and finished my project ahead of schedule. They were the one stop shop for all my needs including painting , flooring, installing porcelain tiles and hardwood flooring. They accomplished all these projects in a week including material procurement. They did a very professional and a clean job and left nothing to chance. They also cleaned up very well and left no debris. I highly recommend them for any projects and rest assured that they will get the job done as expeditiously as possible.
Professional Floor Installer
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