Did you know the national average cost of installing hardwood floors for a 200 square-foot room ranges from $2,800 to $6,400? Flooring cost concerns are what keep homeowners and even business owners from considering updating their spaces. What they do not realize is that there are steps they can take to reduce expenses.
If you have been dreaming of updating your floors and want to make the most out of your budget, read on to learn some ways to save money on your flooring installation.
1. Know Your Flooring Cost Options and Your BudgetHardwood flooring is beautiful but it may not be affordable for everyone. When you compare the cost to install hardwood flooring as mentioned above, with the cost to install laminate flooring, which is between $1,250 and $3,000 for a basic laminate, it is simple to do the math.
Have a clear idea of the budget you have available and get quotes for the rooms in which you want to install the flooring in many different flooring options, not just on your preferred choice.
2. Consider Grain and GradeWith hardwood floors, the grain and grade will affect the wood flooring cost.
The grain refers to how the wood was cut at the sawmill. The least expensive option is the "plain-sawn" cut, featuring grain that runs across the board in wavelike patterns. More expensive options have the grain running in lines down the length of the board in what is called a "quarter-sawn" or "rift-sawn" cut.
Wood floors are graded by physical characteristics. If the boards have a uniform color and do not have knots or wormholes, they are "clear" and are more expensive.
A "select" grade is wood with color variations, mineral streaks, and knots. A "No. 1 common" grade is wood with even more color variations and knots and a "No. 2 common" is a more rustic version of the No. 1 common.
Common grades are the least expensive options.
Knowing the species of wood will also save you money. Stronger and more durable types of wood are more expensive. Options like pine and acacia are on the low end of costs, while walnut, mahogany, and teak are on the higher end.
The thickness of the wood will also impact the cost. There are some wood types that can only be cut at a certain thickness, with the thicker cuts being more expensive.
3. Decide Between Solid, Engineered, and LaminateYou have to decide between solid wood, engineered hardwood, and laminate.
Solid wood is wood that was cut straight from the tree. Engineered wood has several layers of plywood topped with a veneer of hardwood. Because engineered wood is resistant to moisture, it may be the best choice in some rooms like bathrooms and even finished basements.
Laminate flooring is made with a stabilizing base layer and a core of compressed high-density fiberboard layers which is often set in resin. The top layer is a photographic one with a coat of resin to add durability. You can choose the photographic layer to look like wood, stone, pebbles, and more.
Solid wood is generally the more expensive option, with engineered wood coming next. Laminate is the most affordable.
4. Refinish Your Hardwood FloorsIf you like your hardwood floors but know they look too worn, refinishing them can save you money while still offering the results you want. You can only refinish solid hardwood floors and some types of engineered floors, but not laminate.
You will have to sand the current floor and apply coats of finish. Most people do not want to refinish the floors themselves, so you want to get quotes to have an idea of the cost to refinish hardwood floors before you make a choice.
5. Buy Flooring OnlineYou can usually save money by purchasing wood floors online. You want to avoid companies like Lumber Liquidators and any other big box stores because the quality of their wood and milling is poor.
Get quotes from various online companies and always ask to see samples. Grain and grade can look different when seen through a computer screen. The best companies will send representatives right to your home or office with samples so you can see how each option looks with your furniture and in your space.
When comparing quotes, resist the urge to go with the cheapest options just because they are cheaper. Prices that are well below the standard for flooring costs are of poorer quality.
Always read reviews before making a purchase online to see the kind of experiences people had when buying wood from the company.
Don't forget to consider shipping costs.
6. Choose Off-Peak Season InstallationsThe winter months and even the beginning of spring are the slowest periods for flooring installers and they may offer discounted rates if you choose their services then.
Not only will you be able to save some money but you may be able to get the installation done much more quickly.
Get the Flooring You Have Always WantedDo not let flooring cost concerns deter you from getting the floors you have been dreaming of. Even if you have a smaller budget, you can save money on your purchase by opting for laminate or lower-grade wood options.
By turning to professionals like us at National Floors Direct, you can get the widest selection of flooring options in the country. We are a direct-to-consumer carpet and flooring specialty service, ready to bring samples to your home or office. Let us help you find the floors that will transform your space.
Contact us today for a free in-home estimate!