How Much Does It Cost to Install Engineered Hardwood Floors?
$2,000 - $7,000
$2,000 - $7,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated February 2, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
Engineered hardwood flooring installation costs $4,730 on average, typically ranging from $2,000 to $7,000. A more affordable alternative to the cost of traditional hardwood flooring, you’ll spend anywhere from $3 to $25 per square foot on engineered wood floors, depending on the type of wood you choose, the installation method, your location, and the project size.
Engineered hardwood planks have a layered core of plywood or fiberboard and a surface veneer of natural hardwood. They come pre-finished to save time and money during installation. You can't refinish them like solid wood, but engineered wood floors can still last about 50 years. This guide details the factors that influence the cost of installing engineered hardwood.
Installation labor costs generally account for about 50% of your total cost. For example, if you spend $2,500 on flooring materials and equipment, expect to pay about $2,500 on labor, for a total project cost of $5,000.
Your installation cost will vary depending on the contractor. Most flooring contractors charge per project. Project rates are typically based on square footage, but may also be impacted by the flooring type you’re having installed. When gathering estimates, ask each contractor about their rate for engineered hardwood floors.
Some contractors opt to charge $60 to $80 per hour on average. In these cases, you could end up spending more than you budgeted for if a project ends up taking longer than expected. Ask each contractor for an estimate of how long the project will take and have them draw up a contract specifying what will happen if they exceed their timeline.
Engineered wood flooring installation—including materials and labor—can cost anywhere from $3 to $25 per square foot, the most common method professionals use to charge for installation. Exotic wood species tend to cost more than domestic hardwoods.
The simplest and cheapest engineered planks cost about $3 to $9 per square foot. They usually feature three core layers topped by a 1/16- to 1/12-inch-thick veneer. This is the average type of engineered hardwood floor installed by homeowners, with all the benefits you’d expect: increased stability, resistance to changes in humidity, and installations below ground level.
Mid-range engineered planks usually cost $6 to $12 per square foot. These floors are of slightly higher quality than basic engineered wood and are a good choice if you have children or pets, due to their ability to better resist scratches than lower-grade products. They usually feature five core layers topped by a 1/12- to 1/8-inch-thick veneer.
The most durable engineered wood planks typically cost $9 to $16 per square foot, though they may reach as high as $25 per square foot. These floors last a long time and resist wear from heavy foot traffic, making them great for large families who spend a lot of time at home or host large parties. They usually feature seven or more core layers and at least a 1/6-inch-thick veneer.
Like solid hardwood floors, you can make engineered planks from various tree species. Each type is rated based on strength using the Janka scale, which runs from 600 for the softest woods to 3,800 for the hardest. The wood type you choose will impact your total installation cost.
Below is a list of the most commonly used wood species for flooring. You may see other species when shopping for new floors, and your local flooring specialist can explain the features of each one.
|Wood Type||Cost Per Square Foot||Janka Rating|
|Heart Pine||$1.50 – $4 per sq. ft.||1,225|
|Hard Maple||$3.50 – $6 per sq. ft.||1,450|
|White Ash||$5 – $6 per sq. ft.||1,320|
|Acacia||$3 – $8 per sq. ft.||2,220|
|Brazilian Koa||$4 – $9 per sq. ft.||2,160|
|Brazilian Cherry||$5 – $9 per sq. ft.||2,350|
Engineered heart pine planks usually cost $1.50 to $4 per square foot. Also called longleaf pine, this type of wood is durable and dense with a defined grain. Heart pine is naturally darker and takes a dark stain well, offering a vintage charm. With a Janka score of 1,225, it works well in areas that see lots of foot traffic, such as a dining room, living room, or children’s play area.
Engineered maple planks usually cost $3.50 to $6 per square foot. This popular flooring choice has a Janka score of 1,450 and is great for families and high-traffic areas. It can be difficult to finish, but the unfinished wood ranges from creamy white to a rich reddish-brown. You’ll find maple planks that can be fastened, glued down, or glued together.
Engineered white ash planks usually cost $5 to $6 per square foot. This wood varies in color from cream to grayish-brown, with grain patterns that hide imperfections well. The beautiful light colors work well in sun-lit rooms. With a Janka score of 1,320, it can handle many types of traffic. However, it often boasts lower installation costs thanks to being easier to cut.
Engineered acacia planks usually cost $3 to $8 per square foot. Acacia wood contains natural wax for a veneer that repels pests and water, making it less likely to warp. Its color varies significantly from light creams to dark browns, and its interesting graining is popular in rustic and Colonial designs. It’s also right in the middle of the Janka scale, with a score of 2,220.
Engineered Brazilian Koa planks usually cost $4 to $9 per square foot. The warm orange hue and high-contrast dark brown wood grain give it a distinctive striping, leading to its common nickname of tigerwood. It offers a bold look and a Janka score of 2,160.
Engineered Brazilian cherry planks usually cost $5 to $9 per square foot. If your home gets a lot of foot traffic, Brazilian cherry is a great choice, with a Janka score of 2,350. This exotic wood features deep red-brown tones that can really warm up the look of a room.
The cost of an engineered hardwood flooring installation will vary somewhat depending on the region you live. The prices in the table below are based on the average range per square foot to install engineered hardwood in varying cities.
These figures include the cost of the engineered wood flooring itself, installation labor, job supplies, and required equipment. They also include the cost to remove and dispose of existing flooring.
|Region||Cost to Install Engineered Hardwood Floors|
|Miami, FL||$8.50 – $17 per sq. ft.|
|Salt Lake City, UT||$9 – $17.50 per sq. ft.|
|]Albuquerque, NM||$9 – $18 per sq. ft.|
|Kansas City, MO||$9.50 – $18.50 per sq. ft.|
|Hartford, CT||$10 – $19.50 per sq. ft.|
|Los Angeles, CA||$10 – $20 per sq. ft.|
|Philadelphia, PA||$10.25 – $20.50 per sq. ft.|
|Chicago, IL||$10.50 – $21 per sq. ft.|
|New York, NY||$12 – $24.50 per sq. ft.|
|Honolulu, HI||$12.50 – $25 per sq. ft.|
Aside from your location and product type, several other factors may influence the cost of your engineered hardwood flooring installation.
Many engineered hardwood products are designed to be installed as click-together floating floors that aren’t affixed to the subfloor. These allow for faster, easier, and less expensive installation than traditional nailing, stapling, or gluing methods.
If you do prefer conventional installation techniques, harder planks may cost more to install than softer wood types due to the extra work required to cut and shape them. Intricate wood floor patterns such as herringbone or parquet are also more time-consuming to create.
A variety of complications can add work for your contractor, which may end up adding to your overall cost. If your subfloor isn’t level, you may need to pay $1,000 to $1,500 to have concrete poured. Damaged underlayment or subflooring may also require sanding or mold removal, and you may need to pay the cost of hardwood floor repairs before your installation can begin.
On average, a DIY installation will cost $1,000 to $3,500. Since labor typically accounts for about 50% of your total cost, installing engineered hardwood floors as a DIY project is worth considering. However, while a successful DIY project may be less expensive, any mistakes you make may end up costing you more than what you’d pay to hire a local hardwood floor installer.
Between removing a botched flooring installation, buying new materials, and starting over, you may end up paying more than hiring a pro for installation. If you don’t have the necessary experience, there are other DIY ways to cut installation costs and save your contractor’s time:
Move furniture or appliances yourself to save $75–$125.
Remove and dispose of old flooring or carpet, but test for asbestos first.
Choose a sturdy mid-grade or basic wood type instead of a high-end product.
Engineered hardwood flooring installation is possible as a DIY project and can save you money if done successfully. However, you could end up needing a professional to come in and re-do the work unless you’re confident in your skillset or have the help of a friend or family member with the required experience.
Before deciding, weigh the cost of hiring a professional against your skill level. Start by comparing flooring installers in your area. Most contractors will provide a free estimate, so get at least three before you commit.
When contacting installers, ask about how long the project will take, how they set their prices, and what to expect throughout the installation process. Have them visit your home to assess your space for the most accurate estimate.
You can install all engineered hardwood floors on or above ground level. You can also install them below-grade in finished basements, unlike solid hardwood floors. Engineered wood isn't waterproof and won't make a good surface for a bathroom, laundry room, or mudroom where moisture is common.
While you should expect your installation to take a few days, you can install engineered wood more quickly than traditional solid wood, thanks to the abundance of pre-finished products and floating installation techniques.
Sweep a few times a week and avoid using water or cleaning solutions to help your floors last as long as possible. Wipe up spills as soon as they occur.
Consider installing engineered hardwood if you want to increase your home's value. Any natural hardwood product will have a higher return on investment than wood-look synthetic products. On average, engineered hardwood is comparable in cost to other flooring products, depending on the type of wood you want.
Engineered wood is made using layers of natural hardwood. While some laminate planks may look like real wood, it’s actually made of particleboard with a photographic wood image layer on top. While you’ll likely pay less for laminate flooring repairs and installation, a well-maintained engineered wood floor can last twice as long and add more resale value to your home.