Hardwood Install Labor Costs

Samantha111November 28, 2011

So how much do you charge per foot to install hardwood flooring? Both glue down and nail.

How many feet do you typically get done in a day. One man or two?

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We charge 3.50 to 3.99 per ft. We pay 1.50 to 2.25 per sq ft normally. 2 Men normally. Amount depends on a lot of factors. Average I would say 300 - 400 ft a day. Board width has a huge bearing also. Adhesive is close to 100 bucks a pail wholesale.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 9:30PM
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Sorry, I should have stated the flooring size. It's 2-1/4" 3/8".

Glue or nail is the same rate? Is gluing faster or slower?

All boards are about a 40" length. They cut starters to stagger them. Calculating to keep the joints no less than 6" apart across neighboring four rows as is typical. They also pay good attention to blending although I don't know how much that would add if others don't.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 1:09AM
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The main criteria is the geographic area you live in and its proximity to major cities. For instance, if its close to a class 1, olympic, or global city, you can pay MUCH more than you would in rural areas. Sometimes 2,3, and 4 times as much, because of the higher costs of living and any collective bargaining of labor and benefits.

Other considerations are accessibility to the installation area, condition of the installation area and its other finishes, installation complexity, number of doorways, transitions, stairs (install and material delivery), small cut-up areas like closets, pantries, baths, mnudrooms, etc. It trim installed? If so, how many do we need to undercut? Do we install the finish trim? Is there a fireplace stone or brick? The shape of the isntall area (radius, weird shapes and angles). Is the area cut up with cabinetry or verticle obstructions we need to fit to or go around?

Lots to consider because when it comes down to it we need to approximate time to pay our installers and a profit margin. The more complex the installation, the longer it takes, thus cost more.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 1:17PM
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That's interesting floorman. I've only been hearing standard per foot amounts advertised. Usually it's $2. Where I bought the flooring it is $4.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Glue down is more for us. The glue often costs .75/ft. If the subfloor is concrete, sealer (2 coats) adds another .50/ft. Then you add $3/ft. minimum for the install itself. Nail downs start at $3/ft.
Wood floors are all we do and we are very conscious of doing our jobs to the best of our ability. You pay more for trained labor than for the slap it down guys. It's your home and your choice.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:50AM
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Hi Everyone, we are contemplating traditional red oak hardwoods to be finished on site, vs Bruce Natural Choice pre finished hardwood. The cost isn't so much of a factor as it is about .50 more for the Bruce. It is more about the hassle factor--not having as much prep work and "pain" during the on site finishing. My main concern is will we like the prefinished as well.
Does anyone have the Bruce Natural Choice? What can you tell us? Thank you all.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Unless you have door etc. height issues solid 3/4" is preferable to solid 5/16". We've repaired a lot of 5/16" floors for what were small refrigerator water leaks. They lift off the floor leaving the staples behind. Most would have easily survived if they were 3/4".

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 4:34PM
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We are paying through the nose at an hourly rate which includes 4 manhours a day in travel and breaks. All materials were purchased by me, including the expensive glue that includes a sealer. So labor only which works out to $7 SF with the hourly arrangement. 5 hours day work time. They do more than flooring coming from general construction. It's being put down with a hand held finishing gun and compressor which I think might be slower if the floor pros generally have a rolling gun that moves along the floor faster.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 1:00PM
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We'll take all those jobs you wish to offer!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 10:52PM
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Believe me, this was an accident involving family. You would not believe. I'd have had them out of here a long time ago.

I feel sorry for the hiring party. They are very fond of this person. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but is dumb as a fox, imo. Some of these contractors must think people are really dumb. It's harder to deal with when it involves personal relationships.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Woodfloorpro, where are you from? How do I find a good installer in the Detroit area?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Call the good people here "Erickson's Flooring & Supply 1013 Orchard Street, Ferndale, MI 48220
Ph: 866-541-9663"
I do not have any stake in them as I'm from Illinois but I have been there for a seminar and know they are a reputable firm that should be willing to offer the names of a few good installers.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Thanks, woodfloorpro. I appreciate the info.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:54PM
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