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Hardwood Floors
Old 11-13-2011, 07:18 AM   #1
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Hardwood Floors

We're planning to install hardwood flooring in our master bedroom (currently has carpet). The area is 307 SF. A quote from the original company that put hardwood in the parts of the house when it was originally built 6 years ago is as follows (for 3/4" x 3 1/4 " pre-finished hardwood):

325 SF @$6.00 $1,950.00
Tax $111.48
72 ft shoe molding @ $2.50 / ft $180.00
Remove 36 yds of carpet (@ $3/yd) $108.00
and move furniture

Total $2,349.48

Work can be completed in 1 day

Has any one else had hardwoods recently installed. Is this a good price or are we getting "ripped" a new one. Do I need to ask any other significant questions ?

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Old 11-13-2011, 07:34 AM   #2
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I think the price is fair just because you are NOT lifting a finger. With that said, start "lifting some fingers" like remove the furniture, remove the carpet, or do the shoe molding yourself. I would even go as far as shopping for better price on the floor and even hauling it home yourself. my 2 cents


ps. or just shop around and around til you find someone cheaper. In some cases, cheaper means the contractor is not license, insure or bond. So you're at risk if he fell and hurt on your property or if accidentally damage other part of the house.

good luck

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Old 11-13-2011, 07:38 AM   #3
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Not sure. By pre-finished, is the flooring real white or red oak? Did you use pre-finished 6 years ago?

Recently had a contractor who was looking at a possible addition for us say that the hardwood floors would be "around" $8.00 a square foot installed. When I built my home in 1993 they were $5.00 to $6.00 a square foot installed. This is using 3/4 inch white oak put down "raw", stained and polyurethaned, quarter rounding, etc. That puts the price in the range of $2,456 for your square footage for oak floors that are not pre-finished.

Pre-finished flooring, as it has gained popularity, must have gone up in price the last many years. It didn't used to be that they were almost as expensive as putting them down "raw", staining them and then using polyurethane coats on them.

Hope that helps as a comparison.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ferco View Post
Do I need to ask any other significant questions?
I'd want to know if the flooring (wood species, construction, finish) is the same as they installed in the rest of your house, and whether the new floors could be sanded and refinished when the time comes.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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The price is in line. That is a project you can do yourself if you have the tools, the back and the knees. It is not easy work if you have not done it before but can certainly be done. DW, the Kids and I put done over 2000 ft of the pre-finished board this year at the lake house. If you can get at least there people working on it that will help.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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Prefinished engineered wood? I am guessing it is. Reasonable price, then.

If not, how many coats of urethane/Swedish varnish? One is typical, three are recommended (in which case, the price given is low). All water-based these days. Ours was Swedish with iso-butanol solvent. Water-based is just as good these days and a LOT safer.

Get references. Look at them if you can. Some guys do not do a good job.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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You really need to visit flooring (material supplier) shops and look at products. If it is manufactured flooring look at the thickness of the top layer (some are very thin). Talk to them about long term serviceability, even look on the Internet for comments too,

Check the installers references as Ed suggests.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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Have you considered Ipe? We did our master bathroom in it and it is amazing: very hard, water resistent, and beautifuo. You can even use it for exterior deck flooring.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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Price seems okay to a bit high depending on the quality of the material- we did red oak, varied widths up to 6" installed and finished on site for about $5.50 /sq ft which I think is a bit better. I like the varied widths and that usually costs a bit more because of the cost of materials (wider strips).

Didn't need/use of need floor molding. As others said, make sure you understand what you're getting if you use pre-finished material, especially if you ever think you'll need to refinish it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:30 AM   #10
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I'm planning on getting hardwood floors installed downstairs in the Spring and I need to look at this vs. getting my original 100 yr old floors (in bad shape) redone. It seems to me that getting the prefinished new floor will be quicker than trying to repair the old floor and redo it, which might take days from what I understand.

I'm interested in all ideas on this.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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We put pre-finished manufactured wood floors in our condo over concrete and took a long time investigating materials. For the underlayment we choose a sound retarder with slots. Glue went in the slots to secure the flooring to the concrete.

If American-Canadian removes the old flooring he may need to install plywood underlayment before installing the hardwood floor.

I wouldn't try to make 100 year old wood floor look like new. If they are sound refinishing them may take time but the result can be delightful.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:13 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the input.....Looked at Lowe's today and just the materials would be in the $2,000 range ; Install is about $2.50 / sf !! Saving $100 or there about , for my input / labor when getting someone to do it turn-key who does this everyday may be worth it. I'll keep investigating.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:45 AM   #13
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Wow - - wood is a lot more expensive than carpet, isn't it? Although I have never installed wood, I had Home Depot install wall to wall carpet throughout my 1600 square foot house (except galley kitchen and bathrooms) last fall. For that, the entire bill was $2230, including installation, tax, removal and disposal of old carpet, furniture moving for the master bedroom (I moved the rest), metal edging for transition to kitchen, everything.

So $2349 for only 325 square feet seems like a lot, to me. Granted my carpet was not a high grade but while a little thin, it looks great to me and has worn well so far.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #14
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It depends on which wood you're getting. In my location prefinished solid wood in the sizing you suggested goes for around $2.50 to $10.75 per sq. ft on sale. Installation is around $2.00 per sq. ft, but they don't screw down the sub floor which I think is key to having a solid foundation and they must use the proper screws. Some installer use wax paper underneath, some go up to the baseboard then use quarter round to cover the gap. Others remove baseboard and install new ones over top for a nice clean finish. This gives you a chance to hide all those speaker, phone, cable wires that were tucked underneath the carpet.

Price is going to depend on the quality, type of wood and style you choose, and what measure they use to install them, or shall I say, what corners they cut during the installation process.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:48 PM   #15
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That seems in the hunt. We had bamboo flooring installed earlier this year and the installed cost was about $6.50/sf including tax and ours was new construction so there was no moving of furniture, removing carpet, etc.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:39 AM   #16
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Your price sounds very good for a turnkey operation.
My frame of reference is that we recently completed our first DIY hardwood floor installation. It was a room half your size that previously had carpet. We installed pine because it is what is everywhere else in the house (pine is not a hardwood but installs the same way). We installed the unfinished wood and put on three coats of polyurathane. Once we started, it took about 10 days. We had to buy a floor nail gun, air compressor and a table saw.
That is a good price because at least half of that goes into raw materials. Hard to believe that they can finish in one day.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #17
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Ferco, do you have any kids or grandkids in the 9 to 12 range?

The money is in the product, the wood flooring, not the work. You and a kid can install them yourselves on a weekend.

There seems something odd in the money, so if it was me, I'd keep looking to price the product.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:12 AM   #18
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My BIL does hardwood and tile for a living. His quotes always show the labor as $X per square foot and the materials at a cost per sf (plus a possible mark up). You can ask them to break out the labor and materials. This way you can know if you are getting a $1/sf product or a $4/sf product. And the labor charge should apply to the actual sf of the space in general. For materials, you always want to buy a little more than the exact square footage to account for waste, spoilage, defects, short lots, etc so paying for 325 sf of materials on a 307 sf area is very reasonable.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:04 AM   #19
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I can't comment on current prices, but I will tell you that since 1999, when we went for hand installed oak hardwood floors with 3 coats of poly in the entire upstairs except for bedrooms, there have been no more carpet cleaning ordeals. Hallellujah!
I have 2 dogs, so there are always "tumbleweeds" to deal with. I prefer using a simple cotton dustmop to make them disappear versus constant vacuuming.
I use area and strip rugs for high traffic zones.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:42 AM   #20
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Sounds like a decent price, based on me having installed engineered flooring in several rooms a couple of years ago. But one gotcha is whether your subfloor is level. I did not have my slab leveled, and there are some pockets here and there. Not a problem in that no joints are affected, but you will get some popping and cracking when you step on those places. Leveling is expensive and messy, but will definitely give you a more solid base.

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