Installing a hardwood floor is not as difficult as you might believe. Working with a partner will make the project much faster and installing it yourself can save you a small fortune. Hardwood floors can be purchased for as little as $2 a square foot. Here are the other expenses that you will run into when installing a new hardwood floor.


Floor Nailer – Choose an inexpensive, pneumatic floor nailer if you are only doing a few rooms. They run about $200 and you can always sell it afterwards and recoup some of your money. If you will be doing an entire house or a large area, you may find it is better to purchase a higher quality nailer for $400 to $500. Another option is to rent a nailer, but you are limiting yourself on time then. If you can do the job in a day or two, a rented nailer can be a good option that will run less than $100.

Nails – Buy special hardwood flooring nails at your local home improvement store. One box of 1000 nails will run about $20. The nails will be placed every few inches along the boards, so you will probably need about 4 boxes.

Saw – You can use a hand saw that runs less than $15, but the project will take a lot longer. For the straightest, cleanest cuts use either a table saw or a power miter saw. Either can be purchased for less than $200.

Drill and drill bit – The initial row must be hand-nailed, you will need a drill to prepare the wood. Drills can be purchased for less than $100.

Other Tools –

Pull Bar – Used for pulling board the boards that are going near the wall tight to the other others. They run $20 or less.
Hammer – Used with the pull bar. You can pick up a basic hammer for $10 if you don’t already have one.
Shims – These will be placed between the wood and the wall to maintain the necessary gap. Plan on spending about $10 on shims for the project.
Tape Measure – If you don’t have one, you will need one. They only run about $10.
Staple gun – Used for the rosin paper, these run less than $30.
Heavy file or Dremel – Needed to trim the bottom of door frames, a manual file will only run $10 or less. A dremel is more entertaining but will run closer to $100.


Start by measuring the flooring area for wood. Measure the length of the room and the width. Multiply the two numbers together to get the square feet to be covered. You will need to purchase an additional 10% to allow for scrap pieces. Once you know how much wood is required, you are ready to purchase your selection.

Wood flooring varies in price from as low as $2 a square foot and higher. Home Depot offers Maple Sedona 1/2 inch thick wood flooring for $4 a square foot and teak genesis walnut natural glaze is $4.98 a square foot. Your selection in flooring will greatly affect the overall cost of the project.

A room that is 20 feet by 15 feet is 300 square feet. Add the 10% for scrap pieces and you will require 330 square feet of flooring. At $2 a square feet, this room would cost $660 for the flooring alone. The price will go up from there, depending on the wood that is chosen. With most popular choices averaging $3 a square foot, you can safely expect to spend at least $1000 for the flooring for this room.

Rosin Paper

Used as a cushion for the wood floor, it acts as a vapor barrier and will prevent the wood floor from rubbing against the subfloor. It is rolled out over a smooth and clean subfloor with a 4” overlap on the pieces. Attach the paper with a staple gun, taking care to make sure that all staples sit flush with the floor. One roll of rosin paper will take care of this room and costs $13 or less.

Transition Pieces

Transition pieces are expensive, and the overall expense will depend largely on how large an area of wood you have meeting up with other flooring. If the room only has two, standard 3-foot doorways then you can buy two transition pieces. Budget roughly $30 for each piece.

Total Cost

Wood flooring can be an expensive proposition. However, you will save substantial money by doing the work yourself. If you do not have the necessary tools, the cost for tools alone can run about $585, assuming you purchase the less expensive tools.

The wood flooring will cost roughly $1000 and the rosin paper, nails and transition pieces with cost another $150.00. However, wood flooring is one of the few flooring choices that actually increases your home’s value. Easy to care for and beautiful throughout the year, hardwood flooring is an excellent choice.


Youtube Video Link


About the author


Leave a Comment