How much does it cost to fit a wooden floor?
This is a commonly asked question, but it's impossible to answer with an exact figure, as there are so many different components which affect the price. This expert advice blog outlines these influencing factors, allowing you to be more informed when it comes to determining the costs involved. Take your time and make sure you hire the right craftsman for your wood flooring project. Cutting corners can make the process far more expensive in the long run, so be prepared to invest in quality. Their specialist knowledge and skills will be invaluable when it comes to achieving a perfect fit which does justice to your new wooden floor.
It’s worth investing in an established, skilled wood flooring installer to get the best results
Space is also required for the all the tools needed for the job
This might not be the first thing that springs to mind, but an installation team will need a clear area to work in, with an adequate power supply. This includes space for cutting the wood, so if the only area is outside, down a flight of stairs, it will obviously slow down the process, impacting on the price. Adequate space is also needed for furniture. If it isn't removed, time will be spent covering and moving it out of the way or around.
Removing old floor coverings takes time, which will vary depending on the materials and fixings used. Carpets are quick and easier to remove, whereas tiles bonded to a concrete screed can be trickier and more time consuming. Once the area is clear, the subfloor will need to be made good, so it’s sound, flat and free of moisture.
Removing bitumen from a concrete subfloor is very time consuming
Sistering the joists will level out uneven joists
For suspended subfloors (where the wood base is fixed onto to the joints), it’s imperative that the joists are in good condition. Joists can be repaired on site, and if they are uneven, sistering the joints will be required. When it comes to a solid subfloor, such as concrete, we have to ensure that it is in good condition and even. If not, we can carry out spot repairs and lay a self-leveling compound. More information about levelling subfloors can be found here.
SOUNDPROOFNG AND THERMEMAL INSULATION
Further prep work may be required if the wooden floor is being installed in a flat, where soundproofing or thermal insulation is required as detailed here. In addition to the extra working time, the required materials will have to be purchased.
Soundproofing and insulation will increase the installation price
A MOISTURE FREE SUBFLOOR
A moisture reader will determine the moisture levels
If there is any evidence of damp, the problem will need to be identified and resolved. For new builds and extensions, it may be a case of postponing the job until the concrete has dried out sufficiently. Older buildings with high moisture readings require investigating to identify the source of the problem so any issues can be rectified. A damp proof membrane may have to be applied to provide a barrier for the long term.
AMENDING DOORS WITH NEW FLOORING LEVELS
If the new wooden floor alters the flooring level, the doors will need to be removed, trimmed and then refitted. We have just finished a project where we removed and altered 14 doors! This is often a hidden cost which many installers don’t specify at the time of quoting. The door jambs also will need to be undercut to allow the floor to be installed under.
New wood flooring may increase the flooring levels, so the doors will need trimming
WOOD FLOORING FINISHING TOUCHES
A flawless transition between two different flooring materials
The new wooden floor may join another material, such as tiles or carpet. In this case a threshold fitting will be required to provide a neat transition between the two surfaces. Further work will be required if there is a discrepancy between the levels two adjacent floor coverings.
Consideration will also need to be given to the finish around the edge of the room and the required expansion gap. If the existing skirting boards are retained we use our own specialist method of undercutting them, so they can remain in place. In newer buildings it may be a case of removing the existing skirting and replacing it at the end of the job.
We created this curved skirting board to follow the shape of the room
TYPE OF WOOD FLOORING
Tramlines and borders make the perfect finishing touch
The choice of flooring will also have an impact on the installation price. Boards are generally less expensive to lay than parquet flooring. Extra long, wide boards are an exception. They can be up to 15 meters long and 450 mm wide. With these sort of dimensions, it’s imperative to make precise cuts, as there are fewer boards to play with, there’s no margin for error. Parquet takes time to lay and there are various decorative features, such as borders, tramlines and a change in direction, which will all have an impact on the fitting cost.
Chevron is more complicated to install. The set straight line of the chevron pattern requires precise, skilled fitting to ensure there are no gaps and that the points are in exactly the same place. It will be glaringly obvious if it isn’t fitted correctly.
The points in this chevron wooden floor are all perfectly aligned
FINISHING AND SEALING THE WOODEN FLOOR
We recommend to choose a prefinished wooden floor as nowadays the available ranges are so wide. Still, as we know, most of these would be mainstream and when a specific finish is desired or a certain type of block or board is required but it is only available as unsealed then the additional stages of sanding and finishing the floor are required. At this stage depending on the requirements the work involved can sometimes be equal to the installation or even more.
WOOD FLOORING QUALITY
A well machined floor will fit tightly together
Although this isn’t such an obvious factor, it is an important consideration. A fitter can only do so much. If the manufacturing quality is poor, it will be impossible to achieve a good fit. One of the most common problems is poorly joining boards or blocks, resulting in gaps. We always advise our clients not to be swayed by cheap wood flooring. It really is a false economy. Always buy from a reputable manufacturer with a good track record, more information can be found on this previous blog post. We always recommend the following;
- Ask where the wood is from
- Find out if the timber is FSC graded
- Enquire how the boards are built, which is particularly important for engineered wood flooring as the quality of the plywood, the number of layers and the depth of the top wood can vary
WOOD FLOORING INSTALLATION MATERIALS
These can be an afterthought as it’s much easier to get caught up in the actual look of the floor! Everything matters; the adhesive, plywood, threshold materials, self levelling compound and so on. There will always be cheaper alternatives. A wooden floor is an investment and if properly installed and maintained with last for years. It's so important that all of the other materials used are similarly well made and long lasting.
Good quality materials are a must
BOOK A FREE SITE SURVEY
We offer a free site survey which allows us to assess the work and provide an accurate installation quote. The survey is non-invasive which means that we don’t remove items, but we will lift up a corner of a carpet to see what lurks beneath. We work with quotes, not estimates. Through our experience we generally know what to expect. Any major problems with the subfloor are usually evident by looking at clues in the existing floor covering, building features etc. We like to cover any expected variables, so will provide options in our quotes to cover all eventualities. Our longest quote was 14 pages long for one of the more complex projects! The price will only change if the brief alters or if we encounter an issue which is completely hidden within the building, usually involving pipes or cables. We are proud to say that 98% of our work is charged according to the quote.
Please click here to arrange an appointment.