We've had people ask variations on the question "How much does it cost to install wood floors?" for years.   Unfortunately, this isn't a great way to figure out how much it will actually cost you to get the work done in your New York City apartment.   Keep reading to find out a better set of information to be providing when emailing around for pricing.

The inquiries we get for pricing usually look something like this:

"Looking to have exotic cherry wood floor installed. It is a first floor and vacant approximately 1400 sq. ft. How much do you charge a sq ft and what is your availability. 347.xxx.xxxx. Thank you."

Our response usually looks like this:

"$5.50/sf, --- week lead time ... install engineered wood flooring provided by client, glued to flat and clean sub-floor in location empty of furniture, people and other trades.  Assumes 8 hour work day.  Assumes paint touch-ups will not be necessary.  Does not include any demolition, molding

Price is ballpark only.  Additional pricing can be provided via onsite estimate; $50 fee (creditable to project) is applicable to this service."

But is this really what you needed?  A lot of the time there's confusion surrounding pricing for any contracting service and wood floors are no exception.  To avoid some of this confusion when it comes to cobbling together prices from wood floor contractors, start by asking the right questions.  We know you have a busy day - I promise you, we all do - but taking the time to provide a more complete set of information upfront will save you time and preserve your sanity in the long run.  So before you click send on that email to the next wood floor contractor, take some time to provide the information below:

  • What's the age of the building?  
  • Is the sub-floor wood or concrete? A lot of buildings built in the 40's and earlier have wood sub-floors.
  • Would the unit be furnished or unfurnished? 
  • What are your building's work hours?
  • What's the square footage for the space where the work is to take place?
  • Would you be living there while work is being done? 
  •  What's your desired/available window for doing the work (specified using a start and end date)?
  •  Will the space be painted after the floors are installed?
  •  Are there any other details you feel are pertinent that you'd like to make us aware of? 
  • Have you seen any products or finishes that you like?  If so, please include pic(s) and details or a description of color/look/feel you're going for.  

We're firm believers that a picture is worth a thousand words, so we need to ask that you send a few over.  When supplying  pictures, send (2) shots or a panorama of each room as well as a couple of shots of the existing floor.   Shots should be focused 4' or lower on the walls.  If you have any questions how a particular transition or area might be dealt with, send a picture of that, too.

This is by no means a complete list of questions for getting a 100% accurate price, but it will at least get the conversation moving in the right direction.

AuthorMarc Ringel