There has been a gradual shift over the last decade or two from carpeted flooring to hardwood flooring as the most popular option for homes. The main reason for this shift is that hardwood is simply easier to maintain for a longer period, so homeowners can enjoy the look and feel of the floors for years to come before having to think about repairs or updates. Hardwood flooring is also available in diverse styles, colors, and textures, providing customers with various options to suit their preferences. Although it’s possible for DIYers to tackle hardwood flooring projects to save on installation costs, it’s always better (and safer) to leave any work pertaining to the home’s semipermanent infrastructure to a professional installation company. Homeowners will want to consider this list of the best hardwood flooring installation companies and take some time to learn more about what to look for in a professional installation service to find the right option for their home.
- BEST OVERALL: Empire Today
- RUNNER-UP: LL Flooring
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: National Floors Direct
- BEST WARRANTY: The Home Depot
- BEST FOR REPAIRS: Mr. Handyman
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Hardwood Flooring Installation Companies
It’s important to take the time to learn more about hardwood flooring companies and what they have to offer before deciding on one of the best flooring companies. Consider the company’s service area, the type of hardwood it carries, scheduling modes, and more.
The service area of a hardwood flooring company depends heavily on the number of locations the company has statewide or nationwide. Most major hardwood flooring installation companies have a wide service area, with many available to customers across the U.S. Before looking at the products offered by a flooring installation company, take a few seconds to find out where the company operates. It can be frustrating to find the ideal flooring material at a certain company, only to find out later that the company doesn’t work in your area. Most companies will have a ZIP code locator tool on their website so customers can quickly determine if their home is within the service area. But if the company website doesn’t provide this information, homeowners can also call and ask a customer service representative.
Types of Hardwood Flooring Available
Flooring installation companies carry several popular types of hardwood, including solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, bamboo, cork, and hybrid flooring. A plank of solid hardwood is wood all the way through. Comparatively, engineered wood is a thin layer of hardwood over a piece of plywood. Solid hardwood can be refinished over and over. In contrast, engineered hardwood can only be refinished a limited number of times (sometimes only once) before the top layer of hardwood is worn away. But engineered hardwood is often less expensive and easier to install than solid hardwood without compromising looks. Bamboo and cork flooring are more eco-friendly options. Hybrid flooring is more akin to laminate or vinyl plank flooring, and it’s an excellent choice for affordability, durability, and water resistance.
Not every company carries every type of hardwood flooring. If a customer is set on bamboo flooring, they’ll need to prioritize their search by looking for companies that sell and install bamboo flooring. Some installation companies do not carry flooring products at all, and homeowners will need to purchase the materials from a third party.
In-Home Shopping Option
Deciding on hardwood with the right look for a home may seem like a simple process, but flooring materials may look different under harsh store lighting or on a computer screen than in the home. With this in mind, many hardwood flooring installation companies provide in-home shopping services. The customer books an appointment with a flooring expert to meet at the home and look over a wide range of product samples.
This service makes it easier to see exactly how different products will look with a home’s lighting and with the existing aesthetic. Additionally, the flooring expert can use this time to take measurements and may be able to provide an estimate at the end of the appointment. If a customer doesn’t have the time for an in-home appointment to review flooring options, some companies will also allow the customer to order free samples that they can then consider at their leisure. Ordering samples also allows customers to see different flooring options at different times of day, which may sway their opinion one way or another.
Estimate Scheduling Convenience
Knowing the cost of the materials and labor isn’t just important but is also necessary before a customer can proceed with the installation. With this in mind, many flooring installation companies offer in-home shopping services where a customer can pick the flooring material they want from a range of samples. The flooring expert will then take measurements to create an estimate.
However, if a customer decides on the flooring product in-store, they will likely need to book an appointment to have a flooring installation professional visit their home and take measurements to create this estimate. While some companies may provide a basic estimate based on the material and approximate room size, this price could increase or decrease significantly depending on the actual dimensions of the room. Customers will want to ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs and services so they can be certain there aren’t any hidden fees.
Keeping a home in a state of continual unrest for an undefined period is difficult for any customer, so any home renovation project should have a projected timeline. When booking, a homeowner will want to speak to the customer service representative to get a basic idea of the installation timeline. If the customer service representative doesn’t have a definitive answer, the homeowner can ask to speak to one of the installers to find out this information.
Typically, the timeline for installing hardwood is longer than for other flooring types because hardwood requires about 3 to 5 days to acclimate to the home’s temperature and humidity level before it can be installed. After this acclimation period, the installers can get to work removing the trim, molding, and old flooring before preparing the subfloor, laying the underlayment, and installing the first row of hardwood floor. Customers can expect an average installation timeline of 7 to 10 days for the whole project.
Pricing and Financing
The average cost to hire a hardwood flooring installation company ranges from $2,500 to $6,750, so it’s important to get an estimate before the work begins. Customers can research various flooring companies and look into each company’s pricing and financing options. Customers can also speak to the customer service staff to ask questions about any services that are unclear or hidden fees and set up an in-home appointment to get an accurate estimate. This estimate will help customers decide whether they can afford to go ahead with the flooring renovation or if they will need to pursue financing options to pay for the work.
Another important factor to speak to the customer service staff about is whether the materials and labor are covered under warranty. Most flooring material comes with a manufacturer warranty that guarantees the quality of the material for a specific period. However, this warranty does not cover any issues with the actual installation, so if the floor buckles or peels due to faulty installation work, the product warranty will not cover repairs.
Many flooring installation companies offer labor warranties, while some companies even have service plans covering damages that would fall outside of a standard warranty. It’s also a good idea to find out if the flooring installation company has liability insurance or a surety bond to protect the customer’s property and investment.
Our Top Picks
This list of the best hardwood flooring installation companies was selected based on product selection, service area, installation timeline, scheduling convenience, and overall quality.
Why It Made the Cut: Empire Today stands out with its exclusive hardwood flooring options, comprehensive service plans, and all-inclusive price estimates.
One of the most important factors for many prospective customers is having a firm understanding of the overall cost. Empire Today recognizes this need and provides customers with an all-inclusive price estimate that includes moving furniture, removal and haul away of old flooring, new floors, padding or underlayment, thresholds, trim, professional installation, and final cleanup.
Empire Today offers a range of solid and engineered hardwood flooring options, including the exclusive WhisperHOME product line designed to reduce sound and increase temperature retention. However, customers looking for solid hardwood may not find as many exotic or unique options available through Empire Today. Empire Today’s service plans cover damage beyond the product warranty, including stains, scratches, dings, and warping, making the plan a good option for families with kids or pets.
- Types of hardwood flooring available: WhisperHOME, solid, engineered
- Estimate scheduling: Online, phone
- In-home shopping: Yes
- Warranty: 1-year installation warranty
- Transparent, all-inclusive price estimate
- Allegedly superior sound reduction and temperature retention with exclusive WhisperHOME wood flooring
- Service plan covers damages beyond warranty coverage
- Relatively limited selection of solid hardwood flooring
Why It Made the Cut: LL Flooring provides up to four free samples and an augmented reality visualizer tool to help customers feel confident about their flooring choices.
Finding the right flooring for the home can be difficult, especially when a company doesn’t offer in-home shopping options. However, LL Flooring makes up for this limitation by providing customers with an augmented reality visualizer tool. The tool allows customers to view a wide range of floor options in their homes without needing an in-home shopping appointment. This makes finding the right hardwood flooring option easier and less disruptive before scheduling an installation appointment.
If the augmented reality visualizer tool isn’t enough, customers can also order up to four free samples to get a better look at the flooring in the proper lighting. Additional samples are available, though customers are required to pay a surcharge for these materials. It should also be noted that while LL Flooring has a wide selection of hardwood, including exotic wood and unfinished solid wood, the company does not provide warranty information. It’s recommended to ask about the warranty before booking an estimate appointment. Customers can book this appointment online or by phone, and those who live near an LL Flooring showroom can also visit a location in person.
- Types of hardwood flooring available: Solid, engineered, bamboo, cork, hybrid
- Estimate scheduling:Online, phone
- In-home shopping: No
- Warranty: Not specified
- Wide range of solid, engineered, bamboo, cork, and hybrid wood flooring
- Augmented reality visualizer tool
- Free samples available online and in-store
- No installation warranty information readily available
- No in-home shopping option
Why It Made the Cut: By keeping prices low and offering to beat written estimates from competitors, National Floors Direct makes new flooring affordable for prospective customers.
The cost of new hardwood floors throughout the home is enough to prevent many people from investing in this renovation project, but National Floors Direct aims to help customers afford an upgrade in their homes with a $150 online booking discount and no additional charges to move furniture or install premium underlayment. The company will also beat any competitor’s legitimate written estimate by 15 percent for comparable flooring products. National Floors Direct does not mention warranty information, so it’s recommended to speak to a customer service representative to get clear details on service and warranty coverage before booking. National Floors Direct offers in-home shopping, and customers can book an in-home shopping or estimate appointment online or by phone.
- Types of hardwood flooring available: Solid, engineered
- Estimate scheduling: Online, phone
- In-home shopping: Yes
- Warranty: Not specified
- Installation cost guaranteed to be 15 percent lower than competitors’ costs
$150 discount available for online booking
- No additional charges for furniture moving or premium underlayment
- No installation warranty information readily available
Why It Made the Cut: With a wide variety of flooring products and over 2,300 locations, The Home Depot is fully equipped to provide reliable flooring installation services nationwide.
Whether the goal is to install cork, bamboo, engineered, or solid wood floors, The Home Depot delivers these options to customers. While the company is known for its large, warehouse-style home improvement stores, The Home Depot home services department focuses on home renovation services, like hardwood flooring installation.
The company has a far-reaching service area with over 2,300 locations across the U.S. A Home Depot installation comes with a lifetime labor warranty, so customers can rest easy knowing that any labor-related installation problems are covered. However, the company does not have an in-home shopping option, which can make it difficult to decide on a hardwood flooring product. It’s also worth noting that The Home Depot charges a $50 fee for in-home measurements, but this is deducted from the overall cost of the installation if the customer proceeds with The Home Depot.
- Types of hardwood flooring available: Solid, engineered, bamboo, cork
- Estimate scheduling: Online
- In-home shopping: No
- Warranty: Lifetime labor warranty
- Lifetime labor warranty
- Over 2,300 locations nationwide
- $50 fee for in-home measurements
- No in-home shopping option
Why It Made the Cut: The experienced installation professionals at Mr. Handyman assess the existing floor, repair what can be fixed, and replace what can’t.
Not every hardwood floor needs to be replaced just because it has some scratches, dents, or dings. Mr. Handyman makes a point of employing industry professionals with an average of 10 years of experience to help customers assess their existing floor. If the current floor is still in decent condition, the installation professional may suggest minor repairs to fix the floor instead of pressing for a costly floor replacement.
Mr. Handyman is an installation, repair, and refinishing company, so it does not sell hardwood floors. Customers will need to purchase the flooring material from a third party, which could delay the installation timeline. Scheduling is handled over the phone, allowing customers to speak directly with customer service representatives to find out any pertinent information about the installation process, including the 1-year installation warranty.
- Types of hardwood flooring available: None
- Estimate scheduling: Phone
- In-home shopping: N/A
- Warranty: 1-year installation warranty
- Focus on flooring repair as an alternative to replacement
- Each professional is knowledgeable with an average of 10 years’ experience
- Separate flooring purchase required
- Installation process may be relatively long
With transparent, all-inclusive price estimates and comprehensive service plans, Empire Today is an ideal flooring option, especially for customers who may be concerned about hidden fees and shoddy work. For individuals who want to see a wide range of flooring options without booking an in-home appointment, LL Flooring is the right choice with its augmented reality visualizer tool and the option to order up to four free samples.
How We Chose the Best Hardwood Flooring Installation Companies
Selecting the top hardwood flooring installation companies required extensive research into a wide range of installers, product offerings, warranties, and operational standards in order to narrow down the choices to the top five. The best hardwood floor installation companies were selected for several important factors, including service area, flooring options, transparent pricing, and warranties, as well as extra features that help to serve the customer better.
The quality of a flooring company only really matters to a customer if the company services the area where the customer lives, so it was necessary to choose companies with a strong nationwide presence. It was also important for companies to have a wide variety of hardwood flooring types or exclusive product lines, though this wasn’t necessary for selection. Other factors, like price-match offers, in-home shopping, and a high level of industry expertise were also considered during the final selection of the best hardwood floor installation companies.
Before You Hire One of the Best Hardwood Flooring Installation Companies
Jumping into a hardwood flooring project without properly researching the installation companies isn’t a good idea. There can be factors that a customer hasn’t considered, like hidden costs or the installation timeline. Before hiring a hardwood floor installer, customers will want to check with customer service representatives to find out if the installers are properly insured and if there is a labor, material, or service warranty that helps to protect the customer’s investment.
It’s also recommended to request an up-front price estimate breakdown so that the customer knows exactly what they are paying for and what services are included in the overall price. Customers should make sure that the company carries or can source the flooring material that they want for the home. Customers can also inquire about a basic timeline for the installation and get a definitive answer on whether the installers will clean up after the installation or if this task is left to the customer to handle.
Cost of Hiring One of the Best Hardwood Flooring Installation Companies
Having a budget for a flooring project is one of the best ways to ensure that a homeowner doesn’t spend more than they want for a new floor. But a homeowner needs to have an idea of the average cost of hardwood flooring in order to make a reasonable budget. The cost of hiring a top flooring installation company will range from about $2,500 to $6,750, depending on the size of the project and the type of hardwood flooring material. Material costs can range from inexpensive options at just $6 per square foot to expensive products that can exceed $25 per square foot. Costs to move furniture, clean up, or take measurements may or may not be included in the overall price, so it’s recommended to request a price estimate breakdown before hiring a company.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Hardwood Flooring Installation Companies
There are many reasons to hire a professional hardwood flooring installation company, but the most obvious is that expert flooring installers know what they are doing. These expert individuals work in the flooring industry every day, giving them a high level of knowledge and experience that helps them complete flooring installations quickly, efficiently, and with a quality that may elude the average DIYer.
While a DIY job may be acceptable for the current residents of the home, prospective home buyers will often be willing to make a higher offer for homes with a professional-quality hardwood flooring installation. Additionally, there are a large number of hardwood flooring companies that provide warranties on the labor and materials, as well as some companies that go a step further by offering a service warranty that covers damages or problems that would generally fall outside of a standard warranty.
- Professional hardwood floor installers can complete the work quickly and with fewer errors than most DIYers.
- A high-quality hardwood floor can increase the value of the home, so professional results matter.
- Many hardwood floor installation companies offer labor, material, and service warranties.
Customers won’t want to settle for the first hardwood floor installation company they come across. Before deciding among the top flooring companies, consider the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Q. How do I find a good floor installer?
In order to find a top-quality hardwood flooring expert, it’s necessary for a customer to research potential options to determine the best hardwood flooring installation companies that are available in their area. Customers can look for hardwood flooring companies that offer the services or features they are looking for, like virtual consultations or flexible warranty plans. Top options include Empire Today, LL Flooring, National Floors Direct, Mr. Handyman, and The Home Depot flooring installation.
Q. Can you walk on hardwood floors after installation?
It’s recommended to wait at least 6 hours before walking on a new hardwood floor in socks and 24 hours before walking on the floors with shoes. Ideally, homeowners should wait a full 48 hours before moving the furniture back into position and about a week before putting carpets or area rugs in place. This allows homeowners to spot any problems with the new hardwood floor installation.
Q. How do professionals install hardwood floors?
It’s hard to spot mistakes or problems with the installation if a homeowner doesn’t know enough about how to install hardwood floors, so it’s important to take some time to understand the basic process before hiring a company to complete the work.
The process begins by removing existing baseboards, trim, and the old flooring. The new hardwood should be allowed about 3 to 5 days to acclimate to the home’s environment before the installers begin laying the first boards into position. The starting point will usually be along an exterior wall because these walls are more likely to be square than existing interior walls.
Installers will leave a ¾-inch expansion gap around the perimeter of the room, then lay out the floorboards to ensure that there is a good variation in the boards’ color and length. With the flooring laid out, the installers begin moving the boards into place and fastening them to the subfloor with a pneumatic nail gun. The last few boards are generally nailed in manually to avoid uneven nail holes or shifting floorboards. Any holes are filled with wood putty, and the baseboards and trim are replaced. Finally, professional installers will typically clean up the area and provide details on when the homeowner can walk on the floor or replace furniture.
Q. Is hardwood flooring difficult to install?
An experienced DIYer could handle a hardwood flooring project, but this doesn’t mean that it’s an easy renovation task to complete. The best engineered wood flooring is easier to work with than solid hardwood flooring because it is lighter and more flexible, and it can be nailed or glued down. If a homeowner prefers hardwood flooring to engineered wood, then they will need to use a flooring nailer to install the new hardwood. The hardwood may need to be sanded and finished, depending on the product.
Q. How long does it take to install new hardwood floors?
The length of time it takes to fully install a new hardwood floor depends heavily on the size of the project and the type of hardwood floor. Hardwood first needs to acclimate to a home’s conditions before it can be installed. Some hardwood flooring products can acclimate to the home within 3 to 5 days, while other options may require up to a week to fully acclimate before they can be installed.
Larger projects will generally take longer to complete than smaller projects. If a homeowner is installing hardwood throughout the entire home, they can expect the installation work to take about 3 to 5 days to complete, while a single room may only take 1 to 3 days to finish. On average, the entire process takes 7 to 10 days.
Q. What should I expect with flooring installation?
The process typically starts by visiting the showroom or booking an in-home shopping appointment to choose the right flooring product for the home. If a customer selects the material in-store, then they will need to book an appointment for a flooring professional to take measurements and provide an estimate.
Once the customer agrees to the installation, the installation company sets up a delivery date for the material, which will need to sit in the home to acclimate for several days before installation. After the hardwood is acclimated, the flooring professionals will start taking up the old floors, cutting, measuring, and laying the new floors over a period of 2 to 5 days.
When the job is done, the flooring company will typically clean up and help move the furniture back into position.