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Cost of Hardwood Flooring in GTA

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 1st, 2021 4:44 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2017
116 posts
72 upvotes

Cost of Hardwood Flooring in GTA

Hi all,

I have a pre construction townhome closing next year in Markham and was wondering if anyone knows what the going rate is for hardwood now per sq foot. It's a 3 storey townhome and we estimate that approx 1,100 square feet of it to need hardwood.

We're going to our upgrade appointment soon so any insight into what the approx cost would be that would be great.

We were originally just going to do the whole home with the builder since we get the basement and main floor as hardwood included, but Unfortunately the builder has limited options. The standard hardwood is only 2.5 inches wide and there's no ability to upgrade to wider planks. The other option is engineered hardwood which can be upgraded to 4 to 5 inches wide.

Our preference is hardwood but we understand if we do it after closing, we would need to redo the basement and main floor to match the bedrooms so we wanted to get an approx price. Not looking for anything fancy just something similar to basic red oak 4 or 5 inch planks.

If anyone has any experience with refinishing and restaining stairs and handrails would appreciate estimated cost of that as well.
37 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2011
1168 posts
569 upvotes
GTA
Why is your preference hardwood? Engineered is more stable, just get one with a thick hardwood wear layer.
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
3234 posts
2079 upvotes
Markham
Seriously, go to a hardwood store and see how many different products there are.

It is like asking how much a car or home would cost.....
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2017
116 posts
72 upvotes
lamin wrote: Why is your preference hardwood? Engineered is more stable, just get one with a thick hardwood wear layer.
I just thought from a resale perspective, buyers would prefer hardwood instead of engineered hardwood.

We wouldn't have the ability to choose different brands or thickness of the hardwood layer of we went with engineered. It would be whatever brand the builder uses - only choice is the width of the planks and the color.

They're also charging an arm and a leg to upgrade from real hardwood to engineered so we just thought it didn't really seem worth it for engineered.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2017
116 posts
72 upvotes
BDSL wrote: Seriously, go to a hardwood store and see how many different products there are.

It is like asking how much a car or home would cost.....
Wow if you have nothing to add why bother responding. I know there are different types and varieties of hardwood which is why I said in my post a basic red oak.

I just wanted a rough estimate from someone who's had it installed recently. Last reno I did was approx 6 to 7 years ago so the price I paid wouldn't be a good estimate.

Not everyone wants to go out and expose themselves to tons of people unnecessarily during these times. Our case count is going up you know.
Deal Addict
Jun 8, 2004
2014 posts
1084 upvotes
Oakville
Real hardwood flooring will become more dimensionally unstable as you you go wider than the standard 2-3" widths.
Also, real hardwood is rarely a good idea for basements, and only recommended for above grade installs.

If you want wider widths, then you really need to go with engineered flooring, as they are more structurally stable.
Engineered flooring is also recommended for below grade installs.

For resale, I don't think there is too much difference between real hardwood vs engineered flooring, so long as they are both in good shape, shows no gapping or buckling of the planks, and visually appealing.

There is no rule or expectation that the flooring on all floors and/or each rooms must match, so feel free to use engineered in basement and hardwoods on first and second floors.
Last edited by cba123 on Aug 21st, 2021 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2011
1148 posts
498 upvotes
HRM
Surprised your builder is offering hardwood in the basement.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2011
1168 posts
569 upvotes
GTA
From the builder selection, try to find one you like that has a thick layer of veneer on the engineered product.

Builder might be the most expensive option, and guys might not do a good job. Look and walk in some of their finished houses to get a sense of workmanship. Different people work on site, so take take this recommendation with a grain of salt.

Other option would be to ask builder for carpet and credit for some other upgrades and hire your own contractor after.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2017
116 posts
72 upvotes
@cba123 thanks so much for the insight! I understand there's no specific rule that all floors much match but it would definitely flow better if it's the same flooring type.

Sorry when I refer to "basement" it's above grade. I'm just stuck in the old school mentality that the level below the main floor is a basement whether it's above or below grade so I didn't use the correct term.

One of my friends actually finished their upgrade appointment this afternoon and got the pricing for the flooring upgrade. It's approx $23 per square foot to replace carpet with engineered hardwood 5 inches wide for the top floor. For the main and lower level the cost to upgrade from hardwood to engineered with 5 inch planks is approx $8 per square foot. Price per square foot seems pretty steep to me.

@westcoastyvr its an above grade level so not technically basement. I just used the wrong term.

@lamin thanks! We're definitely contemplating on having the flooring done after closing which is why I've opened this thread to get some feedback on pricing. We have a couple of other things that we plan to upgrade ourselves after closing instead of doing it through the builder. If the savings on the flooring will be only be $2 to $3k we will just upgrade through the builder since I don't have to worry about restaining the stairs and handrails to match. I just think $23 and $8 per square foot seems a bit ridiculous.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 4, 2009
7350 posts
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Yes, builder pricing is ridiculous. They do it because they can, they know people will pay their exorbitant pricing.

You'll likely save some money doing it yourself, but plan on the floors costing at least ~$8.50 and up/sqft (floor, installation, old floor removal, removing and re-installing baseboards etc..) plus the cost of staining the stairs ($$$$).

You haven't mentioned the cost of staining the stairs a different colour through the builder either, they usually charge to have them stained something different.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2017
116 posts
72 upvotes
Toukolou wrote: Yes, builder pricing is ridiculous. They do it because they can, they know people will pay their exorbitant pricing.

You'll likely save some money doing it yourself, but plan on the floors costing at least ~$8.50 and up/sqft (floor, installation, old floor removal, removing and re-installing baseboards etc..) plus the cost of staining the stairs ($$$$).

You haven't mentioned the cost of staining the stairs a different colour through the builder either, they usually charge to have them stained something different.
Glad to hear prices haven't gone through the roof with flooring as I remember $8 to $9 is a similar rate to what I paid 6 to 7 years ago.

I did forgot about the baseboards so that's for that.

Staining the stairs and handrail through the builder is really cheap actually - just a flat $400. I understand it's usually costly to do and fees are usually on a per step basis.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2011
1168 posts
569 upvotes
GTA
Shouldn’t have to worry about baseboard, it’s normally done before floor is installed. They then put another piece of trim in front of it if it’s not carpet.

$400 seems really low, I would of expected more. If you know your floor colour now, get them to stain staircase to match.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 4, 2009
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lamin wrote:
$400 seems really low, I would of expected more. If you know your floor colour now, get them to stain staircase to match.
Agreed, I would guess they forgot a zero at the end of that $400.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 10, 2011
9565 posts
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Somewhere
My parents just had engineered hardwood (6" wide) - Canadian - installed, they had about 1,200 sqft.

Demo, labour, materials, stairs, new banisters, restaining railings, tax in, $17k.
:confused:
Newbie
Oct 13, 2012
51 posts
51 upvotes
GTA
We were recently in the market for approximately 6 inches wide engineered hardwood and following is what we were getting (GTA)
$5-$6 psf Vidar et al.
$7-$8 psf Lauzon, Fuzion
$8 - $10 psf Mercier, Mirage, Vintage

Installation: $1.25 - $1.75 psf
Carpet removal: 0.5 psf
Hardwood removal: $0.75 - $1.25psf
Removal usually included disposal.

Stairs: We have 16 straight steps and railing goes around the length of stairs on second floor. We also had couple of nosings in mud room where tile ends.
We went for recapping and it costed us approximately $2500 for stairs.

Cheers!!
Newbie
Mar 2, 2011
45 posts
10 upvotes
Ajax
Just wanted to throw my two cents in, in regards to hardwood in the basement. I know you said it’s above grade, but I assume that it is still a concrete slab that sits on grade as part of the foundation. Anything on grade can be susceptible to moisture build up. And moisture seeping up through the concrete can cause cupping to the hardwood.
Member
Feb 10, 2021
338 posts
273 upvotes
GTA
Not trying to hijack your thread OP but I was hoping I could ask another question that is also providing a head ache to me?

Similar scenario for me but my home is in Stouffville. Wife and I have decided on doing 6.5” engineered no matter what we do; via builder or after. The headache is that historically, we’ve had to replace builder hardwood because they squeaked an extraordinary amount. Granted, those were 3.25” red oak hardwood and the product were looking at now is 6.5” white oak engineered vintage brand but when we did replace we replaced with engineered and it was glued + nailed install. I doubt the builder will be gluing them down..therefore, will these end up squeaking like crazy? Or am I overthinking it.
Newbie
Oct 13, 2012
51 posts
51 upvotes
GTA
@ollywood I can not tell you what to do but I can tell you what we did. We were in the same boat earlier this year and we decided to do it after closing the house because the price difference was astronomical.

I can also tell you that basic hardwood that was installed in our house was perfectly installed but we believe we are lucky that installers did a good job. Eg: there was a gab between riser and the tread and builder rep tried his best to convince us to get caulking filled and to ignore the issue so we have assumed that if there was an issue with hardwood floor they would have done the same.
Our installers also tried their best to match the stain with the color of the hardwood and they asked for approval before going ahead with the stain, while builder was asking us to sign a waiver and accept that there will be noticeable difference.

If I have to do it all over again, I will still go for aftermarket installation but probably I will ask installers to install a lot of screws on the sub floor to have more peace of mind.

Please note an expert and we did it for the first time in our life so take it with a grain of salt.

Cheers!!
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 31, 2017
116 posts
72 upvotes
Toukolou wrote: Agreed, I would guess they forgot a zero at the end of that $400.
My friend sent me the final upgrade options the builder printed out for him and it was only $400 plus tax. I was surprised at this too and double checked but perhaps this is their way to back you into doing the flooring with them.

I guess the most economical option would be to stain the stairs with the builder and then have someone come in to do the flooring afterwards, choosing a color that matches the stairs as best I can.

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