It may be hard to believe that COVID-19 can affect your hardwood flooring installation project, but sadly the pandemic has driven the cost of lumber up. This, in turn, has meant a spike in flooring project costs. However, as hardwood flooring installers, we can attest that even though the cost of flooring has increased, this doesn’t mean you can’t renovate your living space within budget—you have options!
The Pandemic’s Effect on Your Flooring Project
At first blush, you may think that the lumber shortage is the primary reason for the surge in lumber prices, but there’s more to the story. Prior to the onset of the global pandemic, the demand for hardwood was declining. In fact, over the course of 2018 to 2019, production dipped by a whopping 8.2%. When the pandemic-related lockdowns of 2019-2020 hit, many homeowners decided to tackle home renovation projects and the demand soon exceeded the hardwood supply.
Further, the 2020 wildfires destroyed much of the hardwood that was slotted for engineered or hardwood flooring. What’s worse, when lumber mills and yards resumed work, they could not keep up with the demand because of the labour shortage. Tack on other industry supply shortages (labour or goods), transportation hiccups and the cost of hardwood had no choice but to rise.
The Coronavirus and Your Hardwood Flooring Installation
When you consider the strain on the lumber industry due to COVID-19 and other factors (like the rampant widespread wildfires), it’s no surprise that obtaining hardwood will cost more. This isn’t isolated to just hardwood flooring installation projects: it affects anything requiring lumber. The CBC reveals that COVID-19 has doubled or tripled the cost of lumber; for example, 1,000 two-by-four boards rose from $550 to $1,400 in 2020. Apply these figures across all industries and it’s fair to assume your hardwood flooring renovation will also cost you more.
What’s more, even if you’re ready to take on a hardwood flooring installation project, there’s still the matter of sourcing enough material to get the job done. As long as there are lumber shortages, homeowners should always buy more hardwood flooring than they need as a precaution.
However, the best thing a homeowner can do is to work with an experienced flooring installer. They are familiar with the flooring industry and can help you source the best possible hardwood and often get supplies at better-than-retail pricing, to complete your renovation.
Planning Your Hardwood Flooring Installation
Although it may seem challenging or expensive to have hardwood installed, you can still locate hardwood flooring if you plan for it and are resourceful. Here are some ways you can still have your hardwood dream during the pandemic:
- Shop Local: Check out your local lumber yards or flooring depots, as they will likely have stock.
- Consult a Professional: Call experienced flooring contractors like The Brothers Flooring. Professional flooring contractors can help you locate and install hardwood flooring at the best possible price and without wasting any materials.
- Recycle or Shop Around: If you or someone you know has leftover hardwood flooring, use the remaining boards for a small-scale project. Additionally, there are many people undertaking flooring renovations, so check buy and sell groups to see if you can scoop up large batches of unopened flooring — you may get lucky and find a great deal.
Hardwood Flooring Alternatives
If you’re eager to renovate your space, there are other things you can consider.
Refinishing your floors may be a good option for your space. This type of project is more economical and won’t be subject to the same material shortage issues of a new floor.
One of the biggest recent flooring trends is wood-look flooring such as laminate, luxury vinyl or ceramic. All of these options emulate the look and feel of wood, so you get the charm of wood without having to pay top dollar.
Plus, ceramic wood-look tiles are waterproof, making them an excellent choice for foyers or kitchens. In fact, many of the wood-look alternatives are durable and require less maintenance than hardwood. If you want the wood look and feel, but not the hassle of trying to find enough product, then consider these alternatives — it’s the best of both worlds, wood charm and availability.
Installing Hardwood Flooring During COVID-19
The pandemic has posed many problems for people and businesses. In particular, the lumber industry has taken a huge hit, causing hardwood scarcity and skyrocketing wood prices. However, this doesn’t mean your hardwood flooring installation can’t happen; you can still lay hardwood floors or opt for wood-look alternatives to complete your flooring project.
If you’re ready to explore your options, give The Brothers Flooring a call today for a free consultation, and we’ll happily help you discover the best flooring at the best price for your next project!