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How Much Does Cherry Hardwood Flooring Cost?

Cherry Hardwood Flooring Installation Prices

Referring to "cherry hardwood flooring" can be a bit misleading, as there are two main types of wood used to make cherry floors: American cherry (also known as black cherry) and Brazilian cherry. Confusing matters further is the fact that Brazilian cherry isn't actually a species of cherry. If you're feeling lost, fear not: this buying guide from Cost Owl sets the record straight on cherry flooring, including how much it costs to install.

American Cherry vs. Brazilian Cherry

Despite the commonality of their name, American and Brazilian cherry are quite different species. To begin with, Brazilian cherry comes not from a type of cherry tree, but from the jatoba tree. While jatoba is found in Brazilian rainforests, it also grows in other parts of Latin America. It is a very hard wood (rated at 2,350 on the Janka hardness scale) that has very deep shades of red and rich, smooth graining.

American cherry is softer than Brazilian cherry, coming in at 950 on the Janka hardness scale. This domestic species of cherry is also lighter in color than its exotic counterpart, with tones that range from reddish to brown to pink to white in some spots. The grain pattern on American cherry is quite fine.

Which is Right for My Home?

If you have children/and or pets, or your floors receive heavy traffic, you may want to stay away from American cherry. Because this species is relatively soft, it is prone to denting and could show a lot of wear and tear if abused.

Brazilian cherry, on the other hand, is a very hard wood species that is appropriate for every area of the home. While it's not dent-proof, no wood is immune to damage, jatoba can accommodate everything from large pets to large groups of children without fear of excessive damage.

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Cherry Flooring Considerations

Homeowners should keep the following points in mind when considering cherry floors:

  • Both American and Brazilian cherry are photosensitive woods that will darken with exposure to light. This color change can be diminished by applying a UV blocking varnish.
  • Expect there to be color variation between individual hardwood cherry planks and even within the plank itself. If you're looking for a more uniform wood floor appearance, it's possible to apply a stain to the wood, although this detracts from cherry's natural beauty (the main reason why homeowners choose cherry in the first place).
  • Brazilian cherry in many cases is logged from the Amazon, where deforestation is a major concern. There are, however, ways to ensure that the wood you're buying was harvested responsibly. Visit the Forestry Stewardship Council website to learn more.

Cherry Hardwood Flooring Costs

  • Cherry flooring costs $3 to $8 per square foot, while installation costs average $2 to $4 per square foot. In total, then, expect to pay $5 to $12 per square foot installed for cherry floors (or roughly $700 to $1,700 for a 12 foot x 12 foot room).
  • Because it's grown in North America, American cherry tends to cot a bit less than Brazilian cherry, although the grade of wood (whether it contains knots and other imperfections or is free of defects) is a key cost determinant.

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