Lumber Industry’s Impact on Hardwood Flooring Pricing and Installation

You have probably noticed the delays in shipping your favorite products or the increase in price for those same products, especially recently. The holidays are not that far behind us and all of us remember the mad dash to get everyone their gifts and to get them on time. Even post-holidays, price increases are far from over. We continue to see prices on everything from chips to toys increase. Lumber is no different. 

The cost of wood has dramatically increased since 2020. No industry that uses lumber is immune to these price increases, every kind of craftsman and carpenter has seen the impact on their trade. The combination of supply shortages, labor shortages, and shipping delays, has caused the price of wood to rise. Historically the cost of lumber has been increasing for decades, however, the effects of Covid-19 and the shipping delays have also played a major role in the cost of wood.

Hardwood Flooring Historical Pricing Trends

The increase in the cost of lumber did not appear out of thin air – since 2015 we have seen rather noticeable increases in the cost of lumber. However, in the past 3 years, we have seen a massive rise in home renovation projects and as we head into the warmer months there is no sign of those projects stopping the demand for lumber. When we take a look back at 2021, and more specifically at April of 2021, we can see how the price of lumber had soared more than 250% in just the first 4 months of the year. As we head into warmer weather here in 2022 we can expect a similar increase in costs. These increases in cost are no doubt amplified by the supply and demand discrepancy due to the shipping issues we continue to see at large. 

Not only are we seeing a rise in the cost of the raw materials needed to create hardwood flooring, but the overall demand itself for hardwood is increasing as well. The interior design trends continue to favor hardwood flooring as a great sustainable, timeless option for any home. With so many different wood types, stains, and finishes to choose from hardwood flooring is hands down a classic way to infuse your personal style into your home in a sustainable way. This increase in demand coupled with the delays in supply is causing the price of hardwood to inevitably increase.

COVID-19 Effects On Hardwood Flooring

COVID-19 has played its part in the supply shortage as mill operations are under flux as health restrictions are constantly changing with each new study coming out on Covid-19. Between illness and changes in restrictions, these dedicated laborers are having to pivot constantly to try and maintain the outflow of lumber they are producing. These restrictions have no doubt had an effect on the cost of home projects. USA Today reports on how these exact restrictions on mill and lumber operations have caused an estimated increase of $24,000 in new single-family home building projects.

However, COVID-19 has also kept a large majority of the workforce at home, with many companies adopting a full “work from home” schedule or a hybrid schedule. With a large part of the population spending more time at home than ever before, people are starting home improvement projects to make their homes work better for their new lifestyle. This shift is causing a huge influx in home improvement projects as people invest more in their living spaces. These home improvement projects range from home expansions and remodels to smaller updates that make your home feel more modern and more “you”. Hardwood flooring continues to be one update a lot of homeowners are making, and remains a popular option for those looking to elevate their home. 

Delayed Shipping is Hurting The Hardwood Flooring Industry

Unfortunately, the strain doesn’t stop there. We have all felt the pains of shipping delays, according to Bloomberg, over 77% of ports around the world are experiencing abnormally long delays in turnaround times. The whole world is feeling the strain and Kansas City is not immune to these delays either. Labor shortages and COVID-19 precautions continue to have an impact on our daily life. We are seeing the global effect on shipping and it has reached us locally as both businesses and consumers wait longer and pay more for their products to get shipped to them.

The sudden increase in overseas shipping costs significantly affects lumber prices which ultimately affect the cost of the raw materials used to create your hardwood floors. While there are quite a few unfinished domestic hardwood flooring options available (at much more affordable prices), the majority of prefinished and exotic hardwood options are imported from other countries. With the increase in overseas shipping costs and the delays at the ports, this lumber is not only more expensive but is costing homeowners time while they wait for the materials to complete their projects. This creates a ripple effect on all lumber manufacturers as the increase in shipping costs ultimately has an effect on the finished product. Thus professional flooring installers and home improvement contractors across the country are having to increase their prices and timelines in order to adjust for the increased shipping costs and time waiting on the raw materials. 

Totta’s Approach To Hardwood Floor Pricing

This shortage and ultimately the rise in lumber costs has increased the very cost of doing business here at Totta Hardwoods. We have always given our clients a hardwood floor estimate based on the price of the lumber and the hours of skilled labor needed to install their floors with expert precision. We do this so you get the most accurate quote at the best possible price. However, as the price of lumber increases so do our hardwood installation estimates. 

Regardless of how prices may rise, our craftsmen at Totta Hardwoods are dedicated to giving you the hardwood flooring you want at the price you can afford. When you schedule a consultation with our flooring experts you are not only getting a hardwood flooring quote, but a full consultation on what flooring options match your style, your home’s needs, and your budget, allowing you to make the most informed decision possible on your next home project. So even as the cost of lumber rises, even as the cost of hardwood flooring rises, you still have the ability to get the flooring you will love. 

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