Updating the floors of the home is one of the most rewarding remodeling projects you can tackle, with functional and aesthetic benefits that you will experience immediately.
As well as the comfort of you and your family, it makes sense to undertake flooring projects with consideration to the impact on resale.
Realtors, builders, and designers are convinced that solid hardwood floors represent the highest return on investment (ROI) for flooring projects and may even justify a higher asking price. According to surveys, buyers find solid hardwood desirable and that could lead to a potential 2.5 increase in sale price. The stated preference isn’t limited to the high-end real estate market — in 2017, the National Association of Home Builders found 87% percent of buyers in the $100,000 to $149,999 price range want hardwood floors.
While the assumption is speculative — as it’s not backed with hard data — characteristics of hardwood lend support to the belief that it’s the preferred choice for people in the market for a house.
Hardwood is a durable material that can last for generations when it’s properly maintained, and renovations with a long life expectancy add value to the home. Wood is a warm material that is comfortable to walk on, while the neutral visual quality of hardwood allows for versatile choices in furniture and decor.
Moisture is damaging to hardwood, so other flooring materials should be chosen for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Alert buyers will note hardwood in those rooms may need to be replaced at some point.
Engineered hardwood has a similar aesthetic appeal as solid hardwood, with more resistance to moisture and less tendency to expand and contract in response to humidity. That allows a greater range of applications than solid hardwood — it can be installed over concrete, and in kitchens.
For Arizona homeowners, this can be a much more attractive option to solid hardwood and on the surface, it still looks and feels like solid hardwood. Most experts advise against installing engineered hardwood in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or areas where the moisture levels rise above four percent.
Engineered hardwood is made from layers of hardwood and plywood, bonded together with an adhesive that is applied under intense heat and pressure. A hardwood veneer layer is pressed on the surface of this core. This type of flooring can be refinished, but not as extensively as hardwood — light sanding is recommended.
Certain species used in engineered hardwood can make the material more costly than solid hardwood, but installation is generally less expensive. That means less cost to the homeowner, while the value of the house is improved.
Tile is another durable material that provides good value in a flooring upgrade, especially when installed in high traffic areas, where other materials may not wear as well. Realtors report that buyers indicate a preference for tile that’s aligned with hardwood. Tile is often installed in the bathroom and kitchen, where hardwood flooring isn’t recommended.
A variety of styles and colors are available in porcelain and ceramic tiles, with both types presenting a classic, clean finish. Porcelain tile is stronger than ceramic tile and easier to keep clean. It is also more expensive — by about 60 percent — than ceramic tile to purchase and install.
Laminate planks and slats are almost identical in appearance to solid hardwood flooring and can serve as a cost-effective alternative. Laminate flooring is strong and water-resistant, and though it generally it doesn’t last as long as either solid or engineered hardwood, some laminate products are proving durable enough to gain acceptance for the housing market. For example, check out Mohawk Revwood. Because it costs less than hardwoods, the ROI on laminate flooring makes it an attractive upgrade for budget-conscious homeowners who are planning to move soon.
For a high-end home, laminate flooring could be a disadvantage when the house goes on the market, as discerning buyers will view it as an inferior material. That could ultimately have a detrimental effect on the sale price of the house.
Flooring is a dominant visual element in the home, creating an indelible first impression. Buyers are proving to be acutely aware of the value of the material, but layout and design are also important factors.
A patchwork of materials detracts from the visual quality; most people prefer consistent flooring, especially in the main living areas and homes with open-concept layouts. Limit changes in material to transitional areas, such as entryways, or where the function of the room calls for different flooring.
Avoid unusual colors and patterns; neutral palettes are more desirable for buyers.
Slip-resistance is another significant factor for flooring; buyers tend to be wary of floors with a polished gloss. Generally, it’s best to confine flooring with a high sheen to formal areas, such as entryways.
Check out these resources for more information to help you make those important decisions about flooring:
- How to Choose and Install Hardwood Floors: A Complete Guide
- Hiring a Contractor vs. DIY: Cost – Benefits
- National Association of Realtors: Remodeling Impact
- The Ultimate Floor Buying Checklist
Our experts at Express Flooring are ready to help with design and selection for your flooring projects. We also provide free quotes for flooring and installation — simply fill out our form and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.
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