Best Flooring for Resale Value 2023
What is the Best Flooring for Resale Value?
Hardwood flooring is the best choice for increasing the resale value of your home. This is unsurprising as hardwood flooring has been the number #1 most popular flooring choice for decades. According to National Association of Realtors, refinishing a wood floor returns 147% of your costs, and a new hardwood floor returns 118% of your costs.
February 27, 2023, by: Jamie Sandford
If you’re considering selling your home in the near future, you’ll want to consider how best to invest in it to return the highest resale vale. One area to consider is your flooring. In this article we will look at flooring that has the best return on investment. Flooring with a good ROI may boost the sale price of your home as well as making it more appealing to potential buyers.
The flooring that increases the resale value of your home or simply increases the likelihood of a quick sale has remained pretty consistent over the decades. Here are attractive, quality, best flooring options that will set your home apart and help you earn the highest resale value when you put it on the market.
Whether you choose solid hardwood flooring or engineered wood flooring makes little difference in ROI. Choose the one that works best for the location in which it will be installed and your region’s climate (engineered wood for humid locations, engineered or solid hardwood for dry climates).
Hardwood flooring has a wow-factor that some home flooring pros believe will bring back 2+ times its cost when you sell. A more conservative estimate would be 1 to 1.5 times its cost. If real wood isn’t suitable for your home, then take a look at ceramic tile that looks like wood, which is is enjoying a surge of popularity right now.
By the way, if you currently have old hardwood flooring, refinishing it instead of replacing it can significantly boost your return on investment. This is seriously worth considering as it costs far less to refinish, and the result is the same – a floor with a “brand new” look to it.
If hardwood flooring has a robust ROI of 118% for new flooring and 147% for refinished flooring, what is the return on investment for new carpeting?
The ROI of new carpet is unclear. That’s annoying.
The problem is that carpet doesn’t get a lot of love in the big, national surveys. For example, carpeting isn’t mentioned in the industry-standard Remodeling Cost vs Value Report for 2022 or the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors Research Group.
Sure, one seller suggests a 50% to 80% ROI, but the “guestimate” isn’t backed up by hard data.
We can say this with confidence: If your purpose is to spruce up your home in preparation for putting it on the market, carpeting is a cost-effective choice. Replacing old, worn and possibly smelly carpeting or rugs with new will make a big difference in the eyes and noses of those shopping for a new house.
The folks at Home Advisor make this point about carpeting: “New installations do not tend to affect resale value either way, but homes with old carpet will certainly suffer in the market.”
Here’s how to get the best return on your carpeting investment:
Go neutral on color to appeal to the widest audience.
Choose denser carpet, carpet with more tufts per square inch, because it doesn’t show traffic as easily – so if you don’t sell right away, the carpeting might still look “like new.”
Avoid long shags – According to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), “the longer the pile height, the more likely a carpet is to crush (think of traffic paths or marks where furniture has been placed on top of the carpeting).”
HomeLight does all home sellers a great service by explaining the pros and cons of different carpet types. So, you’ll have a good idea of what types of carpet to select to make your home as appealing as possible to potential homebuyers if you put it on the market.
This one is much like carpeting. If you’ve got floors that need a makeover, inexpensive vinyl flooring in the kitchen, bathrooms, entryways and laundry can make sense, especially if hardwood flooring isn’t with vinyl flooring in the kitchen, bathrooms, entryways, and laundry can make sense, especially if hardwood flooring isn’t in the budget.
Potential buyers will see vinyl flooring in good condition and think, “that looks good for now, and we can always upgrade it in a few years.”
What about ROI in Luxury vinyl plank or tile? Well, again, there’s no definitive numbers to go by. One survey of 1,558 people showed that 12.2% would choose luxury vinyl for remodeling. That’s a lot lower than the 48% voting for hardwood, but it is about the same percentage that would choose carpet – and higher than the results for tile. In short, Jacob Burdis, PhD, of HomeLight says the return on investment of luxury vinyl flooring is “High.”
OK. You may not get a huge “plus” return on vinyl, but it will give the home the appearance of being well-maintained. And LVT and LVP are still hot. Quoted on HomeLight, Real Estate Agent Joseph Singsheim says,
“Twenty years ago carpet was in, and then the hardwoods started coming back. But now we’re trending toward the luxury vinyl tile and laminate type of flooring.”
As for color, go the neutral route with vinyl flooring too. This usually means dark beiges to medium browns for vinyl planks and tiles.
Marc Bacher, founder of Stuga Flooring, told Architectural Digest that, “New flooring can elevate the look of your home and provide a continuous line of sight to spaces that previously felt disconnected.” In other words, for best resale potential, consider using the same vinyl flooring throughout an entire floor of your home to give it appealing continuity and flow.
Here’s a final thought on the ROI of vinyl floors that makes a lot of sense. Potential buyers will see vinyl flooring in good condition and think, “that looks good for now, and we can always upgrade it in a few years.”
Further Reading: Carpet Vs Vinyl Flooring Cost
Joseph Singsheim, quoted above, is right – laminate flooring is on the rise again after a lull in sales.
No way, you say? It is true. Floor Covering News, a respected source of industry information, looked at the 2021 numbers which came out mid-2022. “The resurgent laminate flooring category continued on its upward trajectory in 2021 as sales reached $1.304 billion. That represents a 7% increase over 2020.”
Floor Covering News created this graph that shows laminate has had a larger market share than hardwood in recent years. More people may say they’d like hardwood floors, but when cost is considered, more square feet of laminate flooring is sold.
Today’s high-quality laminate boasts major improvements over earlier generations. It is more durable, less susceptible to water damage and is resistant to separating, buckling and warping.
Laminate is sometimes called faux wood because the image you see is a photograph of real wood, stone or tile, whatever the flooring is mimicking.
Best ROI for Laminate: You’ll get the highest return on investment with laminate in entry-level and midrange homes, according to Melissa Yocum, a real estate agent quoted by Realtor.com.
Expect an ROI of 50% to 65% if you hire a pro. You can push your return on investment close to or above 100% if you DIY laminate flooring. Just make sure you have the skillset to achieve results that look like a pro did the work.
Your budget and how soon you plan to sell will help determine which flooring option will bring about the best return on investment in your home. Of course, while this home flooring guide is focused on the interior of your home, don’t forget to consider the return on investment of outdoor flooring options as well. Outdoor living spaces are a very popular home improvement investment projects right now.
Further Reading: Best Home Improvement Websites
Have you replaced your flooring recently? If so, how much did it cost, and do you know if it increased the value of your home? Please share your experience below.
About the Author:
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction, followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business, he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”
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