How do different types of flooring affect the resale value of your home?

Whether you’re a potential first time homeowner, a prospective remodeler, or even considering selling your home, it’s important to understand how different flooring options can affect the resale value of your home.

While your choice in flooring may work well for you, the preference of potential homebuyers is what ultimately drives the market value of your home. In general, the higher quality of flooring that is installed, the more that your house will be worth. However, that does not necessarily mean that investing in the most expensive version of flooring will always pay off in the long run.

In the flooring world, hardwood is king. This is by no means a new phenomenon, but this option has seen the most growth in preference over the last few decades. If you have hardwood lurking underneath existing carpet, a quick and easy way to increase the value of your home is just to rip up the carpet!

Geographic Location

Of course, preference for flooring types is not universal, but preferences can especially differ depending on the geographic location of your home. Homebuyers in more humid and tropical locations, for instance, tend to prefer porcelain tile to carpeting in order to keep their homes cool in the summer. Here in Southwest Colorado, on the other hand, carpeting seems to be a quite popular option due to its ability to retain heat during the frigid Colorado winters. While hardwood is probably a safe choice for any climate, it is important to take into account your location when choosing to install new flooring.

Room Type

Kitchen: Kitchens are a very central part to any home, and thus are good options to focus on for remodeling projects. While in years past tile has been the preferred standard for kitchen flooring, hardwood has swooped in as the number one choice in recent years. Don’t be alarmed, though, if your home has tile, as this is still welcomed by many prospective buyers. Should you choose to replace your existing flooring with new tile, the larger 18” tile seems to be preferred over the more outdated 12” counterparts. Porcelain tile tends to hold up longer and retain its color better than ceramic tile, but can often be a most cost-prohibitive investment.

Bathroom: It is probably obvious that tile is the first and only choice of the vast majority of prospective homebuyers. Hardwood flooring warps when exposed to moisture, so it is almost always a no-go for bathrooms. Carpeted bathrooms become dirty very easily and attract the buildup of mold and mildew. After tile, the second most popular options are vinyl or laminate, which tend to not raise the value of a home. Simple but important updates to a bathroom can be a great investment in your home, helping to increase its desirability and resale value.

Living Room: For living rooms, and other rooms that are found on the main level of a home such as a dining room, the majority of homeowners tend to prefer hardwood flooring, but this can of course differ with personal preference and geography. As previously stated, if there is hardwood installed under existing carpet, ripping up the carpet and refinishing the hardwood is an easy and cost-effective way to increase a home’s value.

Bedroom: The jury is still out on this one. Geographic location will probably play a bigger role here, as many people worry about waking up to cold floors. People also tend to prefer what they’re used to, so if they were raised in a home where the bedrooms had carpeting, they will probably prefer carpeted bedrooms in their new home as well.

Existing flooring

If you’re planning on replacing the flooring in only one room or in just a portion of your home, it is important to take the existing flooring into account. When it comes to hardwood or laminate, it is a good rule of thumb to match existing flooring to create a universal flow throughout the house. Many new homebuyers choose to install new carpet the house, even if it’s in pretty good shape. In this case, it may be a good idea to offer new carpeting to entice buyers wary of existing stains, odors, dirt, germs, or pet hair.

While preferences differ for all people, there are still good ways you can optimize your home for the best possible resale value. Properly maintaining your existing flooring can also be an affective way to avoid the high cost of replacement.

For more information on specific flooring options, feel free to use this comprehensive guide.


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