Residential Flooring: What Type Increases Home Value? - Dean Miller Real Estate

The current housing market favors sellers. But that doesn’t mean that homeowners shouldn’t renovate their properties before putting them on the market. After all, a few simple changes can significantly increase a home’s resale value. One of the most crucial renovations homeowners should consider is residential flooring replacement. Getting rid of old or unsightly flooring is a surefire way to improve the look and feel of your home instantly. This guide will explore the types of flooring that can increase home value by several thousand dollars. Read on to discover which kind of flooring might be best for your property!

Why Install New Flooring Before Selling a Home?

Though new flooring might not increase your home’s curb appeal, it can make an excellent first impression on potential buyers. It can also make or break a buyer’s decision to place a big on your for-sale property.

Homes with decades-old linoleum flooring can be particularly offputting to buyers, as older linoleum panels often contain asbestos. Additionally, vinyl flooring that’s more than a decade old can show noticeable signs of wear and tear, making homebuyers second guess the quality of your property.

That said, adequately maintained hardwood flooring can last a lifetime or longer. Unless your home’s hardwood floors are sagging, cracked, or water damaged, you may not want to install a new flooring material.

Hardwood floors in excellent condition could increase a home’s overall value by up to 10%. Consequently, installing high-quality hardwood flooring is one of the most effective ways to boost your property value.

But thick hardwood planks aren’t the only type of flooring material that can increase your home’s resale value.

Types of Residential Flooring That Can Increase Home Value

The right type of flooring can help you sell your home in a flash! But there are dozens of flooring materials to choose from, and homeowners may struggle to select the best option.

Fortunately, we’ve got the scoop on the types of flooring that can increase home value. For example, the most profitable flooring options are:

  • Hardwood flooring
  • Tile flooring
  • Laminate flooring
  • Vinyl flooring

Let’s examine each material to ensure you choose residential flooring that suits your preferences and budget. We’ll also discuss which types are most alluring to homebuyers, allowing you to select a material that helps your property sell quickly and profitably.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is thick lumber made from slow-growing oak, maple, and walnut trees. This type of flooring dates back to the 1600s. It was one of the first materials to replace stone, hay, and dirt floors.

Unlike synthetic materials, hardwood floors can last hundreds of years, especially when they’re well-maintained. This makes it an optimal choice for any home, regardless of property size.

Flooring made of hardwood planks is also aesthetically pleasing, often more so than tile or laminate flooring. That’s because hardwood exudes a natural warmth that pairs well with traditional homes.

That said, newer engineered hardwood floors (often made from sustainable bamboo) are a popular choice for modern homes. So, no matter the style or age of your property, there’s a suitable hardwood flooring option that can increase its value.

The primary downside of hardwood flooring is the price tag. While carpet can cost about $3 per square foot, hardwood materials can cost $12 or more per square foot. This flooring material also requires consistent maintenance to look its best and remain sturdy.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

There are dozens of hardwood types from which to choose, but some of the most popular flooring options include:

  • Oak
  • Bamboo
  • Maple
  • Hickory
  • Mahogany
  • Walnut

The right choice for your home depends on your budget and aesthetic preferences. After all, some types of hardwood are pricier than others, and each type features specific shades and hues.

Oak

Oak is one of the most popular types of hardwood flooring, likely due to its affordability. The average price per square foot is only $4. Additionally, oak flooring comes in a wide variety of hues, allowing homeowners to opt for lighter or darker planks.

Bamboo

Natural bamboo flooring has a uniform coloration. It’s often a pale gold or yellow color, though stained bamboo planks appear golden brown. At about $10 per square foot, this option isn’t necessarily cheap, but it is one of the more eco-friendly options.

Maple

Like pine or birch, maple exhibits a lighter pale golden color that can brighten a room. But maple hardwood planks aren’t entirely uniform, with some darker striation marks making each plank unique. Natural maple hardwood is relatively affordable, with an average price of $7 per square foot.

Hickory

This hardwood is distinctive due to its light and dark patterning. With an average price of about $10 per square foot, it’s one of the pricier options. However, the contrasting hues make for one-of-a-kind patterns that are far more engaging than single-hue hardwoods.

Mahogany

Mahogany flooring is naturally golden, with tiny flecks of dark brown. It produces some of the warmest hues and is also known for its superior durability. But you can expect to spend an average of $17 per square foot on these planks.

Walnut

Walnut hardwood is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, as the somewhat murky, muddied appearance hides scuffs and marks. This hardwood type is also comparatively budget-friendly at about $8 per square foot.

Advantages of Hardwood Flooring

Though for-sale homes might remain on the market for several days or weeks in 2022, you can shorten this wait by outfitting your home with hardwood flooring. Without a doubt, hardwood is the most attractive flooring option for homebuyers, and it’s also likely to increase your home’s value more than any other type of flooring.

Overall, the most significant benefits of hardwood flooring include:

  • Outstanding lifespan (potentially several centuries)
  • Color variations that complement a variety of decor styles
  • Lack of toxic compounds
  • Moderate shock absorption
  • Intrinsic beauty that attracts homebuyers

Hardwood flooring offers the highest return on investment (ROI) than any other flooring type. So, if you’re determined to see your home value skyrocket before placing it on the market, there’s no better choice.

Drawbacks of Hardwood Flooring

The potential disadvantages of installing hardwood flooring are few and far between. That said, this material may not be ideal for properties in hot, humid environments.

Though hardwood is quite dense and durable, it can also warp and rot when exposed to excess moisture. Keeping your hardwood floors waxed may slow this degradation, but it might not prevent it entirely.

The most significant drawbacks of hardwood flooring include:

  • Susceptibility to moisture damage and mold growth
  • Warping due to water retention or termite infestations
  • Inability to install in all areas (including bathrooms and kitchens)
  • High maintenance requirements and refinishing costs

Still, homeowners willing to put in the effort and energy to keep their home’s hardwood floors in tip-top shape might find that their property value reaches new highs.

Best Hardwood Flooring to Increase Home Value

It’s challenging to name the best hardwood flooring for increased property value. After all, nearly any type of hardwood can boost home value and make your home easier to sell.

The best hardwood flooring type for your property depends on your budget and preferences. For example, mahogany flooring is one of the most expensive types of hardwood, but it’s also incredibly dense and durable. Mahogany flooring also exhibits a richer golden hue than walnut or oak.

Alternatively, oak flooring is one of the most affordable types of hardwood, potentially ensuring a higher ROI. But oak can appear pale and washed out, providing less aesthetic warmth than pricier hardwood types.

You’ll need to weigh your priorities and design preferences to decide which hardwood flooring type is best for your home.

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is often used in kitchens and bathrooms, but you can install it throughout your home to boost property value. Homeowners who opt to install natural stone flooring in their homes can increase their home resale value by thousands of dollars.

Though ceramic and concrete tiles are commonplace, granite and marble tile flooring can make any home feel more luxurious. When potential homebuyers enter your home and see polished natural stone floors, they may instinctively value your home for several thousands of dollars more than they would if they saw outdated wall-to-wall carpeting.

Types of Tile Flooring

There are several subtypes of tile flooring from which to choose. Each material has distinct advantages, disadvantages, and price points. Familiarizing yourself with these subtypes can help you select a tile that suits your budget, preferences, and expected property value increase.

Some of the most notable tile materials that can increase home value include:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Travertine
  • Mosaic

You may have noticed that these tile types are primarily natural options.

Natural stone tiles are incredibly resistant to impacts, water damage, and warping. In short, they can do many things that hardwood floors can’t do. Polished stone tile also tends to be brighter and more reflective than hardwood flooring, making it a complementary choice for modern homes with minimalistic designs.

Marble

Sealed marble is resistant to scratches and is naturally elegant. Contrary to popular belief, most marble tiles aren’t pure white. Instead, marble stone features natural light gray veins that gentle contrast against its brighter hues.

Granite

Granite is one of the most diverse types of natural stone. It comes in a diverse array of colors and patterns, making it one of the most compatible tile materials. You can match granite flooring with wall paint color, furniture, and fixtures to elevate a room’s aesthetic quality.

Travertine

Like granite, travertine tile comes in several styles. But this flooring’s hues often fall somewhere between dark brown and off-white. Travertine tiles cut to different sizes can add a sense of depth to your home’s flooring, creating unique patterns that draw the eyes.

Mosaic

Mosaic tile flooring can consist of several different types and colors of natural stone. Overall, mosaic flooring is one of the most decorative choices, as you can create floor murals and distinct patterns using small pieces of tile. Installing mosaic tile in entryways, bathrooms, and kitchens can make your home feel more refined.

Advantages of Tile Flooring

Natural stone and mosaic tile flooring offer a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Outstanding durability (100 years or more)
  • Natural moisture and mold resistance
  • Zero chance of warping over time
  • Exceptional aesthetic beauty
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance

Still, no flooring material is perfect. Though tile flooring can significantly increase your property value, you could end up spending a small fortune on it. It’s also not the best choice for upper floors, as natural stone tile is heavier than hardwood, laminate, and vinyl.

Drawbacks of Tile Flooring

If you’re planning on spending a few more years in your home, tile floors could be a wise investment. After all, natural stone flooring requires far less maintenance than hardwood floors. They’re also significantly more durable and moisture-resistant.

But there are a few potential drawbacks of replacing your current flooring with tile, including:

  • A higher overall cost (materials and installation)
  • Incompatibility with multi-floor homes, particularly upper floors
  • Zero shock absorption
  • Inability to hold or transfer heat

The highest-quality tile flooring materials can easily cost several thousand dollars. And though tile flooring is durable and resistant to moisture, it’s also quite dense and unforgiving. As a result, if you trip and fall on tile flooring, your body will absorb most of the impact, potentially resulting in serious injuries.

Another potential disadvantage is temperature. Tile doesn’t retain or spread heat, so it’s often colder than the ambient interior temperature. While this quality can be desirable for those living in hot environments, walking barefoot on tile floors can be uncomfortable during bouts of chilly weather.

Best Tile Flooring to Increase Home Value

Mosaic and natural stone (marble and granite) tile are the best options for homeowners hoping to increase their property’s value. That’s because mosaic tiles add a significant amount of aesthetic beauty to a home, while natural stone is one of the most durable types of tile.

Like polished granite countertops, gorgeous granite flooring can significantly boost your home’s resale value. Though this material is pricier than other tile materials, it’s long-lasting, visually appealing, and luxurious.

Marble is similarly enticing to homebuyers, making it just as valuable as granite. And unlike hardwood flooring, natural stone floors aren’t prone to warping or mold growth. If they lose their luster, you can reseal and polish them, restoring their organic beauty.

Laminate Flooring

Homeowners on a tight renovation budget might want to opt for laminate flooring. That’s because the average per-square-foot cost of laminate flooring is about $4, which is comparable to Berber carpeting.

Layers of synthetic materials, including melamine resin, comprise the average laminate flooring. As such, this flooring type is known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a home’s air.

These compounds can contribute to health problems and increase a person’s risk of developing specific cancers. Fortunately, low-VOC and zero-VOC laminate flooring are available. That said, these higher-quality types are often pricier than standard laminate options.

Still, homeowners hoping to avoid professional installation expenses may find that laminate flooring is the best choice. Unlike hardwood and tile flooring, installing laminate flooring is often as simple as hammering pieces together.

Types of Laminate Flooring

Unlike natural flooring materials, synthetic laminate flooring is categorized into two subtypes:

  • Laminate planks, and
  • Laminate tiles

As you might have guessed, the primary difference between these types is appearance and installation method. Laminate planks resemble hardwood floors, while laminate tiles often resemble granite or porcelain tiles. Both subtypes install via interlocking grooves along their sides.

Advantages of Laminate Flooring

Choosing laminate tiles or planks can be beneficial, especially if your renovation budget is the primary concern. However, affordability isn’t the only advantage of laminate flooring. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Ease of installation
  • Resistance to minor scratches
  • Unlikely to fade over time
  • Available in hundreds (potentially thousands) of colors and patterns

However, despite these advantages, laminate flooring does pose some significant disadvantages.

Drawbacks of Laminate Flooring

There are plenty of reasons to opt for laminate plank or tile flooring, with affordability being the primary advantage. But there are also several potential drawbacks, including:

  • Higher VOC emissions
  • A greater chance of warping when exposed to humidity
  • Reduced shock absorption
  • A shorter lifespan than hardwood and natural tile floors

Because low-quality laminate flooring can decrease home resale value, homeowners will want to choose a high-quality option that releases minimal VOCs. Selecting the best laminate flooring is still a more affordable option than hardwood or tile, but it can increase property value (though, admittedly, by a lesser extent than natural materials).

Best Laminate Flooring to Increase Home Value

The best laminate flooring for homeowners looking to increase their home’s value is non-toxic, low-VOC, and formaldehyde-free. Some of the best brands that exemplify these qualities include Mannington and Lauzon.

You’ll also want to choose laminate designs that resemble hardwood, granite, or marble materials. Doing so can improve the aesthetic quality of your flooring and attract potential homebuyers.

Vinyl Flooring

If keeping your renovation costs low is a top priority, vinyl flooring may be the right choice. That’s because vinyl flooring typically costs about $1.50 per square foot, making it one of the most affordable options.

Unlike carpet, vinyl flooring can look nearly identical to hardwood and tile flooring. For these reasons, vinyl is a popular choice for apartment complexes and budget-minded homeowners.

Though vinyl won’t last as long as natural materials like hardwood or marble, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring is more durable than lower-end materials. LVT floors can last up to two decades, and that extended lifespan can entice potential homebuyers.

Types of Vinyl Flooring

There are hundreds of patterns, colors, and styles of vinyl flooring, but this material is typically categorized into three distinct subtypes:

  • Sheet vinyl
  • Luxury vinyl tile (LVT)
  • Luxury vinyl plank (LVP)

Sheet vinyl is the most affordable option, but it also has the shortest material lifespan. This low-priced vinyl flooring is also more likely to emit potentially dangerous VOCs than non-toxic LVT and LVP materials.

For these reasons, homeowners looking to make the most of their new vinyl floors will want to gravitate toward higher-end LVT and LVP options. Potential buyers are more likely to purchase a home with non-toxic, long-lasting vinyl flooring than a property outfitted with cheap sheet vinyl.

Advantages of Vinyl Flooring

Though vinyl flooring might not add as much value as hardwood or tile, it does offer a handful of significant advantages over pricier flooring materials. For example, vinyl flooring:

  • Provides a greater level of moisture resistance than laminate flooring
  • Is more affordable than laminate, carpet, hardwood, or tile
  • Can last up to two decades (LVT and LVP)
  • Is easy to keep clean
  • Releases fewer VOCs than laminate flooring (non-toxic LVT and LVP)

But before you rush out to purchase LVT or LVP flooring, you’ll want to consider the potential downsides of vinyl flooring.

Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring

The most notable disadvantages of vinyl flooring include:

  • A more noticeably synthetic look and feel
  • A negligible or minimal impact on property value
  • It’s impossible to repair or refinish
  • It may release VOCs (most notably sheet vinyl)

Still, you may be able to negate or lessen some of these downsides by investing in non-toxic LVT or LVP materials.

Best Vinyl Flooring to Increase Home Value

Multi-layer rigid core LVT can increase your home value more than other types of vinyl flooring. This flooring features a thick stabilizing core and multiple material layers to increase moisture resistance and shock absorption.

Like laminate flooring, rigid core LVT comes in a dazzling array of colors, designs, and installment options. But most rigid core LVT floors float above the concrete base layer of your home’s floor and interlock together via tiny grooves along the sides of each plank.

DIY homeowners can choose to install vinyl flooring throughout their property without professional assistance. But, of course, it might be better to opt for professional installation services.

Not only will a professional installation result in a cleaner look, but it’s comparatively inexpensive. For example, the average cost to install a rigid core LVT floor is only about $2 per square foot, sometimes less.

Increase Your Home Resale Value

Installing brand-new residential flooring can increase your home’s value by thousands of dollars. It’s also worth noting that high-quality flooring can help you sell your home more quickly.

After all, potential buyers are bound to enjoy a great first impression when they enter a home with gorgeous hardwood or tile flooring. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for properties with wall-to-wall carpeting.

Are you interested in learning more tips and tricks to help you sell your home? If so, please reach out to us today. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.

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