For many homebuyers, embedded in the price of a home at the moment of purchase is the home's eventual resale price. Even with recent slight declines in mobility, U.S. citizens tend to be a very mobile sort. So, homes are rarely passed down through the generations anymore. When buying or remodeling a house, it just makes good financial sense to think about the return on investment (ROI).
Does flooring influence the resale value of a home? If so, which type of flooring has the best ROI?
Better Flooring (Perceptively) Has Better Resale Value
No doubt about it: wood flooring looks fantastic. Even if you do not like its coldness and hardness—both of which can be softened with area rugs and carpet runners—the visual appeal of wood flooring cannot be argued.
Engineered wood flooring has surpassed solid wood flooring in popularity. Laminate flooring is often considered to have a lower resale value than solid wood or engineered wood.
Resilient flooring tends to rate even lower than laminate flooring, though categories start to overlap with better types of resilient flooring like thick rigid core luxury vinyl plank. Wall-to-wall carpeting tends to have low resale value, if anything because it has a shorter lifespan of five to 15 years.
A USA Today study that uses National Association of Realtors data found that 54-percent of potential home buyers said that they would be willing to spend more for wood flooring: up to $2,080.
A few studies also advance the idea that home buyers might be willing to pay more for wood flooring. Some of the data associated with claims of greater resale value use speculative terms.
In the end, a floor's resale value is mostly based on perception rather than based on data. Though the perception is well-qualified, seasoned, and maybe correct, it is still perception.
Higher Resale Value: Difficult to Verify
Little to no hard data exist to support the notion that wood, laminate, or other types of flooring provide greater resale value to a house.
The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) indicates that U.S. real estate agents say that they believe that houses with hardwood flooring:
- Are easier to sell (99-percent of agents say this)
- Sell for more money (90-percent say this)
- Sell faster (82-percent say this)
While these tend to be some of the most-cited statistics about wood flooring's resale value, the original source—a NWFA press release—is not supported by methodology.
Most real estate sites, such as Zillow or Realtor, do not drill down into the data to differentiate between the types of flooring in houses.
The Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine is one of the best sources for determining the cost of a home remodeling project and its ROI. Mostly, these are combined projects like remodeling a large bathroom, roofing replacing, or deck additions, not single-material projects like wood flooring or ceramic flooring.
Still, the people consulted in the studies are seasoned professionals with years of experience: Realtors, builders, and designers. The Cost vs. Value Report folds subjective perceptions about resale value from thousands of professionals into hard, objective data.
As yet, flooring's assumed resale value is based on speculation, not actual dollar amounts. No one knows if wood flooring, laminate flooring, or any other type provides greater monetary value to your home upon sale.
Most people consulted think that hardwood provides higher resale value than other floors, such as carpet, luxury vinyl flooring, or laminate, though they cannot confirm this with figures.
It's important to install a floor that suits your home and your needs rather than thinking only of its return on investment, especially if you expect to be in the house for a number of years.
What flooring is best to sell a house?
The general consensus is that engineered wood or solid hardwood flooring are the best types of flooring to install to sell a house.
Which is better for resale: vinyl or laminate flooring?
Traditionally, laminate flooring has had greater resale value than vinyl flooring. Better quality vinyl floors may actually have better resale value than laminate flooring, though.
Does flooring affect resale value?
While there is no data to support the idea, it is generally believed that flooring can affect the resale value of a home.
Migration/Geographic Mobility. U.S. Census Bureau