Looking to install new flooring in your home? If so, you may be wondering, “How much value does hardwood floors add to a home?” That question is usually followed by its sister question: what’s the return on investment?
In this article, we’ll dive in to answer both of these questions and help you decide what choice to make on your floors.
How much do hardwood floors increase home value?
There’s not a ton of data on the correlation between home value and hardwood floors, but the data that is available says the increase in home value can be up to 2.5%, according to realtor.com.
Many buyers’ eyes grow wide when they see a home has hardwood floors, but in certain areas, it’s become the norm. If you’re the last one in your neighborhood to update the floors, you may want to do so before you sell.
You don’t want your house’s perceived value to drop when the only distinguishing factor between your house and the one for sale down the street is the hardwood floors. That could significantly impact how much a buyer is willing to pay.
In Line With the House
Adding hardwood floors to a house won’t make or break the value, though.
There are plenty of houses with the original hardwood floors…as well as the original gaudy paint and tiled countertops.
What makes or break the value that the hardwood floors add is the design and type of hardwood, as well as the updates in the rest of the house.
The pattern and direction in which the planks of wood are placed can add or detract from the appeal. If you have short planks placed in a herringbone or cross pattern, it can look really dated. Similarly, if you have the planks all going in one direction that makes the room feel tighter, that can also be an issue.
Talk to a flooring expert as well as a local expert real estate agent to help you design the perfect pattern and direction for your house.
Fit With the House
Before installing hardwood throughout, you may want to consider a kitchen or bathroom update. The kitchen and bathroom are the two homes in the house that add the most value. No amount of hardwood flooring is going to cover up a dated kitchen and bathroom.
Get the biggest bang for your buck by adding some paint, replacing countertops and appliances, and re-doing the shower/bath. From there decide if it’s within your budget to add some hardwood. At that point, the value will just continue to increase.
What is the ROI for hardwood floors?
It should be clear that adding hardwood floors to a house will up the value, given the house supports it. But what’s the return on investment for adding hardwood floors?
According to remodelingimage.com, the ROI for hardwood floors lands somewhere between 70% and 80%. That means if you spend $38,000 on hardwood floors (2,000 square feet at $19 per square foot), you can expect to see between $26,600 and $30,400 reflected in the sale price of your home. Again, these numbers are dependent upon the other aspects of the house and type and design of the hardwood floors.
If you don’t plan on selling, however, the return on investment could be even bigger.
Estimate for Hardwood
Hardwood floors can last over 100 years, depending on care. Experts tell you to get your floors refinished about every 7-10 years, and costs between $350 and $900 each time. If we use the example of the 2,000 square foot house we used earlier, in 100 years, you’ll have spent on the high-end, about $47,000 on your floors.
Estimate for Carpet and Vinyl
Let’s compare that to other forms of flooring.
Carpet costs on average between $7-$12 per square foot with installation. Experts recommend that you replace your carpet every 5-15 years, depending on the quality of your carpet. If you go with the highest quality of carpet (best value year-over-year), in 100 years, you’ll end up paying about $168,000 in flooring.
Vinyl and LVP flooring cost about $7 per square foot for the mid-range planks, with installation. Vinyl flooring needs to be replaced every 10-20 years depending on the care and quality of the flooring. Continuing our example above, it would cost on average about $98,000 in 100 years in vinyl.
If you’re looking for a type of flooring that gives you more value to sell the home later, you may want to rethink hardwood floors.
Vinyl and LVP flooring give that luxurious feel buyers are looking for at half the initial price. In fact, depending on the pre-floor value of the home, you should see more than a 90% ROI on flooring you spend less than $1.30 on. Don’t spend the money on hardwood floors if the value of the house doesn’t demand it and you aren’t going to be living in it for a while.
Hardwood floors can add up to 2.5% to your home value. Many buyers love seeing hardwood flooring, but in order to make a dent in the value, the rest of the house needs to have updates as well.
You can expect to see between a 70-80% ROI on your hardwood floors, but the best ROI comes as you enjoy the low-cost upkeep of the floors.
If you’re looking for a great way to increase your home value before a sale, hardwood flooring may not be the best way to go. Depending on the value of your home, installing vinyl or LVP could up your house value to the same rate for a lower cost.