Do Hardwood Floors Increase Your Home's Value? (2024 Update)

Jared Lindstrom's Photo
By Jared Lindstrom Updated July 10, 2024
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Edited by Steve Nicastro


Switching to hardwood flooring can significantly boost your home's value, adding around $6,500 on average. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that homeowners often see a 118% return on their investment when installing hardwood floors.[1]

While these numbers sound enticing, other home improvements can yield better returns. Additionally, some buyers might prefer alternatives like luxury vinyl plank (LVP) over traditional hardwood.

Consider upgrades in other areas as well to appeal to buyers. According to Clever's American Home Buyer Report, the most desirable improvements among recent home buyers include updated kitchens, remodeled bathrooms, and contemporary lighting, with 33% of buyers ranking each of these upgrades as most important.

However, before you decide to replace your current floors, it's crucial to consider your neighborhood and what buyers in your area are looking for.

Do hardwood floors increase home value?

Andrew Fortune, Broker/Realtor at Great Colorado Homes, emphasizes that replacing flooring substantially impacts a home's value by making it feel brand new.

"Since flooring is the most trafficked part of the home, replacing the flooring has the greatest impact on a home’s value. New floors make the home appear as if no one has lived there," he says.

Hardwood floors are highly appealing to homebuyers due to their durability, low maintenance, and ease of cleaning. As a bonus, solid wood flooring is hypoallergenic, making it a healthier choice than carpet.

Installing hardwood flooring costs around $4-6 per square foot and has a 118% ROI — meaning you’ll earn back $6,500 if you spend $5,500 on the installation.[1]

The actual cost to install hardwood varies based on:

  • The square footage of your room
  • Contractor rates in your area
  • Current material costs
  • Your DIY skills

To get market-specific advice about installing hardwood flooring, contact a trusted realtor in your area. They can provide guidance on the expected ROI for the project, suggest better renovation investments, and offer a home valuation before you upgrade.

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Hardwood flooring alternatives

AlternativesAverage cost
Refinishing existing hardwood$3-8/sq ft
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)$4-6/sq ft
Laminate Flooring$4-5/sq ft
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)$4-6/sq ft
Show more
Sources: Modernize, Home Depot

Refinish your existing hardwood

Hardwood refinishing involves sanding the old, worn-out finish to expose bare wood and adding fresh coats of stain and protective sealant.

If your home already has hardwood floors, refinishing can be more cost-effective than installing new flooring. Many hardwood floors have a long lifespan, even if they look worn out.

Refinishing typically offers a higher ROI than new installations. NAR’s report indicates a 147% return on investment, which means an $8,000 return on a $5,500 refinishing project.

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP)

LVP flooring mimics the hardwood look, but it’s made from engineered vinyl, which is more durable than many wood floors. These floors are waterproof, ideal for high-traffic areas, and great for pets and kids — many options also come with a lifetime residential warranty and cost less than hardwood on average.

Market trends suggest that vinyl alternatives to hardwood will continue to grow in popularity. The global vinyl flooring market is just over $23 billion and is forecasted to rise 5.2% annually.[2]

LVP is also DIY-friendly and features a click-together system. The material is easier to cut than alternatives, and LVP is more forgiving in corners where it’s hard to match surfaces.

Laminate flooring

Laminate floors look like hardwood but are layers of synthetic materials. These floating floors are durable and scratch-resistant, work well in high-traffic areas, and often feel softer underfoot than alternatives like LVP.

Installing laminate flooring requires less work than hardwood and is more DIY-friendly. Many options also run cheaper than hardwood, saving you money on your renovation.

One drawback of laminate flooring is that many options aren’t fully waterproof. Because of this, you should keep it out of areas like bathrooms and kitchens and focus on using it in primary living areas, bedrooms, and hallways.

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT)

LVT contains the same material as luxury plank flooring but mimics natural stone or ceramic tile instead of wood. While luxury is in the name, LVT is more popular in standard homes over higher-end homes that benefit more from natural stone tile work.

This flooring type works best in rooms that fit the tile aesthetic, like bathrooms and kitchens, but it may look out of place in a bedroom or living area. LVT also has all the benefits of its LVP counterpart and great DIY potential.

Related reading

Article Sources

[1] National Association of REALTORS® – "2022 Remodeling Impact Report". Accessed July 10, 2024.
[2] Grand View Research – "Global Vinyl Flooring Market Size, Trends, Growth Report 2030". Accessed July 10, 2024.

Authors & Editorial History

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