Do Hardwood Floors Provide the Best Return on Investment? – New Haven Register

When deciding which home improvement projects to tackle, experts say you should invest your time and money into hardwood floors. Here’s why.
Published 3:00 pm, Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Hardwood floors are durable, easy to clean, and look great. But will installing hardwood floors actually pay off when it comes time to sell your home?

Real estate professionals affirm that this type of flooring is highly desirable for many buyers.

“Most buyers nowadays are expecting hardwood,” says Matt Laricy, a Realtor® with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago. “They want things move-in ready, and don’t want to do any work. Seeing carpet could make them pass on your place.”

“Hardwood flooring is definitely a bling feature, especially in the living rooms and dining rooms,” says Janice Caputo, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh. “Hardwoods in the master suite could help win a buyer’s offer.”

Hardwood floors give you a good return on investment

Besides being an attractive amenity for potential buyers, hardwood floors have proven to have a good return on investment for homeowners. The average ROI for installing hardwood floors hovers in the 70%–80% range, depending on the specifics of the project, flooring layout, and your property’s location, according to Alex Biyevetskiy, a home remodeling expert with When done right, he says new hardwood floors can add up to 2.5% to the sale price.

Refinished hardwood flooring was also one of the projects that are most appealing to the buyers, according to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Survey from the National Association of Realtors®.

And hardwood doesn’t just look great—it’s also durable.

“With correct installation, proper maintenance, and refinishing, hardwood floors have the longest life span compared to other flooring materials,” says Kimberly Villa, marketing manager for Kaminskiy Design and Remodeling in San Diego.

Cost of hardwood floors

But installing all that hardwood doesn’t come cheap. Villa says the average cost for popular woods such as oak, maple, walnut, or cherry is around $5 to $10 per square foot. Installation is typically around $4 to $8 per square foot.

It’s an expense that a majority of experts say is well worth it.

“While this may seem a little pricey for an initial investment, you must take into consideration the fact that these floors can outlive you,” Villa says. “They will also increase the market value of your home quite a bit. Old carpets can be a major eyesore and can really turn a home buyer off. They can also negatively impact those who have allergies. Invest in hardwood flooring now, and reap the benefits for decades to come.”

Faux hardwood floors: Less expensive, similar payoff

Less expensive options such as faux hardwood floors still give the look and feel of the real thing; they’re also engineered to withstand more wear and tear. The physical cost of faux versus real hardwood varies depending on the species of wood, but where you’ll really see a difference in price is in the installation. Biyevetskiy says installing faux hardwood is easier and can be done by novices, while real hardwood should be installed only by professionals.

So when it comes to choosing flooring for your place, investing in some type of hardwood is likely to go far with future buyers. It’s one home improvement investment that just may pay off down the line, but like any other investment, there are no guarantees.

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