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Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value?

Do hardwood floors increase home value? Are they worth the money and what’s the long term ROI?

These are all very good questions to ask if your remodeling, flipping or building a new home. Hardwood floors throughout is the standard these days. Just about every home is installing them and at every price point. They’re beautiful, versatile, come in an almost unlimited number of colors and sizes, and durable. To me the answer is a big yes. We use them in every room of the house including the kitchen and some bathrooms. You have to remember that ROI and an increase in home value isn’t just about getting a higher price when you sell the house. Selling it fast matters too. Installing new hardwood floors has been proven over and over again to sell a home quicker. But the floors have to be the right style, size and color as well as having been installed properly.

To me there’s no doubt that hardwood floors increase a home’s resale value and have a fantastic ROI. I use them in any home I flip, remodel or build. The days of carpeted living rooms and tiled kitchens are over in place of hardwood floors throughout.

How Much Do Hardwood Floors Increase A Home’s Value

This is a very hard questions to answer because it all depends on the home. On average hardwood floors add about 2-3% to the resale cost which is about what it cost to install them. For example, we built a 3500 sq. ft. home about 4 years ago with a value of around $850,000. We used wide plank lightly stained hardwood floors throughout which cost $22,000. That’s about 2-3% of the total sale price.

But what’s not shown by looking strictly at the numbers is that the home had multiple offers at full value. In a competitive and crowded real estate market it’s just as important to sell the home quickly and for full price then it is to strictly increase the sales price. In fact to me a fast sale is more valuable then waiting for slightly more money. If you think about them in this way then hardwood floors add a lot to the value of a home.

Another way of looking at it is being appropriate for the home’s in your area. here in New Jersey pretty much every home has hardwood throughout. It’s what buyers want and you have to deliver. By not including them a buyer would have to calculate the cost to rip out the tile or carpet you used and then install hardwood themselves. So by not installing hardwood you can actually cost yourself a lot of money. You need to make sure the flooring you use is right for the area and price point your selling at. To me hardwood flooring is pretty much always the right choice.

beautiful custom home with dark brown hardwood floors installed with a herringbone pattern.

beautiful custom home with dark brown hardwood floors installed with a herringbone pattern.

How Much Do Hardwood Floors Cost?

Hardwood flooring can be more expensive than some other types of flooring but there’s a wide range of options. But when you look at the pros of hardwood that far outweigh carpet and most other flooring options, I think it’s well worth it.

There are lots of options these days when it comes to hardwood flooring that can save you money if your on a budget. In the old days bare wood flooring was installed, then sanded, stained and sealed. It was a complicated process that needed a pro and a large disc sander. But these days there are lots of pre-finished wood flooring options like Bruce that make both nail down and snap together designs. All you do is install the hardwood without having to sand, stain or seal. This means you save a lot on labor and for some it’s even a DIY option.

Hardwood flooring here in NJ runs anywhere between $10-$14 dollars including installation. This includes bare wood, sanding, staining and sealing. As a comparison, carpet averages between $5-$10 and tile is around $15-$20.

Of course, this all depends on style, grade, and design of the hardwood flooring. There are inlays, borders and a variety of installation styles that include Herringbone and Basket. All of these add a lot to the installation and material costs because of all the cuts. You can also use multiple stain colors which increases costs even more.

Luckily the most popular hardwood flooring trend is to keep things simple. Which is also the cheapest. Wide planks, a single stain color without any borders or inlays and a simple horizontal layout is what I recommend.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that if your remodeling a home then you also have to consider the cost to demo and dispose of the old flooring. Sometimes this can also mean redoing the trim that touches the floor if the heights change. Installing flooring in a new home is always cheaper then it costs to remodel.

Not All hardwoods Are The Same

Keep in mind that when you ask whether or not hardwood flooring increase a home’s value it’s a very general question. In general the answer is definitely yes. Your going to get more for a home with beautiful new hardwood floors than with outdated tile, linoleum or carpet. The amount however will depend a lot on the home’s value and the flooring you install.

Just like any finish product, there are expensive hardwoods like Brazilian Walnut and cheaper options like #3 Knotty Pine. The Brazilian Walnut may cost $10 per sq ft just for material while the #3 Knotty Pine runs me about $3 bucks. There are premium and budget friendly options when it comes to hardwood flooring so use what’s appropriate for the home’s value.

More important to me is the style. Just because it costs more doesn’t mean the ROI is better. The most popular hardwood flooring right now is wide plank pine with a muted color and almost no sheen. We use it everywhere and it’s super cheap at around $5 bucks. The ROI on it is great and we wouldn’t get a nickel more by using a more expensive flooring. Another thing to consider with wide plank is that you save on installation labor. When you compare an 8″ plank to a 4″ plank, the 8″ requires half as much labor to install.

Pre-finished products have a totally different price range since you don’t have to sand, stain or seal them on site. And because you don’t have to do any of that it’s an easier job to DIY. Keep that in mind when comparing hardwood flooring prices and their ROI.

Master bathroom with hardwood floors stained a warm brown and finished with an egg shell sheen.

Master bathroom with hardwood floors stained a warm brown and finished with an egg shell sheen.

How Do Hardwood Floors Increase A Home’s Value

Just having hardwood floors in your home doesn’t necessarily mean the value will increase. There are plenty of homes on the market with wood floors that aren’t doing a thing for the value. Most of them are outdated and with a bad design or installation. To increase the home’s value with wood floors you need to do the following:

Design

The reason people install new hard wood floors in an old house is to update and modernize the look. You want an older home to feel current and in style, not old fashioned. And you want the same for a new home. The style these days tends to be mostly wide plank hardwoods with a muted color instead of the older style thin wood planks. And we’re not seeing much shine these days. Eggshell is what we recommend.

The flooring design also needs to be appropriate for the home. The same hardwood floors used in an Ultra Modern home may not be right for a Colonial or Shore Home.

Think of the flooring as a single component of an overall design. The style needs to work with your cabinetry, hardware, doors, paint, trim, counters, etc.

Type

When you buy hardwood floors you’ll have a few decisions to make. The width is a big one and so is the natural coloring. Some wood is very pale and others are reddish. This also ties into my next point to consider which is species. Hardwood floors come in a variety of wood types. Do you want Oak, Cedar, Pine or maybe Bamboo? Each has a different coloring, price and durability. And they all react differently to staining.

Stain is not a paint. It’s translucent which means it works with the woods natural coloring and grain. It’s not solid so it won;t cover up the wood completely. You need to keep this in mind because some stains colors look totally different depending on what species of wood your using it on.

Some woods come with knots and some don’t. This is yet another thing to consider. Do you want knots, only a few, or none at all?

Hardwood also comes in grades. You can buy pine in an S grade which is a premium hardwood. S grades don’t have knots and are cut to be uniform. A B grade is knotty and irregularly cut. An A grade falls in between and there are often multiple grades within each letter. For example an A1is considered better than an A2.

Versatility

As you’ll see from the gallery below, hardwood flooring is a beautiful option no matter what room of the house you use it in. The most popular option these days is hardwood throughout which even includes the kitchen and some bathrooms. Although most bathrooms and the laundry tend to be tile.

Factory Finished Or Not

Another big decision is where the hardwood flooring is finished. If your doing it yourself then choosing the right wood is very important. However if it’s a factory finished material then all you have to do is pick a color and size you like. This is a much simpler option and makes DIY installations easier to do.

Can You Get A Deal On Hardwood Flooring?

Yes. Now that so many companies are making factory finished products it’s easy to get a deal on material. Even Costco sells pre-finished hardwood flooring from time to time for a really good price. Call around to your local flooring distributor and see if they have any closeouts or canceled orders. They’ll usually sell them at a steep discount. If your building your dream home then it’s probably not a great option but for a flip or spec home this can save you a lot.

The internet is a great place to shop for flooring deals. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Amazon and eBay are all places we’ve used to find great flooring deals. I recommend checking them out but be careful when you pay. There are a lot of scammers out there.

You can also try negotiating a bulk order. This isn’t an option if your building or remodeling a single home but if your a builder or professional house flipper then you should definitely be negotiating bulk pricing.

Try the bid room at Home Depot. Most people don’t know that Home Depot offers a discount on anything special ordered in bulk. It’s called the bid room and you can save a lot of money by using it.

Does Installing Hardwood Over An Old Floor Add Value?

If your doing a remodel or a flip on a tight budget then adding a new layer of hardwood floor on top of something old is definitely an option. The new floor will add value to the home and will cover up anything old. A major issue with layering flooring is the height. In a new home the finished floor height is calculated to work with all the doors, steps, trim and other flooring. When you add a layer on top of the floor it’s higher than the rest. You see this a lot in older homes that have different floor heights.

Make sure if this is your plan that you factor in the cost of redoing anything that is thrown off by the new floor. The most common things are base and door trim. They’ll all have to be adjusted to match the new floor.

Another issue is the installation process. If your installing a new hardwood flooring over tile then you won’t be able to nail through it. For a situation like this you’ll have to go with a floating snap together floor.

Also consider all the edges. If the new floor doesn’t cover the entire home then you’ll have a visible edge somewhere. Make sure you have a plan for how to finish all your edge work.

Stairs are a problem because code says each step has to be equal. When you increase the flooring height on the lower or upper step you throw them all off a little. For this reason I don’t recommend stacking floors anywhere near the stairs unless you don’t mind redoing them too. Making sure all the steps are an equal height is a safety issue so we take that seriously.

Living room with muted neutral hardwood floors and a white brick wood burning fireplace.

Living room with muted neutral hardwood floors and a white brick wood burning fireplace.

Some Benefits Of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors increase home value but you have to choose the right flooring for the home. And there are quite a few benefits that come along with that increase in resale price.

The first thing is the visuals. Hardwood is a classic, clean look that’s been around for centuries and it’s not going away any time soon. In fact hardwood throughout the home has never been more popular. It adds lots of character and charm to the home. Most people consider hardwood to be more of a high end luxurious option when compared to tile, carpet or linoleum.

Another great thing about hardwood is that it’s easier to clean than a flooring like carpet or tile. Spills are very simple to wipe up and with kids in the house that’s really important. Carpet tends to hold dust, dirt, and pollen within the fibers but that’s not a problem with wood. With tile, the grout can stain and is hard to keep clean. There are even robots that clean the entire wood floor so you don’t have to do a thing. If you have allergies then you’ll definitely want to consider going with wood.

Durability is another huge factor to consider when comparing hardwood to carpet or tile. If you install a good quality hardwood it can last 100years without needing replacement. Carpet doesn’t last nearly as long and tile can crack.

Scrapes and scratches on hardwood can easily be buffed and refinished to look brand new. The fact that hardwood can be refinished after 20 years is a big reason why people like it so much. It only costs around $2 to refinish hardwood which is much cheaper than other types of flooring.

Hardwood Flooring Gallery

Here’s a few of our favorite pictures showcasing the beauty of hardwood floors throughout the home.

Master bedroom with wide plank lightly stained wood floors.

Master bedroom with wide plank lightly stained wood floors.

Beautiful living room with hardwood floors laid with a herringbone pattern.

Beautiful living room with hardwood floors laid with a herringbone pattern.

Custom home with hardwood floors and matching wood ceiling beams.

Custom home with hardwood floors and matching wood ceiling beams.

Hardwood floors with a golden stain and high gloss finish.

Hardwood floors with a golden stain and high gloss finish.

Beautiful home with medium golden brown hardwood floors throughout.

Beautiful home with medium golden brown hardwood floors throughout.

Kitchen with light golden brown hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Kitchen with light golden brown hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Vintage style home with thin plank hardwood floors and a natural finish.

Vintage style home with thin plank hardwood floors and a natural finish.

Fantastic custom home with dark stained hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Fantastic custom home with dark stained hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Lightly stained pale hardwood floors with matching stairs.

Lightly stained pale hardwood floors with matching stairs.

Beautiful home with dark brown hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Beautiful home with dark brown hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Foyer with medium brown hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

Foyer with medium brown hardwood floors and an eggshell finish.

hallway with wainscoting and medium brown wood floors and an eggshell finish

Hardwood floors increase home value when they look like this.

Beautiful herringbone hardwood floors with a medium brown stain and eggshell finish.

Beautiful herringbone hardwood floors with a medium brown stain and eggshell finish.

Natural wide plank hardwood floors stained a medium dark brown. Matching wood stairs.

Natural wide plank hardwood floors stained a medium dark brown.

Summary: Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value? And Are They Worth The Money?

Do hardwood floors increase home value? Are they worth the money and what’s the long term ROI?

These are all very good questions to ask if your remodeling, flipping or building a new home. Hardwood floors throughout is the standard these days. Just about every home is installing them and at every price point. They’re beautiful, versatile, come in an almost unlimited number of colors and sizes, and durable. To me the answer is a big yes. We use them in every room of the house including the kitchen and some bathrooms. You have to remember that ROI and an increase in home value isn’t just about getting a higher price when you sell the house. Selling it fast matters too. Installing new hardwood floors has been proven over and over again to sell a home quicker. But the floors have to be the right style, size and color as well as having been installed properly.

To me there’s no doubt that hardwood floors increase a home’s resale value and have a fantastic ROI. I use them in any home I flip, remodel or build. The days of carpeted living rooms and tiled kitchens are over in place of hardwood floors throughout.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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