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  • Writer's pictureMike Gratland

What Types Of Flooring Provide The Best Return On Investment

Often, homeowners ask, "Which types of flooring are the best investments, or which provide the best ROI (return on investment) for your home? "

wood floors often offer the best ROI

Title: Boost Your Home's Value: The Best Flooring for Maximum ROI (return on investment)


When it comes to home improvement, few investments offer as much return on investment (ROI) as upgrading your flooring. The right choice can not only enhance your living space but also add significant value to your property. In this blog, we'll explore the top contenders for the best type of flooring to install when you're considering ROI.

1. **Hardwood Floors: Timeless Elegance and Durability**

Hardwood floors are a timeless favorite among homeowners and for good reason. They exude elegance and warmth, making your home more inviting. What sets them apart for ROI is their durability. With proper care, hardwood floors can last for decades, significantly boosting your home's value.

Sanding and refinishing existing hardwood floors is almost always your best investment. If you have hardwood floors, you are in good shape – hardwood sells and it helps define the value of your home. If you have hardwood floors, and they are beaten up, your first consideration should be to refinish the floors. You will most likely get your investment back three fold on this…and, it makes sense.

Refinishing hard wood floors is not that expensive…and usually costs less than people think. It is amazing how much better your home will look if you refinish the floors. You have the option of changing the color or leaving the same color. Lighter colors make the space look larger and more airy and informal; darker colors are more dramatic and give the home a more formal and sophisticated look. Satin finish is usually the preferred sheen (90-95% of my customers choose this) and it tends to show the scratches less than a semi gloss finish.

Also, if you have pet stains in the hardwood, they can usually be fixed by replacing these sections and weaving the hardwood in, and after they are refinished, you will never even notice the new pieces (assuming you hire a professional).

And, if you have hardwood underneath your carpet, by all means, rip up those carpets and refinish the hardwood…you have just found a gold mine. Hardwood sells; very few customers want carpet…not to mention that your carpets are probably dirty and may include your smell…and the buyer will want to rip those out anyway. And, believe it or not, it is almost always less expensive to refinish your hardwood than to re-carpet.

Add hardwood flooring to key rooms, if you can afford it. Most homeowners strongly prefer hardwood for the main living space or common areas such as living room, dining room and family room. Many prefer hardwood for the master bedroom, too. If you have hardwood in those areas, you are set, if you don’t, you may want to consider investing in hardwood for those areas – provided you have the budget to do so. You will definitely get back that return on investment – probably at least two fold. I understand that many selling their home do not have this luxury, but if you can afford it, by all means invest in the hardwood flooring (rather than carpeting) for those areas.

2. **Engineered Hardwood: A Budget-Friendly Alternative**

If the cost of traditional hardwood flooring is a concern, engineered hardwood is an excellent alternative. It offers the same aesthetic appeal and durability at a lower price point, making it a savvy choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

3. **Laminate Flooring: Affordability Without Sacrificing Style**

Laminate flooring has come a long way in terms of aesthetics and durability. It's a cost-effective option that mimics the look of hardwood or tile, making it a popular choice for ROI-conscious homeowners. Easy installation and low maintenance requirements are additional benefits.

4. **Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: Durable and Stylish**

For high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms, ceramic or porcelain tile is a top contender. Not only are these tiles durable and easy to clean, but they also come in a wide range of styles, ensuring a good ROI by adding both function and style to your home.

5. **Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP): Affordable Luxury**

Luxury vinyl plank offers an ideal blend of affordability and luxury. It replicates the look of hardwood or stone while being highly resistant to moisture, making it an excellent choice for areas prone to spills and dampness, such as the basement or bathroom.

6. **Cork Flooring: Eco-Friendly and Comfortable**

Cork flooring is a sustainable choice that provides a soft and comfortable surface underfoot. Its unique texture and eco-friendly credentials make it a trendy choice, and it can appeal to environmentally conscious buyers.

Just remember, a potential buyer who sees carpet is wondering “how much will it cost to rip out the carpet and add hardwood.” This factors into whether or not they even make an offer not to mention how much that offer is for. So, if you have hardwood under the carpets, show it off…and you will automatically improve the value of your home and how many people are willing to make an offer. It is usually a no brainer.

carpet is the most affordable flooring

buyers prefer hardwood flooring

Just consider, if your floors are beaten up and you don’t refinish them, many will assume that you don’t take good care of your home, and that they are likely to find other hidden issues during the inspection.

**Carpet: Cost Effective Flooring**

If your carpets are dirty and/or smelly, it’s usually best to replace them. Please note that trading up to hardwood, will usually get you a great return on your investment (unless of course you live in an area where hardwood is not the norm), but replacing the carpeting will not improve your selling value. Rather, it will allow you to capture the potential selling price of your home in good condition. It will probably also enable you to sell your house sooner as it will appeal to more buyers…or said another way, prevent buyers from being turned off by your home.

My guess is that you will get back this investment and just break even. (But, if you don’t do it, you will likely need to lower the price of your home and it may stay on the market longer resulting in another price reduction).

Always select a neutral color for carpets as that will appeal to the largest set of potential buyers, and generally lighter is better as it will make the space look larger and cheerier, and it gives you a sense that the home is clean.

kitchen floors that offer a good roi

However, if your kitchen is rather out of date, this may be a hindrance to the sale, you should consider your options. Sometimes, it is not worth it to do anything because the next homeowner will completely gut and redo the whole kitchen (so why invest more money if it’s like putting lipstick on a pig?). Other times, it is worth it to make some minor enhancements to either eliminate an eye sore or bring it up to an acceptable level. For example:

– If the there is vinyl flooring and it’s coming up, consider adding laminate on top…or potentially hardwood (tile flooring can work too, but it is more expensive and hence usually a lower return on investment).

If you do make changes, make sure that they a neutral and not taste specific…remember, you are trying to appeal to the widest audience.


Investing in the right type of flooring can substantially increase your home's value and attract potential buyers when you decide to sell. Whether you opt for the timeless beauty of hardwood, the budget-friendly appeal of laminate, or the durability of ceramic tile, your choice should align with your budget, the specific room's requirements, and your personal style. By making a wise flooring investment, you'll not only enjoy a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing living space but also ensure a higher ROI when the time comes to sell your home.

We also see a trend to fixing up the home 2-3 years before homeowners intend to sell. I think this is really smart as you get to enjoy the improvements you make and sell at a higher value. It also helps you balance out your expenses over a longer period of time.

Of course everything needs to be evaluated in the context of the condition of the home and it’s neighborhood. The “standards” are different based on what you are comparing against, but here are some general guidelines.

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