Do Hardwood Floors Really Offer A Good ROI?

Do Hardwood Floors Really Offer A Good ROI?
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Most homebuyers set high standards in the features they want in their dream homes. A common expectation is hardwood floors. They help modernize a space. Therefore hardwood is held up as the gold standard of flooring. It provides the ultimate feature, allowing real estate agents to boast “hardwood floors throughout”. But do hardwood floors really offer a good return on investment (ROI)? Here we look at hardwood floors and whether they will offer better payback when you decide to sell.

Buyers DO Expect Hardwood

According to, buyers today DO look for hardwood when shopping for their dream home. Their ideal includes a move-in ready home where they can settle in without the need for upgrades. Old, or in many cases even new carpeting makes a home appear more like a fixer-upper which translates into low ball offers.

What is the Worst Flooring?

Carpeting, especially on the main floor could actually cause people to pass on your home. While you can get away with carpeting in the bedroom (some people still prefer this), your main floor really needs hardwood to add that sense of luxury to your home. Other floors people tend to hate includes vinyl in the kitchen, entryways, laundry rooms, etc. Here your best option is to go for a high-end look in tile that will elevate the appearance of your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.

In Which Rooms are Hardwood a Must?

While that enticing “hardwood throughout” is always a big seller, at the least people will expect to see hardwood in the living room and dining room. Buyers also love having a master suite with hardwood, but it’s not quite as important as the main floor rooms.

Hardwood and ROI

Also, according to, the average ROI on hardwood floors is between 70% to 80%. It depends on several factors including the style of hardwood you choose. However in general you can add as much as 2.5% more to your sale price if you have hardwood floors. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be brand new hardwood either. In older homes, buyers love the authentic look of refinished hardwood as well. But this is a major undertaking and depending on the state of your floors, replacement might be easier and quite close in price.

Why Do People Want Hardwood?

Hardwood looks beautiful. But it goes beyond that. People associate hardwood with quality, durability, and often easy maintenance. They envision they won’t have to invest in new flooring while they are in the home, especially compared to other options like carpeting. However, a big positive with hardwood flooring is that it is perceived to reduce issues such as allergies. Carpeting tends to hold onto allergens in the home, while hardwood does not.

How Much is Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring comes in many different choices including the way it is made as well as the type of wood and finish. All these things can change the cost of installation. In general, you are looking at the least cost with softer woods like pine and poplar, as they are not actually considered hardwood and are not as well wearing. Your most common hardwood tends to be mid-range in price such as oak, teak, or cherry. When you get into specialty woods and finishes the price can rise drastically.

Is There Hardwood to Avoid?

As mentioned, the key to selling your home at top price is making it as move-in ready as possible. Therefore, the more specialized your flooring in appearance, the less likely it is to be attractive to owners. While many new trends might be a bonus such as something like reclaimed wood if you get into looks that are too unique you could turn buyers off.

Higher contrast floors, more exotic woods, unique finishes, too much grain and knots, etc. could actually bring your house value down. As well, more buyers are happy with laminate floors and engineered wood today when compared to something like carpet or vinyl.

Professional Installation is Advised

One last thing regarding hardwood flooring is installed. You’d be surprised at the little imperfections that can stand out like a sore thumb to picky buyers. Some DIY floor installations can miss the mark leading to all kinds of issues from loose floorboards to wonky baseboards. Professionally installed hardwood offers the polished look buyers want in their move in their homes.


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