Thinking about replacing your floors? Especially if you have carpet, the choice seems clear: Hardwood floors are preferred by home buyers and renters across the United States.
But consider carefully whether hardwood floors are the right choice for every room in your home—and what type you might want to install for the best resale value.
As you weigh investing in your floors, you’ll need to evaluate your budget, the preferences and traditions in your community and your own personal taste. Some people only want to step on soft carpet, while others prefer hard surfaces. In some warm climates such as Florida, ceramic tile flooring rivals hardwood in popularity.
In more traditional markets, tastes still lean toward oak floors, but some owners of more contemporary homes are choosing to stain their wood floors in different colors. Other trends in hardwood include wider planks, the use of reclaimed wood or hand-scraped wood that looks antique and exotic species of wood such as hickory or walnut.
Homeowners on a tight budget also may want to look into laminate flooring, which offers the look of wood at a lower price point.
Keep in mind that people with allergies typically want a hard surface that won’t hold dust. You should also think about the care and maintenance required for your floor surface since you’ll need to take care of it for years. Hardwood flooring lasts longer than carpet, can be easier to keep clean and can be refinished.
In the end, though, the decision about whether to install hardwood or carpeting in a bedroom should be based on your personal preference, at least if you intend to stay in the home for years.
Hardwood Flooring: It’s What Buyers Want
According to HGTV, the top request of home buyers and renters when looking for a home is hardwood flooring. In fact, a study of homebuyer preferences by USA Today using data from the National Association of REALTORS® found that 54% of home buyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring.
Installing hardwood flooring can cost between $9 and $12 per square foot, compared with about $3 to $5 per square foot for carpet—so some homeowners opt to install hardwood only in some rooms rather than throughout their home. However, carpet typically needs to be replaced if it becomes stained or worn out. Good quality carpet can last about 10 to 15 years, while hardwood can last forever.
The return on investment for installing hardwood will vary according to your market and other factors, but hardwood flooring can often help your home sell faster.
Reasons to Install Carpet
While many buyers and homeowners prefer hardwood flooring throughout their home, some people prefer carpet in the bedrooms—because they like a softer surface. When you live in a two or three-story home, carpet also helps reduce noise.
If you would still prefer hardwood floors throughout your home, you could use put area rugs in your bedroom.
This story was published by Michele Lerner on realtor.com®, and rewritten from an earlier version on realtor.com®.