Plan Before You Renovate: Does Hardwood Flooring Increase Home Value?

October 3rd, 2023  / Author: Zachariah Peterson
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The idea of investing in a renovation project to increase your home's value can be enticing. Whether you're looking to increase the value of your home or just make it more comfortable for you and your family, one of the most popular renovation projects is installing hardwood flooring. But does hardwood flooring increase home value?

Before you start tearing up carpets and installing hardwood floors, you need to do your research and plan accordingly. In this article, we'll discuss what factors you need to consider when planning a renovation project that includes hardwood flooring, such as cost versus return on investment (ROI).

Factors That Influence the Value of Real Estate

Hardwood flooring may seem like an easy way to add value to your home but that isn't always the case. There are many factors that impact whether or not installing hardwood will actually result in increased value for your property.

When considering whether hardwood flooring will increase a home's value when renovating, there are several factors to consider. The most important factor is the current condition of the housing market in your area.

If the market is strong and demand for homes is high, adding hardwood flooring may increase a home's value. On the other hand, if the market is weak and there is an oversupply of homes on the market, it may be difficult to recoup the cost of hardwood flooring when selling a home.

The second factor to consider is the condition of your existing floors. If you have carpets or laminate flooring that need to be replaced, then installing hardwood floors could increase your home's value. However, if you have tile or vinyl flooring in good condition, you may not see much improvement in value by investing in expensive hardwood floors.

It also depends on what potential buyers are looking for in your area. In some markets, buyers may be willing to pay more for a home with newly installed hardwood floors than one with existing tile or vinyl flooring.

In other markets, buyers may prefer real estate with tile or vinyl because they don't require regular refinishing like hardwoods do. Before deciding to install hardwood flooring as part of your home renovation project, it pays to research local trends and buyer preferences in order to determine if it will increase your home's value when selling it.

Types Of Hardwood Flooring

So, the aim of this article is to answer the question - does hardwood flooring increase home value? Besides the factors listed above, the answer largely depends on the type of hardwood flooring chosen. However, we should first define what hardwood floors are.

Traditional, solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood and is often considered the gold standard when it comes to adding value to a home. It can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over its lifespan, so it will last longer than many other types of flooring materials. However, because solid wood expands and contracts due to changes in humidity levels, installation costs can be higher as special techniques must be used for proper installation.

Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is composed of several layers of wood that have been pressed together. Typically, it has a core of high-quality plywood with a hardwood layer on top.

The benefit of engineered hardwood is that it’s more resistant to temperature and moisture than solid wood, making it ideal for rooms with higher levels of humidity. It's also easier to install and tends to be more budget-friendly than other varieties. However, many don’t consider engineered wood true hardwood, so it may not add much value if you're looking to sell your home in the future.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the specific wood that is used for hardwood flooring.

Hardwood Grades And Costs

When it comes to hardwood floors, the grade of wood can make a difference in how much it increases your home value. There are various types of hardwood flooring with different grades that range from low-cost to more expensive grades. Low-cost options include softer woods like pine or fir, while more expensive grades consist of harder woods like hickory, oak, or walnut.

The cost of installing hardwood floors will vary depending on the type and grade chosen. Higher-grade hardwoods usually carry a higher price tag due to their durability and longevity. On the other hand, lower-cost options are often cheaper in terms of installation but may not last as long.

When renovating your home with wood floors, be sure to think about not just the initial cost of installation but also the long-term maintenance costs that could come with it. Harder woods may require more frequent polishing or refinishing over time in order to keep them looking their best, whereas softer woods may require less maintenance overall.

What Is The Average Cost Of Hardwood Flooring Installation?

We’ve discussed the different types of hardwood flooring, so now let’s discuss the costs. On average, homeowners can expect to spend anywhere between $3 to $8 per square foot on labor and between $3-10 for materials. This brings the cost of installing hardwood floors between $6 and $18 per square foot.

Clearly, that’s a rather large range. The cost of the materials will depend on the factors discussed above, while the labor costs hinge on the type of work that needs to be done. Basic labor such as laying down subflooring and leveling out surfaces costs less, while more complex steps such as sanding or staining are more expensive.

Benefits Of Hardwood Floors

solid oak wood flooring

While there are many factors that influence a home's value, hardwood flooring can certainly increase its worth. Not only does it add a warm and inviting aesthetic to any living space, but it also makes a home easier to sell and can even add resale value when the time comes. When deciding whether or not to renovate with hardwood flooring, consider the following advantages:

  1. Hardwood Flooring is Durable and Low Maintenance: Hardwood flooring is highly durable and easy to maintain, which means fewer repairs and less money spent over time. Plus, it doesn't require much in terms of upkeep - just regular sweeping and occasional mopping will keep it looking beautiful for years to come.
  2. Hardwood Flooring Increases Home Value: Installing hardwood floors can be an excellent way to increase the value of your home when you're ready to sell. Many buyers are attracted to this type of flooring because they know they won't need to spend extra money on repairs or replacements down the road.
  3. Hardwood Flooring Enhances Aesthetics: Last but not least, hardwood floors give any room a cozy feel without sacrificing style or sophistication. They come in various colors and finishes that can easily match any existing decor scheme while adding character and charm to any room in your house.

How To Prepare Before Instaling Hardwood Floors

Before you begin the installation process of hardwood flooring, there are some important steps you should take to ensure that your renovation will increase the value of your home. Firstly, it is essential to plan and budget for the project.

After allocating a budget for the materials and labor costs, it's also important to consider any additional fees associated with installing hardwood flooring such as permit fees and disposal costs.

Secondly, if you’re planning on selling your home shortly after installation, it’s best to research what kind of hardwood flooring buyers in your area prefer. Lastly, make sure to hire a professional contractor who is experienced in installing hardwood flooring so they can properly assess your space before beginning the installation process.

Doing this helps ensure that you get the most out of your investment and makes it easier when it comes time to sell. With proper planning and preparation, you can be confident that installing hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home.

Let’s Talk Numbers

So, if the only point of this article was to answer - does hardwood flooring increase home value? - then we could have ended with a simple yes. But we felt it was necessary to explain all the factors that could affect the value of your investment. Because, ultimately, it’s not just about increased home value, but your ROI (return on investment) when selling your real estate.

So, are there any stats regarding the ROI when installing hardwood flooring? Unfortunately, not a lot. Precisely because of all of the moving parts we mentioned, it’s hard to determine how much you can profit from installing hardwood flooring. The most relevant stat comes from - the ROI for hardwood floors is between 70% to 80%.

The ROI for Hardwood Floors in Dollars

The above means that if you were to pay $2,000 to install hardwood, you could sell your house for $3,400 to $3,600 more, making a profit between $1,400 - $1,600. Again, it all depends on your local market conditions, buyer preferences, the type of flooring you use, etc. So while such a high ROI may seem very enticing, it’s never a 100% safe bet.

Should You Sell Without Renovating?

We’ve answered - does hardwood flooring increase home value? The answer is a conditional yes. However, do you really need to install hardwood flooring if your main goal is to sell high? Then, the answer is a resounding no.

SleeveUp Homes buys properties in Southern California for top dollar. You don’t need to make any repairs or renovations to get the best price - we’ll buy it as is. On top of that, we don’t work with realtors but buy your house directly from you so you won’t be paying any real estate agent fees.

So, before you start installing hardwood floors, calculate how much it would cost you. Then, estimate your return on investment. With that info in hand, come to us and request a free cash offer. We’ll do an inspection of your property and make you a cash offer.

We believe you’ll see that there’s no reason to invest in hardwood flooring when you can already get top dollar for your house as-is.



If you want to sell fast and are worried about how long the traditional process takes, and the commission and fees involved, consider working with SleeveUp Homes.