Replacing Carpet With Hardwood Floor: Which Has a Better Resale Value?

Hardwood Flooring

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Thinking about a remodel of your hard surfaces by putting in flooring made from hardwood? You’re not alone. Flooring options abound, with numerous types of hardwood on the market, plus synthetic choices that look like the real deal. And heavy foot traffic can’t hurt flooring made from hardwood the way it can new carpet.

So replacing carpeting with hardwood floors is probably a smart idea. Hardwood flooring is preferred by home buyers and renters across the United States.

But consider carefully whether hardwood floor is the right choice for every room in your home—and what type of wood flooring you might want to install for the best resale value.

Here’s more about flooring made from hardwood and using it instead of wall-to-wall carpet in the home.

Replacing carpeting with hardwood floor

As you weigh investing in hardwood for your floors, you’ll need to evaluate your budget, the preferences and traditions in your community and your own taste.

Some people only want to step on soft carpeting or area rugs in the living room and family room, while others prefer hardwood flooring surfaces. In some warm climates, such as Florida, wood flooring won’t fly. In the Sunshine State, ceramic tile flooring rivals hardwood flooring in popularity.

In more traditional markets, tastes still lean toward oak wood flooring, but some owners of more contemporary homes are choosing to refinish and stain their wood floors in different colors.

Other flooring trends in hardwood include wider planks, the use of reclaimed wood or hand-scraped wood that looks antique, and exotic species of hardwood such as hickory or walnut.

Homeowners on a tight budget may want to skip hardwood and consider laminate flooring, which offers the look of wood floors at a lower price point.

Keep in mind that a flooring choice for people with allergies typically leans toward a hard flooring surface that won’t hold dust. With flooring made from hardwood, there’s often less dirt and fewer allergens than what’s trapped in the fibers of carpet flooring.

You should also think about the care and maintenance of hardwood required for your floor surface, since you’ll need to take care of it for years. Hardwood floors last longer than carpet, can be easier to keep clean, and can be refinished.

In the end, though, the decision about whether to install hardwood floor or carpeting in a bedroom should be based on your personal preference, at least if you intend to stay in the home for a few 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 floors. In fact, a study of home buyer 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 floors 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 floors only in some rooms rather than throughout their home.

However, carpet typically needs to be replaced if it becomes stained or worn out. High-end quality carpet can last about 10 to 15 years, while high-quality hardwood floors are long-lasting, even forever!

The return on investment for installing hardwood floors will vary according to your market and other factors, but hardwood flooring can often help your home sell faster.

Reasons to install carpeting

Don’t count out carpeting so fast! While many buyers and homeowners prefer hardwood floors throughout their home, some people prefer durable carpets with padding in the bedrooms—because they like a softer surface.

When you live in a two or three-story home, carpeting also helps muffle noise. If you would still prefer hardwood floors throughout your home, you could use area rugs in your bedroom (this way, your wood floors can be seen along the edges of the area rug).

This story was rewritten from an earlier version on realtor.com®.

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