Flooring Ideas to Increase Your Home’s Value

By Sam Ferris
Photo courtesy of Mohawk Flooring.
Resale or not, you can?t go wrong with increasing your home?s value. New floors are an effective way to do that.

But not all floors are created equal. While new flooring is generally a good thing regardless of the kind you buy, some floors increase your home?s value more than others.

Houses are no small asset, so the more valuable yours is, the better your investment. These flooring ideas can boost how much your house is worth before you put it on the market ? or make it all the more better to live in.

Hardwood Floors
Handscraped hardwood floors are popular with homebuyers. Photo courtesy of Mannington Residential.
Average cost: $4-$10 per square foot
The verdict on hardwood floors is unanimous: home buyers want them. And according to USA Today, they?ll pay more to get them.

In the news hub?s list of 11 home features buyers pay more for, about 54 percent said they?d dish out extra funds for hardwood floors, earning hardwood a #5 spot on the list. How much extra, exactly? More than $2,000, per USA Today. ?

Leslie Piper, Realtor.com?s consumer housing specialist, echoes the report?s finding, according to MarketWatch. She says the majority of buyers are expecting to find hardwood floors in the home they purchase.
?'A majority of home buyers in the marketplace really are looking for, or expecting to find, hardwood floors,'? Piper said.?
So why are they so darn popular? Like silver and gold, hardwood floors never go out of style. They?re also long-lasting, despite their tendency to scratch.

It?s this type of timelessness that consumers love. And, as MarketWatch.com points out, there are other perks:

  • They?re easier on your feet than tile is. This is crucial for older residents and/or homeowners with back and knee problems.
  • They?re easier to clean than carpet. Less dirt, less dust, less allergens, and less work.?

Suffice it to say, hardwood floors should be your go-to flooring choice for a property value boost.

Earthy tile floors have good appeal to homebuyers. Photo courtesy of Mohawk Flooring.
Average cost: $2-$5 per square foot
Realtor.com says any agent will tell you that tile floors increase resale value. We?d say the same.

Tile?s biggest strength is its durability. Color body porcelain tile, for example, is the toughest residential flooring.

Porcelain is moisture resistant, and any color body tile is going to have a high scratch tolerance. Homebuyers with pets and kids will especially appreciate how long lasting tile is.

Tile is also attractive. Do stick with earthy, neutral tones, like beige and gray, that are in-style ? these colors generally match any type of home d?cor and will let you cast your net wider.?

Natural Stone
Average cost: $3-$9 per square foot
Versailles pattern travertine floors. Photo courtesy of Hendel Homes.
Like hardwood floors, travertine and other types of natural stone floors are timeless. They?ve been around since the dawn of modern man, and that isn?t about to change any time soon.

Travertine has universal appeal because it pairs well with most types of d?cor. When done right, travertine designs can transform a room into an elegant and stately space.

Though it is pricier than tile and vinyl, your investment is a smart one: natural stone lasts forever. It can also handle foot traffic and is versatile enough to install in outdoor areas.

Vinyl floors are starting to look like the real deal, and that's good news for home sellers. Photo courtesy of Mannington Residential.
Average cost: $2-$4 per square foot
The opportunity for a good ROI on vinyl floors is sky-high. Why?

It looks real, for starters. Thanks to advanced printing processes, vinyl is looking more and more like tile and hardwood.

It?s a hot commodity right now. Floor Covering News calls vinyl the latest and greatest flooring trend, and the publication notes that industry experts estimate the category grew between 5 and 8 percent in 2014.

Vinyl can also be less expensive than tile and hardwood, especially hardwood. Couple that with its looks and you have an affordable recipe for adding value to your home.

Floor Covering News says it best: luxury vinyl tile (LVT) gives homeowners both style and durability ? without breaking the bank.

The only thing to remember is context: what do buyers expect to find in your home? If you?re living in a niche, high-end neighborhood, vinyl floors won?t cut it. If your home is modest or older, they could be the best option. Vinyl is a must for foundation problems.?

While these bonus options aren?t floors, their ROI can potentially be astronomical, especially if it?s the difference between selling your home or not. If your floors are current or you?re still looking for ways to add value, try one of these two quick fixes:

Granite Countertops
Homebuyers are willing to dish out extra funds for granite countertops. Photo courtesy of MSI Stone.
Average cost: $45-$85 per square foot (fabrication and installation included)
We wrote back in February that kitchen remodels yield an astounding 79.3 percent ROI. A huge part of that value is replacing dated laminate countertops with granite.

According to HGTV, stone is still the number one choice for countertops. Don?t believe us? Granite countertops edged out hardwood floors on USA Today?s list, ranking at #4 (hardwood floors ranked #5).

Some 55 percent of buyers would spend more on a home with granite countertops ? about $1,620 more, to be precise. Middle-aged homebuyers valued granite countertops the most (24% of 35-54 year olds), a tidbit to remember when you?re remodeling for resale value.

Granite?s natural beauty sets it apart from other manufactured countertop choices like laminate and quartz. ?

Its patterns, variations, and colors can?t always be replicated via man-made processes, making it a unique option that appeals to homebuyers. It?s also fairly durable, more so than laminate, as well as easy to clean and maintain.

One thing to remember when you?re buying granite countertops for resale value: don?t customize too much. Pick a color that has broad appeal instead of one that is over-personalized.?

A New Backsplash
A backsplash that pops is a backsplash that sells. Photo courtesy of Sonoma Tilemakers.
Average cost: $20-30 per square foot
So your floors are fine and your countertops are granite. There?s still another project you can tackle: a new backsplash.

Even if that isn?t the case with your home, a new backsplash won?t hurt its value. In fact, it?ll increase it.

HGTV rates kitchens as the #2 renovation for a return on investment, so any tangible improvement you make to your kitchen is lucrative.

But backsplashes are the key to an attractive kitchen design: they?re often the first place the eyes go, and they tie your floors, cabinets, and countertops together.

To get the most value from a new backsplash, don?t settle. So many of today?s backsplashes, frankly, play it way too safe.

Natural stone in itself is a great value-booster, but you can?t just slap a few 4x4 travertine tiles on the wall and call it a day. With glass backsplashes on the rise, that won?t seal the deal. Consult with a designer to find a backsplash that will sell and stands out.?

    Let's talk about high-value floors.