If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, then you should be thinking about improvements you can make to increase the value of your home. One of the biggest things that buyers care about in the home is the flooring. Today, I want to discuss two of the most common options, at opposite ends of the flooring affordability spectrum: hardwood floors or carpets. If you’re wondering which is better in terms of resale value and ROI, here is a basic comparison between the two.
Carpets need to be vacuumed on a regular basis, and you really need to get them steamed about twice a year to keep them in good shape. Carpets can get stained pretty easily, so regular upkeep is essential. Unfortunately, they can also absorb odors like a sponge.
Hardwood floors are much easier when it comes to maintenance, although they still require some TLC. You can sweep them and mop them once in a while to keep them looking their best. However, when hardwood floors get really rough, you will need to sand them and stain them. This can be done up to 10 times or more before you have to replace them for good, which is why they last much longer than carpeting. In fact, high quality hardwood can last for a century.
When it comes to keeping carpets clean, the task is a little difficult. Almost anything that lands on your carpets gets trapped in them, and then you’re stuck breathing them in. Carpets can contain 100 times more allergens then hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors don’t trap in the dust, debris, and bacteria like carpets do. They can be vacuumed, swept, and mopped to remove any dirt that lays on its surface. This is especially helpful if you have pets and small children who can drag in bacteria from the outside. If you have allergies, hardwood floors are the way to go.
When it comes to comfort, carpets are usually the top choice. They are typically very soft and more comfortable to sit and walk on. They also keep the room relatively warm in the colder months. If you have a good bonded polyurethane padding beneath the carpet, you can create an R-value of four or more, meaning the warmth in the room is very real.
While hardwood floors look great, they don’t offer as much comfort as carpets do. They typically make the room feel colder and can even be less welcoming, which is why many people put rugs on top of their hardwoods. You can install spray foam insulation, which makes the room feel warmer and cuts your heating and AC costs down as much as 60% every month, but it’s still not quite the same as the warmth of carpets.
Carpets have a much lower life expectancy compared to hardwood floors. Of course, how long they last depend on the quality of the materials as well as how much wear and tear they experience. On average, though, basic grade carpets last about five years before they need to be replaced, and higher-quality carpets can last between 10 and 15 years.
Hardwood floors, on the other hand, last much longer. Because they are extremely durable, they can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years. While hardwood may cost more to install initially, their long lifespan brings a much higher ROI. In terms of resale value, hardwood is often associated with luxury, which makes them an ideal choice for more upscale home markets.
Hardwood floors are very trendy right now, so replacing your carpets for nice natural wood is probably the way to go if you want to get a good price for your home when you sell. However, carpets usually do well in bedrooms, so keeping carpets in your master and adding hardwoods in the living room will probably do you just as well.