Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value?

For the longest time, hardwood has been the flooring of first choice for homeowners. When homeowners install any other type of flooring in their home, it is because they cannot afford a hardwood floor and not because they don’t want it. There are four main reasons homeowners love hardwood floors.

1.      Hardwood floors are elegant

Nothing beats the natural beauty of wood flooring. They have understated beauty that fits into any architectural style. Hardwood flooring is so attractive. Other types of flooring – ceramic tiles, vinyl, and laminate – are made to mimic the appearance of a hardwood floor.

2.      Hardwood is durable

Hardwood floors last a lifetime. Its actual lifetime depends on how you manage the floor and weather conditions in the locations. But even when you account for these factors, the shortest duration you can expect a hardwood floor to last is ten years.

3.      Hardwood is easy to clean

The floor only needs to be swept and mopped regularly to retain its beauty. Hardwood floors do not hide dust, pollen, dander, or other allergens. That makes them perfect for people with respiratory issues. Also, the floors will not retain odors.

4.      Hardwood improves the home’s value

Perhaps, the biggest reason more than 79% of homeowners have hardwood flooring in their homes or want to have hardwood flooring in their homes is the impact of hardwood flooring on the home’s value, says Property Hunters.

Installing a hardwood floor will result in a 3%-5% increase in the value of the property. That often amounts to 70%-80% of what the homeowner spent to install the flooring.


Homeowners, who exhaust $15,000 on their flooring, can expect to recoup around $10,000 when they sell the property.


The challenge with hardwood flooring

There are peculiar issues with hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors will dull and fade over time. They can become badly scratched and dented from constant exposure to pet toenails or claws, pebbles or grains of sand carried in by shoe soles, and kids playing with toys on the surface. Also, if you do not clean the floors properly, a residue of grime and ground-in dirt can build up on the surface.


When this happens, the usual option for most owners is to reinstall the flooring. But this can be expensive. Hardwood floors cost anywhere from $3 per square foot to $14 per square foot. The national average cost of hardwood flooring is $6 to $12 per square foot. In a 2000 square foot home, the homeowner is looking at a mid-range cost of $18,000.


But in most cases, there is no need to spend all that money. One of the advantages of hardwood flooring over other types of flooring is that hardwood can be revitalized. If a hardwood floor starts to age or becomes worn, you can refinish it to restore its original appearance. That is a cheaper and equally effective option than a fresh installation.

Hardwood flooring: reinstallation versus refinishing

The cost of reinstalling hardwood flooring can be high. In a standard reinstall, you will have to do most of the following:

  • Demolish the existing floor.
  • Dispose of the old flooring (which costs quite a bit).
  • Probably repair the subfloor.
  • Purchase and install the new flooring.


But since hardwood floors can last decades and the wood from the old floor is still perfectly usable (which is why it is recycled), there is no need for this expense. The only time it makes sense to reinstall a hardwood floor is when it is badly damaged or when you want to change the design or type of wood. If this is not the case, you are better off refinishing the floor.


Though refinishing a hardwood floor may cause more mess than reinstalling the floor, the cost of refinishing is far lower. Refinishing excludes the cost of new materials. The primary expense will be labor. But most importantly, it will achieve the same outcome as a new installation, but it will result in a far bigger ROI than a reinstallation.


In the place of the 70%-80% ROI you expect from new hardwood flooring, you get two to three times (2X-3X) that ROI when you refinish the floors. When a reinstallation only returns part of the money you spent on the project, refinishing will let you make a profit on the project. But what does it mean to refinish a hardwood floor?


When you refinish hardwood flooring, a professional flooring refinisher will:

  • Sand down the floor to remove deep scratches, grooves, and surface wear.
  • Re-stain the floor, possibly, changing its color.
  • Coat it with a urethane or polyurethane layer to restore its original shine.


This process affects a quarter inch of the wood’s surface, and the duration varies with the method you choose. A “buff and coat” method may be completed within 24 hours and is ideal for small scratches or scuffs. But regardless of the final cost and duration, refinishing your hardwood floor will still fetch at least 2X the ROI of installing new hardwood flooring.


To know exactly how much and how long the work will take, you should have a flooring refinishing and installation expert to survey your floor.