The Best Flooring for Resale Value: Wood, Tile, Carpet and Beyond

Looking for the best flooring to boost your home’s resale value? You’ll want to carefully consider which type of flooring you choose, because flooring matters a lot.

In fact, some experts believe it may be the single biggest factor when it comes to your return on investment (ROI) because it immediately influences if the buyer will like the house as they walk into every room and hallway, kitchen and even exterior patio.

Here, realtor.com shows you how to determine which flooring is best for your home.

The best flooring for resale value: The ROI on wood floors

Wood flooring is one of the best investments you can make. It’s durable, versatile and most buyers love it. According to real estate experts, the average ROI for installing hardwood floors is about 70 percent to 80 percent, and wood floors can boost the sales price of your home as much as 2.5 percent.

The downside to wood? It’s cost. While there is a wide range of options, experts estimate that popular woods (such as oak or walnut) cost around $5-$10 per square foot, plus an additional $4-$8 per square foot for installation.

What’s the resale value of tile, stone or marble flooring?

Wood may be king, but it’s not always the best option for your home. For example, in some climates wood flooring can warp and grow mold in the warm, humid air.

Instead, some homeowners stick to tile, stone and marble floors, and the ROI varies for each.

Ceramic tile

Cost: $12-$25 per square foot

ROI: 70 percent on average

Since most of the cost of ceramic tile is spent on labor, its ROI is largely determined by who installs it. Turns out you can earn a pretty penny by installing ceramic tile yourself.

If you can do it and get results that look professional, the return on investment will exceed 100 percent. Replace sheet vinyl with affordable DIY ceramic tile, and ROI might be 200 percent.

Porcelain tile

Cost: $18-$32 per square foot

ROI: 55 percent on average

Buyers who have done their research are particularly attracted to porcelain tile. Denser and more durable tile than ceramic, porcelain is premium flooring that holds its good looks for decades. And it catches the attention of savvy buyers looking for value.

However, its high price tag will lower your ROI. Not only is porcelain tile more expensive, but you’ll also have to pay for professional installation. Common remodeling projects that use porcelain, like an upscale bathroom remodeling, bring an average ROI of 55 percent.

Stone tile

Cost: $12-$35 per square foot

ROI: 55 percent-70 percent

Low-end stones such as slate may cost less to install, but this rugged look can turn off buyers and lower your ROI. Premium stones like granite can cost as much as $35 per square foot to install, but buyers may be willing to pay more for the quality.

Marble tile

Cost: $18-$44 per square foot

ROI: Less than 50 percent

Despite its good looks, marble’s ROI is low, clocking in below 50 percent. While marble offers unsurpassed sophistication, its reputation for needing maintenance and for staining puts off a portion of potential buyers.

The resale value of carpet

Cost: $4-$6.50 per square foot.

ROI: 25 percent-40 percent

Carpet just doesn’t cut it for many buyers, because they expect to see hardwood flooring, at least in the main areas. Carpet, unless brand-new, can raise questions about its cleanliness and durability, and it also can just feel dated. In some cases, however, it may be a worthwhile investment. Since installing carpet is relatively inexpensive, it can be a good option for sellers looking to spend little to spruce up their home.

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