New Flooring Can Help Your House Sell Faster, Here Are the Top Choices

Article by:

Tein Hlwa

The next time you go to an open house or watch a virtual home tour, you might want to look at the property’s flooring.

Is it new? Old? Wood? Carpeting from the 1970s? Needs replacing?

Any or all the above might mean that you surely will need to start thinking about replacing what’s underfoot in your new abode should the home become yours.

If you’re wondering what the latest and greatest flooring trends are, what factors to consider when shopping around, and more, keep reading.

Choosing Flooring

1. The cost to remove existing flooring

You’ll need to repair, level, or remove the existing flooring before installing any new materials. The time and cost it takes to remove the existing flooring could and will impact your total installation costs.

2. The inconvenience of installation

Different flooring types take longer to install than others, this could mean more time before the new house is ready to move in. For example, if you opt for ceramic tile, there will be a 24-hour waiting period in between installation and grouting. Solid hardwood floors require acclimation on-site before installation.

The size and shapes of the rooms could also impact the installation timeline. If your rooms are simple box-shaped, installation is easier than if the new home’s rooms have things like curved walls or stairs as these would require specialty cuts. As a result, expect the installation to take longer and be more expensive.

3. Price point

The flooring you pick should be on the same level as the current value of the home. Value can decrease if you install high-end flooring such as marble in a mid-range home, so pick smartly—and based on the advice of a real estate professional.

Choosing the right flooring could increase your home’s value

Wood Flooring

Classic, clean, and durable. The polished hardwood floors popular in American homes today started being produced in the late 1800s and still are popular. According to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q1 2019, installing new wood floors costs $4,338 on average, but will increase a home’s value by $6,555 for a 51% ROI.

Wood floors are easy to maintain, they retain their value over a longer period than other flooring types such as carpet. Of course, wood flooring can scratch, get dinged up, or chip, and is vulnerable to water damage — but with the proper care and maintenance they will last a long time

Solid Hardwood Floors

A floor can only be called “real wood” if it’s made from a solid piece of wood from top to bottom — no layering. Today there's a wide variety of species each with its grain pattern, including oak, hickory, maple, and heart pine.

It can be sanded and refinished hardwood many times, giving you the ability to make your wood floors look like new before selling.

Solid wood floors improve indoor air quality because they don’t trap allergens or microorganisms.

Hardwood is a top environmentally friendly floor material because of its durability; with proper care, it will last a lifetime.

Hardwood also increases your home’s value more than any other flooring type; 54% of buyers are willing to pay $2,080 more for hardwood, according to a study of homebuyer preferences from USA Today based on data from the National Association of Realtors.

The best places to have wood flooring are in the living room, bedrooms, hallways, and dining rooms.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood floors are also made from real wood, but are formed in various layers with only the top layer, or veneer, being cut from a top-quality, solid hardwood such as oak, or maple.

Aside from affordability, the big benefit of engineered wood is that it expands and contracts less than solid hardwood, making it great for basements.

Engineered wood is a more affordable wood flooring option that adds a similar home value boost as real hardwood. It can easily be sanded and refinished but not as many times as solid hardwood.

Engineered wood is less susceptible to water damage than solid hardwood, making it a better choice for bathrooms and kitchens.

Engineered wood flooring works well throughout the entire house, including bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

Engineered wood needs extra maintenance to keep it in good condition in areas prone to dampness.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring isn’t wood at all — but it’s perfect for obtaining the look of wood floors without the expense or trouble of installing real wood. It’s a multi-layer flooring created by using foam padding, high-density fiberboard, decorative wood grain paper, and a protective overlay.

Some buyers do prefer laminate flooring because it’s sturdier, easier to care for, and less prone to damage than hardwood or engineered wood.

It’s typically around $2 or less per square foot, and it’s the cheapest way to get the wood floor look.

Laminate can be installed over most existing floors, which means you can put the money saved on surface prep toward a higher quality laminate.

This high-performance floor is resistant to scratches and stains because most brands are made up of 90% wood content or more. Also, click-lock laminate floors snap together easily for a fast installation.

Laminate works well in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and hallways.

Carpet Options

Decades ago, the wall-to-wall carpet look was the trend, but nowadays carpet isn’t so popular.

In general, carpet has a shorter lifespan, and more people are moving away from carpeting because of allergies, germs, and the difficulty of keeping them clean.

Carpet works well in areas with cold winters because it acts as a layer of insulation. Carpet is a multi-faceted flooring that comes in variations such as grade, textile, installation type, or pile.

Builder-grade Carpet

Builder-grade is typically made from inexpensive, synthetic materials, like polyester, or olefin.

Plastic and synthetic builder-grade carpets are resistant to sun-fading, moisture, and staining.

Some builder-grade carpets are environmentally friendly because they’re made from recycled plastic and are the most affordable carpet option.

It works well in family rooms, some bedrooms, and playrooms.

Loop Pile Carpeting

Loop pile carpeting features uncut yarn with both ends connected to the carpet backing. A tightly looped pile is resistant to crushing and lines, making it one of the most durable carpet options.

Some loop pile is trackless, which means it won’t show footprints or vacuum lines, and looping at different heights allows manufacturers to create nicely textured patterns.

A tightly woven loop pile, like Berber, is easy to clean and less prone to trap allergens. Carpeting is a smart choice for game rooms, family rooms, offices, and other high-traffic areas.

Cut Pile Carpet

Cut pile carpet is sheared to the same length and tufted, leaving the top ends of the fibers exposed. This makes for a plusher carpet in appearance and feel — and why it’s the most popular carpet type.

Cut pile has four main subtype weaves, which impact its look, feel, and durability. They are Saxony or plush, textured Saxony, Frieze, and Cable. Plush Saxony and Cable are the softest and least durable, but they can last 5 to 10 years in low-traffic areas.

Textured Saxony can withstand medium-traffic areas, while the tightly twisted weave of the frieze is best for high-traffic areas.

The cut pile is softer, making it more comfortable for standing and lounging on. And it’s available in multicolor fibers that mask stains and wear patterns.

Cut pile has a plush, luxurious appearance that appeals to buyers and works well in living rooms, bedrooms, dens, and TV rooms.


Vinyl is inexpensive and easy to care for, but it won’t increase your home’s value.

True, vinyl has recently received a makeover into luxury vinyl, which works well and adds value even in higher-end homes and is no longer the cheesy look that made it popular in the 1970s.

Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank is available in tile and plank form and is designed to look just like high-end stone tiles or expensive hardwoods.

Many types of luxury vinyl plank mimic the grain, color, and cut wood textures of solid hardwood while keeping all the benefits of vinyl flooring, including durability and water resistance.

Affordable and easy to install and extremely durable and 100% water-resistant. It comes in a wide variety of styles and patterns that look like luxury flooring, perfect for the whole house, especially bathrooms and kitchens.

Choose Wisely

Daily foot traffic can wear down floors and over time they get dirty and damaged. By swapping out ugly, outdated, and cheaper materials will transform a dingy and worn-looking area into a showplace. And the best part? new flooring can instantly increase your home’s value.