What is the best flooring for housing resale value?

Housing Flooring

What is the best flooring for housing resale value?

As a home owner or property investor, deciding on a floor can be a difficult choice when considering property value. The key principle to remember is that the amount of money you invest in developing your house should be relatively proportional to the value of the property itself. Are you redesigning a waterfront palace, or simply renovating an apartment?

Flooring is a “low hanging fruit” which can be used to make or break the value of your home. This raises the question of how you can make flooring increase property value without breaking your bank. In this guide, we will provide everything you will need to know about choosing the best floor for resale value.

Hardwood Flooring: Premium Option with the Highest Resale Value

Home buyers are willing to pay the most for properties which have hardwood (solid timber). This is reflected by research which suggests that the installing hardwood flooring has a return on investment between 70% to 80% according to Realtor. Additionally, home remodelling expert Alex Biyevetskiy claims that hardwood flooring increases the resale value of housing by 2.5% when done right.

Whilst this may answer our initial question of which flooring to use to maximise resale value, there are many implications including the expensive cost of hardwood floors for both supply and installation. With a price ranging around $85 – $120 per square metre for supply alone, hardwood flooring also takes the gold medal in being the most expensive option.

As the property rises in value, the return on investment of installing hardwood flooring will outstrip the costs. Therefore, hardwood flooring is most appropriate for luxury high end homes, as they bring out the highest property value. Furthermore, the market value of hardwood flooring constantly appreciates over time. This makes it a great long term investment for more expensive homes.

Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring

Flooring in kitchen

Engineered Flooring: Cheaper Timber Option for Houses and Apartments

If you’re looking for cheaper real timber flooring for an apartment of unit block, you can opt for a floating flooring option like engineered timber flooring. It retains the natural beauty of timber in its upper layer, and provides greater stability and noise reduction through its lower layer – comprising the floating floor structure.

Additionally, lower value properties will see less return on investment from an expensive option like hardwood flooring, making it a less profitable choice. That raises the question of whether or not we can maintain the authentic timber experience without paying the full price… yes, we can with engineered timber flooring!

The cheaper alternative – engineered timber flooring – enables us to replicate the same luxury look and feel at a lower price. Ranging around $60 – $100 per sqm for supply only, engineered timber flooring consists of a surface layer of authentic timber flooring with underlying plywood/composite material.

As engineered timber flooring is virtually indistinguishable from natural hardwood flooring once installed, they are perfect for homes that want real authentic timber. It effectively maximises housing value without compromising costs.

Pros and Cons of Engineered Flooring

Flooring in living room

Laminate Flooring: A Durable, Stylish and Affordable Option

Cheaperdark laminate flooring investment properties like smaller apartments and flats will not provide as much ROI when investing into expensive options. Hence, budgeting to minimise cost whilst retaining durability and style becomes an appropriate decision.

Laminate flooring is by far one of the cheapest flooring options, ranging between $20 to $50 per sqm depending on brand, colour and thickness. Laminate floors are renowned for their lasting durability against scratches, dents and cuts. They are similar to engineered flooring, except the surface layer of composite material is printed with embossed technology to create a realistic replication of real timber as opposed to an actual layer of timber.

The key is to utilise laminate flooring’s large range of colour options to match the interior design of the house. Home buyers have always sought for beautiful design aesthetics alongside durability, regardless of budget. Therefore, cheaper investment properties will see a great return when the right laminate flooring is installed.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

Key findings: Cost vs Return On Investment of Flooring

That sums up the top three flooring choices, which are largely dependent on the value of the property itself. There are many other factors to consider including current market trends, location, property purpose and more. Key takeaways:

  1. Solid hardwood flooring has the greatest impact on increasing home value. However, it’s high price tag means it is more suitable for high-end homes.
  2. Engineered timber (or hardwood) flooring also increases home value and is almost indistinguishable from solid timber flooring. It’s a cheaper and also suitable for apartments.
  3. Laminate flooring is suitable for cheaper properties, and can increase home value because of its beauty and durability. It’s also much cheaper than the other two options, and is hence recommended for less-expensive properties.

increase property value

Take into consideration of trends in your specific location, as preferences will differ between different states, territories and suburbs. Make sure you note that Hybrid flooring is growing in popularity, and can very well contribute to a higher sale price. Remember that the market is a dynamic place, so be sure to keep up with the changes.

Common Flooring Mistakes That Reduce Property Value

In saying this, there are also rookie errors which must be avoided at all costs. The worst case scenario is we reduce the value of the property in the process of trying to increase the resale price. We will now explore the three main factors which can devalue a property.

1) Mix & Matching Flooring

The last thing a home buyer wants to see is each room with a different type and coloured floorboard. Imagine walking out of a carpet bedroom into a hardwood corridor, followed by a transition to a laminate flooring living room. What a nightmare! People always seek consistency, and this applies especially within homes and apartments alike.

In saying this, there are exceptions for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms whereby tile or waterproof flooring can be snugly fit with appropriate expansion joints. A general rule of thumb to follow – the more consistent the flooring throughout, the more increase in home value.

2) Choosing Carpet Over Timber Flooring

Carpet has fallen in popularity over time and is now only used in bedrooms for its coziness. Houses with carpet tend be less popular than their timber counterparts, due to the allergies, cleaning challenges and short lifespan. Furthermore, they simply lack the luxury look and feel of timber flooring ranges.

Takeaway? Do not install carpets unless it’s for bedrooms. Even so, consider that it may compromise property value.

3) Needless Flooring Replacement

Oftentimes, small defects in flooring can be easily remedied through repairs instead of full replacements. This can save both money, time and sometimes even contribute more value.

The extent of discolouration, scratching or buckling must be evaluated critically. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are the floorboards still in good condition or could they do with new flooring?
  • What is the current selling value of the property and how will my renovation affect it?
  • Is the damage isolated to a specific repairable location or is it distributed across the property?
  • Is the specific colour or species of wood flooring still obtainable in the market?

Note that solid hardwood flooring and engineered timber flooring can be sanded down and refinished for a fresh look multiple times. This makes it considerably cheaper to remedy scratches, blemishes and discolourations. On the other hand, hybrid, vinyl and laminate flooring will need the floorboard to be taken out and replaced.

Conclusion: How Can Flooring Increase the Value of My Property?

Hardwood flooring has the highest return on investment, but is also the most expensive. Hence, it is more suitable for luxury housing. On the other hand, engineered flooring is a slightly lower cost alternative which sells just as well with its indistinguishable beauty from solid timber. Laminate flooring is the go to for cheaper apartments and housing in Australia, as it maintains high marketability due to both durability and style.

Likewise, we must actively avoid devaluing your property by maintaining consistent flooring where possible, staying away from carpeting and only replace the flooring if beneficial. If you have more questions, you can contact an expert immediately for free consultation!

Housing Flooring

Frequently Asked Questions

Solid timber flooring is a great investment if you’re looking to buy new property because it has a resale value of up to 80% compared to engineered flooring which provides an ROI of up to 60%.

Laminate flooring is a good option for smaller properties because it is more affordable and comes in a wide array of colours and patterns. It also doesn’t require any special care or maintenance, making it easier to keep clean and safe.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the resale value of laminate flooring. Laminate is not a bad choice for resale value, but it is not your best option either.

The biggest mistake that people make when they’re looking for flooring is to replace timber styled flooring with carpet. Carpet just isn’t going to work. The same goes for mixing flooring in the bathroom, kitchen and other spaces. If you’re going to install flooring in your home, it should be a single type of material for the best results.

High quality laminate flooring can provide greater durability and water resistance than solid timber at half the price. This is great for smaller investment or rental properties.

Solid timber will still provide a higher return on investment for larger properties, however it is more expensive.

Installing new flooring is a great way to add some sparkle and refashion old housing.

Finding the right flooring is hard, but solid timber tends to bid well in every situation when maximising resale value. Solid timber is shown to increase property value by up to 2.5% according to property experts.


Key considerations for rental properties:

  • Scratch and dent resistance
  • Waterproofing
  • Fire Testing
  • Affordability

Rental property owners should prioritise cheaper laminate flooring which have both durability and water resistance, as tenants may wear heels and spill water.

Hybrid or Vinyl planks are also a hot option, as they are 100% water proof and is priced only slightly higher than laminate.

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