Can Hardwood Flooring Increase Home Value?

In many situations, hardwood floors can boost the value of your home when it comes time to put it up for sale. Not only are they what many home buyers are looking for—they’re also easier to clean and last much longer than other flooring.

In this article, we’ll look at just how wood floors can increase your home’s value, plus some cost-benefit analysis and comparisons with other types of flooring.

We’ll come at it from three angles:

First, let’s get to the answer you came here for.

How wood floors affect the value of a home

A miniature house with a set of house keys next to it

Hardwood flooring can potentially increase the value of a home, whether you’re installing new hardwood floors or refinishing existing ones.

This is because many homebuyers want wood floors.

While carpet used to be king, it’s no longer looked for in main spaces like the living room or dining room. Carpet is still acceptable in out-of-the-way places like upstairs bedrooms, but people want hardwood in high-traffic areas and places where they’d entertain guests.

Why is this?

Other flooring types, especially carpet, are harder to keep clean. They collect grime, hold stains, and fade, leaving strange darker-colored spots where furniture sat for many years.

Wood floors are easier to maintain and clean, and they don’t have the high potential for fading that carpet does. And people just like the atmosphere they lend a room.

Because of these desirable qualities, hardwood floors can increase a home’s value by up to 2.5%, according to Besides that, about 54% of homebuyers will actually spend more for a house to get hardwood floors.

Real estate agents feel the same. According to the National Wood Flooring Association:

  • 99% of realtors feel homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell
  • 82% feel they sell faster
  • 90% feel they sell for up to 10% more

And really, hardwood floors are just attractive. 90% of homeowners said that when they upgraded their houses with hardwood floors, they wanted to be home more.

So, let’s take a look at different types of wood to see how they might affect the value of a home. While wood floors may conjure up the idea of real hardwood, many types of “wood” actually fit in this category, with varying effects on home value increase. These flooring options include:

  • Solid hardwood
  • Engineered hardwood like vinyl or laminate
  • Bamboo, which is technically a grass
  • Reclaimed wood

Each type is a little different.

Solid hardwood

 Children and a dog playing on a hardwood floor

Solid hardwood is just that—oak, walnut, cherry, etc., from top to bottom of each plank. This is one of the most expensive types of wood flooring because it’s solid wood. It has to be finished (and sanded and refinished periodically).

It tends to be one of the best options in homes where children and pets are present. Any floor will receive plenty of scratches, dents, and other harsh treatment from children or pets, and with solid hardwood, those can be removed with a sanding and refinish. That’s not always the case with other types of flooring.

Engineered wood

Engineered wood is made of layers of wood glued together, with a wood-patterned design on the top layer. It comes prefinished and doesn’t need to be sanded.

A bathroom with engineered wood flooring

On the price spectrum, it’s significantly less expensive, though it’s not reputed to have the same quality as solid hardwood.

But it can perform better than solid hardwood in places with constantly changing humidity, such as a bathroom or older houses without central air conditioning. Engineered hardwood will not warp or curl up like solid wood in those situations.


Bamboo is considered an eco-friendly flooring, which is why it has gained so much popularity recently. Bamboo is a sturdy grass that grows back in just a couple years, instead of half a century or so like trees.

Bamboo trees  which help in eco-friendly flooring

As a wood flooring, bamboo is prepared a number of ways, which all affect the cost. But it tends to be mid-range between engineered and solid hardwoods.

Because bamboo is very durable and can be sanded and refinished too, it’s another ideal floor in a home with children or pets.

Reclaimed wood

Reclaimed wood flooring is made from wood that’s already been used for something else, like a barn or fence. Because this flooring is solid wood but also needs to undergo several preparation steps, it can be even more expensive than solid hardwood. But the rustic air it lends to a room is very appealing.

An old barn, a great source of reclaimed wood

So how much can each increase a home’s resale value? Solid hardwood will increase it by up to 2.5%, as we already noted.

Bamboo comes in second, raising it by a little less.

Engineered hardwood doesn’t increase home value by much, but certain types, such as luxury vinyl, can add more to it than others.

And reclaimed wood can vary, but has the potential for increasing value up to 2.5% or a little more.

How much a certain wood floor will increase a home’s value also depends on the neighborhood. In a high-end neighborhood where every house has solid hardwood, you’re likely to increase the value the most with solid hardwood. Laminate or vinyl just won’t do.

A kitchen with a hardwood floor

But in a middle-class neighborhood, engineered flooring may have almost as much value as solid hardwood might. If your home value is significantly higher than the other homes in your neighborhood, people aren’t as likely to buy.

When you add wood flooring, you also want to factor in the upgrade of the rest of your house. The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms when it comes to the sale of your home.

A wood floor should go with your kitchen countertops and cabinets and not be in your bathrooms at all (the humidity and frequent water spills in a bathroom can ruin a wood floor in no time).

Also, if either of those two rooms are outdated, you’ll want to consider some home renovations. Hardwood flooring is an important aspect to home sale, but the kitchen and bathrooms are just as important, if not more so.

Now that we’ve seen how much different types of woods can increase home value, let’s look at how much those wood floorings can cost.

How much wood flooring costs

Hands holding cash reflecting wood flooring costs

Typically speaking, the more expensive, on average, a wood floor is, the longer it will last.

Here’s the average cost per square foot of different kinds of flooring (including installation):

With these figures, hardwood flooring may look pretty pricey, but here are some other factors to consider.

If maintained, solid hardwood flooring can last over 100 years.

Compare that to vinyl flooring, which will last 10–20 years before needing replacement. Laminate flooring can last up to 30 years if taken care of. And carpet lasts just 5–15 years.

So while solid hardwood might be a little more expensive up front and will require refinishing every several years, it can cost less in the long run compared to other flooring that has to be replaced so often.

Plus, solid hardwood has an enormous return on investment—between 70 and 80%!

Since hardwood floors typically cost more up front, protecting them is essential.

How to protect your investment

The following two steps will keep your hardwood floors looking top-notch and working like a charm in your home.

Refinish your floor

A hardwood floor that shines after being refinished

The first thing you can do is refinish your floor every 5–10 years. This involves sanding off whatever finish remains and applying a new coat of finish. Doing this keeps their shine and can protect against scuffs, scratches, and other blemishes. Refinishing can make it look like a new floor again!

Refinishing will cost between $3 and $8 a square foot, but keep in mind most of that price is labor. Should you take on the project yourself, you could be looking at a greatly-reduced price, as you’d only have to pay for materials.

Test for moisture

Another thing you can do is test the wood for moisture content. Environmental control goes hand in hand with this. If the room gets too humid or too dry, it could have disastrous consequences on your wood floor over time.

Humidity can cause floors to bow, warp, or cup, producing an uneven, unsightly floor. Dryness can cause floors to shrink or crack, which causes gaps and also looks bad.

How much moisture is too much or too little?

Wood flooring should have a moisture content between 6 and 9%. And you can find out what percentage your wood floors are by taking readings with a moisture meter.

A moisture meter tells you definitively what the moisture content is in your wood floors—something nearly impossible to guess by touch. If it’s too low, you know you need to introduce some more humidity in your home. Too high and some humidity needs to go.

Thankfully, the moisture meter doesn’t have to penetrate the wood floor. At Bessemeter, we have pinless meters that only require you to set it on the floor.