Hardwood Floors and Resale: Smart 2020 Investment?

Since I am passionate about the timeless beauty and value of hardwood flooring, let’s address the bias immediately. Vintage red oak floors in our first Chicagoland 1920’s bungalow charmed us and left an indelible impression. In the decades that followed, hickory, walnut, and white oak woodsy warmth played starring design roles in our homes and undoubtedly helped us sell them. We’ll explore how experts weigh in on the topic of hardwood floors and resale and consider potential benefits of such an investment.

Walnut wood floor in a traditional dining room with eclectic decor. #hardwoodfloor #interiordesign #walnut #carlisle #wideplankflooring
Walnut Flooring in a Traditional Yet Eclectic Dining Room – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Today’s post is happily sponsored by Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, whose quality handcrafted custom wood floors have been on my radar for many years. All thoughts shared here are my own.

Photos: Courtesy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors (plus a few of our home)

Hardwood Floors and Resale: Smart 2020 Investment?

Elegant French inspired living room with Louis style fireplace and beautiful warm brown hardwood flooring by Carlisle. #fhardwoodloors #interiordesign #hardwoodfloor #carlisle
Hardwood Floors and Resale: Smart Investment in 2020 – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

A 2019 NAHB report (National Association of Homebuilders) revealed what home buyers desire most, and hardwood flooring ranked toward the top of the ten most wanted features.

No big surprise; hardwoods are right up there with storage needs (for example, garages and walk-in pantries), patios and exterior lighting.

Beautiful wide plank reclaimed oak flooring (Carlisle) in a Nantucket entry with modern farmhouse decor. #flooring #interiordesign #hardwoodfloor #reclaimedflooring #oakfloor #nantucketstyle #carlisle
Reclaimed Oak in a Nantucket Entry – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

What Do Buyers Admire about Homes With Hardwood?

Beyond the aesthetics, wood floors suggest cleanliness, durability, longevity, and timeless design.

Stunning spiraling wood staircase with custom gray white oak hardwood (Carlisle) in a home infused with pop culture art and design. #flooring #interiordesign #staircase #whiteoak #hardwoodfloor #grayfloor #carlisle
Custom Gray White Oak in Pop Culture Infused Estate – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

I recently asked my audience for personal reflections on wood flooring, and you’ll find responses throughout this post.

“We are in a 2004 home, and the original hardwood floors still look great. One remodel included expanding it throughout the kitchen and additional living room space – excellent matching.” -Jen

Happy corgis stand on chocolate walnut floors in a traditional entry of a grand home - Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring. #flooring #walnut #darkbrownfloors #hardwoodfloor #carlisle #wideplankfloors
Deep Chocolate Walnut Floors in a Traditional Entry Way – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

A Myriad of Hardwood Options

If you have ever added wood flooring, then you know how many possibilities are out there. My eye has always been drawn to the particular beauty of wide plank flooring, and here’s a great primer to better understand its pros and cons.

Let’s face it, with a hefty investment like wood flooring, education is everything when you’re after a timeless, less trendy look.

Lovely wide plank birch hardwood flooring in a white Shaker kitchen with classic traditional design. #carlisle #flooring #wideplankfloors #hardwoodfloor #interiordesign #kitchendesign
Birch Flooring in a Contemporary Shaker Kitchen – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Speaking of trends, the aforementioned NAHB report interestingly noted the rising trend of “farmhouse styles incorporating ample amounts of wood.”

Are you surprised that modern farmhouse allure is still going strong?

White oak hardwood floors in a serene simple Shaker modern farmhouse kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #kitchendesign #shakerkitchen
Hardwood Floors and Resale: Smart Investment in 2020 – Hello Lovely Studio

Hardwoods & Modern Farmhouse: Killer Combo?

Real estate sales reflect a fondness for modern farmhouse style which certainly has staying power.

In March 2020, a report by Zillow on the lingering “Fixer Upper effect” suggests buyers may be willing to pay 10.3% more for a home with modern farmhouse style.

Stunning white oak wide plank flooring on a staircase in a grand coastal style home with white trim. #flooring #interiordesign #whiteoak #staircase #wideplankfloors #hardwoodfloor #carlisle #coastalstyle
White Oak Stairs and Flooring in a Sophisticated Coastal Home – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Why do farmhouse-flavored designs remain in demand relative to other home design styles?

Blonde and luxurious, this whitewashed rift and quartersawn oak hardwood flooring by Carlisle brings an airy, serene mood. #flooring #hardwoodfloors #wideplankfloors #whitewashedoak #quartersawnoak #interiordesign #carlisle
Whitewashed Rift & Quartersawn Oak in a Lofty Elegant Space – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Don’t Underestimate This Resale Factor

According to Zillow’s analysis, this trend strongly correlates with LIVABILITY. Modern farmhouse style’s livability simply works for modern life.

“It has a more casual, rustic aesthetic that is meant to be lived in; nothing is precious and the more wear and patina, the better, which makes it so appealing to buyers with children or pets.”

Hello Lovely Studio's French country bedroom with white oak hardwood floors and neutral palette. #hellolovelystudio #flooring #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #frenchcountry #interiordesign #bedroomdesign
Hello Lovely Studio Bedroom with White Oak – Hardwood Floors and Resale: Smart Investment in 2020

Since hardwood flooring frequently plays an integral design role in modern farmhouse, industrial farmhouse, modern rustic, and French farmhouse design schemes, it pays to consider how together this winning match may attract buyers.

Rustic reclaimed barnwood flooring plays a starring role in this custom Colorado kitchen design. #flooring #hardwoodfloor #reclaimedfloor #barnwood #rusticfloor #carlisle #wideplankfloors #kitchendesign
Reclaimed Barnwood Flooring in a Rustic Colorado Kitchen – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Tried and true, wood floors offer: style, warmth, high livability factor, comfort underfoot, relief for allergies, and architectural beauty.

Rustic knots and character in white oak wide plank hardwood from Carlisle grace a coastal style space with beadboard and nautical decor. #woodflooring #wideplankflooring #hardwoodfloor #whiteoak #interiordesign
White Oak Hardwood Flooring in Cape Neddick – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

What Do Homeowners Love About the Livability of Hardwoods?

Hypoallergenic Flooring

“It’s better for those who have allergies, which I do. We are in the process of selling our home and find people are looking for hardwood and like that it is already installed.” -Kathy

Prefinished White Oak wide plank flooring from Carlisle (Weekend Cottage) in a New Hampshire Kitchen with Shaker cabinets. #interiordesign #hardwoodfloors #whiteoak #wideplankflooring #carlisle #kitchendesign #coastalkitchen
Prefinished White Oak (Weekend Cottage) in a New Hampshire Kitchen – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Of course, livability is subjective. When I surveyed my audience about hardwood flooring, most folks reported high satisfaction for the pets/hardwood combo.

We have a dog, and her nails (which we keep trimmed) have not damaged our floors. The ease of care for hardwood flooring, combined with the warmth and beauty they impart, are incomparable to any other type of flooring in my opinion.” -Erin

Hello Lovely Studio's serene kitchen with window seat has white oak hardwood floors. #hellolovelystudio #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #kitchendesign #modernfarmhouse #windowseat
Hardwood Floors and Resale: Smart 2020 Investment – Hello Lovely Studio

Comfort for Pets and Humans

If you have ever spent a measure of time on your feet in a kitchen with a tiled floor, you may understand why so many sing the praises of wood flooring in that space.

“We have a pup and she’s never damaged the floors. I also find it very easy to keep clean. Tile is hard on my body when I’m standing on it for too long.” -Heather

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Celestial Collection - with a sweet collie enjoying the comfort. #carlislehardwoodfloors #flooring #hardwoodfloors #lightwood
Celestial Collection from Carlisle – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Living With Pets & Hardwood Floors

Not everyone views wood as ideal for living with pets though. Scratches and damage can happen with sharp claws.

“I do LOVE the look but it’s not realistic for my lifestyle with dogs, kids, life.” -Tina

Personally, I love the ease of wood with pets, and I’m aware certain hardwood flooring is better for living with dogs and cats.

Reclaimed barnwood (Eastern Pine) wide plank flooring by Carlisle in a gorgeous living room with rustic decor. #flooring #hardwoodfloor #wideplankfloor #carlisle #livingroom #pinefloor #interiordesign
Reclaimed Barnwood Eastern Pine in a Rustic Living Room – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Timeless Design Element

The longevity and timeless charm of hardwoods strike a chord with plenty of Hello Lovely readers.

“You can’t beat the charm, warmth, or character of hardwood floors. Flooring trends come and go like the tide. I will always go for classic and timeless. Leave the trends for furniture and walls since they’re easy to change.” -Lauren

Hello Lovely Studio's serene kitchen with window seat has white oak hardwood floors. #hellolovelystudio #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #kitchendesign #modernfarmhouse #windowseat
Hello Lovely Studio’s White Oak Hardwood Floors in the Kitchen

Is Hardwood Flooring Worth the ROI?

Consistent with reporting from previous years, Realtor.com suggests that depending on the location and price range of your home, wood flooring remains one of the wisest investments you can make in your home.

“According to real estate experts, the average ROI for installing hardwood floors is about 70% to 80%, and wood floors can boost the sales price of your home as much as 2.5%.” (Realtor.com).

Hello Lovely Studio's white oak hardwood floors in her European country living room, dining, and kitchen with Belgian linen. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #belgianlinen #europeancountry #openfloorplan
White Oak Hardwood Floors in my European Country Inspired Home – Hello Lovely Studio

ROI for Carpet Replacement

In case you’re curious, the same report suggests ROI for carpet falls within the 25-40% range.

Prefinished White Oak wide plank flooring from Carlisle (Weekend Cottage) in a New Hampshire Kitchen with Shaker cabinets. #interiordesign #hardwoodfloors #whiteoak #wideplankflooring #carlisle #kitchendesign #coastalkitchen
Prefinished White Oak (Weekend Cottage) in a New Hampshire Kitchen – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

ROI Report from NARI

That ROI for hardwood may in fact rise above 80%.

This 2019 report from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) concluded homeowners may reap a 106% return for installing new wood flooring (up from the 91% reported in 2015)!

Beautiful wide plank flooring (white oak) on a staircase landing with paneled wainscot and pale peachy walls. #whiteoak #flooring #hardwoodfloor #carlisle #woodplankfloors #interiordesign #carlisle #staircase
White Oak Ceiling & Flooring on a Stair Landing in a Coastal Home – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

When You’re After a Custom Look

If your flooring project will be more specialized or custom (for example, unique wide planks, reclaimed, patterned, or rustic barn wood wood), it may be wise to venture beyond your local flooring outlet.

Hickory wide plank flooring in a coastal style dining room with French country decor, spectacular windows, and a majestic view. #flooring #wideplankflooring #hickory #hardwoodfloor #diningroom #coastalstyle #carlisle #interiordesign
Hickory Flooring in a Maine Dining Room – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

“Hardwood on stairs is my favorite. They are much easier to clean, though more expensive. If I liked a house but it had carpet in it, I would still buy it. But the first chance I get, hardwood it is!” -Kathy

Because of the significant investment, be sure you seek support and design help from a reputable source.

Why?

Magnificent architectural staircase with wide plank walnut hardwood by Carlisle. #flooring #staircase #hardwoodflooring #wideplankflooring #carlisle #walnutfloor #interiordesign
Walnut Hardwood Flooring & Stairs in a Transitional Home – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

I have been around the block and done it several times…it’s simply too important to get it right the first time!

As real life renovators, my husband and I tackled our whole house renovation DIY style but left the wood floors to the pros. The art, craftsmanship, and expertise entailed surely flows from years of experience.

Pssst. My woodworking skills are far more suited for something along these lines:

Ha! For human-sized spaces and wide plank wood floor fans, a firm like Carlisle will bring your imaginings to life. (Bonus: skip the traffic and work with samples right from home where the material is going to live.) Be sure to visit them and PIN AWAY gorgeous inspiration for future reference!

Reclaimed Heart Pine flooring (wide plank by Carlisle) plays a starring role in this casual country breakfast area. adjacent to a white kitchen. #hardwoodflooring #reclaimed #wideplank #flooring #carlisle #heartpine #interiordesign #rusticfloor
Rustic Reclaimed Heart Pine in a Casual Dining Area – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Are Certain Hardwood Species & Types of Wood Flooring More Desirable?

There are certainly regional preferences for hardwoods which may come into play for ROI. Engineered flooring, for example, is typically suited for regions experiencing 30-50% humidity. Consequently, solid hardwood may fetch a higher ROI than engineered wood in drier climates such as the Southwest.

Reclaimed barnwood flooring adds rusticity in a cheerful bunk room with navy beds and a Hawaiian theme. #wideplankflooring #carlisle #hardwoodfloor #interiordesign #reclaimed #barnwood #bunkroom
Reclaimed Barnwood in a Hawaiian Bunk Room – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

In terms of color, NARI’s report concluded:

“Texas and the Southwestern region tend to prefer darker grey and brown flooring with a more distressed tone. Properties in more oceanic regions, such as the East and West coasts, not surprisingly go more for lighter grey, white and cream colors that feel cool and casual. Likewise, areas more susceptible to colder winters, such as the Northeast, feature subtle accents ranging from beiges to tans.”

Hello Lovely Studio's serene French country bedroom with white oak hardwood plank flooring. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #flooring #bedroomdesign #whiteoak #frenchcountry
Rustic knotty alder door and white oak hardwood flooring in my bedroom – Hello Lovely Studio

In Which Rooms Do Buyers Like to See Hardwood Flooring?

“I see a lot of homeowners adding hardwood on main floors now.” -Elizabeth, a Chicagoland realtor

“I actually prefer carpet in bedrooms and living area hallways, but nowhere near exterior doors.” -Pam

Warm hickory wide plank flooring (Carlisle) in a luxurious kitchen's butler pantry. #carlisle #flooring #hardwoodfloor #hickory #interiordesign #wideplankfloor
Hickory Flooring in a Maine Butler Pantry – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

How Satisfied Are Homeowners Who Upgrade from Carpet to Hardwood?

“After we replaced our carpeting with hardwood flooring, I was amazed how much larger our home feels.” -Erin

The National Association of Remodeling Industry’s 2019 report revealed that after installing new wood floors, 78% of respondents felt a greater desire to be home, and 24% reported greater functionality and livability.

There’s the power of LIVABILITY surfacing again.

 “With allergies, it is so crazily satisfying to have flooring where you can see the dust balls and vacuum them up rather than them hiding in every carpeted corner!” -Angela

Rustic and warm classic wide plank white oak hardwood flooring in a New England kitchen. #flooring #carlisle #whiteoak #hardwoodfloor #interiordesign #kitchendesign
Classic White Oak in a New England Kitchen – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Hardwoods, Health & Accessibility

It is difficult to place a monetary value on the importance of wood floors in homes where accessibility is essential. Further, it isn’t simply older buyers considering wheelchairs and mobility issues as multigenerational households steadily grow more commonplace.

A recent housing study by Harvard indicated “greater longevity and population growth mean that the number of households in their 70s, 80s, and 90s is set to soar.” In fact, the number of households age 80 and over jumped from 4.4 million in 1990 to 7.5 million in 2016.

“Hardwood floors allow older folks to remain in their home longer.” -Debbie

Hello Lovely Studio's serene white kitchen with vintage steel cart repurposed as a work table. #hellolovelystudio #whitekitchens #modernfarmhouse #coastal #shakerkitchen #vintagecart #worktable
My serene white kitchen is warmed by White Oak hardwoods – Hello Lovely Studio

YOUR TURN: I’d love to hear your opinions about resale and flooring so do leave a comment and share any expertise if you have a moment!

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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8 Comments

  1. Jo Jo
    June 9, 2020 / 6:17 pm

    Great post! I love the Custom Gray White Oak by Carlisle. It is definitely my style. I’ll keep this post handy since we’re thinking about adding hardwood to our stairs.

    • Michele
      Author
      June 10, 2020 / 1:04 pm

      I bet you would like that whole house where the greyed-oak lives since it is filled with pop art and modern touches. Thanks for reading!

  2. June 9, 2020 / 8:22 pm

    WOW! This post is amazing, there is so much great information and so many beautiful photos. I hope that you are staying safe my friend.

    • Michele
      Author
      June 10, 2020 / 1:03 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting, Elizabeth. I have been watching the work of Carlisle for years, and their craftsmanship is just exceptional. Staying very safe and feeling very lonely! Hope you are well, friend. xox

  3. Stephen Hursley
    June 18, 2020 / 4:56 pm

    Excellent information. Hardwood floors definitely can bring up the value of a home and make it very attractive to potential buyers. I think it’s important to remember that they aren’t indestructible. You need to maintain them properly, and if you’ve had them for a while and now want to sell your home, consider having them refinished before you start showing the house. My wife and I have used Fabulous Floors Nashville in the past and they do a great job for a pretty reasonable price.

    • Michele
      Author
      June 18, 2020 / 5:36 pm

      Apparently some large animals can do some damage on softer woods, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me they aren’t indestructible since I raised sons and lived in old homes with original 100 year old wood floors! Refinishing before marketing a home is probably a good idea unless the floors are stained with something not popular with buyers. I would listen to a realtor’s opinion. I personally couldn’t live with very dark stained floors and would much rather be offered an allowance to have them refinished to suit.

  4. Alicia Hursley
    July 22, 2020 / 11:55 am

    I personally believe that a nicely maintained wood floor will always get a home sold faster. I really want to emphasize the nicely maintained part of that though. A lot of buyers will be turned off by noticeable stains, scratches, and scuffs. I would recommend making a small investment to get them refinished or resurfaced. I usually recommend Fabulous Floors Orange County to my clients down here in southern California. They are quick, affordable, and responsive.

    If you’re trying to sell right now, make the smart investment to take care of your wood floors. Trust me, it will work.

    • Michele
      Author
      July 22, 2020 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks for the tip!

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