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Flooring design and material is one of various factors that can improve the value of residential properties. According to a 2017 report published by the National Association of Realtors, more home buyers in the United States are expecting to see hardwood floors installed in the properties they tour, particularly those that feature higher listing prices. The living spaces where buyers like to see hardwood floors include family rooms, dens, studios, and master suites.

On average, real estate appraisers will see hardwood floors as a feature that merits a 2.5% boost to overall property value. The only other flooring material that will bring higher appraisal value would be natural stone, but we are not talking about slate or Pennsylvania bluestone; the stones that can boost property values are usually Carrara marble and highly polished onyx. In general, here are the flooring materials that rank higher on the appraisal checklists:

* Fancy natural stone such as marble and onyx.

* Natural hardwood.

* Engineered hardwood.

* Quartz or engineered stone.

* Ceramic and porcelain tiles.

* Laminate.

* Vinyl.

* Carpeting.

Even commercial properties can benefit from hardwood flooring. Tech startups flush with venture capital cash are known to look for older structures that have been given the loft conversion treatment, and they prefer offices with hardwood floors, particularly with natural planks that have been reclaimed or refinished.

New hardwood floors made of exotic species can boost home values by as much as 5%, and they do not necessarily need to be recently cut, milled, and finished at the lumber yard. Resurfaced floors or reclaimed planks can also have a very positive effect on appraisal evaluations.

Hardwood Floors: An Interior Design Trend Making a Comeback

It is important to note that even though hardwood flooring is a classic construction material, demand for this construction material has not always been as high as it currently is. In the U.S. and Canada, for example, there was a time when carpeting was preferred in virtually all living spaces except the kitchen, and vinyl tiles enjoyed considerable demand in from the 1950s to the 1980s; interestingly, this was a time when vertical wood paneling was preferred on walls. Ceramic and porcelain tiles dominated the late 20th century, then we had a couple of decades when marble and granite ruled interior design. Laminate flooring that resembles hardwood textures is being increasingly installed in commercial structures; however, and as previously mentioned, some business tenants insist on hardwood floors.

Thinking Beyond Home Equity and Investment Aspects

Here’s something else to consider with regard to hardwood floors: They can also add other kinds of value aside from home equity. In the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report, which is published by the NAR on an annual basis, many of the homeowners who installed hardwood floors stated that they did for their own enjoyment instead of thinking about how much additional value they can add to their properties. In other words, these are owners who are not planning on listing their properties anytime soon. The reasons they cited for this remodeling decision included:

* The look and feel of hardwood are attractive.

* Hardwood floors are very durable.

* With regard to interior design, hardwood floors simply go with everything.

* You can change the look of hardwood with staining.

It is hard to find someone who does not appreciate hardwood floors. The feeling of walking barefoot on smooth planks is something that everyone can appreciate. Doing yoga on hardwood floors is also very satisfying; for some poses, you do not even need a mat. Children enjoy playing on wood floors, and both canine and feline pets like to sprawl out on these surfaces. Hardwood is a construction material that is both visual and tactile; this is something that you cannot get from many other surfaces.

The Return on Investment (ROI) of Hardwood Flooring

Homeowners who choose to improve their properties with hardwood floors do not have to worry about financial regrets. If you compare the installation costs of laminate flooring with hardwood, you may be surprised to find that a flooring project with popular species such as American pine can be more affordable. Exotic species such as Brazilian walnut, teak, and mahogany are naturally more expensive; however, their ROI can be quite high when they are installed in luxurious homes.

If you opt for engineered hardwood planks, you may end up paying more, but the ROI will still be attractive because of the durability of this material. Engineered planks are fabricated to last forever thanks to the advanced sealing and finishing process with acrylics, so you will not have to worry about having to replace them.

Looking at the current trend of hardwood being a highly desirable construction material, you will get excellent ROI even if the planks are cut from American pine. Keep in mind that Mother Nature gives trees plenty of attractive diversity; unlike ceramic tile installations, each hardwood flooring installation will look different, and you also have the option of making changes to the surface through reconditioning and staining.

Hardwood Flooring Options

If you plan on putting your home on the market, keep in mind that the condition of your flooring can have an impact on the final sales price. We already know that hardwood floors are enjoying high demand, but only if they are in decent shape. If your hardwood floors are a mess, prospective buyers will use them to their advantage during the price negotiation phase. If the planks look like they recently came out of the lumber yard and have been polished to a nice gloss, you will have a firmer ground to stand on while trying to stick to the listing price.

Refinishing hardwood floors is an excellent ROI move, particularly if the planks have not been given proper care for a few years. Natural wood is an amazing construction in terms of holding up its appearance; even the most porous species can be refinished in order to remove stains and make them look like new. If you want to change the overall look of the floor, there will be staining options for you to choose from.

Even though exotic species tend to pricey, smart homeowners have been able to score mahogany planks at low prices through the reclaiming process, but you really have to do your homework in order to keep the cost of the project low. Reclaimed wood is expensive when sold directly from the lumber yard; however, if you keep an eye out for properties or boats that will go through demolition, you may be able to salvage planks and have them refinished. The famous Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City has many galleries in which the magnificent floors were installed with reclaimed planks extracted from other museums and galleries; you cannot even tell that they are made of American pine because of the quality refinishing.

Wood planks are not indestructible; they are subject to dents, stains, nicks, scratches, and even breakage. The good news is that planks are highly responsive to refinishing. If you have hardwood flooring in disrepair in your property, the most eco-friendly thing to do would be to refinish them or else give up the planks for renovation. Hardwood is a construction material that keeps on giving; once you remove the top layer of accumulated grime and stains, the planks will reveal a new look. If you want to a complete change, you can see which staining product are a better match for the species. For the ultimate Caribbean home look, you can also consider painting and sealing the surface, which in the future can be sanded down and stripped away.