If you’re ready to sell your home in Baltimore County or Howard County, your REALTOR® may talk to you about upgrading your flooring – especially if your floors have seen better days. Check out the best flooring materials to increase your home’s value so you can start considering what’s best for your space.

The Best Flooring Materials to Increase Your Home’s Value

Floors are typically one of the last things sellers think about, but they’re really important to buyers. In fact, when buyers see dingy carpet or scuffed up laminate, they immediately start thinking about how much it would cost to replace – and that means you can get a head start on increasing your home’s value (and maybe even help your agent sell it faster) by replacing floors that aren’t as attractive (or clean) as they could be. There are a number of eco-friendly materials you may wish to explore, as well.

Experts generally agree that these are the five best flooring materials to increase your home’s value:

  1. Engineered hardwood
  2. Laminate
  3. Tile
  4. Vinyl plank
  5. Solid hardwood

You should always check with your REALTOR® before you invest in new flooring. You may not need to make a significant investment, and doing so could actually cost you cash at the closing table. However, here’s a closer look at each so you can weigh your options.

Related: 3 common legal issues with selling your home as For Sale By Owner

Flooring Material #1: Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is an attractive option to many sellers because it’s reasonably priced and provides a similar look to solid hardwoods. The key difference is that this type of flooring is made from layers of wood rather than solid planks cut from a single tree – but that’s part of what makes it more cost-effective than standard hardwoods.

Flooring Material #2: Laminate

Laminate flooring looks a lot like solid hardwood, but it costs quite a bit less. Made from melamine resin and fiber board, this flooring material feels different to walk on than hardwoods do (and it sounds different, too), but it’s easy to care for, doesn’t need to be stripped and refinished, and makes an attractive (and cost-effective) option that buyers will like.

Related: Can you buy a FSBO if you have a real estate agent?

Flooring Material #3: Tile

Tile floors aren’t right for every home – nor are they right for every room in a home – but they can make an attractive option to replace carpet. Tile varies greatly in price and style, which makes it a great choice for many people. You can find synthetic stone tile, authentic stone tile, vinyl and a number of other materials, too.

Flooring Material #4: Vinyl Plank

Vinyl plank flooring are very similar to laminate floors; they look just like laminate wood floors, and they’re on the same level for durability, care and cost. An added benefit to vinyl plank flooring comes into play when you have imperfections in your subfloor, too – they’re pliable enough to overcome them.

Related: 7 tips to help you sell your home as For Sale By Owner

Flooring Material #5: Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood floors are expensive, but in some cases, they’re worth it. Buyers love them, but they can be tough to maintain and clean – and replacement down the road is expensive, too. You should talk to your REALTOR® before you make an investment this big, because you may not need to; buyers may love your home as-is, with a flooring credit, or with a less-expensive floor in place.

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