Carpet vs. Hardwood For Resale Value

ej blogger December 29, 2011


I wanted to get your professional insight on the value add of wood flooring.  We bought our unit with the option of keeping carpet in the bedroom and den. I am now contemplating switching those rooms to match hardwood in the house. In the event of sale, is there a break even or positive benefit to the cost of adding the hardwood?


In the Washington DC urban condo market, the appreciation for hardwood floors is tremendous.  It is pretty much a must in the living/dining room vs. carpet.  With that said, there a few people we see that prefer carpet in the bedroom(s) with the thought that hardwood will be cold in the winter mornings.  Like I said “few”.  Most home buyers appreciate the upgrade and if they don’t, they can always use rugs to soften the feel.  Hardwood throughout a condo can make it feel larger and more open due to the feeling of not as much separation between rooms.  Hardwood lasts longer, can be refinished and seems to more versatile for long term decorations.

Regarding the resale factor of your question, this is a tricky one.  Like I said, most buyers would prefer hardwood over carpet in the bedroom but if you have hardwood in the living room and a very nice NEW carpet in the bedroom(s), there probably would not be much of concern.  If you start to get stains or wear on the carpet before resale, this is a huge distraction and home buyers just think of dollar signs to replace.  The same goes for cheap thin carpet as a replacement before home is listed for sale, this will just make your home feel cheap.  Cheap is the last thing buyers want to feel when they are buying in the downtown real estate market.  I think the better question is, will you enjoy the hardwood while you are still living there?  The last thing I like to see is people making upgrades just to sell when they could have been enjoying those same upgrades while living there over the years.

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