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Score with A New Floor!

Image of flooring and a score board

If you were to ask me what one thing (besides painting) can make the biggest difference in a home's appeal, I don't hesitate to declare flooring. The right flooring can significantly enhance a property’s appeal to prospective buyers, making it a crucial consideration for anyone preparing their home for sale or considering upgrades while they enjoy living in the home with an eye towards the future.

Why Flooring Matters

Flooring is one of the first things potential buyers notice when they walk into a property. It sets the aesthetic tone and, if chosen wisely, can imply a level of upkeep and quality that can entice buyers. One of the biggest feedback gripes I hear when I am out showing properties is when a home has a number of different flooring products. Beyond just appearance, the right flooring choice can also speak to the practical aspects of durability and maintenance, factors keenly considered by buyers.

Choosing the Right Flooring

Selecting the ideal flooring may be a bit more complex than it might appear at first blush. Homeowners must balance aesthetic preferences with practical considerations such as moisture resistance, durability, and cost. Let’s explore the five most common types of flooring to consider:

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring these days isn't your grandmother's vinyl (no offense intended to those trendy grandparents out there... after all I consider myself to be one of them). I could show you some luxury vinyl plank flooring that would rival the prettiest wood floors. The vinyl is crafted from synthetic polymers and often chosen for high-moisture areas like kitchens and laundry rooms due to its excellent resistance to water damage. There are some great options in style, quality and brand but with vinyl make sure you are going with a better quality product as this is one area that you get what you pay for. CORETec, as one example is a great quality Vinyl Flooring produce that is as durable and resultant as it is beautiful. Using a poor quality may result in edges of floor boards turning up.

Key Points:

  • Maintenance: Easy to clean with just a broom, mop, and soapy water.

  • Durability: Vinyl floors have long-lasting durability (in some cases, upwards of 30 years of long-lasting durability). These floors can go years and still look new with the right maintenance routine.

  • Cost: Based on national averages, you can expect to pay about $1 to $6 per square foot or $30 to $50 per hour for vinyl plank flooring installation. For luxury vinyl plank flooring, costs can go as high as $10 per square foot. Professional installation helps ensure you get the longest use out of your floors.

Tile Flooring

Ceramic or porcelain tiles offer a blend of durability and aesthetic appeal, with strong resistance to water. They are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens but are also very popular solutions to use throughout homes in Florida. The aesthetic options are plenty ranging from plank tile that mimics wood to flashy, shinny tiles that bring a contemporary flare.

Key Points:

  • Maintenance: Tile is straightforward to clean, though grout requires more attention and possible replacement every 5-10 years. Proper cleaning after install will help you avoid grout haze which builds up over time and then requires more intense, professional cleaning.

  • Durability: Tile can last a very long time if properly installed, maintained and cared for. Cracks in tile can happen if something really heavy comes into sudden contact with the tile or when the installation is not done correctly.

  • Cost: Tile costs between $12 to $19 per square foot and generally requires professional installation.

Composite or Engineered Wood Flooring

This flooring type mimics hardwood and consists of multiple layers of plywood with a hardwood top layer, offering versatility and ease of installation over any subfloor. As far as wood flooring goes, this is often the product of choice for SW Florida due to the high moisture levels that can wreak havoc on solid wood flooring.

Key Points:

  • Maintenance: Regular sweeping and mopping maintain its appearance. Be careful about using harsh products on the floors or cleaning solutions that leave build up.

  • Durability: Susceptible to damage from heavy footwear and objects.

  • Cost: Prices range from $7 to $11 per square foot; installation can be DIY-friendly.

Hardwood Flooring

Regarded as the "gold standard," hardwood adds significant value and aesthetic appeal to homes but requires more maintenance and isn't always the best option in SW Florida given how susceptible the wood can be to moisture exposure. I would not recommend bamboo wood floors in our area. The glue in the bamboo have been known the attract termites and it also make it very difficult to refinish... the floor is like a sponge for moisture.

Key Points:

  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and periodic refinishing to address wear. If you are going to roll the dice and put solid wood flooring, you must ensure that the AC stays running strong as elevated humidity can warp flooring very slowly and only become noticeable when it is too late to save them.

  • Durability: In general wood is most prone to damage but the type of wood can make a difference in durability.

  • Cost: Among the most expensive options, price varies based on wood type and quality.


Most popular for comfort in bedrooms, carpets are made from various materials like polyester, nylon, or polypropylene. They are the easiest and least expensive to install and remove but they also have the shortest expected life-span.

Key Points:

  • Maintenance: Immediate cleaning of spills is crucial; regular vacuuming is needed to maintain cleanliness, especially in areas like Florida where sand is virtually everywhere.

  • Durability: Without question, carpet is not as durable as the other options noted ahead of this one, not so much for it getting damaged but staining is the bigger risk.

  • Cost: Typically requires professional installation, costing around $4 per square foot.

Final Thoughts

Like a fresh coat of paint, new flooring can revitalize a home’s appearance and appeal. Consulting with a real estate agent about current flooring trends can further align your choices with buyer preferences, enhancing your home’s marketability. Remember, when planning a renovation for resale, go slow to go fast and ensure you are making smart investment decisions for the near and long-term.


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