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January 29, 2024 in Flooring

Which Flooring Upgrade Increases Home Value the Most?

Flooring installation

If you’re considering upgrading the floors in your New Jersey home, you probably have two goals: enjoy the new flooring in day-to-day life and see the investment pay off when you eventually sell.

The flooring material you choose can significantly sway home value and resale potential.

At Sweeney Home Solutions, we’ve remodeled hundreds of New Jersey homes over the past 20 years.

In our experience, three flooring options stand out for providing the biggest boost in home value: hardwood, tile, and laminate. Each material has unique benefits and drawbacks to weigh.

Hardwood Floors Are a Premium Selling Feature

Gorgeous hardwood flooring never seems to go out of style. As a premium material, hardwoods add considerable value to New Jersey homes. In 2021, the National Association of Realtors found homes with hardwood floors sold for an average of 2.5% more than homes without them.

The natural, timeless beauty of hardwood appeals to buyers. Unlike carpeting that can appear dingy and dated, quality hardwood floors don’t fall victim to decor trends. Properly maintained hardwoods also last for decades, able to be refinished multiple times. This durability makes them well worth the higher initial investment.

When considering hardwood floors, you first need to decide between solid or engineered wood. Solid hardwood is milled from a single piece of timber. It can be refinished many times, but solid hardwood is more prone to gapping and squeaking. Engineered hardwood has plywood layers under a solid wood top layer. This makes engineered flooring more dimensionally stable while still allowing light sanding and refinishing over time.

Both types add value, so focus on how the flooring aligns with your lifestyle and budget. Larger families with pets may favor more durable engineered flooring, while eco-conscious homeowners may prefer solid wood from renewable sources.

Tile Flooring Offers Durability and Style

Tile floors never go out of style in New Jersey homes thanks to their inherent durability and classic aesthetic. The 2022 Cost vs. Value Report found an average 4.8% value increase for homes adding tile flooring.

Compared to hardwoods, tile floors stand up even better to heavy foot traffic and moisture. Tile also works beautifully in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms. The Tile Council of North America cites several other tile benefits relevant to New Jersey homeowners:

  • Extremely durable for decades of use
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Naturally fire and stain resistant
  • Available in countless styles, colors and patterns
  • Can mimic stone, wood or other flooring looks
  • Often radiant heat compatible

Ceramic and porcelain dominate today’s tile flooring landscape. While similar, porcelain contains denser clay and fires at higher temperatures for increased density and strength. Porcelain rates higher on the MOHS scale, making it more scratch and chip resistant.

Given porcelain’s added durability, it usually makes sense for high-traffic main flooring areas. More delicate ceramic tile works better for walls and backsplashes.

Always consult with tile professionals to determine the best materials for each space.

Laminate Provides Affordability Without Sacrificing Appeal

In terms of value boost compared to cost, laminate flooring can’t be beaten. High-quality laminate averages just $3-5 per square foot installed. Even mid-range options provide the look of real wood or stone for a fraction of the cost.

Homeowners love laminate floors because they:

  • Simulate wood or tile looks for less
  • Resist scratches, dents and stains
  • Install quickly and easily, even DIY
  • Feel warmer and less hard underfoot than tile
  • Come in countless patterns and colors
  • Easily fit in rooms with uneven subfloors

New Jersey building codes (NBC-2015) require using laminate flooring rated AC3 or higher in residential spaces, meaning it holds up to heavy residential foot traffic. Avoid cheap, AC1-rated laminate that damages easily. Invest in commercial-grade AC3 or AC4 for flooring that lasts.

While laminate doesn’t increase value as much as stone or wood, it does boost home appeal. Buyers see laminate as a high-end flooring solution that fits modern lifestyles.

Key Factors To Compare Flooring Options

With so many flooring varieties available, deciding what works best can feel overwhelming. Keep these factors in mind when comparing materials:


Laminate and vinyl flooring offer the most budget-friendly options, while natural stone and hardwoods rank on the higher end.


Porcelain tile and solid hardwoods hold up best long-term, especially in high-traffic areas.


Tile and vinyl require minimal maintenance, while hardwood needs refinishing over time.

Resale Value

Hardwood offers the largest home value increase, followed by tile and engineered hardwood.

Visual Appeal

Hardwoods bring natural warmth and beauty. Tile and laminate offer endless style options these days.
Analyze how each factor ranks in importance to your family when choosing new floors. This helps narrow the options to find your ideal flooring.

Consulting a Flooring Contractor

Installing new floors involves big decisions and potentially complex installation requirements. At Sweeney Home Solutions, we always recommend having an experienced flooring contractor on your team.

As licensed and insured flooring professionals, we bring:

  • Expertise in assessing your current floors and needs
  • Knowledge of all the latest flooring products and their features
  • Ability to recommend the ideal floors for your home and lifestyle
  • Skills for proper installation and avoiding future problems
  • Access to premium flooring brands and pricing

When vetting flooring contractors in New Jersey, ask these important questions:

  • Are you licensed and insured for flooring work?
  • Can you provide references from recent local jobs completed well?
  • Do you offer a workmanship warranty – at least one year?
  • Will you handle securing permits and scheduling inspections?
  • How will you contain dust and minimize disruption during the project?

Also ask if the company uses its own employees, or subcontracts work out. In-house crews typically provide better quality control.

Choose Flooring That Best Fits Your Home

While hardwood, tile and laminate represent smart options for boosting home value, you can’t go wrong also looking at bamboo or natural stone.

Work with an expert like Sweeney Home Solutions to decide which flooring truly aligns with your New Jersey property and lifestyle. We handle the entire process and stand behind the quality of our work.

Reach out today to schedule a free design consultation. We look forward to helping your home floors achieve their full potential – while also boosting your home’s value when it comes time to sell.