Installing cheap hardwood flooring to sell home?

olivesmomSeptember 18, 2013

We are putting our home on the market. We need to install new flooring as the current laminate is damaged. We were going to go with a decent engineered hickory as we were planning on staying in the house a few years and needed something durable. However, now that we are selling we have been looking at cheaper options. I found some trendy looking handscraped birch samples from buildirect.com and was looking at spending about $2,000 for the 850 or so sq ft we need. But I just got a LL flier and they have a non-handscraped birch for .99 a sq ft. Going the LL route we will save over $1,000.

Either birch dents easily and is not something I would want to live with. I think though that most buyers will not be aware of that. Most of our competition has laminate or carpet, some of the homes that have sold quickly have been upgraded with some sort of engineered hardwood. I feel like we should at least do engineered so we can say "hardwoods throughout main level". The typical buyers in our area are young couples/young families and new, darker hardwoods are popular as is the "pottery barn look".

Would you go with the cheapest option (and tip toe around in socks until the house sells, lol)? Do you think the handscraped look is worth $1,000?

Here is a link that might be useful: LL .99 engineered birch

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
LuAnn_in_PA

"Either birch dents easily and is not something I would want to live with. I think though that most buyers will not be aware of that. "

And what if they are?
It would be a shame if your house languishes because of that... or if you have to drop the price so that they buyers can get new flooring.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olivesmom

LuAnn: I'm fairly confident that the buyers here will not be aware of how delicate the floor is. And in the off chance that they are, they are probably planning on installing their own choice of hardwood. Very few homes in our price range have nice hardwoods (If any). Most homes are primarily carpet with some laminate wood-look, maybe some have upgraded to engineered. Homes that are moving fast are totally move-in ready and look nice. Ours should fit that description.

Bottom line, we need new floors. For the same price or less we can have "hardwood" instead of laminate. We will not recoup the cost of upgrading to a nicer hardwood.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
otterkill

Maybe you could offer a $1000 credit at closing so they can choose their own flooring. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nosoccermom

Hm, I'm not sure that the veneer on plywood qualifies as real hardwood (also the one you linked to is 1.69/sqft). Are you going to install the floors yourself?
What about Costco bamboo flooring?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 6:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olivesmom

The floors have to be relaplaced at this point. I started a DIY flooring project using vinyl plank and I wasn't happy with the way it was holding up, so now we have half laminate/ half vinyl plank and it looks horrible. A $1,000 credit isn't going to cut it, lol. And FYI, the new floors are going to be professionally installed. The flooring will be just under $1,000 for everything including thresholds/reducers and installation will be about $2,000.

I think most buyers here are looking for move in ready or a super bargain.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olivesmom

Nosoccermom: I know engineered isn't real hardwood, but its my assumption that we could say just "hardwood" as opposed to "solid hardwood" in the listing. Yes, it's a crappy engineered with barely and real wood, but it's still engineered hardwood. I think bamboo would be a turn off, at least that's my perception.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rrah

Birch is actually harder than cherry or hickory. It's not quite as hard as oak. It is difficult to stain though.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Happyladi

Why would you want to put a floor in that the buyers will have issues with?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olivesmom

Happyladi: The floor will be structurally sound and look nice upon sale. I would not want to live with the floor, but my family is hard on things and I do not like the idea of babying something meant to be walked on. Other people might do fine with it, who knows. Why should I spend extra money on a floor when I won't benefit from it? I would rather spend our money on the house we are buying, thank you.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kirkhall

If you want to spend the money on the house you are buying, then just put a few rugs down and ignore the floor.

If you DIY the install, it can be worth replacing to hardwood. But, if you are paying professionals, I'd get a new, nice, neutral carpet. New young couples will appreciate that too, and it will be MUCH less than hardwood with install.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kjdnns

Can you put down the birch and then put rugs over it to protect it from your family? That way buyers will see the hardwoods under the rugs but large portions of the wood at least would be protected.

I agree with you about not spending too much on hardwoods but if the floor is as mismatched as you say you really should to change it. The home we are purchasing was built in 1972 and needs cosmetic updates EVERYWHERE including the flooring (one room has 3 different kinds of flooring - in this one room!). I like, am good at DIY projects and have the benefit of having family and friends in the construction/design business but the house was on the market way longer than others in the neighborhood and the final PP is $40k less than the house two doors down which sold earlier this year. Why? That house had been updated.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
LuAnn_in_PA

"Why should I spend extra money on a floor when I won't benefit from it?"

Then don't.
Offer a flooring allowance and let the new owners put in what they want.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nosoccermom

The thing is that if you already spend 2K on installation, you may as well go with a superior product. I do think that people realize what kind of floor is installed.

I would look into site finished oak hardwood floors, which may not run you much more than the 3K for the birch engineered wood.

Also, in my area, bamboo would be desirable, especially with young buyers, provided it's the top of the line. Costco offers 50 year residential warranty; it can be refinished and is extremely scratch resistant. When it's on sale, it's 1.75/sqft. My hardwood guy quoted me 2.00/sqft for installation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Costco bamboo

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ellendi

Why not just do cheap carpet? If hardwood is in the minority, I don't think carpet would be a deal breaker.
If you install the hickory and don't sell your home for a while, are you willing to baby it for who knows how long?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olivesmom

Carpet won't work. We need some sort of laminate or wood flooring in the foyer hallway and in the kitchen/dining area. Since we are redoing the floors we are going to go ahead and do the living room in the same hardwood since it is open to the kitchen/dining.

Here is what the foyer looks like (this is the same model as ours)

As you can see carpet would look weird even if it matched the carpet on the stairs.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marti8a

You could ask on the flooring forum, however I did ask a while back about LL flooring and was told to stay away from it. That said, a lot of people do use LL, and diy so they can pick through the bad pieces in each box.

My dd and her dh bought a house that had wood flooring that while ok, was not high grade. I noticed it, because we have wood flooring (engineered) in our house, but they were completely oblivious and still don't notice the flaws in it.

We're about to sell too, and need to replace flooring, and I'm considering my options too. I am going with a cheaper handscraped because it's popular instead of the flooring I would really like.

Oh, and everyone at the flooring places have told me that hickory is harder than oak.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olivesmom

We are going with the LL flooring, I've got 850 sq feet of it stacked up in our house acclimating right now.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:14PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Relocating and Finding New Services/People/Businesses
If you are moving or have moved to an unfamiliar town...
DLM2000
Verbal offers suddenly surface
Too much drama. We put offer on house number one, house...
Randy Ritchie
Would you buy a home near fire station??
We're considering an offer on a single-family home...
1232
Emotional rollercoaster of home selling
Lately, this process of having my condo up for sale...
Acco
Help, quick! VA Loan Problems?
My friend is selling her home. She's received two...
jewelisfabulous
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™