Empty interior residence with hardwood floors in the city.

Is Hardwood Flooring Worth It? The Pros And Cons Of Wood Floors

Miranda Crace5 minute read
UPDATED: May 30, 2023

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It’s a thought that many homeowners with carpeted floors will have at some point: Should I get hardwood floors?

Hardwood flooring is a hot commodity in the real estate market.It can also be a beautiful addition to just about any home and can greatly increase your enjoyment of your home. However, there are some downsides to consider as well.

Would hardwood floors make a good addition to your home? Let’s consider some pros and cons of hardwood flooring.

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Pros Of Wood Floors

  • Added value to your home: Hardwood floors are at the top of the “must have” list for many potential home buyers. Trading your wall-to-wall carpet for some wood flooring could increase the value of your house and make it easier to sell when the time for that comes.
  • Durable and long-lasting: A good wood floor can last a lifetime, literally, according to an International Association of Certified Home Inspectors report on life expectancy of common household components. Contrast this with carpet, which the report said should be replaced every 8 – 10 years. Additionally, soiled or stained carpet will generally need to be replaced to make it look new again; whereas, wood floors can be refinished if you want to revitalize them, saving you the cost of replacement.
  • Easier to clean: Wood floors don’t harbor stains and odors the same way carpet will. This means you won’t have to spend time figuring out how to get stains out of carpet or spend time worrying about potential stains throughout your home. This can be especially nice if you have kids who are prone to spilling colorful juices. As long as you clean up liquids right away and make sure the floor is properly dried, you won’t have any long-term reminders of the time you forgot to double-check the lid on the sippy cup. For everyday or weekly cleaning, a vacuum and dust mop are easy ways to keep the floor looking nice. For deep cleaning, any commercial hardwood floor cleaner will do the job.
  • Non-allergenic: On a similar note to cleaning, hardwood floors don’t collect dust, pet hair and other allergens like carpet does. For those family members who seem to never stop sneezing, hardwood floors are a better choice for those with allergies and sensitive respiratory issues.
  • It looks nice: There’s something to be said for the aesthetic value wood flooring adds. Wood floors add beauty to your home and tend to be easier to pair décor with. Plus, wood flooring comes in a variety of different types, stains and colors, which can always be refinished to suit your tastes with sanding or restaining.

Cons Of Wood Floors

  • Price: Wood floors are considered a home upgrade, and they don’t come cheap. While this can work in your favor if you need to sell your home, the upfront cost can be a barrier. The cost varies depending on the type of wood used.
  • Shows wear and tear: Be prepared that your brand new floor won’t look brand new for very long. Shoes, furniture, pet claws and the like will scratch, dent and ding up your floor over time, especially if it’s installed in a high-traffic area, like your kitchen. This means if you want to keep your floors looking nice, you’ll likely have to spring for a refinishing job from time to time. These can run anywhere from around $1,075 – $2,519; although, the average is $1,795, according to HomeAdvisor.
  • Susceptible to water damage: Wood flooring doesn’t do well with moisture. If you spill, have a pet that’s not house-trained or live in a flood-prone area, you’re going to have to take some extra care to make sure the floor that you put all that time and money into doesn’t end up needing expensive repairs. Even if it’s just a small puddle, you need to wipe it up and ensure the area is completely dried as quickly as possible: Water can seep in through the cracks between the boards, putting you at risk for mold growth and bending or curling boards.
  • Noisy: With carpeting, your floors have a buffer that absorbs a lot of the noises one makes while existing in a room: adults walking, children playing, pets running. Wood floors don’t give you this same buffer, meaning you’ll hear it every time the person in the room above you gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If you live on an upper floor of a condo or apartment, your downstairs neighbors will be able to hear your every step, so you might get some complaints. If you’re really set on wood flooring and want to mitigate the noise in your house, try putting down a few area rugs to muffle your loud steps.

How Much Does Hardwood Flooring Cost?

The average cost of hardwood floors is around $4,500 to install. More exotic woods can be significantly more expensive, costing you upwards of $10,000, depending on the type of wood you use and the square footage you’re installing. However, keep in mind the future cost to refinish your hardwood floors.

For homeowners looking for cheaper flooring ideas, there are other engineered wood flooring options, like laminate, that can give you the same solid hardwood look for less. 

The Bottom Line On The Pros And Cons Of Hardwood Flooring

Whether you decide to take the plunge and install hardwood flooring or not is going to be up to your taste and your home improvement budget. If you’re able to afford it and want a floor that is easy to clean and adds value to your home, it might be worth considering.

However, if you don’t want to deal with the upkeep that can sometimes come with having wood flooring, you might find that the high cost isn’t worth it or isn’t feasible.

If you really want wood flooring but are stuck on some of the cons, consider whether there are any workarounds that could make it worth it. If you’re worried about noise, you could have them installed only in your ground-level rooms and put down area rugs. If you don’t have the cash to tear up all your carpet and put down wood throughout your house, you could consider doing only one or two rooms, or looking into financing options.

A cash-out refinance is one of the most popular ways to fund home upgrades like hardwood floors. Cash-out refinances let you take the equity you’ve built up in your home and reinvest it in the home itself to increase its value to you and others. With hardwood floors being one of the most sure-fire ways to add resale value to your home, why not start the process to get a cash-out-refinance today so that you can get the flooring of your dreams?

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Miranda Crace

Miranda Crace is a Senior Section Editor for the Rocket Companies, bringing a wealth of knowledge about mortgages, personal finance, real estate, and personal loans for over 10 years.