One of the foundational things to consider when undergoing a home renovation is flooring. Choosing the right flooring solution is a long-term investment for your home, as well as your property value. However, this decision doesn’t have to be too complicated.
Scott McGillivray, home renovations expert and host of the TV shows “Income Property” and “Scott’s House Call,” says that the most stylish flooring isn’t always the best investment option.
An important decision
“Flooring has a huge impact on your home, both stylistically and in terms of resale value, so think long and hard about what’s best,” McGillivray says. “The first piece of advice is to get the flooring that best suits your lifestyle, followed quickly by getting the best flooring your budget will allow.”
The most popular flooring option is hardwood floors, but they don’t suit everyone’s budget. “‘Hardwood flooring throughout’ is the most common term in North American real estate listings, so that’s usually a safe bet, but it doesn’t come cheap,” McGillivray says. “Also, if you live in an area with high humidity or have concerns about scratches and stains from kids and pets, it might not be the flooring for you.”
With that said, if it suits your budget and property, hardwood floors remain the best investment. “There are a lot of benefits that justify the high price of hardwood, the main one being longevity,” McGillivray says. “It has a timeless quality that will last forever, and it can be sanded and refinished multiple times. This means the flooring can last as long as you own your home and then some. It’s also popular because it’s stronger and more durable than other types, and it tends to be better for indoor air quality.”
There are other appealing options for home renovators as well. McGillivray recommends luxury vinyl plank as an excellent alternative.
“If you had asked me 10 years ago, I might have had a different answer, but vinyl has come a very long way, and I’ve been using it a lot, especially in vacation properties,” he says. “It looks great, and it’s very durable. It’s especially great for areas that are prone to flooding and water damage. It can go below grade and in bathrooms — places where you probably wouldn’t want to risk hardwood.”
Luxury vinyl plank is also a great option for people working on their own home renovations, as it is very DIY-friendly. “If you’re up for tackling the installation yourself, you can save a lot of money,” McGillivray says.
For homes catering to children and pets, McGillivray said to consider the durability of your floors. “If hardwood is what you want, consider an engineered hardwood,” McGillivray said. “It has a layer of real, solid hardwood on the top, with several layers of interlaced plywood or fibreboard on the bottom, the same materials that make up laminate floors. What this means is that you get the look and finish of true hardwood, with the durability of a laminate. Then cover them with area rugs for extra protection from kid and pet damage.” Luxury vinyl plank is also a good alternative for homes with kids. “Vinyl will stand up very well to scratches and stains and is easy to clean,” McGillivray says.
Home renovators might still be skeptical that vinyl flooring would be a good investment, but McGillivray says that vinyl has come a long way. “Vinyl floors used to be really thin, but rigid core vinyl is thicker and therefore more sturdy and comfortable underfoot,” he says. “They also tend to be quieter. They’re waterproof and easy to maintain, which makes them great for all kinds of homes and homeowners.”