Hiranmayi Srinivasan for Real Simple on how how-quality carpeting can add value to your home.
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Well-maintained, high-quality carpet can add value to your home. Here’s how to get your carpeting to stand out, according to experts.
When you’re looking to sell your home, certain home improvements can potentially increase its resale value—a fresh coat of paint, kitchen and bathroom updates, and the floors, too.
While home decor trends are leaning more heavily toward hardwood floors over carpeting at the moment, the right kind of carpet and where you put it can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
“I remember when I was selling real estate in the ’80s and carpeting was the rage,” says Denise Supplee, a realtor in Pennsylvania and co-founder of real estate investing platform SparkRental. “However, it seems that many of my clients prefer tile, hardwood, and laminate flooring over carpeting,” says Supplee.
That’s not to say carpet is out altogether. “[Carpets] add a whole new experience to any home due to their comfort purpose,” says Ben Wagner, real estate investor and house flipper at Leave The Key Homebuyers in New York. “People often pair their carpets with the overall theme of a room to further increase home aesthetic, and in turn, the value of their living space,” explains Wagner. “Carpets are also popular for acting as insulators in tough and cold conditions where walking on bare floors is difficult,” he adds.
Trends aside, it’s still worth giving your existing carpet some TLC—or consider adding carpet to parts of your home to boost insulation, comfort, and value if you’re looking to sell. Here are ways carpet can make your home stand out, according to experts.
New, high-quality carpeting will make your home stand out to potential buyers.
If your carpet is very worn or stained, consider replacing it. “When looking at carpets, think of how buyers would feel, and try to see the floors with fresh eyes,” suggests Gian Moore, interior designer and partner at home and DIY brand Mellowpine.
Moore suggests asking yourself these questions to see if your carpets are in good shape: Would you be grossed out if you saw this for the first time? Would you walk barefoot through the house? Would you let a baby play on the floor?
If your carpet didn’t pass that test, it’s probably time to replace it. “Installing new carpet is one the improvements with the highest ROI,” says Bill Samuel, residential real estate developer and real estate agent in Chicago. “Having brand new, fresh carpet increases the value of the home because it is the main focal point of the room (along with the paint) that buyers see when they tour a property,” explains Samuel.
But what kind of carpet should you go for? “I recommend nylon for your carpet,” says real estate investor Marina Vaamonde. “It’s the greatest value for your money because it is the most durable material for your carpet,” she adds. Nylon carpet costs $2.56 per square foot, according to data by Fixr.
Wool is another highly recommended option for its durability, lush feel, and overall quality—and it’s not as hard to maintain as people think. Though it is more expensive (at $20 per square foot, according to Fixr), it adds value to your home.
“Adding a wool carpet can increase the value of your home by at least 10 percent,” says Wagner. Be sure to add padding under the carpeting as well; it improves the feel of the carpet and prolongs its life.
Limit carpeting to certain parts of the home, such as bedrooms and the basement.
Next to quality of the carpet, where you put it is key to make your home appeal to buyers. “Many people like the warmth of carpet under their feet in the morning, so bedrooms can be a good choice,” says licensed real estate broker Jonathan de Araujo.
Other areas to consider are finished attics and basements, says de Araujo. Limiting carpet to certain parts of the home where it makes sense for additional comfort and warmth—as opposed to having carpets in every room—will add value to your home.
“Many newer homes will come with a builder-grade carpet wall-to-wall in all rooms except kitchens and baths,” explains de Araujo. “This is an absolute no-no,” he adds.
Plus, only adding carpet in certain areas of the home can save you money. The average cost of installing carpet in a bedroom cost between $1,500 and $2,600 according to Fixr, while larger areas such as a living room can cost between $2,100 and $3,600.
“Design trends are shifting towards hardwoods and tiles for main living areas, so I would avoid carpeting your main area,” says Melissa Perrille, real estate broker and CEO of Premier Realty Group in Rhode Island.
Stick to neutral colors and avoid carpet in areas that will be hard to clean.
Certain paint colors can increase home value, and carpet color is no exception. Stick to neutral, light hues for your carpet to open up your living space and make it more appealing to a wide range of tastes.
Also, keep the color consistent. “All bedrooms should have the same type of carpet, maybe even other parts of the house,” says Erik Wright, owner of New Horizon Home Buyers in Tennessee.
Whatever you do, avoid carpet in the bathroom and kitchen. These areas are not ideal for carpet because of the potential for bacteria and mold to grow—and seeing carpet there can easily turn off prospective buyers.