For many fix and flips, flooring is an important part of updating the overall look of the property. Are you looking at outdated wall-to-wall carpet, warped laminate, or worn out hardwoods? Flooring makes a big impression on potential buyers and influences the resale value of the property. So how do you know if you need to replace your floors? Here are some things to consider:

Factors to consider when evaluating the floors in your fix and flip:

Neighborhood property values and expectations

Your competition and neighborhood standards will be the biggest factors in determining what to do with your fix and flip’s floors. If you are rehabbing in a high-end market, your priorities will be much different than if you are rehabbing in a lower priced area. Check out listings in the area or recently closed properties to see what people in the neighborhood are willing to pay for or have come to expect. You don’t want to leave your potential buyers with the thought of having to replace the floors in their newly-renovated home. Consider design, functionality, and cost when comparing surrounding properties and their values.

Focus on high-traffic areas

Kitchens

Kitchens are a top priority. As you well know, kitchens sell houses, but flooring plays a big part in making a kitchen look updated. Kitchens are high-traffic areas not just for residents, but for foot traffic while the property is listed. They’re often the first room buyers walk to during a viewing. Kitchens should have water- and slip-resistant flooring, like tile with a higher coefficient of friction. Explore a range of tiles, some that even look like hardwood, to match the design and functionality of the room.

Bathroom

For the same reasons you need to keep your kitchen in high consideration when evaluating your floors for a remodel, bathrooms should be on the top of your priority list as well. Depending on the condition of your rehab property, the bathrooms might need a large portion of your budget. If the property wasn’t properly cared for by the previous owners, you could be inheriting water damage, mold, mildew, cracked or chipped tile and more. Safety is very important in bathrooms, especially when your potential buyer demographics include families with children or older adults.

Hallways

Depending on your property’s floor plan, hallways have the possibility for heavy wear and tear. What rooms are attached to the hallway? Traffic patterns to bedrooms, bathrooms, entryways and more will dictate the need for certain flooring. Evaluate the thresholds from room to room to see what changes could affect flooring transitions and what other rooms may need flooring updates to match.

The current state of your floors

What are you working with? Does your property have existing hardwoods, tile or carpet? Here are some ideas to help you plan your budget and labor.

Existing Hardwoods

If your rehab property has existing hardwoods, we advise you to keep them! There are a few instances where you may not be able to, for example, sagging floors, broken floorboards or overly scratched floors can’t be sanded and refinished. Other times, creaky boards, light scratches and dents or an unfavorable color don’t warrant replacement.

Existing Tile

Dated tile. Broken tile. Dirty tile. Mismatched tile. Missing tiles. We’ve seen it all. If the tile itself is undamaged and up-to-par with the design style of the home, it’s possible to get away with a good polish.

Existing Carpet

If there is wall-to-wall carpet, don’t make any decisions or spend a dollar on floors until you’ve lifted up the corner and taken a peek at what’s underneath. Depending on the age of your home, it may have fallen victim to the mass carpeting trend of the past, and a previous owner may have covered up the original hardwoods. This very 80s and 90s trend seems crazy now, but, in many cases, has preserved some great craftsmanship. Sanding and refinishing the floors in rooms that have this secret treasure will save costs and greatly increase your ROI for the project. If you don’t find a hidden gem under your carpet, evaluate whether the carpet itself is in good enough condition to deep clean and call it a day. Clean a section of each room in the house as a test to see if this is a viable option. However, remember that carpeting yields a lower resale cost than hardwoods overall.

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