Welcome Surprises in Flooring Updates for Your New Home

You never know what may wait underneath your carpets. Check to find out if you have a hidden hardwood treasure.
So, you just bought a home. It has carpeting throughout it, and you really do not care for it. One of the first things on your renovation agenda is to rip up the flooring and install something new.

But before you begin to shop for replacement materials, pull up a corner and check the surface underneath the carpet. If you find underlying hardwood flooring, it may change your plans. Instead of laying new flooring, you might opt to bring that dusty, scratched hardwood back to its former glory.

You probably bought your home thinking you won’t be moving again anytime soon, but life often holds surprises. An illness, transfer, divorce or job loss could change your plans. So, if you find hardwood under your carpets, work to save it. Hardwood is extremely popular with homebuyers, and it tends to raise the asking price for and value of your home. If you still want to include some carpeting after wood renovations, you can add area rugs for a cozy, lived-in feeling.

Are you uncertain that you have the time and budget to rip up the carpets immediately? If so, consider keeping the current carpets, provided that you can clean them well enough to restore most of their original softness and beauty. There may be more life left in those rugs than you would expect. Consider giving them a second chance and a thorough, professional cleaning. They may offer you several more years to save for a major flooring upgrade.

You may have carpeting all through your house, but chances are that the flooring is different in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry areas. Here, you could consider a “mini” flooring renovation and opt to use natural stones and/or tiles. Tile and stone are smart choices for areas in the house that see high traffic and deal with spills and stains on a regular basis. Stone and tile, provided they are properly sealed, remain durable, beautiful and elegant for years to come. Additionally, the rainbow of colors available makes it a joy to brighten your new home to your tastes.

Flooring is a very personal choice. It may be tempting to choose an “unusual” surface to express a distinct style, but always keep your resale value in mind. An off-the-wall montage of tiles in the living room and an electric-neon-tiled kitchen certainly make a statement, but they also reduce the number of people who will be interested in buying your home later. While resale value should not completely constrict your flooring or tiling choices, it is best to find compromises with an eye to the future.