Hardwood floors continue to be popular among homebuyers, leaving little space for boring, beige carpet. However, carpet continues to provide customers with a cozy feeling, accounting for 48 percent of the overall flooring market in the United States.
It is less costly to build than hardwood (about $1,300 to $1,800 for 300 square feet vs approximately $2,700 to $3,800 nationwide). It's much more convenient and comfortable in some spaces and climates, and it's less noisy.
But does new carpet increase the value of a home? This is determined by the style and condition of the carpeting you currently have, as well as the date you want to sell.
Agents don't always advertise "new carpet throughout" because it raises the question in the minds of buyers: Is this a cheap flip? Was the previous carpet destroyed?
Carpet that is clean and in good shape, on the other hand, adds marketability even though it is not brand new. According to the Carpet Institute of Australia, carpet has a 10 times greater insulating effect than hard floor coverings like concrete or plywood, resulting in lower heat and cooling costs.
Additionally, in colder climates, it keeps your feet warm and depending on the finish, it can be luxurious as well. For this purpose, designers often use wall-to-wall carpeting in smaller spaces such as bedrooms and lofts.
New carpet has little impact on resale value (compared to hardwood, for which 54 percent of buyers in one survey were willing to pay $2,080 more). However, stained or worn carpeting does not serve you well.
Appraisers are not qualified to determine the worth of your home based on your decorating style (or how neat your home is, for that matter). The Uniform Residential Appraisal Report, on the other hand, requires them to specify the materials and condition of the floors.
Similarly, carpeting that is clearly worn or has an odor, such as that caused by pets, mold, or smoking, can be a serious issue to the value of the home. How much, will be determined by market conditions and your price point.
Entry-level homes, which are at the lowest end of the price spectrum, won’t have the same qualities and finishes as higher priced luxury homes.
There are buyers who have the means to replace carpeting, even though it is brand new, if they do not like the color scheme or design.
If you plan to sell your home within the next five years, consult with your real estate agent about the current condition of your carpet, and then decide what to do next. Carpet, unless it is under warranty, should be replaced every 5 to 15 years, while other forms of flooring will last for decades.
Will you be comfortable letting a baby play on the floor or walking barefoot on the carpet? Hiring a professional carpet cleaner is recommended if your carpet is just dusty but salvageable, with no rips, snags, or set-in stains. A deep cleaning is sometimes all your carpet needs in order to look brand new again. Carpet cleaners bill by the space or square footage, so expect to pay between $25 and $75 per room, or between $200 and $330 for 1,000 to 1,500 square feet.
Carpet with 1970s-era bold colors (such as orange and green) or plenty of texture, such as sculpted carpet or shag, will stand out for all the wrong reasons. Buyers may be so put off by the style of the carpet that they may overlook the rest of the home.
Kitchens and dining rooms used to have wall-to-wall carpeting. Even if the carpet is fully waterproof, millennial buyers can find this trend strange and off-putting.
Similarly, while some homes have wall-to-wall carpeting in the bathroom, buyers may be concerned about mold growth. Additionally, hardwood is also prone to warping from moisture, which makes tile or vinyl flooring more appealing for the bathroom or kitchens.
Since you'll have to choose between fabrics and types when purchasing new carpet (more on that below), it's also a good idea to keep the following factors in mind:
Seams: Most carpeting comes in widths of 12 feet and 15 feet, so depending on the dimensions of your space, your carpet may have seams, even if it is wall-to-wall. The visibility is determined by the color and texture.
Color: Once installed, carpet will appear brighter. A lighter carpet often makes a space appear bigger, which is why neutrals are a good choice for sellers. The most popular colors for carpet are beiges and taupes, and off-whites for low-traffic areas including bedrooms.
Cushion: Padding under carpeting, such as bonded foam or flat rubber, can serve as a "shock and a spring" to assist with overall wear. Padding costs an average of $1.50 per square foot, so ask if shipping and padding are included when pricing your carpeting and installation.
Matching: You may not have room in your budget to replace all of the carpet in your home. Keep in mind, this can be noticeable if the two different shades are within the same areas. If there are located on completely different floors of the home, it will be less noticeable.
When purchasing carpeting, you can mix and match materials and carpet types depending on the durability, traffic level and style you might want in a specific room.
All carpeting, including those made from natural fibers like sisal and wool, is made in the same way. The fibers are bundled, twisted into a yarn, and then sewn into backing. Dense carpet is best for everyday, high traffic use. Whereas, high pile carpet tends to show foot traffic and furniture marks more obviously.
There are many carpet fabrics to choose from, including:
Polyester: approximately 25 cents to $4.50 per square foot; stain-resistant; suitable for low-traffic areas and bedrooms.
Wool: costs between $4.50 to $10 per square foot and is stain-resistant, easy to clean, and suitable for medium-traffic areas.
Nylon: $1 to $6.50 per square foot; sturdy but not stain-resistant; all-purpose carpeting.
Olefin (polypropylene): approximately $1.50 to $2.25 per square foot; stain- and moisture-resistant; suitable for low-traffic areas and basements.
The style of a carpet determines how the fibers are cut, also known as pile. You'll come across names like:
Cut pile saxony: quickly conceals imprints; suitable for medium-traffic areas.
Multilevel loop: conceals dirt; ideal for high-traffic areas, but can snag pet paws.
Level loop: conceals dirt; ideal for high-traffic areas, but can grab pet paws.
Cut pile (textured): soft and stain-resistant.
Cut and loop: often patterned; combines both loop and cut pile; conceals dirt; suitable for high-traffic areas.
Some carpet fabrics and designs are better suited to certain rooms than others. As an example:
A plush or textured carpet does well because it provides a soft and comfortable feel. A child's space should be made of soft nylon or stain-resistant polyester.
Both of these can handle a lot of traffic, unless you have a formal living room. Consider a textured looped carpet made of nylon or a wool berber. Both are more tolerant of stains and walking on a regular basis.
Choose a durable carpet, such as nylon, in a texture or level loop, and ensure that the pile path runs from the top of the stairs to the bottom, not sideways, during installation.
Polyester and olefin are best in moist basement environments because they dry quickly; choose a level-loop construction with a low pile. Carpet tiles or carpet squares are also a viable choice here because, in the event of flooding, you can quickly cover pieces rather than redoing the entire floor.
While “hardwood” is a popular wish list item for many buyers, installing hardwood floors isn't always cost-effective or realistic given the home-selling timeline. Although clean or new carpeting does not offer the same high return on investment as new carpeting, it does prevent you from turning off buyers and offers value that buyers will appreciate.