Flooring and Resale

Updated on October 23, 2011
A.S. asks from Lone Tree, IA
13 answers

My husband and I are replacing our carpeted areas with some type of hard flooring but we can't decide what. We live in a split level house. The carpet being replaced is in the upstairs living room and in the girls' rooms. We plan on selling this house in a few years. I suggested cork flooring because it is eco friendly and cork absorbs sound and shock and is hypoallergenic (so the pitter patter of children and dogs isn't so loud when someone is downstairs and when my daredevil youngest leaps from some height she can fall on something kinda squishy). My husband thinks that cork isn't good for resale because the look of it is not for everyone. So would you be bothered by cork flooring in a home you were thinking of purchasing? I mean bothered enough to not buy the house...

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So What Happened?

Well, damn. It looks like husband wins this one. Now we will have to try to agree on a wood. Thanks!

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answers from Albuquerque on

I really don't like the look of cork, and so many of the cork floors out there scratch really easily. So yeah - I'd probably skip a house with cork floors. Besides, cork is fairly expensive and a lot of people won't realize you spent good money on it. I agree with everyone else - get a great underlayment (they come in all sorts) and go with bamboo or even a traditional hardwood. Hardwood is probably best for resale value.

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answers from St. Louis on

The problem with cork is it is ugly, no way to sugar coat that. Someone looking at a home is not going to be in there long enough to understand the benefits and consider the ugly may be worth it.

In short I agree with your husband.

I forgot what the underlyment is called that went under our laminate but there is little difference between someone jumping and someone walking upstairs. If you want eco friendly try bamboo.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I believe bamboo may be a better choice as far as going green is concerned. It looks better than the cork but you will want to do your homework as far as the durability of each of these products.

In a living room I would expect the look of "hard wood" and not the playfulness of cork but that is just me.

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answers from New York on

If you are planning on selling in the near future, then don't go with the cork floors. Many people do not like them and don't see the eco-friendly aspect out-weighing the look and feel of hardwood floors.

For what it's worth, replacing flooring is expensive. My parents own a floor-covering company and they sell very little cork flooring. They don't keep it in stock and it's considered "special order". Wood floors? Installing them several times per week.

Don't put something down that someone else is going to rip up. If the average buyer walks into your house and sees cork floors, what they are actually going to see is about $5000 + in replaced flooring.

As for your daredevil... not a reason to put in cork floors. They're not really "squishy".

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answers from Los Angeles on

Since you're not staying there, I would not go w/cork.
I would go for the popular, most sought after "look".
If it's still hardwood, then you go for that.
Even the wood laminate.
Check out what's "in" and go with that.
You want the "wow" factor, what's "in" so it doesn't look dated
and most importantly.....what will sell!
Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Bamboo flooring is the best. Some of the companies say that it has a 20 year to lifetime warranty. There is some pretty good looking bamboo floors out there too. I love bamboo and when we buy a house that's what I would put in it. It's the most durable.

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answers from Dallas on

I think Cork is a great idea but you might also check info Bamboo, also very eco friendly and an awesome product.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I think whether it's "ugly" or not is debatable, as I have seen some nice cork floors!
Have you seen the warranties on some cork flooring?
Would it make me not want to buy the house? Not necessarily!

Basically, it's the overall "look" of wood which will allow you to accessorize with area rugs, etc. over time and it will be adaptable.

I'm a big fan of finished hardwood and area rugs.

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answers from Lakeland on

I would have to say go for the wood floor. If you are planning to sell your house it must appeal to a large range of people. This is why staging it and having it look neutral is so important. (There is so much to choose from now) I think most people like hard wood floors with allergies etc. and they can put in carpet if they want. I have seen the cork floors and they are nice, but they are more of a personal choice that could send potencial buyers away.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

We just replaced carpet in our house with all three: red oak hardwood floors in the living & dinning room, bamboo in our family room and cork flooring in our master bathroom. And we put wool carpeting in our basement (love, love, love it!).

A few comments:
Yes, it is true you will see more dirt than if you had carpeting but wouldn't you rather see the dirt and be able to clean it than breath all of that dirt that lives (along with dust mites) in your carpet?

I love the bamboo! Looks great, easy to dust (sweep) and eco-friendly, if you get the right brand. NOT all bamboo is certified green.

I like the oak hardwoods. It matches the more traditional look and feel of the spaces but I do prefer the feel of the bamboo.

Indeed cork is not for everyone. Probably best not to do it unless you were into the house for the long run so that you get to enjoy your choice.

Feel free to email me if you have more questions. There are lots of choices out there and it took us almost 6 months to make ours!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

If you do a kitchen, though, I would do cork. My hubby and I would never buy a house with wood floors in the kitchen/eating area. Cork is so great for cooking! Soft, resilient, won't scratch/chip if you drop something. LOVE LOVE!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I see you have already come to a conclusion; but wanted to say; I would never buy a floor with cork flooring. That is just one of those; "personal like" things. I do think you will loose the intrest of some buyers, because they will come into your house already looking at a "price tag". If you are TRULY thinking about moving, I do not know if I would invest any money on new floors. The Market is VERY bad; as I am sure you are aware. I know many of us owe more on our homes than they are worth. I think you really should look into the price of wood floors and REALLY question if you are going to get that money back in return. The market is getting better, but I do not see us being out of the slum in the next two years even, I know people who are not even making returns on things as simple as $2,000 up-grades. I truly think you should speak to a realator and get a market assessment for your home, even if you are not thinking about selling in the next 22 months. I have a feeling you will be shocked! I just know no one is getting points of return these days and have not been for the past 5 years. So I guess my decision would be; if you can live with your current floors then I would; if you really do want to sell or I would just go with the floors I want and stay in my house! The best knowledge I got was from a realator friend. "Eveyone is attached to their house and think their house is the exception to all other houses, but what makes your house special are memories you creat there and buyers do not share or care about your memories". Just know you are going against the $99,000- 4 bedroom foreclosure down the street; who may or may not need new floors.

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answers from Iowa City on

I would not want cork flooring. I would also have to know, can you see the floor at eye level when you walk in? I have a split level where you walk in with the floor at eye level. I wouldn't even want wood there, because you can see every little piece of dust/dirt.

1 mom found this helpful
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