On the day you walked into your new home, they sparkled before your eyes. Now, the scarred hardwood or dingy carpet floors are the eyesore standing between you and some attractive passive income. You’d better get to work!
But where to start? Sure, you’ve run a vacuum before, but this calls for another level of clean. Here are some tips for how to breathe life back into several different common types of flooring so that you can get the good response you deserve from prospective renters or buyers.
The Importance of Good Flooring
Did you know that the worst thing you can do for the value of your home is to install multiple types of flooring? It’s hard to say exactly why, but buyers have been shown to avoid homes with esoteric flooring above nearly any other feature. Two different types of hardwood side-by-side is a good example.
Hardwood, when it’s done right, is the most valuable type of flooring to have. However, regardless of what you’ve got laid down, it’s always more valuable when you take good care of it. So how can you bring out the best in your flooring to ensure it presents well?
Deep-Clean Your Carpet Floors
Carpet’s tendency to soak up stains, dirt and hair can make it a maintenance nightmare. If you own a home with carpet, it’s important that you stay on top of its maintenance needs and clean it regularly. More modern carpet with stain-resistant qualities will help with this, but only so much.
There are multiple methods of deep-cleaning the carpet in your place. Everything from shampooing and steam-cleaning the carpet to spot-treating spills and stains can be carried out yourself or by a professional. However, certain carpet maladies can only be treated by replacing the carpet itself, such as rot or stinky carpet padding. Sorry, but you’re going to have to throw down.
Refinish Your Hardwood Floors
One of hardwood’s greatest advantages over flooring like linoleum or tile is that it can be refinished. Similarly to carpet, dirt and grime will occasionally stick to your hardwood floors. You might even experience scarring or scratching from things like particularly pointy heels or a dog’s claws. For the most part, though, hardwood walks the line of being tough enough to clean or repair, but soft enough to allow for refinishing.
In some cases, if you’ve been careful around your floors and have cleaned them regularly, you just won’t need to refinish the floor. But generally, it’s good to refinish any flooring every seven to ten years as a rule. The costs may seem high, but you’ll probably recoup most or all of your investment in the resale.
The refinishing process itself is best left to a professional unless you’ve had training with flooring. In refinishing, the sealed top layer of the wood is sanded down and then a new coat of finish is applied and polished. Typically, any areas of damaged wood are “patched” or replaced during the refinishing process.
The result is a floor that looks brand-new. And it essentially is. Depending on the treatment used to seal the floor, you might even be able to achieve a different aesthetic after refinishing. For example, you could use a lighter finish to complement your new white granite countertops.
While it’s a big project, refinishing floors can take decades off of a home’s visual age. So you might want to consider doing it sooner than when you choose to sell the home. After all, that way, you can enjoy all the luxury of those sweet-looking new floors. Just make sure you treat them well, as you don’t want to have to expedite the next touch-up job.
Ready to Refresh Your Flooring?
With the tips here, you should be well on your way to refreshing your flooring in time for whichever type of deadline you’ve got coming up. Your feet, and your next renters or occupants, will thank you.
Holly Welles is a freelance writer specializing in real estate. She’s the editor behind The Estate Update, where she shares weekly updates on making the most of any home.