Notice, I said great and not expensive. The right choice of flooring will make your home more comfortable and functional to your lifestyle.
Hardwood and laminate hardwood is best way to get more out of your investment at resale time. It requires little maintenance other than an occasional sweeping. The life expectance of hardwood is easily 20 years. Then you just refinish it (comparatively cheap) and your floor looks fantastic for another 15 or so years. The misconception about flooring is the initial expense. Yes the majority of the cost is the initial investment is sometimes scary. The overall value is a no brainer. Homebuyers today love hardwood, there are no two ways about it. Being a recent homebuyer myself the addition of hardwood was a big selling point for me. Our home purchase had quite a bit of carpet, with the plans to replace most hardwood. We were able to use that as a bargaining point, and it worked quite well. Once I installed the hardwood the difference was amazing. Selfishly, the “ooh's and aah's" of visitors to our home was in itself worth the investment. Then when they found out that I did it myself, the complements go to the next level.
While carpeting is nice to the touch and ads a warmth and comfort that hardwood cannot, it requires much more maintenance and care to keep it looking its best. The problem is at resale time the investment of carpet (even the good stuff) usually causes a negative impact to prospective homebuyers. Consider carefully the use and placement of carpet in your home. I say this purely for the resale value and quality of use.
While it is easiest to do this step while the home is empty. I suggest that you live in your new home, and look at how you live your home before you take this step. If you use a room as a playroom, for example, it might be better with carpet. A dining room that sees little use and has a better chance for messy messes, hardwood is a better choice. So I say all this to say look at how you use the rooms to better make your choice of flooring. Although hardwood throughout your home is the best for the investment of your home, there are rooms that you will find more comfortable with carpeting. A misconception with hardwood is that it is cold and hard. I installed hardwood (instead of carpet) in our master suite and absolutely love it. Wood is an organic material that takes on the temperature characteristics of the surrounding environment. When I climb out of bed in the morning I have never had an adverse opinion. We chose carpet for the kid's rooms, because while they are young they play with their toys on the floor on their knees. I thought that it would be more comfortable for them to play.
http://www.greathomeimprovements.com and a consultant for Department of Energy's Building America Division for the last 6 years. He is responsible for all the content and marketing for http://www.greathomeimprovements.com - Great Home Improvements Start Here!