As we often say, buyers today love hardwood floors. Fifty years ago, builders almost always finished homes using hardwood. By the mid-1960s, the owners of those homes were quickly covering the lovely wood with carpeting. In the next decades, the styles of carpeting changed from wool to acrylic and from textured loops to the legendary shag pile and back again. Today, according to Sydney property stylists we have come full circle. Among buyers, hardwood floors or at least hard surfaced floors, seem to be on most buyers’ wish lists.

If you are fortunate enough to have good hardwood floors you are in an excellent position when it comes to listing your house for sale. You may merely have to make sure they shine as they should. If they are scratched and damaged, a refinishing may be in order. If, on the other hand, your floors are covered in carpeting it’s time to take a peek underneath.

If your home is an older one constructed before 1960, chances are that there is a hardwood floor under that carpet just waiting to be cleaned up and brought back to life. Builders who constructed homes in the past 30 years or so most likely put particle board or plywood down, so if your home was constructed in the past 30 years, you could very well be in possession of a good foundation for the installation of new hardwood floors.

You might flinch at this – hardwood can be very pricey. If new hardwood is not in your budget, take a long look at laminate floors.

The concept of laminating layers of wood fibre topped by an image of wood – yes, reader friends, laminate floors are actually printed –was born in Sweden in the late 1970s. There is much more to the process, of course, including sealing both the top and bottom with layers of special material to keep moisture out and the image of wood safe from wear and tear.
Today, the ‘images’ have changed. You may choose laminate flooring that looks like oak, pine, cherry, cork, or paving stones. The floor’s look is practically limitless and the materials are manufactured around the world by many flooring companies. This has driven the price down and the quality up. Today, you find laminate floors in school and hospitals, where their rugged construction stands up to the wear and tear of constant use. The fact that laminates are also resistant to bacterial invasion gives the flooring a special ‘in’ with health care facilities and homeowners. Should you opt for laminate, you’ll find the material to be affordable in any style you like.
The Upside

• Not only are laminates inexpensive, compared to hardwood, they also come in an amazing array of patterns that mimic natural woods and natural stone.

• Laminates are easy to keep in top shape, requiring only regular sweeping/vacuuming and mopping.

• Laminates resist UV light, making them virtually fade resistant. They are an excellent choice for entryways and sunrooms.

• Laminates can be treated with an anti-allergen and a special anti-bacterial coating for extra duty in homes where asthma or allergies are an issue.

• Unlike timber flooring, which must acclimatise in place for weeks before it can be installed, if you choose laminate flooring, you can install it right away.

The Downside

As tempting as the good features of laminates are, there are some downsides to installing this flooring.

• Even if you install the more expensive embossed laminate that gives you the look of real wood grain, if you touch it with discerning fingers or feet, you will know it’s man-made.

• The sound of walking on laminate is significantly different from the sound of walking on timber. There is something of a hollow ring to it that gives it away.

• Even though it’s generally installed over an underlay that cushions it, laminate flooring can feel hard and unyielding.

• When this flooring finally wears down you must replace it. You cannot simply bring in a sander and refinish it as you can with timber, which can be refinished an average of five times.
No matter what kind of flooring you choose to replace that dated carpeting, you should discuss the project first with your Sydney property stylists. The choice you make may depend on the price your home will ultimately bring, and there are no better experts on that subject than your selling agent and your Sydney property stylists. These professionals are immersed in the real estate world every day, all day. Capitalise on their reservoir of information to make the most of your real estate transaction.

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