The majority of Florida is considered to be subtropical, while its southern regions experience tropical climates. The state is surrounded by water on three sides and the interior parts of the state have a great deal of water. Florida weather is almost always hot and humid.
Even though visitors love the heat and the beaches, and us residents enjoy our tropical climate, there’s one major drawback – extreme weather. Florida has the highest amount of thunderstorm days per year at 80+. Additionally, tornadoes and hurricanes touchdown regularly.
Those weather systems and the frequency at which they exist in Florida, significantly impact construction, housing, and flooring. Therefore, building materials in Florida must be engineered to handle extreme weather systems.
Finding the best flooring for house flipping is even more crucial because you’re ready to sell as soon as the grout dries on the backsplash. House flipping is a game of both time and money.
You need to factor in both what will sell at the highest price (and fastest) as well as the cost. Both of these questions are critical, and the answer will vary base on the home’s location, the home’s structure and price tier/neighborhood.
At every step of the process, you must remember the kind of home buyer you are intending to sell this home to. In general, you need to match high-end flooring materials with a high-end real estate market, and the low-end should receive more affordable flooring. It is great if you can put in a design flourish a little above market to really sell the house fast and make a happy customer, but be smart with your money to maintain the best return on investment possible. You should always begin a new project with an after-repair value (ARV) calculation done. ARV is simply the price the home can sell at when all work is done. Subtract all costs (real estate, repair, monthly carrying costs) from the ARV and that is the ballpark estimate of what you are likely to walk away with when it is all said and done.
Flooring priorities and principles for flipping a home
- Consistency of flooring surface
- Hard surface over carpet
- If you must use carpet (for budget considerations), only use in bedrooms (and basement if there is one)
It’s best to be consistent with your main flooring surface for as much of the home as possible. This will make the space look larger and more unified
Hard surface is always preferred over carpet. While hard surfaces (e.g. hardwood) will cost more, it will improve the value of the home so you can sell it for a higher price. This will almost always lead to a stronger profit and ROI. And, it will help sell the home faster as almost all buyers prefer hard surfaces over soft surfaces, even in the bedrooms.
While hardwood is preferred in the bedrooms, carpet is the next best option (and would be preferred over laminate which looks and sounds cheaper…but is often more expensive than carpet).
Ways to save money on hardwood floors if you’re flipping a home
- If you’re adding solid hardwood, consider buying No 1 Common rather than Select grade. If usually costs a bit less. (If you are adding hardwood to an additional area (e.g. kitchen, entryway), be sure to match the species and grade that’s already there.
Alternative flooring when flipping a home
There will be times where hardwood or tile just won’t work with the budget…or the neighborhood. You never want to over-improve a home beyond what the market will bear.
Unlike laminate flooring, these floors are waterproof. So they work great in areas where water or moisture might be a concern (e.g. kitchens, basements). And, because the pieces are clickable, they can easily go on top of concrete sub-floors (as well as tile, plywood or other hard surfaces).
The moment a prospective home buyer enters a home for the first time, they are probably headed straight to the kitchen. This is usually the most important room in the home for most of the foot traffic you bring in. The second most important is the bathroom. Reserve a significant portion of your home flooring renovation budget for these rooms.
Best flooring for kitchens, when flipping a home
Generally, it’s best to continue the same type of flooring that you are using in the rest of the main living area. This will visually enlarge the space, allows for open floor plans and will usually save money at the same time. In cooler climates, this would usually be hardwood; in warmer climates, it would be tile.
Best flooring for bathrooms, when flipping a home
Tiled bathrooms are universally preferred across the country. Quite simply they work best with water and look the most upscale, and they are just expected for bathrooms. They are sanitary, hold up best to any sort of moisture and just last longer.
The most popular Florida flooring:
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Why are tile and porcelain so popular in Florida?
Tile flooring repels water exceptionally well. When water or condensation hits ceramic or porcelain tile, instead of soaking into it, the water just beads up. This means that these floors will absorb next to no moisture, even on days with the highest humidity, or where water is frequently found. Tile is very water-resistant, which is why it is historically used in kitchens, restrooms, laundry rooms, and other humid or messy spaces. In Florida, tile can be found throughout the entire home.
The best wood flooring in Florida:
Engineered hardwood floors are manufactured boards made up of several different recycled layers of wood. The top layer is made of a more durable type of wood, –oak, maple, hickory– that will hold up to wear and tear and can even be sanded. This gives Floridians a chance to have elegant, refined, and classy flooring, while also adding a great deal of value to a home that must endure Florida’s extreme climate.
What makes engineered hardwoods a good choice for Florida residences is that they’re specifically designed to resist moisture and extreme temperatures, the two biggest problems you’ll face when choosing to floor. They won’t expand and contract like a solid hardwood, which means they won’t buckle or crack during a typical Florida summer. They’re relatively easy to install, and they come in a large variety of styles. That is why an engineered wood floor is so highly recommended for a Florida environment.
Engineered wood is going to become even more trendy in the next few years. Homeowners are starting to value authentic looks and quality materials, and engineered wood offers both. As manufacturers find ways to develop more waterproof engineered hardwood, you can expect to see this trend grow.
Laminate flooring in Florida homes
Laminates used to look as if they were made of plastic because the materials were cheap and the process was unrefined. However, today laminate is a great flooring option, as it remains inexpensive, durable and much more advanced than when it was first introduced into the market.
As Laminate was created to look like real wood, it was therefore also made to go where real wood would go. You can expect to find laminate flooring in:
- Living rooms
- Finished basements
Because it’s durable, easy to install, easy to clean, and often moisture resistant, this flooring is a go-to for Florida home flooring.
How long can I expect these flooring types to last in Florida?
New flooring is an investment that will steer your interior design choices and cleaning habits for years to come. But how many years exactly? It all depends on the type of flooring you have installed. Keep in mind that all estimates are based on proper care and maintenance of your flooring.
- Engineered Wood – 20 to 100 Years
- Porcelain or Ceramic Tile – 20 to 50 Years
- Laminate Flooring – 15 to 25 Years