Five years ago, homeowners would thumb their noses at the mere mention of vinyl flooring. Often associated with cheap rental units or our grandparents’ outdated kitchens, vinyl was deemed tacky. The only tasteful option was hardwood, and it came with a hefty price tag.
These days, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is often considered a preferable alternative to hardwood. It’s waterproof, scratch resistant, easy to clean and more affordable than hardwood. But is “the real thing” actually falling out of favor with homeowners?
According to the results of a new survey from Erie Insurance, 9.2 percent of homeowners regret choosing hardwood flooring for their current homes. In fact, it ranked first in the list of home features homeowners wouldn’t choose again if they were buying a home today.
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Granite countertops — once considered a must-have by every couple ever featured on House Hunters — came in second with 7.8 percent of respondents expressing regret. Natural stone requires regular maintenance, which could explain why engineered quartz is now rising in popularity. Stainless steel appliances ranked third at 7.6 percent (too many fingerprints, perhaps?), followed by fireplaces (7.4 percent) and decks (7.2 per cent).
The most common explanations for these reno regrets were: the features weren’t worth the money, they’re outdated, too hard to keep clean, or the homeowners have grown tired of them. When asked which home features they wish they’d splurged on instead, homeowners pointed to walk-in pantries (30.2 percent), granite countertops (17.8 percent), kitchen islands (16.8 percent), tankless water heaters (16.4 percent) and finished basements (16.2 percent).
Photo: James Bombales, design by Lisa Canning
Is ignorance bliss when it comes to granite countertops? Well, that’s up to the individual homeowner to decide. One thing that is reassuring, however, is the majority of homeowners (53 percent) say they are quite pleased with the features they chose.