It is human nature to wrestle with whether to buy what we really want as opposed to something less expensive. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we willing to live without what we really have our hearts set on?
If we aren’t honest with ourselves about the answer to that question and settle on flooring that’s not our first choice, we usually end up costing ourselves more in the long run.
The Pleasure Factor
Finished hardwood flooring is about more than simple functionality. Money isn’t being spent just to have a floor to walk on—it’s also being spent to bring pleasure. Loving the hardwood floors we see everyday adds to the quality of our lives, and that is valuable!
On the other hand, if our decision to purchase less expensive floors leave us unenthused, how well was our money spent?
Many times, we homeowners install flooring we're not happy with, so it’s just a matter of time before we're ready to replace the flooring with what we really want, even though the flooring we bought first still has a long life left.
Now we're paying for two floors instead of one!
Obviously, if we have your eye on flooring that we won’t be able to afford any time in the foreseeable future, we shouldn’t consider that option in our decision making. But if the finished wood floors we want are within reason, it’s almost always best to figure out a way to buy them now, rather than installing another floor first.
If you’re worried that buying the finished wood floors you want rather than a less-expensive alternative isn’t frugal, we suggest that you figure out the lifetime total cost of ownership for both choices. If the alternative is carpeting, vinyl, or some other type of relatively short-lived flooring, you’ll see that hardwood floors aren’t nearly as expensive as you might think. Their longevity considerably reduces their lifetime cost compared to other options.
If your choice is between different types of wood floors, remember that higher-quality hardwood floors can result in greater home value and marketability. If you go with the hardwood floors you really want, not only will you get the pleasure value, you can consider the extra cost an investment.
Trying to save money on flooring now can backfire financially (and emotionally) if you’re not prepared to be content with the less-expensive flooring you choose.