Choosing the flooring material for your home is often a less complicated affair than choosing the flooring for a rental property. In your home, your focus is on the needs and desires of your family. For a rental, you must cater to the sometimes-divergent needs of a greater number of people. You must ask yourself if all those people, with their diverse abilities and attitudes, will be able to take care of the flooring.
In order to strike a balance between the contradictory needs of a rental property, when choosing its flooring, you have to consider the following:
- Cost: Not just the direct cost of the material, but its cost in relation to other factors; maintenance and the material’s ability to make the rental more attractive.
- The types of tenant: If you are an upscale rental, some flooring will repel tenants. But if you rent to college students, carpets squares may be a viable alternative.
- Maintenance: How much care does the material need? Will tenants be able to provide that care?
- Aesthetics: Does the flooring make the home attractive to higher-quality tenants? Does it let you charge higher rents?
- Safety and health: Does the flooring cause trips and falls? Does it get slippery when wet? Does it trap bacteria, allergens, and odors?
- Room function: What uses will a room be put to and does the material accommodate the risks associated with that use?
- Durability: Do you need to spend a lot of money to refurbish the flooring and keep it looking good?
Types of flooring for rental propertiesThese are the different flooring options for a rental, along with their pros and cons, and the best areas of the rental to use them.
Carpet is cheap and can be used to hide virtually anything. The best qualities of carpet are its ability to reduce noise and range of colors. It is also great for warming the home and cutting down on the energy bill. But carpet traps dirt, bacteria, odors, and dander.
It stains easily, is hard to clean, and cannot be patched. If sufficiently damaged, the entire carpet must be changed. It is best for bedrooms and second floors.
The natural beauty of hardwood flooring makes it the perfect choice for high-end rentals. Although costly, it is the classiest flooring available and can boost a home’s value and justify higher rents. It is very durable and can last a lifetime, although it does need to be polished and sanded once in a while.
It is also susceptible to scratches and dents from high-heeled shoes and pet claws/nails. Hardwood is unsuitable for rooms where noise is an issue as it does not absorb sound. And depending on the type of wood, it can have issues with moisture. Hardwood is best for living rooms, dining rooms. and bedrooms.
Tile – Porcelain, Ceramic, or Stone
Tile is versatile; it comes in various styles, colors, shapes, and price ranges. It is waterproof and impervious to scratches, which makes it ideal for high-traffic areas. It can be designed to look like other materials, such as wood.
It is easy to clean and highly durable. However, tile has zero sound-absorption abilities. It is cold to the feet, slippery when wet, and liable to crack under the impact of heavy objects. It is hard to install and needs to be re-grouted occasionally. Tiles are best used in the bathroom, kitchen, and common areas.
VinylVinyl is one of the most affordable flooring materials and is widely used in rentals. It can be installed as a floating floor or glued onto an existing floor. It is designed to avoid the shortcomings of other materials; it is softer underneath the feet, has excellent noise absorption, is waterproof, and easy to clean.
It can be styled to look like wood, stone, or tile. The problem is vinyl gouges and rips easily. It is hard to remove. And due to its being cheap, it doesn’t improve a home’s value at all. It will lose color if exposed to UV rays or comes in contact with rubber. It is best used in the bathroom and kitchen.
Laminate is a synthetic flooring material like vinyl. Its main attraction is its ability to deliver the look of wood or stone flooring. It is a great alternative for owners who want to avoid the cost of wood or stone, but still want the luxurious ambiance they create. It is affordable and resistant to dents and scratches. It is easy to install.
The cons of laminate flooring are: it can pop-up if not well-installed; it might make a hollow sound since it is a floating floor, and it cannot be refinished like hardwood floors. It can be used in any room where moisture exposure is not an issue.