8 Best Flooring Upgrades for Your Rental Property (Pros and Cons)
Are you looking to take your rental property to the next level by giving the floor a makeover? When it comes to boosting the visual appeal of your investment and increasing its value, the floors are a great place to start. Whether you have tons of cash to spend, or find yourself on a tight budget, there’s a flooring option for your rental that is sure to impress your tenants.
Today we’re going to take a look at the best flooring options for your rental, along with the pros and cons of each, so you can choose the option that’s best for you.
What to Look for Before Choosing a Floor
Before you jump in and choose a flooring type for your rental, it’s good to know what to look for while shopping around.
When trying to decide on the right flooring for your investment property, there are three factors to consider:
In addition, you’ll want to know which room you want to put the floor in. Different types of flooring are best suited for different rooms in a home. For example, placing carpet in the kitchen is never a good idea.
Lastly, don’t forget that the flooring you choose for your rental is for your tenants – not yourself. Despite your own personal style, it’s best to remain as neutral as possible when it comes to flooring. That’s because you’ll have tenants with all different senses of style. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to cater to a large tenant pool because you never know who is going to lease your property.
Top Flooring Options for Your Rental
Carpet is the most well-known flooring type for rental properties. In fact, it continues to dominate the industry market share, raking in 36.4% of all flooring revenue in 2019. It’s warm, cost-effective, and easy to maintain. Plus, people love carpet and often expect to find it in bedrooms. When it comes to choosing carpet for your rental, you’ll have a slew of colors, depths, and patterns to choose from.
- Easy to install and replace without disrupting the rest of the floor
- One of the most affordable flooring options
- Padding and fibers serve as a noise barrier
- Offers traction and softness, which is great for tenants with small children
- Endless color options
- Staining is inevitable and will require heavy cleaning or replacement
- Normal wear and tear shows quickly
- Routine maintenance and replacement required, which costs money
- Allergy haven, which is not good for those with allergies or asthma
- Is an odor holder
- Requires frequent deep cleaning
Carpet is best for bedrooms and living rooms. It should be avoided in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Laminate is one of the most cost-effective alternatives to hardwood flooring. There are plenty of designs to choose from, making it easy to mimic more expensive flooring. In fact, laminate is made from a high-resolution photo of hardwood, or other floor type that you like, and is printed onto a fiberboard and sealed with a scratch-resistant topcoat.
- Easy to install thanks to click-locking planks
- Scratch-resistant topcoat extends the life and appearance
- Super easy to clean and maintain
- Withstands moisture and humidity
- Replacement of small sections is easy
- Plenty of design options to choose from
- Continual humidity and water can cause warping
- Has the potential to look like the fake wood that it is
- Can create a hollow sound while walking
- Some find it to be slippery
Laminate flooring is best for living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. Because it’s susceptible to warping with extended humidity exposure, this is not the best choice for bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Tile is a modern style of flooring that tenants have come to know and love in the rentals they lease. It comes in many different styles. For example, it can look like tile, stone, wood, or other natural materials.
- Perfect for areas with a lot of humidity (both inside and outside)
- Extremely durable and lasts a long time
- Very easy to maintain and doesn’t stain easily
- Perfect for those with allergies
- Will need to be re-grouted and resealed
- Styles often stop being sold, which makes replacing a single tile a pain
- Is expensive and difficult to install – might require a residential renovation contractor
- Can be cold, especially in the winter months
- Might be heavy for top story flooring or units
Great flooring option for kitchens, bathrooms, and living areas.
Hardwood is a popular option among tenants and landlords alike. In fact, 36.9% of renters claim that hardwood floors in a rental will influence their decision to lease or not. You can choose from strips, planks, or parquet, which means it’s made from different layers of wood rather than a solid piece of wood.
- Adds property value, which means you can garner a higher rent rate
- Is appealing to tenants
- Can be refinished or restored when damaged
- Quick and easy to clean and maintain
- Natural insulator for both winter and summer months
- Is neutral and matches any style home
- Can last a long time
- Very expensive to purchase and install
- Cannot withstand humidity or water
- Pets can permanently damage the wood
- Can create a lot of noise
- Dents are highly visible
- Not as many design options to choose from
Hardwood is a viable option for living rooms and bedrooms.
Vinyl is another one of the most affordable flooring options for your rental. It comes in a variety of different styles including endless color options, print designs, and styles. Plus, there is even a thick vinyl option that mimics the look of tile or hardwood.
- Adhesive backing makes installation a breeze
- Lightweight material great for all property types
- Durable topcoat is resealable and makes for a lasting floor
- Completely resistant to water
- Easy to cut and fit into awkward shaped rooms
- Extremely stain resistant and is easy to clean and maintain
- Does not always look like tile or wood despite the design
- Susceptible to scratching or punctures
- Is hard to remove because of adhesive backing
- Will fade if exposed to lots of sunlight
- Difficult to repair, damage = replacement
- Will not boost property value and is often viewed as outdated
Vinyl is a great floor type for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
6. Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood is a unique flooring option for your rental. Unlike laminate, engineered hardwood comes with a real wood veneer layer on top. This makes it appear more like real hardwood without all the cost.
- Very durable and easy to clean
- More affordable than hardwood and more wood-looking than laminate
- Absorbs noise well
- More cost-effective than true hardwood flooring
- Can withstand moisture and will not warp or bow
- More eco-friendly that solid hardwood flooring
- Susceptible to scratching and UV discoloration
- Cannot be sealed and sanded like hardwood for refinishing
- More expensive than laminate
- Improper cleaning can ruin the floor
Engineered hardwood is great for living rooms, bedrooms, and possibly bathrooms and kitchens.
Cork is a renewable resource that offers eco-friendly landlords and tenants a beautiful finish that is environmentally responsible. Harvested bark from the cork oak, this flooring type is easily taken from trees without causing any harm. This makes it a great alternative to the tree damaging hardwood flooring option.
- Very soft and is often compared to carpet (as unimaginable as that may seem)
- Comes in a variety of textures, finishes, and colors
- Very low maintenance and absorbs noise
- Long-lasting and durable
- A great insulator when it comes to temperature
- Hypoallergenic and antimicrobial
- Easy to install and maintain
- Susceptible to damage like dents and divots
- Pets and water pooling can damage
- Requires water sealing to prevent swelling
- Can fade in the sunlight
Cork would be a good flooring option for living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.
Concrete, one of the hardest and strongest flooring options around, is perfect for highly trafficked rental properties. There are plenty of design options, making it a versatile option, and comes in a lightweight version for properties with upper levels.
- Very low maintenance and highly durable
- Colors, stencils, stamps, and more can mimic stone, tile, brick, and even dirt
- Option to add electrical cables or hot water tubes for heating element
- Can fit any sized budget
- Reduces allergens in the property
- Extremely hard material underfoot
- Can be damaged with continuous water or humidity exposure
- Cracks can develop over time and require re-pouring
- Is not environmentally friendly
- Requires occasional resealing
- Can be slippery when wet
Concrete flooring should be used for kitchens, entryways, and even garages.
Are you in need of high-quality workmanship when it comes to your rental property’s flooring? If so, contact us today and see how we can help.
At Make Ready Residential, we understand the importance of floor maintenance and repair. Whether you’re a self-managing landlord or use a property manager, we can help maintain the quality of your flooring and ensure your tenants are satisfied with your rental. From simple repairs to major improvements, we can bring a level of customer service you’ve never experienced before. So, sit back and let us handle your flooring needs so you can enjoy the low turnover rate and high ROI on your rental.Back to Blog