On the surface, it might sound like the best way to ensure a rental’s success is to cut costs. But it is usually more complicated than that. It often means considering both the short and long-term impacts of every decision made on the property. Sometimes a property owner may undertake big and expensive projects today to cut costs tomorrow.
That is the case with changing a rental property’s flooring. Although it is a cost that landlords would want to avoid, its long-term impact makes it worth undertaking. But when changing the flooring in a rental, landlords must be careful that the material meets the following criteria:
Durability: Rental properties are subject to more wear than owner-occupied homes because the home’s occupants are always changing. Tenants are also less careful about a landlord’s property.
Affordable: Flooring costs go beyond buying and installing the materials. It includes the cost of maintaining it. Maintenance may be the most important cost landlords need to consider.
Low maintenance: Rental property flooring presents contradictory maintenance challenges. Even though tenants are more likely to damage the flooring, it still needs to be easy to maintain.
Attractive: Aesthetically pleasing flooring is essential for attracting tenants to a rental. The most durable and low-maintenance flooring means nothing if the material is ugly and off-putting to prospective tenants.
Ease of installation: Minimal time and effort are critical when installing rental property flooring. The more time an installation takes, the more it costs landlords in potential rental income.
Safety: The floor must be slip-resistant and not constitute itself into a tripping hazard. Also, it should minimize its tendency to trap dust, pollen, pests, and bacteria.
What are the flooring options that meet these conditions the most? What are their pros and cons? And which areas of the rental suits them the most?
The two primary advantages of carpet are that it is a good insulator (it can help reduce the heating bill) and has excellent sound absorption qualities. However, carpet stains easily trap odors/allergens and can be hard to clean. If one section is damaged, you have to replace the entire carpet. Despite these shortcomings, carpet is an excellent choice for bedrooms.
Ceramic, porcelain, and stone tilesTile is durable and water resistant. It comes in a variety of materials, designs, and price ranges. However, it is not a good insulator, and you should not use them throughout the home in a colder climate. It tends to crack or pop out and needs to be sealed, polished, or re-grouted. It also has a complicated installation process. Tile is best for bathrooms, kitchen, common areas, and basements.
Solid and engineered hardwood
Hardwood flooring can either be solid or engineered hardwood. Both options, though similar in appearance, have significant differences. Hardwood floors last a lifetime and are the flooring option with the most aesthetic appeal. You can also refinish solid hardwood flooring. All hardwood floorings are easy to clean, but they are expensive and highly susceptible to scratches and dents. You can not refinish engineered hardwood, but you can refinish solid hardwood a limited number of times. Solid hardwood flooring is sensitive to moisture. They are best for the bedroom, dining area, and living room.