Landlord's Guide to Flooring in a Rental Property

Landlord's Guide to Flooring in a Rental Property

As a landlord working to maximize income on your rental property, what should you be looking at when you want to change the flooring in your rental?

For most landlords, the primary consideration is cost. They want flooring that does not take a lot of cash out of their pockets. But this is not the best way to approach the problem; you also want the material to make the home attractive and better able to draw quality renters.

Choosing flooring for a rental property is not a straightforward affair. Different aspects of the rental’s needs must be taken into consideration. Failing to take all dimensions of the problem into account will leave you with flooring that falls far short of the home’s requirements.

This can be true even when you buy the most expensive flooring.

So what are the factors you should think about before you buy flooring for a rental property?

What to think about when choosing rental property flooring

What to think about when choosing rental property flooring

Choosing the right flooring for a rental involves navigating a set of sometimes conflicting issues.

  • Price
    How much money a rental generates, the cost of installing, and maintaining the floor, and how long the flooring will last; these are things to think about before you choose a flooring material.

  • Maintenance
    Does the flooring need a lot of work to keep it in good shape? Will tenants be able to do that work? If the floor is damaged, do you have to replace all or part of it?

  • Durability
    Can the floor withstand constant movement of furniture as tenants come and go? Is it easily damaged or will it endure rough treatment by tenants?

  • Attractive
    In spite of being inexpensive, durable, and easy to maintain, is the floor attractive? Will it make the home more appealing to higher-paying renters? Will it improve the value of the property?

  • Installation

    Flooring Installation

    How hard or easy is it to install the flooring? Can it be done in a relatively short time, how much will it cost, and is it easy to find a supplier?

  • Safety
    Does the floor become slippery when wet? Does it increase the risk of trips and falls? Does it hide dust, pests, and bacteria? Does it contain toxic materials?

  • Tenants
    What kind of tenants do you lease to? Is this a high-end rental in an upscale location? Do you charge high, low, or average rents?

  • Pets
    Is the flooring pet-friendly or will renters with pets find it difficult to live in the home because of the flooring material?

The best flooring options for a rental

Below are the top flooring materials for rental properties. To get the best results, you will need to select the specific flooring material based on the use of each room in the home.

  1. Vinyl

    Vinyl Flooring

    Vinyl is the affordable alternative for landlords who want the look of wood or stone without the high cost and maintenance issues. They come in a wide range of designs. Vinyl is low-maintenance, water-resistant, easy to install, and good at absorbing noise. But they are hard to remove and may contain VOCs.

  2. Laminate

    This is another hardwood alternative; it is affordable and easy to install. Adding a tough finishing layer to laminate floors will make them tough enough to resist fading, stains, and abuse by pets or children. Newer brands of laminate are water-resistant. But they are not fully waterproof like vinyl or tile.

  3. Hardwood

    Hardwood is one of the most luxurious flooring options available. But they do need a lot of care. If properly maintained, hardwood floors can last for decades. They come in a range of designs depending on the type of tree. They scratch easily and are vulnerable to moisture and humidity.

  4. Engineered hardwood

    Engineered Hardwood

    Engineered hardwood improves on all the shortcomings of solid hardwood. Instead of a single block of wood, they are made of layers of hardwood and plywood, which are layered in different directions to prevent warping. They may also come with a protective moisture barrier and a scratch-resistant topcoat to protect them from damage.

  5. Tile

    Tile flooring can be manufactured from stone, porcelain, or ceramic. Tile floors are almost limitless in their designs and are available at various price points. They are easy to maintain and very durable. On the downside, they are not easy to install and crack easily.

  6. Linoleum

    Linoleum is mostly made from natural materials and is available in patterned sheets which have to be glued to the sub-floor in the home. Linoleum is affordable and long-lasting. It can be designed to look like tile or hardwood. Linoleum floors are easy to clean but prone to dents and tears.

  7. Carpet

    Carpet is highly diverse in its range of designs and sizes. It probably has the best noise-absorption capabilities of all the flooring materials. Carpet is great for keeping rooms warm and comfortable. However, it traps dirt, bacteria, and allergen, and if a section is torn, the entire carpet must be replaced.