Having a rental property provides regular income and help pay down the mortgage while your property is appreciating. Popular rental properties include single-family units, townhomes and duplexes. When owning a rental property, having the right flooring can make a big difference in how frequently it needs to be replaced. When choosing the best flooring for your rental property, consider how frequently the tenants will be changing, the location and how much you want to spend. A place you are renting on the beach for an Airbnb would have different flooring than a longer term rental home in the city. Also keep in mind that higher end places with more expensive rent rates should have higher quality flooring too.
While it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option, you would simply need to replace it within a couple of years. Better quality carpets can last between 5 to 7 years. Carpet is the most popular type of flooring for rental properties since it is easy to replace.
Pros: Less expensive to replace and easier to install.
Cons: Stains easily, shows wear, needs to be cleaned between tenants. Has to be replaced every 5 – 7 years.
Tile looks great, has a long lifespan and is extremely durable. This flooring type is great for locations with high humidity, moisture or near the beach. Tile needs to be properly maintained with regular sealing and re-grouting. Tiles can be broken or cracked by a tenant and if the style is no longer available, then you may end up replacing the entire floor. Keep this in mind and purchase extra supplies for future needs.
Pros: Very durable and long lasting.
Cons: Requires maintenance for re-grouting and sealing. More expensive installation.
Harwood floors are beautiful and add significant character to a room. This type of flooring is desirable to most tenants making it easier to rent out your place. Since wood is a natural material, be careful not to install it in areas with moisture as it can expand and become damaged. Hardwood floors can easily be scratched or dented so residents with pets would make it necessary to refinish the floors.
Pros: Very attractive flooring choice.
Cons: Hard to repair a small damaged section. Expensive to install.
Laminates are the best tradeoff between aesthetics and cost. They offer realistic designs, but are easy to install and durable. The underlying floor needs to be level or dips and bumps will be readily apparent. There are many different grades of quality so be sure to do your homework before selecting a laminate product. Obviously, higher quality laminates will last longer in your rental home.
Pros: Less expensive than most other types of flooring. Nice appearance mimicking wood or other natural materials.
Cons: Can be difficult to patch small sections. Without waterproof laminate, can be prone to damage.
Vinyl has been in use for many decades and is the cheapest type of flooring. It has incredible durability, easy to maintain and is the most waterproof type of flooring available. Vinyl is perfect to use in basements, kitchens and bathrooms. There have been some recent innovations with vinyl that have improved their appearance as to not look as cheap as previous versions.
Pros: Waterproof, highly durable and can be installed over uneven surfaces. Easy to install and inexpensive.
Cons: Renters can consider vinyl cheap. If damaged the entire area has to be replaced.
The typical approach is to use two or three different types of flooring in a rental. Take advantages of the pros of each type and find sales or discontinued styles to spend less on flooring. To save the most amount of money without sacrificing appearance, a combination of vinyl in areas with water such as bathrooms, laminate in higher traffic areas like the living room and carpet in the rest of the home will keep you and your renters happy.