Consider cost, durability and appearance when choosing a floor for your property. The floors in a rental unit must have visual appeal to attract residents and long-term value for your investment. The flooring for a rental property should be low-maintenance, long-lasting, appealing and affordable.
What is the best flooring for a rental property? Luxury vinyl plank flooring is the best choice for rental properties, because it is durable, waterproof and cost-effective. Vinyl planks and tiles can also look like wood or natural stone for a high-end look on a reasonable budget.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the best types of flooring for rental properties, including, but not limited to, luxury vinyl flooring.
Carpet is a common choice in bedrooms for its warmth and coziness. Cost-effective carpet options are affordable upfront but require more maintenance and cleaning in the long term.
If you use carpet in your unit, consider choosing carpet tiles. If one is stained or damaged, it is easy to tear out and replace without disrupting the rest of the flooring.
- Insulates against noise
- Appreciated in colder climates
- Soft and warm
- Expected in bedrooms by some renters
- Should be replaced every 7 years
- Stains and holds odors
- Requires replacement if damaged
- Needs routine carpet cleaning and maintenance to prevent odors
Hardwood & Bamboo
Hardwood flooring and bamboo flooring are similar and visually appealing products that attract renters. Both are made of tough materials and can be sealed for stain or water resistance. While hardwood flooring is a classic and beloved option, it’s easy to scratch and an active resident can create a lot of wear. Cured bamboo floors are tough and resist dents and scratches but can still be more prone to damage than other types of flooring.
- Adds property value
- Appeals to renters
- Can be refinished or restored to repair damages
- Increases noise between floors without proper underlayment
- Higher initial cost
- Requires regular maintenance
- Grit and dents show against polished floor surface
If you want the appearance of hardwood without the cost, laminate flooring is for you. Laminate is made from a high-resolution photo of hardwood – or any other flooring type – printed onto a fiberboard backing and covered by a scratch-resistant topcoat.
- Click-lock flooring options make installation easy
- Durable topcoat extends the life and appearance of floors
- Can be installed over existing floors to reduce renovation costs
- Amplifies noise between floors
- Damaged planks cannot be refurbished and must be replaced
- Susceptible to moisture damage and not fit for laundry rooms or bathrooms
Tile is a durable, long-lasting, easy-to-clean flooring option that can help keep homes cooler in hot climates. Tile floors are common choices in kitchens, bathrooms and mudrooms because the solid surface resists moisture and dirt. However, its hard surface may make it an unpopular option with residents who prefer the appearance of wood or the comfort of carpet.
- Highly durable and capable of surviving renters
- Easy to clean and does not hold odors or stains
- Wide variety of products and designs guarantee affordable options
- Cold and hard
- Difficult to install
- Cannot be softened with underlayment
- May be too heavy for upper story units
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Luxury vinyl flooring is thicker than classic vinyl flooring and mimics the appearance of ceramic or hardwood. It is both an affordable choice in initial costs and long-term value. While vinyl flooring is moisture-resistant, luxury vinyl flooring is waterproof. It is just as functional in bathrooms and kitchens as it is attractive in bedrooms and living rooms. The durable seal on some luxury vinyl planks can last up to 10 years.
- Adhesive-backed luxury vinyl plank options make installation easy
- Lightweight flooring works on any building level
- Low average cost makes it an affordable investment
- Durable topcoat extends floor life and can be resealed when it requires maintenance
- Does not perfectly replicate the appearance or feel of hardwood or natural stone
- Adhesive glue on vinyl planks can make them difficult to remove
- Thinner plank options do not have the durability of the thicker, reinforced planks
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The best flooring for a rental property may vary on a room-by-room basis. Consider comparable properties in your area, then choose which flooring fits your budget and durability needs.
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