Flooring Choices For Rental Properties Can Have Big Effects On Your Return On Investment.
Are you ready to be floored? Well, let’s talk about one of the most important features in your rental property; you guessed it, your floors =). Floorings is at the top of every prospective tenant’s list when they are searching for a new home. Think about it, it’s probably something you considered as well. Moving into a property with nasty, old flooring is not appealing and likely will not get you top dollar. What we are going to do in this blog is go over some of the most common types of flooring and their associated pros, cons, and pricing. Here we go!
Carpet is by far the easiest and cheapest route to go when it comes to covering up the square footage needed. What’s interesting about carpet is that when you install it there’s no need to worry about unlevel floors or unique characteristics of the floor. For example, here in New England we find that there are many houses that have caved floors that have a dip in the middle. In addition, there are many tight spaces that are tough to even walk in let alone install a floor! Carpeting enables you to work around these otherwise roadblocks and get the job done quickly. The downside about this type of flooring is that it gets ruined and worn very easily. A messy tenant can ruin it in a matter of weeks and months. Then, once they vacate you are back to square 1. You may be able to steam clean it or shampoo it to restore the condition but this will cost you time + money and never get you back to that ‘new’ look + smell. The average cost to remove old carpet install a new one is between $5-$9 per square foot. This price varies based on the kind of carpet + padding you choose to select. Overall, carpeting is easy + quick, but will not give you the longevity.
Hardwood flooring was the #1 choice in rental properties back in the early 1900’s. The reason why is because it was readily available + cheap! So, we commonly find hardwood floors sitting underneath carpets, laminates, and vinyl floors when we remove them. It’s a shame that folks thought covering them was a good idea! Tenants love hardwood floors and it is able to withstand against the elements including animals, furniture, and water/spills. The downside about them is that they can scratch easily and dent as well. But, repairing these issues are possible. You can always restore a hardwood floor to look + smell new! There are 2 options I will let you know about here. The first is refinishing the old floors to new condition. This is a messy job and will cost you about $5 a square foot; not bad! The second option is that you can install brand new hardwood floor planks over the existing subfloor. This will cost you between $10-$20 a square foot depending on what type of wood planks you choose. Overall, this is not something we suggest. If you have wood floors it is best to refinish them!
Tile flooring is one of our personal favorites. It is elegant, durable, and enables you to make designs if you choose to do so. It is rare to find tile in tenant units so you will certainly stand out from your competitors! The downside about tile is that it is a tough job and does take a while to complete. Tile will last you as long as hardwoods will. You can expect to pay between $10-$20 per square foot for this type of work however.
This type of flooring is commonly chosen by owners in rooms such as the kitchen + bathroom. It is extremely resistant to water and high traffic, but over time it will peel and rip depending on how it is treated. It is a cheap option overall but very messy + difficult to remove if you choose to install a different type of floor in the future. You can expect to pay between $4-$11 per square foot for this type of work.
Overall, you have many options to choose from when it comes to your property’s flooring. You will have to bite the bullet one day so it is our suggestion that you go with “forever flooring” whenever possible. This is either hardwood or tile. Linoleum, vinyl, and carpeting are short term solutions that will ultimately have to be redone in the future. Your best bet is to set it and forget it!
We would love to hear your feedback on this topic! Post a comment below so we can start a discussion!
Gregory Rice is the Vice President of franchise sales for Nexus Property Management®.
Nexus Property Management® is a National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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