Owning a rental property can be a great way to grow a long-term investment, but finding the right flooring for your tenants can be a challenge. Namely, you never know how long the lease will last, and when it comes to residential versus business property, the decision about flooring can be difficult to decide on.
However, there are a few ways to determine if you are choosing the right flooring for your particular tenant situation. In the end, choosing the right flooring will mean your tenants are happier and they will continue to renew the lease year after year.
Should you go with Standard Carpet for Rental Homes?
One of the best fallbacks for tenant housing is using carpet. In addition to being cheap and able to cover almost anything underneath it, it also comes in a wide range of colors. Carpet is also a good way to keep other tenants from driving each other crazy with noise. Despite this, carpet poses several risks for tenants.
For example, tenants may not want to pay for any minor damage to carpet, and carpet is fairly easy to stain or damage. Also, tenants with respiratory issues are less likely to rent a property that has carpet. Finally, tenants with pets may find a carpeted space is less than ideal since this type of flooring will absorb animal fur and odors.
Why Landlords Love Environmentally-Friendly Bamboo Flooring
While tenants all seem to have different ideas about the perfect flooring in their next rented space, bamboo flooring often checks off every item on their list. Not only is it hypoallergenic, it is extremely environmentally friendly every step of the way. First of all, bamboo will regenerate itself easily and can be used as flooring after growing for only four years. Bamboo is also grown without pesticides.
As a flooring material, it is extremely durable and is comparable to hardwoods. Adding to it a green image, it is often left unfinished because it has such a high density. Despite this, it can be milled just like hardwood and finished with varnish. Instead of having its own specialized techniques for installation or ceiling, bamboo can be used interchangeably by flooring contractors just like hardwood flooring.
Why Cork is not Ideal for Residential Tenant Housing
Another environmentally friendly type of flooring that has emerged on the market over the past 10 years is cork. It does have great sound-absorbing qualities, and it is ideal for people with certain types of disabilities because it is a shock-absorbing type of flooring. Cork is also resistant to many types of microbes and is known for being hypoallergenic. Despite all of these benefits, it is extremely easy for the wrong tenant to misunderstand how to care for this floor.
For instance, it needs to have special cleaning techniques and products. Cork is also easy to knick or tatter by using the wrong kind of chairs. In other words, unless you specifically need this type of flooring for health reasons, it can be too high-maintenance for regular tenants. Alternatively, if your next tenant owns a yoga studio or workout room, cork could be the ideal flooring to get them to sign the lease.
*Infographic provided by Good Guy Flooring
Solid Hardwood Versus Engineered Wood for Apartment Floors
A classic look that instantly makes any place look more expensive is hardwood flooring. Along with being easy to repair, hardwood floors are not difficult for tenants to keep clean. One other advantage is that tenants who ruin the floors can easily have this damage repaired by a professional contractor without the task costing too much money.
Landlords love hardwood floors for their rented properties because they are never going to need to replace the floors in their lifetimes. They may be refinished or rebuffed between tenants, but a need to rip out the hardwood floors could take over 100 years or more. Most of the time, the only reason why hardwood floors are replaced is due to the rest of the home falling apart long before the hardwood floors have given up.
Should you Invest in Engineered Wood?
For floors that will last several decades despite having multiple tenants, hardwood maybe one of the best. However, the expense can cause some landlords to look in a different direction. For this reason, the most ideal material might be engineered wood; this type of flooring material is also one of the best if there is a lot of moisture involved in a business that wants a tenancy in your rented property.
While the price may be right, the warranty may not be what you wanted to be, even if it is for 30 years. For tenants that want an interesting spin on the old hardwood flooring look, try newer engineered hardwoods with styles such as cherry, white ash, teak, alder, and acacia.
New Laminate Flooring can Fool High-End Tenants
Fifteen years ago, laminate and vinyl flooring were often made from cheap or thin materials. The value of the vinyl flooring during those times was an economical one. It was also a great way to cover up the floorboards and keep out drafts. Unfortunately, laminate flooring also had a lot of off-gassing from the adhesives used to keep it in place.
Today, on the other hand, you may not be able to tell the difference between real stone and high-end laminate. There is also laminate flooring that can be made to look like hardwood or ceramic tile. The look often suits the tenants, but the price keeps the landlord happy. What other main advantage of this type of flooring is the ability to make repairs or completely replaced it between tenants.
Surfaced Concrete for Hopeless Tenants
Commercial tenants may have a business model that involves being very rough on the floors. For instance, if your rental property is a grocery store, it may pay to have flooring that will meet expectations of the customers as well as the high traffic wear and tear the floor will incur. One positive solution in this situation is surfaced concrete. This involves treating bare concrete with materials that will harden the surface and also add color. Special touches can be made to treat it with stains or stamp a pattern into the surface.
Like all stone flooring, surface concrete is easy for tenants to maintain. It is also an inexpensive choice that is easy to rehabilitate between tenants with sanding. In many cases, it will survive wear-and-tear better than other flooring such as limestone, sandstone, porcelain tile, marble, travertine or ceramic.
Final Thoughts for Your Next Rental Flooring Remodel
When you know the lease will end soon, getting your rental property ready to lure the next tenant is our priority. A professional in your area can help you figure out which type of flooring suits the needs of your budget, the unique angles of your building and the purposes of the tenant. Flooring centers offer flooring installation as well as repairs and maintenance. To get started with services, call your local flooring store today.
Author Bio: Bruce MacDonald is the founder of MacDonald Hardwoods in Denver, Colorado. He often shares flooring advice across the web. Let him teach you how to choose the best hardwood flooring for your home.
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