New Flooring for Your Rentals?
One way to keep your best tenants and keep cash flow rolling for the rest of 2020, is to consider some refurbishments or even upgrades. Flooring is one that comes to mind in the spring and right now, materials might come at a discount.
New Flooring is a good rental improvement and one that you might be able to do yourself. Flooring gets quite a workout and when worn, it makes your apartment or house less attractive. This lowers the rent you can charge and it can help you release the apartment or home much more quickly.
Cracks, raised nails, creaking, deep ugly scratches, broken pieces, warping, or moldy, dusty worn carpet could actually be what is driving some prospective renters away.
Making Decisions about Flooring
When it comes to reviving the appearance of floors, you’ll have to decide whether to refinish current hardwood floors or replace carpet or old vinyl flooring with more modern vinyl, laminate or engineered flooring.
Flooring is good value, but it can be pricey. New floors might range from $500 to $20,000 depending on which type you choose. Saving money here can help redeploy funds to new appliances or other renos.
Your goal is to make tenants feel good, comfortable, and special with an affordable floor covering with some lasting, easy to maintain, and safety benefits. New floors can impress renters and encourage them to renew their lease. And new renters will be willing to pay higher rent.
Before you replace the floors, make sure you’re choosing the the type that gives you the benefits and value you need.
Which Flooring is Best for Rental Properties?
Cost, value, easy of installation all come into play when you’re wondering which flooring is best for rental properties.
Here’s how to save money on rental property flooring so you have funds available for property management, new rental appliances, windows, A/C and furnace maintenance, a new tankless water heater, new light fixtures, and other features prospective tenants love.
Landlords might find they can install flooring themselves as manufacturers are making it ever easier to do so. If flooring is too expensive, then few rental owners would bother refurbishing it or replacing it with real hardwood.
And it’s not uncommon to see flooring that 10 to 20 years old in many house rentals, and beyond 20 years in apartment rentals.
Wood is Expensive and New Products May Look Just As Good
There’s no reason to buy high end wood flooring for most rentals. It damages easily and can be a point of conflict and legal action when the tenant puts big dents or scratches or warping in it. Tenants will push furniture around while cleaning and this almost guarantees scratches.
Any flooring with wood layers can be ruined by pets, floor washing, flooding, sun fading, excess foot traffic, or heavy furniture. It’s quite a risky choice. And it’s very expensive and difficult to install and maintain.
Wood floors require regular oiling and maintenance or they could be ruined. Chances are, your renter doesn’t know how to take care of them. Even if you have several high end luxury rentals, wood floors are a risky choice. And they may not offer much more prestige than good engineered floors.
4 types of Flooring Solutions for Rental Apartments: Linoleum, Vinyl Flooring and Engineered Flooring
- Linoleum Flooring – Linoleum is an old type of flooring that’s been around for more than 150 years. You see it in very old homes. It’s certainly affordable, reasonably durable and resistant to damage. Since it’s made from natural materials such as tree resins, linseed oil, cork dust, wood pulp and minerals, it is biodegradable and therefore more eco-friendly. Linoleum offers some cushioning and noise reduction benefits.
Cost of Linoleum Flooring – at $2 to $3 a square foot, you can buy the materials for less than $3000 and install it all yourself. Linoleum is a softer material not like vinyl which is made from PVC.
- Vinyl Flooring – Vinyl floors are as easy to install as linoleum flooring and they’re affordable too at $1 to $3 a square foot. They may last between 10 to 20 years and that makes them one improvement you can make that pays off for rental ROI. You can buy vinyl flooring that looks just like wood floors and with an endless styles. It is available in tiles, or as planks which makes it almost indistinguishable from real wood planks.
- Laminate Flooring – This flooring is a multilayered solution that has either laminated layers with fiberboard and resin. The cost might range from 50 cents to $5 per square foot. They use a photographic layer on top that looks exactly like wood grain, which is protected by a hard durable coating. You get a floor that looks like wood (including an actual grainy texture or ridged surface), but lasts like vinyl.
- Engineered Hardwood Floors are laminated layers too, but with a very thin layer of wood on top. That thin layer can and often is damaged however. Dog claws, moved furniture, and fallen objects can ruin its appearance. The cost of engineered wood flooring can range from $3 to $13 per square foot. Higher quality the thin wood layer is, the more expensive the flooring.
The wood type available can be maple, pine or red oak, or more durable material such as bamboo, hickory, ash or walnut.
Which is the best flooring choice for rental properties? Some believe luxury vinyl is the winner. Luxury vinyl floors gives you an appearance with textures your tenants will like. And the cost is about the same. Regardless of what class your rental is, tenants won’t argue the value of the floords to them.
They’re calming to the eye (in whatever style you choose) and feel good to the feet. You won’t have to worry about pet stains, kid’s spills, or scratches, because it’s non-porous and durable.
Don’t forget to get up to speed on all the ways to grow your rental revenue. Learn more about online rent payment solutions and the best property management apps , and why you should be switching your property management solution.
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