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New Flooring for Rental Properties

August 06, 2022

New Flooring for Your Rentals?

One way to keep your best tenants, attract good ones, and keep cash flow rolling for the years ahead, is to consider some refurbishments or even upgrades to your rental house or apartment.

Flooring is one improvement that you could undertake at any time of the year. New Flooring is also a project you can do yourself and the ROI might make you want to try this one.

It’s a rental property improvement that seems to resonate well with landlords hoping to fetch a better price for their units. And tenants appreciate how special new floors make them feel.

Flooring Gets Significant Use by Tenants

Flooring gets quite a workout over a decade, and few materials can survive the wear of feet, dirt, weight, dropped items, and direct Sun UV rays.  That wear does make your apartment or house less attractive.  This lowers potential rent and increases vacancy times.

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. You need to fix your floors.

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 to 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.

The tenant experience: 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 flooring type that gives you the benefits and value you need.

Which Flooring is Best for Rental Properties?

Appearance, cost, value, ease of installation all come into play when you’re wondering which might be ideal your rental properties.

Here’s some tips on flooring choices to help your save money so you have funds available for new rental appliances, windows, A/C and furnace maintenance, new windows, tankless water heaters, new light fixtures, and other features prospective tenants love.

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 and dents.

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. Chances are, your renter doesn’t know how to take care of them and lacks time to do so. Even if you have several high-end luxury rentals, wood floors are a risky choice. And they may not offer much more prestige than quality engineered floors.

4 types of Flooring Solutions for Rental Apartments: Linoleum, Vinyl Flooring, Laminate and Engineered Flooring

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. Laminate Flooring – This flooring is a multilayered solution that has 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) yet is durable like vinyl.
  4. 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 nice flooring to them.

Our recent poll shows property managers and landlords do believe new flooring is the best helper to raise rent prices.

Don’t forget to get up to speed on all the ways to grow your rental revenue.

Take a test drive of ManageCasa — your modern, next generation property management solution.


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