What is the best choice of flooring for rental properties?
One of the most common questions I’m asked by landlords is what’s the best flooring for rental properties, obviously they need to be cheap and hard-wearing! Often after a tenancy landlords have to suffer the process of complete redecoration of their property which includes floor coverings, one of the worst sights entering an empty property
after the tenant has left is that the carpet has worn and is stained around the location of the furniture, leaving the carpet looking like new in places and worn out in others, no amount of cleaning will remove this completely and will look awful to any prospective tenants and could potentially put them off renting the property.
Is carpet the best flooring for rental properties?
Carpet is definitely the cheapest in terms of initial outlay, felt backed carpets can be fitted straight onto wooden or concrete floors with a reasonably small outlay. Underlay can be added at additional cost and is usually a good investment, it will prevent the carpet from flattening so quickly a give a better feel underfoot. Should the carpet become heavily soiled during a tenancy then the underlay should be fine to be used again. Spending a little extra on the carpet at first can pay off down the line with stain resistant bleach cleanable carpets now available I feel it’s worth the little bit extra upfront.
Laminate flooring is also a cost-effective option, looks very stylish and is very durable when installed professionally, I’ve seen many cheap DIY laminate floors that wont outlast a cheap carpet! But a correctly fitted midrange floor should give you many years of trouble-free wear, and with most floors being clic-fit should there be any damage they can be repaired reasonably easily by removing the damaged panel and inserting a replacement.
The biggest problem I have with laminate flooring for rental properties is they are not great when it comes to water, tenants with a passion for mopping the floor with a bucket full of water daily can cause the edges of the boards to swell, this can lead to unnecessary problems with the tenant, they will never have put any water anywhere near it!
LVT or luxury vinyl tiles have been around for years in commercial flooring but have recently become very popular in domestic situations with the likes of Karndean and Amtico leading the way, there are also many other manufacturers making very good quality LVT at a lot less per sq mtr which brings it into play for the rental market. It looks great, very durable and will not chip like a laminate floor, out last a cheap carpet many times over and can be installed in both kitchens and bathrooms without fear of moisture ingress (even your OCD mopping tenant will be happy!) So is this the perfect floor? In my opinion it’s pretty close, certainly for the down stairs. The biggest downside to them is the sub floor needs to be in good condition normally meaning a levelling screed or plywood to be fitted prior to installation. This obviously adds to the initial costs but over lifetime of the floor this can still work out the cheapest option….
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