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How to Choose Flooring Type: Wood, Tile, Laminate, Vinyl, or Carpet?

March 20th, 2018 |

With all the flooring options available, it can be hard to figure out what to choose for your rental property. Finding the right balance of cost, durability, and style can seem overwhelming, but there are a few guidelines that can guide you in the right direction. The best choice really depends on what type of property you are renting, so here’s the breakdown to help you choose the best flooring for a rental property during your next interior remodel:

Wood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is arguably the most beautiful and luxurious style of flooring available. Installing this type of flooring in your property will increase the value and, ultimately, the price you can charge your tenants. While wood floors can be repaired by simply sanding them down and refinishing the surface, purchasing and installing this style of flooring can be cost-prohibitive, and hardwood is more prone to scratches and showing wear in high-traffic areas.

Wood flooring is ideal for high-end residential properties or commercial office spaces with low foot traffic.

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring allows for the most creativity and design options for your property. Should you choose a rustic Saltillo tile? How about a mix-and-match of multiple tile sizes in the same style? Your tiling designs are only limited by your budget and creativity. Additionally, tile is highly durable, and can last as long as 20 years if installed properly. Sealed ceramic tile and grout is waterproof and easy to clean, which makes them more stain resistant than other flooring types. However, tile flooring is very difficult to stand on for extended periods of time due to the hardness of the flooring, and needs to be installed by a professional so that the flooring has an even surface.

Tile flooring would be most appropriate in low- to mid-level residential properties and commercial office spaces.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is comparable to hardwood flooring in looks and is significantly cheaper for both materials and installation. The tongue-and-groove planks can snap together quickly, making it possible to floor an entire room by yourself in a matter of hours instead of days. However, laminate flooring can have more of a “plastic” look, which makes it visually less appealing. Additionally, repairing laminate flooring can become expensive quickly, as the replacement planks may not match the original flooring leaving you to decide whether to replace the entire floor or have a “mismatch.” The good news is that laminate flooring is quite a bit more durable than hardwood flooring, so the need to repair or replace the flooring will occur less often.

Consider laminate flooring for your retail-space commercial properties or mid-level residential properties, especially if your tenants bring their pets.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring can be the least expensive flooring available. Vinyl is low maintenance and highly durable for the price, which makes it a high-value choice for your rental properties. This flooring is water and stain resistant, comfortable to walk on, and good for noise reduction. Vinyl is easy to install and can be done by most property owners without having to hire a professional. However, this flooring is easily damaged by sharp objects and the weather. Additionally, it can appear “cheap” in comparison with other flooring types.

Vinyl flooring is a good choice for low-level residential properties and high-traffic commercial properties and properties that allow pets or lots of children are expected.

Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring offers a large variety of options made to fit any need. Carpeted surfaces make any room look more finished and welcoming. Additionally, carpet comes in a very large price range which can suit any budget. It provides some insulation against heat and cold, which helps reduce electric and gas bills, and it offers significant noise reduction. However, it is more prone to stains and damage than other flooring types and it can aggravate allergies by holding in more dust and bacteria. Additionally, carpet needs to be installed by a professional for maximum life performance.

Consider carpet flooring for your pet-free residential properties.

RH Blanchard is a remodeling contractor and property manager with over a decade of experience in the greater Boston area. If you are looking for a help with a Boston-area remodel, contact us today for a free design consultation!