If you are the owner of a rental property, the chances are that you have had to look for new floors or will have to in the future. At Europine, we understand the various considerations that are unique to the rental property industry. Flooring projects are defined as either residential or commercial. Every other consumer knows whether their flooring needs are residential or commercial, but rental property owners are stuck in the middle.
As a rental property owner, you provide a residential space that another human being will inhabit. At the same time, you also run a commercial operation. Whether you rent out a single room or unit, or you oversee the renting of a multi-unit complex, you have a budget to manage and an ROI target to hit.
Flooring can make or break a space, be it commercial or residential. Visually, the layout of a floor, as well as the design, color, and style, can set the overall tone and ambiance of a space. Practically, the material of the floor will determine the texture and the feeling of the floor. The temperature, acoustics, and underfoot of the floor can create different experiences when walking across the floor.
These factors help a space, be it residential or commercial, become much more than just another room or area. But while the desired outcome of a space may affect your decision when investing in flooring, as a business owner, you must also consider the long-term plans you have for the property in question.
How to Pick Flooring for Rental Units
An important starting point is how long will you keep the property. Are you planning on upgrading and renovating the property in order to flip it quickly? Are you unsure as to whether you will keep it for some time or sell it soon? Do you know for certain you will maintain this property for years to come? The answers will help you pick the best rental property flooring for your particular plans.
If you are planning on owning the property for some time, then you should consider the demographics of your prospective tenants. Perhaps your property is near a college area or some other youth-dominant area. Maybe your property is near a neighborhood known for being a retirement destination. Or it could be that you prefer having nuclear families as tenants. Regardless, there is a perfect type of flooring out there for your rental properties.
A final consideration worth noting is that many rental units, as with many residences, feature more than one type of flooring material throughout the house. Usually, more than one flooring material is used when either a specific ambiance is desired or because the main type of flooring material is not suitable to wetter areas, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Sometimes, projects can be derailed midway through because of a lack of foresight, leading to unexpected costs.
Popular Flooring for Rental Properties
So, we’ve gone over some of the best tips for rental property flooring. But what exactly are the most common floors used in rental properties?
Understanding the array of choices available is vital to making the right choice for your commercial/residential flooring. Here is a quick breakdown of rental property flooring materials on the market today:
-Average Cost: $2 – $2.50 (per sq. ft.)
This flooring has been around for over 100 years and is a common form of what is known as “sheet flooring”. Like vinyl, another sheet flooring product, it has good durability but requires special processes to be made truly waterproof or aseptic. It has some aesthetic flexibility, but its design layer is embedded into the material itself, which limits its function and longevity.
-Average Cost: $2 – $30 (per sq. ft.)
The large range in cost is due to the availability of different sophisticated finishes as well as the amount of subfloor preparation required before installation. Concrete is an extremely sturdy material that, unfortunately, sacrifices aesthetic flexibility. Depending on add-ons and the installation complexity, the cost per square foot can increase much more.
-Average Cost: $3 – $5.50 (per sq. ft.)
The lower upfront costs of carpet do come attached to certain benefits, such as a soft underfoot and a great acoustic profile. However, it also brings higher long-term costs in replacement and maintenance due to how easily it can be damaged or stained.
-Average Cost: $0.75 – $5 (per sq. ft.)
Made from excess wood or waste wood from projects, laminate is a clever way to manufacture an economical yet practical floor material. Easy cleaning, decent scratch-resistance, and low upfront prices meet vulnerability to chipping or stabbing damage and little tolerance for moisture.
-Average Cost: $8 – $25 (per sq. ft.)
A classic look, the variety of woods available makes this category a world unto its own. Different woods will yield slightly different properties, and certain coatings can augment the durability and resistance of wood floors. However, these expensive floors may not be the best fit for rental properties as hardwood is not intended as temporary flooring solutions or for highly active areas.
-Average Cost: $5 – $10 (per sq. ft.)
Ceramic tile is another classic look that is typically cheaper than wood. While it requires less intense maintenance and suffers less wear-and-tear, it is more susceptible to cracking from heavy impacts. If placed strategically, ceramic tile can function well within rental property flooring standards.
-Average Cost: $0.50 – $3 (per sq. ft.)
Similarly priced as laminate flooring, vinyl composite tile, or VCT, has also been around for some time. Technological improvements have created more robust and more visually appealing VCT flooring, but the best vinyl flooring products are an entirely distinct category.
LVP: Best Overall Flooring for Rental Properties
Luxury vinyl plank, better known as LVP, is one of the fastest-growing flooring solutions on the market. The latest technology allows the polyvinyl chloride of VCT to be combined with various other materials, polymers, plasticizers, and stabilizers without increasing the costs or producing dangerous phthalates byproducts.
Averaging between $2 and $5 per square foot, LVP is the best performing rental property flooring material among the most affordable rental property flooring options. Luxury vinyl plank is easy to clean and maintain, requiring only basic cleaning agents and instruments. It is highly resistant to substantial impacts, scratching, chipping, cracking, fading, and all other manners of wear-and-tear. It is also incredibly waterproof, resisting all spills and stains. It would take a lot of standing water and extreme negligence for moisture to begin warping LVP floors in rental properties.
It also features a layered system, meaning that each plank is made up of layers. The wear layer protects everything else underneath, including the design layer. This layer, combined with modern 3D printing capabilities, allows LVP to imitate any other kind of flooring aesthetic or even create entirely new looks.
LVP is easy to install, as well as replace. This brings down the cost of installation, which is a huge boon for multi-unit rental property owners looking to renovate their floors. Installation is so easy that many intrepid DIYers have successfully installed LVP floors in their personal homes. Here at Europine, we recommend using professional installation teams for any commercial project, including the unique projects that are rental property flooring renovations.
The longevity of luxury vinyl plank flooring has been well documented, meaning that your initial investments can go a long way. In the case of replacement or future renovation, the rather simple LVP installation process makes it less financially burdensome to swap out your LVP floors in rental units for newer or different LVP floors.
Our flooring experts are always eager to provide all the relevant information you need if you are interested in finding the best LVP flooring products for your rental properties.
Need Specific Help?
If you ever find yourself needing/wanting to discuss any of these topics, or even just to ask your questions, please feel free to contact us. In fact, Europine encourages and welcomes any and all further inquiries regarding your flooring concerns.
EUROPINE, ADO Floor USA
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