What type of flooring is best for rentals?

By
Home Builder with Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT WC19920-H07 HIC619252

laminate flooring westchester NYA customer recently asked, "Which type of carpeting is better for a rental in Westchester NY - nylon or PET (polyester)?"

I think my response surprised him.  My answer was "Neither; you are probably better off with laminate flooring for a rental."

 

Background and disclaimers

  • Laminate flooring looks like hardwood.  It is fake and actually uses recycled hardwood shavings (so it's kind of green product).  It is hard (like hardwood) rather than flexible like vinyl.  (Many customers get vinyl and linoleum and laminate confused.  More more of an explanation on these surfaces click the links).

 

  • westchester NY carpetNow, of course, there is no one size fits all answer for this question. It does depend on how high end or low end a rental is and types of renters you typically attract (or are looking to attract), and it does depend on the state and condition of the floors (e.g. are the floors level?) and what type of tlooring/subfloors are there now (e..g if there is already hardwood floors there, I would tend to keep those (and refinish them, if needed...this is less expensive than recarpeting and improves the value and rent you can charge).  And, of course, there are some apartments which require carpet, so a hard surfaces are out of the question.

 

  • People often get terms mixed up, so here's a bit of background:
    • Pergo is a brand of laminate (there are many other brands too).
    • Laminate is a floating floor (there are other types of floating floors, too)

 

Why laminate flooring is often a better solution vs. carpet for a rental in Westchester NY.

 

1.  While laminate flooring will usually cost you more initially, it will save you more in the long run (and medium run).

floating floor - laminate flooring Westchester NYLaminate may cost you 50-80% more than carpet.  BUT, it will last MUCH longer.  Usually, carpet will only last through 1 tenant...it is changed well before the warranty runs out due to stains and/or odor and hygiene.  As soon as you replace the carpet, you've already spent more than you did fot the laminate...and that doesn't even factor in the fact that carpet has been rising in price faster than any other surface (it's petroleum based, so as the price of oil increases, so does the cost of carpet.

    • So, if your renters turn over every 2 yrs, you've already saved money in those 2 yrs.
    • Most laminates will last at least 20 yrs...so think about how many tenants you will have over those 20 yrs.  If it's more than 1, then laminate is clearly a better investment.  And, if you do in fact have 1 tenant for 20 yrs, you probably need to change that carpet for them 1-2 times over that span.

     

    2.  Laminate flooring will appeal to more potential renters...so it will allow you to rent the place sooner

    (and in some instances, it may allow you to charge a bit more for the rent even if that is just because you have more potential renters).  Nowadays, more and more people prefer hard surfaces over carpet.  Not only is it a preference for many, but it's a necessity for many.  if there is just one member of the family who has asthma or an allergy, they will avoid homes with carpet.

     

    3.  Laminate flooring is easier to maintain and keep clean vs carpet.

    It's rather easy - same as hardwood.  You don't need to worry about the cost of cleaning your carpets or stains.  It tends to work well with pets.  Unlike hardwood (which I love), it's pretty scratch resistant

     

    4.  Laminate flooring usually looks better and shows better than most carpets.

    laminate flooring Stamford CT 06902If you go with a light color, ti will help make the space look larger and you can use the same surface everywhere - even the kitchen - and because you'll have one surface everywhere (ecept the bathrooms where you close the doors anyway), it will make the space more continuous and hence look larger.

     

    5.  You will not need to replace laminate flooring between tenants...so, this means that you can rerent it faster. 

    When you need to replace the flooring, it may take you time to get estimates and choose a flooring contractor, not to mention the time to order the materials and arrange schedules for installation, so you may lose a month of rent because of this.

    If carpeting is your only option:

    In the event that you need to install carpet in a rental (e.g. the floor is uneven or carpet is a requirement or the apartment requires carpet, then I think you need to think about the type of tenant you are trying to attract.  In general, nylon carpets are better quality, softer, last longer and cost more; polyester carpets don't last as long.  If you have high tenant turnover, my logic would tell me to get a less expensive polyester carpet since you will need to replace it soon anyway.

     

    Possible objections to laminate flooring vs. carpet and potential solutions:

    1.  Some people prefer carpet for the bedrooms (prob. slightly less than half - maybe 30-40%, but it is a preference for some).  Solution: get area rugs...or have tenant bring in theirs...and they can keep this when they move out.

    2.  Sound issues from below.  Solution - use a cork underlayment to muffle the sound.

    3.  Warmth - again, cork underlayment can help as can area rugs...but maybe this is a source of another underlying issue (e.g. insulation) that may need to be addressed.

    So, my recommendation is that you will ultimately save & make more money by using laminate flooring in a Westchester NY rental rather than carpet. I understand that renting is a business and as such think about your investment costs vs. your return.

    If you live in Westchester NY or Fairfield CT counties, and if you are in the market for laminate flooring or carpet, or would like estimates to compare both options, give us at call at Floor Coverings International 914-937-2950 and let us bring the "store to your door."

     


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    Posted by

    The Flooring Girl logo

     

    Debbie Gartner - Westchester Hardwood Flooring

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Debbie Gartner, "The Flooring Girl" and owner of Floor Coverings International Westchester NY

     

    Angie's List Super Service Award winners for 4 years in a row.

     

    You can download our free flooring guide.  Or, visit our flooring selector - 2,000 options.  We install hardwood flooring, carpet and runners, tile floors and backsplashes.  We also refinish hardwood floors.

     

    Call us for a free estimate 914-937-2950.

    "We bring the store to your door."

    If you enjoyed what you are are reading, feel free to subscribe to blog to my blog.

    WC19920-H07, HIC619252

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    Ambassador
    1,521,235
    Michael Thornton
    Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
    Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297

    Good morning, Debbie. Do you have anything in decorative the cast-iron line. I hear that that material wears like there is no tomorrow... 

    Aug 14, 2011 08:30 AM #1
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Michael - LOL - I suppose it does wear well, but not comfortable on your feet.

    Aug 14, 2011 08:35 AM #2
    Rainmaker
    1,434,900
    Anita Clark
    ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
    Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

    WOW...so much good information in this post that will help those who are snapping up homes as investment properties as well as homeowners who want to try something besides carpet.

    Aug 14, 2011 08:51 AM #3
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Anita - txh a bunch.  yes, it's a bit long for a blog post, but hopefully, it will really help the people who are searching and need the ifno.

    Aug 14, 2011 08:55 AM #4
    Rainmaker
    429,164
    Brian England
    Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
    Realtor, MBA, Real Estate in East Valley AZ

    Very good information, I would feel the same way about a rental with regard to the flooring.

    Aug 14, 2011 08:56 AM #5
    Rainmaker
    1,404,311
    Andrew Mooers
    MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
    Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

    The kind that is bullet proof. That can fire hose restand cleaning with strong chemicals after the Beverly Hillbillies move out that had farm animals inside the home. Now we're talking.

    Aug 14, 2011 08:56 AM #6
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Brian - thx.  Yes, you have to be practical.

    Andrew - Oh, to find a floor like that would be awesome.  I think tile is the only thing I've seen to survive a fire and not always as often the walls behind it/under are ruined in some way.  Oh, and w/ a fire, it needs to survive fire + water (in putting out the fire).

    Aug 14, 2011 09:01 AM #7
    Ambassador
    1,504,482
    Liz and Bill Spear
    RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
    RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

    Debbie, A great and thorough explanation on the case for laminate flooring!  Done right, it's a VERY sharp looking product!  We're not fans of carpet (no one with pets can REALLY like carpet can they??)!

    Aug 14, 2011 09:03 AM #8
    Rainmaker
    236,637
    Judy Klem
    Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
    Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

    Hi Debbie - What a great analysis and to-the-point information for anyone maintaining rental spaces! I hit Suggest.

    Aug 14, 2011 09:13 AM #9
    Rainmaker
    495,205
    Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
    Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
    Real Estate Salesperson

    Debbie, what great info and I certainly learned something about laminates from this.  Suggested.

    Aug 14, 2011 09:16 AM #10
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Bliz - Thx.  And, great point. It does need to be done right.  Some people try to do this themselves and then it buckles since they don't install it properly.

    Judy - Thanks so much Judy.  I appreciate the suggest, but I don't think it will make.  There's a quick post I did yesterday that just got featured.  Not sure why.

    Leah - Oh good I'm so glad you learned something.  Thank you.

    Aug 14, 2011 09:26 AM #11
    Rainmaker
    446,007
    Joanna Cohlan
    Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
    Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

    Debbie, I now know what I would do in a rental property that I own-the next tenant I get, gets new laminate flooring.  As always, thanks for the great advice!

    Aug 14, 2011 10:46 AM #12
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Joanna - Yes, good answere. Thx. You're so sweet.

    Aug 14, 2011 10:49 AM #13
    Rainmaker
    314,191
    Leslie Prest
    Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
    Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

    Laminate is the recommendation we make to any Owners who ask us that question. Tenants love it, too.

    Aug 14, 2011 10:59 AM #14
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Leslie - Oh good.  I'm so glad to hear that.

    Aug 14, 2011 11:30 AM #15
    Rainmaker
    635,419
    Sheila Newton Team -- Anderson & Greenville SC Real Estate
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
    25 years experience -Residential Real Estate Sales

    i love laminate floors. they are so durable if you have pets ...

    Aug 14, 2011 01:29 PM #16
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Sheila - Yes, they are great for pets.

    Aug 14, 2011 01:58 PM #17
    Rainer
    239,935
    Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS
    Keller Williams Greater Worcester - Worcester, MA
    "Your Full Service Professionals"

    Debbie,

    Great post! I think laminate would be the better choice too.

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    Aug 14, 2011 02:18 PM #18
    Rainmaker
    1,672,490
    Debbie Gartner
    Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

    Michele - thx.  The weekend is slipping away.  I need more time!

    Aug 14, 2011 03:10 PM #19
    Anonymous
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    Rainmaker
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    Debbie Gartner

    The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
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