The Best Flooring Options for Rental Property

Durable Material at a Good Price

Picture of Best Rental Property Flooring Options
The Best Rental Property Flooring Options. Zero Creatives/Image Source/Getty Images

The flooring in a rental property needs to be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Since it is a rental, you want the material you choose to be cost effective, but you do not want to be replacing the floors every year, so you need to choose something that is also durable. Learn the pros and cons of seven popular flooring materials so you can choose the best option for your rental property. 

3 Things to Consider When Buying Flooring for Rental Property

1. Rentals Take More Abuse:

The materials that you use in rental properties need to be durable. While the flooring does need to look good, the main goal is for it to last as long as possible. It is a waste of time and money to constantly be replacing the materials in your rental. In addition, unless you are replacing the flooring during tenant move-out, it can be difficult to install new flooring while the tenant is living in the property. 

2. Goal Is to Make Money:

If you were choosing materials for your own home, you may want the most exotic marble or a unique lime green backsplash. As an investment property owner, your material choices need to appeal to the masses. Your best bet is to stick with neutral materials.

Cost is also a huge issue as an investor. You want to get the best price on everything. Every dollar you save is a potential extra dollar in your pocket.

If two tile options are similar, but one costs ten cents more per square foot, go with the cheaper one.

It will still accomplish the same task of giving you a brand new floor.

3. Consider the Function of the Room:

Different areas of the rental property may have different flooring needs. Areas such as basements and bathrooms tend to be damp and humid, so you want to avoid putting carpet, which can get moldy, or hardwood, which can warp, in those areas.

A durable, hard tile can be a good choice in a widely used common area. 

7 Flooring Options to Consider in Rentals

  • Option 1: Carpet:

The Good: 

  • Good Insulator- Can Help Cut Down on Energy Bills.
  • Reduces Noise

The Bad:

  • Traps Odors and Allergens
  • Stains
  • Difficult to Clean
  • Can't Patch In- Will Have to Replace Entire Section for Bad Rips or Stains.

Best For:

  • Bedrooms
  • Seconds Floors

Avoid:

  • Basements
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Entryways
  • Rental Common Areas
  • Hallways

See Also: Best and Worst Places to Install Carpet in Rental Properties

  • Option 2: Tile (Ceramic, Porcelain, Stone)

The Good:

  • The Tile Itself Is Easy To Clean
  • Durable
  • Water Resistant
  • Available in All Price Ranges

The Bad:

  • Not a Good Insulator
  • Tiles Can Crack or Come Up
  • Need to Clean Grout
  • May Need to Be Sealed or Polished
  • Takes Some Skill to Install

Best For:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basement
  • Humid Climates
  • Common Areas

Avoid:

  • Using Throughout the Home in Colder Climates.
  • Not Usually Seen in Bedrooms.
  • Option 3: Hardwood (Solid and Engineered):

The Good:

  • Can Last a Lifetime
  • Able to Refinish Solid Hardwood.
  • Engineered Hardwood Does Not React to Changes in Moisture
  • Easy to Clean

The Bad:

  • Expensive
  • Takes Some Skill to Install
  • Can Only Be Refinished a Certain Number of Times Based on Thickness of Wood.
  • Cannot Refinish Engineered Hardwood
  • Scratches and Dents More Easily- You Can Consult the Janka Hardness Test to Determine How Dense a Certain Type of Wood Is.
  • Susceptible to Water Damage
  • Sunlight Can Cause Color to Lighten

Best For:

  • ​​​Living Room
  • Dining Room
  • Office
  • Bedrooms
  • Moderate Climates

Avoid:

  • Bathrooms
  • Potentially Kitchens and Basements.
  • Not Ideal for Humid Climates.
  • Option 4: Laminate:

The Good:

  • Can Be a More Affordable Option Than Real Hardwood
  • Easier to Install Than Real Hardwood
  • Resistant to Scratches

The Bad:

  • Cannot Be Refinished
  • Can Chip
  • Much Shorter Lifespan Than Real Hardwood
  • Does Not Add As Much Value as Real Hardwood

Best For:

  • Living Room
  • Dining Room
  • Office
  • Bedrooms

Avoid:

  • Bathrooms
  • Potentially Kitchens and Basements.
  • Option 5: Vinyl:

The Good:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to Clean
  • Easy to install
  • Water Resistant

The Bad:

  • Not Very Durable- Can Rip and Tear.
  • Subject to Mold and Mildew- If Moisture Gets Underneath.

Best For:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms

Avoid:

  • Not Usually Seen in Bedrooms, Living Rooms or Dining Rooms.
  • Option 6: Cork:

The Good:

  • It Is a Green Product
  • Easy to Install
  • Affordable Alternative to Real Hardwood
  • Reduces Noise

The Bad:

  • Durability Issues
  • Susceptible to Water Damage
  • Must Be Sealed

Best For:

  • Kitchens

Avoid:

  • High Trafficked Areas
  • Rooms With Heavy Furniture Such as Living Rooms, Dining Rooms and Bedrooms.
  • Option 7: Linoleum:

The Good:

  • It Is a Green Product
  • Affordable
  • Easily cleaned
  • Easier to Install

The Bad:

  • Prone to Tears and Dents

Best For:

  • ​Kitchens
  • Dining Rooms

Avoid:

  • Not Usually Seen in Living Rooms or Bedrooms.