Flooring for 2 recently purchased properties

10 Replies

Need to make a few decisions and I still don't have my big boy pants to make them! Bought 2 houses in the city of Oak Park here in Michigan, not a high end area but definitely a nice quiet/affordable city with very good neighbors watching for one another (at least in the better part, don't know to much about the less desirable part).

House 1:

House renting in the better area of the city, closer to high end areas, just got agreement to rent for $1,700/month (on condition of putting new cabinets and granite counters in the kitchen). First floor is all hardwoods, second floor has 2 HUGE bedrooms (prospective renters love them!), I tore out the stained carpets but now I need to decide what type of flooring to put in there considering that I'm getting decent rent AND 90% of the prospective renters have pets!

What type of flooring would you recommend for the second floor bedrooms?

House 2:

House renting in the less desirable part of the city but still decent area, I got advice here to use trafficmaster allure (which I did buy, a little concerned about having a crawlspace and maybe that affecting the flooring), the house totally redone almost all new, the living room and kitchen have an open floor plan, and I really want to keep the same flooring for both so it looks and flows with the open floor plan BUT my friend which used to be a contractor is trying to convince me to go with tile in the kitchen, I like tile in a kitchen just feel this will break up the openess that the place has but maybe I'm thinking to much with my heart and not with my head, maybe tile is better under the circumstances.

Last questions, if any michigan people know of an affordable, quality floor installer let me know.

Thank you!

House 1

I would put hardwood flooring

House 2

I would do TrafficMaster Allure throughout

Thanks for your repl\y Sharad, I didn't think about hardwoods although getting $1,700/month definitely makes me give it a thought after you mention it, so your decision for hardwoods is based strictly on the rent amount you're getting from a property? or any other factors?

Thanks again.

Hardwood would last you much longer if you plan to keep this as a long term rental. Carpet should work fine too.

It sounds like you have a pretty decent place with granite countertop. What are other people in your area doing?

I do plan to keep it as a long term rental (it's 4 blocks away from my house), I just don't like that almost all the applicants have pets (only 1 didn't have one) so that being said I would hate for a cat/dog to ruin my brand new hardwood floors with their pee but maybe I'm being to paranoid and maybe it's worth the risk and make it a high end rental and hopefully keep the high rent.

I still haven't put in the granite, this was one of the conditions for me to charge $1,700/month, I haven't done a good job on doing my homework about the type of upgrades on the rentals in the area, I do remember seeing a couple that mentioned granite, I definitely need to be sharper and get to know my market real well, I was thinking the best way to do this is to become a "prospective" tenant and go check out all the inventory for rent in the area.

I don't allow pets in my properties, so you might want to look into best flooring for pets.

Good idea about being a "prospective" tenant to find out what other landlords are doing.

Don't know if this helps, but we also had a nicer rental (middle of Kansas), and used a laminate floor to replace carpet in the family room. Having installed laminate floor several times, I would say I definitely like it. In one rental, we installed laminate we purchased from our Sam's store--maybe a Costco in your area. We found flooring which looked like hand scraped hardwoods--12 mm with an attached backing. This is a tongue/groove install--but did add a little flooring glue as well. Price point was right around $1.40 sqft. In another rental we used allure. It is a little "cottage" we had just acquired--the carpet was disgusting! When I pulled it up, I started to get excited with the hardwoods underneath, but found that there were areas which had been "patched" with plywood, so could not really just refinish the floors. The other issue was the fact that the floor was not exactly level. The allure worked GREAT in this property. Could not have used the laminate, without using some leveler on the flooring and time was running out. The allure was a very simple install.

My opinion, being a pet owner, is that carpeting should go. Even if the pets do not have accidents, carpeting hold the pet hair and odors. Hopefully, you are also charging an additional deposit for pets. There are so few landlords that allow pets in my area, that it is not even questioned when I will allow A small pet. One thing I am also checking into, is the affect of pets on your property insurance. Depending on the breed, you may want to double check on the liability coverage. I am moving to requiring all renters have a renter's policy (had lots of argument with my partner over this issue--he thought I was being ridiculous--whole new topic--Partners.)

Hope this helps!

After reading BP threads, we decided to try the Traffic Master Allure Vinyl Flooring. We went to Home Depot and discovered there are several varieties and they differ in significant ways. Tiles vs Wide Planks vs Narrow Strips. Grip Strip vs Click Together. Thicknesses vary. Some provide more sound dampening than others. Many imitation wood and ceramic designs to choose from.

We first tried the Traffic Master Allure Vinyl Tiles in a bathroom, grip strip type, ceramic pattern. Our installer (professional old school flooring guy) didn't like installing it, husband loves it, I noticed a few pieces weren't installed flush, so I didn't like it. I also worried about grip strip seams in bathrooms because they are touted as water resistant, not waterproof.

We then decided to try Traffic Master Allure Ultra Resilient Vinyl Planks, click together type with a wood design, in two kitchens and one laundry room. Absolutely love it. Cost a little more than the other options, but worth it in my opinion. This type clicks together and is 100% waterproof, no adhesive, easy install over a smooth level sub surface. These float and because they click together, they can actually be removed and repositioned if necessary. Simple install, durable, carefree maintenance, wide variety of realistic looking wood or ceramic designs. I found this youtube video of it that shows it well.


Another tip... with most flooring, it is best to acclimate the flooring product to the room before you install it, as some flooring will react unfavorably to changes in temperature.

Pet urine can permanently stain hardwoods, so if you choose real wood be sure to use plenty of coats of protective polyurethane. Also make sure it is hard wood and not soft. Stilettos (high heel shoes) can do a lot of damage to real wood floors in no time!

Ask around with installers how much they would charge to do Utility Oak. Its a rougher wood with knots and cracks but for a rental who cares. Its about a $1 sqft but installation will vary from $1.50-2.00 sqft.


Sharad, I have another property 3/1 and most didn't have pets but it seems once you get to 4 bedrooms your chances double that someone will have pets so I actually had to change the wording of my ad from "no pets" to something along the line of a case by case basis. I wish I could get away with saying no pets in this house!

Yes Lori, I already took out the carpet, don't really want to deal with cleaning or replacing.

Marcia, thanks for the advice about protecting the floors, my floor guy put 3 coats of water based (streetshoe I think). Unfortunately this is the second time I wasn't able to be there to see him put the 3 coats and staining he claims to do in the space of 5-6 hours, sometimes I think he's not putting the 3 coats but it works out that I just can't be there, the floors look great though. How many coats do you recommend for a rental? It seems the normal is 3 coats.

George, if I could get away with not having pets I would consider hardwoods for the second floor as well but now I'm leaning toward the wood looking luxury vinyl planks (maybe the trafficmaster Ultra?), but now I have to see if they're good/not good for sound absorption, man, what a headache to pick a floor! lol

I would get laminate or vinyl wood planks. It looks great, super easy to install, and most renters don't know the difference/don't care. I got some cheap ones from Home Depot for my rental for like 99 cents a square foot and they look great.

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