Whats your Flooring Preference?

17 Replies

I usually remodel older homes where I can refinish hardwoods, but I need a new vision for when I have a slab on a slightly nicer home (3/2/2 100k ARV, $995 rent). Im all over the place on what to do: Allure, Tile, Wood Tile, Wood Laminate, New Vinyl Planks.

I really can't decide because I see advantages to each. The biggest debate is what to do in the entry, living, kitchen, hallway and utility areas. I know I want to go with porcelain tile in the baths and my partner is pretty sold on cheap carpet for the bedrooms. I disagree on the bedrooms, but welcome to life with a partner :)

Hi Blake,

Our preference is porcelain tile in all areas other than bedrooms. Porcelain is best because even if it is chipped the color is all the way through. As far as carpet, I believe there is a balance between cheap and value. You can put cheap carpet in units but be prepared to replace it after every tenant because it is CHEAP! We've gone that route before and the money you save, you end up losing because no matter how much you clean it, it still looks worn and cheap. You don't have to go high end but something in between.

Best of luck!

Eric

My concerns of tile in the living room is it being cold and loud. Ive been looking into the wood tile, but it runs about $3 a foot. I dont love that. They have some at HD, but I wasnt sure of the quality. 

Other downsides I see to tile is that its expensive to remove (but should last), and will crack if there is settling on a foundation. 

Thanks for the reply and thoughts

Hi Blake,

You're concerned about cold floors in Texas? If you're investing in North Dakota I may understand. :) 

In all seriousness, the "cold" tile floor can be remedied with an area rug if the renter doesn't like the cool floor. Yes, it's more expensive to replace however if it needs to be replaced then something major usually happened which would be deducted from the security deposit. There are very few instances when tile needs to be replaced due to damage so I wouldn't sweat it. Even if you do after the first tenant then the security deposit should cover it. There's no "accident" that would cause a tile to crack that wouldn't be covered by the security deposit.

Best of luck!

Eric

The best flooring probably differs depending on your location. I avoid laminate except maybe in the laundry room. It says "cheap" even though lately it cost me almost as much as a low cost tile.

Here in Phoenix I like tile. It's durable and easy to clean. If you want the look of wood but the durability of tile, they now make tile planks that look like wood, and some have varied casts, so each one looks a little different. I previewed a home for sale that had this wood tile. I thought it was hardwood until I stepped on it, and it didn't echo like wood. It took me a minute to figure out what it was.

Whatever material you choose, go with something that doesn't show dirt. Here in the desert I go with a reddish-brown tile that matches our dirt, and a darker grout. It can be completely filthy and you cannot tell until you clean the floor, and look at the mop water.

Also, keep an extra box of materials, and/or a small roll of carpet. Often a manufacturer will end a style or color, and you wont be able to find it in the future. I saved a roll of carpet from six years ago, and just made two cutouts and replacement of a couple bleach stains. You can't even tell where the repair was now.

The way we do it:

In nice houses: tile in the kitchen and bathroom and either stained hardwood floors or carpet (at least one step above builders grade) in living room and bedrooms.

In less nice houses: vinyl in kitchen in bathroom (we used to do allure but it lost favor with us when we realized spot replacements really aren't as easy as advertised and it's substantially more expensive than vinyl) and carpet or stained hardwoods in the living rooms and bedrooms. In really lower end areas, sometimes we paint the hardwood floors black to save money. It looks OK, but certainly not as good as stained floors.

We did a house with the tile that looks like hardwood and it came out really nice.  Our local Builders Outlet sells it as low as $1.85 sq. but we went with home depot and had it delivered.  Since we used the pro-desk the price came out about the same because the tile is what put us over the top to get the discount for the whole order.

Actually we used the "Bid-Desk".  it is for orders over $2,500 and they will bid it out and take some $$$ of the order.  Saved us a few hundred dollars on our rehab project.

One more thing! I prefer a textured tile. It doesn't show scratches as much, and it reduces the chance of a slip and fall, especially when wet.

Originally posted by @Blake C.:

I usually remodel older homes where I can refinish hardwoods, but I need a new vision for when I have a slab on a slightly nicer home (3/2/2 100k ARV, $995 rent). Im all over the place on what to do: Allure, Tile, Wood Tile, Wood Laminate, New Vinyl Planks.

I really can't decide because I see advantages to each. The biggest debate is what to do in the entry, living, kitchen, hallway and utility areas. I know I want to go with porcelain tile in the baths and my partner is pretty sold on cheap carpet for the bedrooms. I disagree on the bedrooms, but welcome to life with a partner :)

 For a $1K rental in Texas I would do tile in all the living areas except the bedrooms.  I would use one style tile for entry/dining/kitchen/living areas and I might change it up on the baths.  Avoid transitions when you can. Carpet is ok for bedrooms is that price range.  Slab houses have carpeted bedrooms where I am even in the $300K+ houses.  

BTW, I hate tile floors. And don't have them in my own home.  Tile is all the range with buyers and tenants here, though.  The durability compared to carpet (and even wood floors) can't be beat.

I'm a fan of Allure vinyl planks. It was simple to install and very durable.

in my current condo were I live that I hope  to turn into my first rental I went with stained concrete. We had a flood from the supply line to the toilet and our floating bamboo floor was trashed. It was going to cost over 4k to go with the same floor. Instead I chipped the little bit of tile by the front and back entry and kitchen and then had a guy grind the entire downstairs (around 600 sf) to open up the pores in the concrete. It was $900 and 2 guys were done in 5 hours. Then I sprayed the stain myself ($100 for gray stain that mixes w water and a $100 on a high quality pump so it doesn't drip). Then I sealed it with 2 coats of high performance sealer from Sherwin Williams (very strong and durable). Sealer was about $130 per gal and we used about 5 gal. The look is modern and it works for phoenix since it's "cold floor". Also the cracks and the old holes from where there was carpet nailing strips give it a lot of character. Pros- super easy to clean and modern look. Cons- is not traditional so some people might not like it and dog nails could scratch it ( I don't have dogs so not sure). 

I like bamboo. It weather's well, is water tolerant, affordable and renewable.

Stay away from carpet and laminates; these have a relatively short lifespan. Additionally carpet can host more dirt, parasites, etc.

I just uploaded the pics above but I don't know how to do the @ thing to respond to Chris k.  Can somebody please teach me how to do that? Thanks

Thanks for the pics. 

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