Best flooring for a rental?

102 Replies

Originally posted by @Mike Palmer :

Sounds like everyone likes the vinyl options. 

Bedrooms sound split with some liking vinyl some liking carpet? 

And what else is everyone doing on stairs when you go vinyl elsewhere?

You can use luxury vinyl tiles or planks on the stairs too and get textured leading edges for slip resistance. Certain types are better suited for stairs than others.

Originally posted by @Kyle Hipp :

I had one property that had carpet on he stairs and underneath that was asbestos tile on the stairs. I removed the entire tread and installed new treads. I painted he sides and risers white and stained and polyurethaned the stair treads and installed. Looks great and have had no issues in 6 months. 

Thanks for this advice.  I would have spent days trying to remove the old flooring.  Then given up in frustration and recarpeted.  Never occurred to me to just replace the treads.

Originally posted by @Mike Palmer :
Originally posted by @Kyle Hipp:

I had one property that had carpet on he stairs and underneath that was asbestos tile on the stairs. I removed the entire tread and installed new treads. I painted he sides and risers white and stained and polyurethaned the stair treads and installed. Looks great and have had no issues in 6 months. 

What type of flooring was around the stairs? Do you have any pictures you could share?

 Mike, no pictures however the top of the stairs was/is carpet and that wrapped the bull nose on the top step. At the bottom of the stairs was the allure vinyl plank.

I have used the Allure vinyl plank (stick style) in two patterns. One being teak and the other being blonde maple. Both have held up well and are in 5 units currently including my own home. I prefer the teak as it is beautiful ad rich but also the seams are hidden because of the dark color. The blonde pale showed some seams but at the end of tenant day t was not much different than real wood or any the product showing the seams...

Has anyone had problems with Scratching/wear.  In particular thinking of kitchen chairs scuffing and such.  Is there one pattern that shows less wear/imperfections?

I like the refinished hardwoods and vinyl for the kitchen.  Tile is durable but cold up here. 

I am also interested in suggestions for stairs from both a durability and sound perspective.  I have one particular tenant with noise complaints about the stairs.  They have carpet treads on them but he still says people walking on them are really loud.  I was thinking a good pad and new carpet but I don't know if there are any other ideas?

ceramic tile, it's last forever and can't be chipped or broken like wood or vinyl.  ceramic tile is good for warm/hot climate, if your in cold weather I would consider use vinyl as cost effective solution (as others have stated) I would definitely never use carpet on an rental, cleaning is a pain and expensive after 5 years it usually needs replacement.  Wood floors are no better, then need re-finishing and constant maintenance.

Thanks so much for this thread! Starting a rehab on my first duplex at the end of the month. This has been some insanely helpful information! 

Originally posted by @Kirk R. :

Has anyone had problems with Scratching/wear.  In particular thinking of kitchen chairs scuffing and such.  Is there one pattern that shows less wear/imperfections?

The better quality of luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank is extremely durable, scratch and wear resistant. You can drop a soup can on it and it won't dent or crack. Chairs, no problem, but do better with sliders. There are some youtube videos that show how durable it is. The waterproof click together type is impressive. I understand some might show wear on the seam edges more than others.

Originally posted by @Colleen F. :

I like the refinished hardwoods and vinyl for the kitchen.  Tile is durable but cold up here. 

I am also interested in suggestions for stairs from both a durability and sound perspective.  I have one particular tenant with noise complaints about the stairs.  They have carpet treads on them but he still says people walking on them are really loud.  I was thinking a good pad and new carpet but I don't know if there are any other ideas?

I'm someone who is really sensitive to floor noises/creaks. Good pad and carpet dampens foot steps but does nothing for creaks and movement. I'm wondering if your some of the stair noise could be abated by having a handyman or carpenter check under the stairs for possible loose/moving treads and supports.  Lots of potentially wooden moving parts in a staircase.  Sometimes all it takes is a few screws here and there.  

k . Marie, for floor or stair creaks there are screws in which the thread gets tighter as it goes up the shank. You screw through the floorboard or tread into the stud or joist below. The screw is made so that you screw it in with about a 1/4" exposed and then you bend the top and it breaks off below the surface. This way you just have a small hole hat ou can fill with putty to match and seal. The screws tighten the joist to tread or floorboard or hard wood without having to have the screw head exposed. You can even use it on carpet. Pretty slick!!

Thanks for all the great ideas. How does the Allure's price compare to the cost of ceramic tile per square foot?

I intended to post a photo of my Allure install, but I had to find one:

Great thread... I was only familiar with much older types of vinyl, i.e. ugly, non-stain resistant and never tenant pleaser. I have seen the Allure in person at hardware stores and I have to agree that they are really a good choice depending on your location...

Flavio

There are a couple different ways to do the stairs. You can leave the carpet if you want, which is the easiest way. Another would be to get Home Depot's Cap-a-Tread. In the brochure they look nice, but they are WAYYYYYYYYY expensive. The best way IMHO is to use the Allure itself on the stairs and then buy the nosing from Home Depot online and put that in. You can buy stair nose at Home Depot, but the one they stock is rubbery and doesn't look nice. If you're going to throw down the cash for Allure, you might as well go the extra 5% of the way and have a really nice finished product. Order your stair nose and transition strips well in advance of your project (at least 2 weeks) if you want them to match... otherwise you'll be picking something stocked in a store and it often times doesn't work. One last thing--if you use Country Pine (I always use this one), a lot of oak transition strips will match nicely. There are some good ones at HD that I use for this. Good luck everyone. Allure is awesome as long as you prep your subfloor very, very well--don't be lazy on this. 

@Ben Stout

Could you elaborate on preparing the subfloor very, very well?

Concrete...like a prison cell

We use the Country Pine Allure in our rentals. It has little knot holes, and has a lot of natural texture to it, so it definitely hides scratches, scars, etc. Some of our rentals are low end, and it really takes the abuse. We generally put carpets in bedrooms, and tile in kitchens and baths, and tub surrounds.. You can get decent looking tile for 59 cents a sq ft at Lowes. That's generally what we use.

I've heard you have to be careful when going over concrete floors. Allure floors do not breathe, so if water comes up through the concrete pad, you can have a mold farm on your hands. Also, if concrete floors get cold they can adversely affect the allure and cause seams to seperate, etc... Read the reviews/documentation to see what they do and do not cover.

Wow so many great post on this article!

I also recommend the allure vinyl for rentals. i live in new England and it can get really cold in the winter months so its pretty norm for bedrooms to have carpet especially in rentals. My rental (duplex) has a commercial grade/kid friendly berber carpets in bedrooms/stairs, and the allure vinyl in the living area/kitchen. Very durable and long lasting, couldn't be anymore happier!

can't beat Costco laminate when it go onsale for 1.10$ per square foot with underlayment pad also included! Made In America with lifetime warranty

Originally posted by @Ben Stout :

Allure is awesome as long as you prep your subfloor very, very well--don't be lazy on this. 

I would also like to know more about this please...

Originally posted by @Kent Verge :

I intended to post a photo of my Allure install, but I had to find one:

Thanks for the photo Kent. What color/design is that? Does it fit under the molding to hide the edge, and did you have to remove the trim to install it? Do you use it in the bedrooms too?

@Ben Stout  

and

@Marcia Maynard  

Most of these seem to be free floating floors. How do you attach them to the stairs?

And the allure itself is relatively thin, while most of the stair nosing I have seen is much thicker. Does allure (or any of the similar options) sell their own stair nosing and transition strips, or how are you getting everything level and matching height and color?

If I remember @Mike Palmer  it was a cherry (Ultra). I have the details, but not handy right now. It's the second photo that @Drew Wiard  posted.

I only installed it in the traffic areas: living room, entrance, hall. The bathrooms got the Trafficmaster groutable tiles, and I didn't do anything in the kitchen. I always use carpet in the bedrooms.

Yes, we had to remove and reinstall the trim. I suppose you could use the gap left by carpet, but it wouldn't be a perfect fit and you'd still need to remove it from one wall for the last row of flooring.

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