Best flooring for a rental?

102 Replies

It really depends on your subfloor. I live in Florida so most subfloors are concrete. If there is ANY debris AT ALL... this could be a nail head from a tack strip, a pebble, those glue chunks that hang off the allure from where they stick the instructions to them, etc... anything like that and you're going to feel it under your foot and it WILL annoy you. I vacuum with a shop vac twice, then I mop it with bleach water and let it dry, then I vacuum it again, then I lay the flooring. With wood subfloor, if it moves at all I toenail it so as not to get that awful creaking. 

@Lee Smith  brings up a very good point. You also have to be very careful not to go too far under your baseboards with the stuff or it can expand and contract and your seams will pop up. Then you either have to take off baseboards and recut it, pull it up, or contact cement it down and it becomes a gigantic mess. 

Home Depot sells their own stair nose and transition strips. It's manufactured by Zamma and is a specialty order--online only. 

@Darren Young

@Mike Palmer  

Cool, good info thanks. So to lay it on stairs you are using contact cement there too?

Here's a short video showing how to install laminate stair tread and nosing. Looks quite nice!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_GG56gUZwM

I'm going to be putting the Menards equivalent of the vinyl planking into a rental and have about 1,000 square feet to do.  The product seems to be pretty thick and durable. It doesn't need any adhesive or underlayment to install and looks really nice.  Looking forward to posting some before/after pictures.

Another question for the group - Do you mostly install these floors yourselves or hire it out?  I'm asking, more to get a sense of if you hire it out because it's difficult, or if you hire it out just to save yourself the time and money?

@Dawn A.    - Being in Ft. Wayne, IN I have access to Menard's as well; I just haven't stopped in to check them out.  I'll have to do that this week.  That said, would love to see your before and afters!

Originally posted by @Drew Wiard :

Another question for the group - Do you mostly install these floors yourselves or hire it out?  I'm asking, more to get a sense of if you hire it out because it's difficult, or if you hire it out just to save yourself the time and money?

@Dawn Anastasi   - Being in Ft. Wayne, IN I have access to Menard's as well; I just haven't stopped in to check them out.  I'll have to do that this week.  That said, would love to see your before and afters!

 I'm hiring it out.  I tried it out at the store and I think if I had a bunch of time and it was my own property, then I'd be willing to give it a go myself.  However, in this case it's not my property and I want to get it done as quickly as possible so I hired it out.

Before and after pictures will be coming soon!

I'm just about to install some Allure flooring in a rehab I'm working on. I'll post before and after pictures as well. I did lay a luan sub floor just to be cautious. Since I live in NJ and it is freezing here right now I have to wait until the gas is turned on to complete the install. I was able to pick this up on sale at home depot for .97 sq ft

Ceramic Tile; Allure; or Hardwood floors is the way to go. NEVER CARPET unless you like throwing your money away. 

Allure has worked out great for me and for my clients.  Easy to install, clean and repair if needed.  And since it is a floating floor you don't have the problems you would with ceramic tile if you have any foundation movement.  I haven't used it on stairs,

This is great, thanks. I most likely will be looking to do this on a floor that is fairly uneven. 3rd floor of a triplex and the building has settled so it isn't level. How does allure handle floors with some warping that aren't as level as we'd like? Just curious if anyone has any experience?

I know I spent quite a bit of time leveling a kitchen floor in a condo before installing vinyl 12" x 12" squares once. If that's what is required here I'll just go with carpet again, though I'd prefer to do the Allure!

Thanks!

Brett

@Marcia Maynard  Thanks to your detailed recommendation of Allure Vinyl, I bought some for a rental from Home Depot. 

My additional question is how forgiving are the interlocking vinyl planks on floors that are not.....shall we say perfectly flat? Will they flex to conform to the imperfections of the existing floor or do they strain at the seams and pop?

I am not referring to gruesomely disfigured floors just those with some minor issues......  slight elevation here or gradual dip there.

What about the stairs ? which product do you guys use for that?

I have the same question about stairs as well.

Originally posted by @Anthony M. :

@Marcia Maynard Thanks to your detailed recommendation of Allure Vinyl, I bought some for a rental from Home Depot. 

My additional question is how forgiving are the interlocking vinyl planks on floors that are not.....shall we say perfectly flat? Will they flex to conform to the imperfections of the existing floor or do they strain at the seams and pop?

I am not referring to gruesomely disfigured floors just those with some minor issues......  slight elevation here or gradual dip there.

We do our best to make sure the floors are level. I believe VPF is somewhat forgiving, but  imperfections in the floor underneath may eventually come to light... whether working with click together or sticky grip strip types.

@Huy N.   Makes a good point about price and laminate. I went shopping and the Allure products do look good. But I shopped around and found a place that buys end of line materials. They had a close out deal on good 12mm laminate for $1.29 CAD / sq. ft., half off regular price. Allure click and lock vinyl plank flooring was closer to $3 at Home Depot and no one seemed to have deals. I looked long and hard and I could not justify paying more at this stage. I have laminate in another unit and that is holding up well. I will try Allure in another application but for now the availability of bargain priced laminate in a clearance sale has considerable appeal.

Stairs:  I shopped ebay but there are rolls of runners at the box stores.  I put 2-3" strips of laminate floor and matching stairnose (mine was solid oak) along the stair sides and installed the runner up the stairs.  It is a nice way of carpeting the stairs when using laminate on both levels.  A pattered runner stands alone...like a rug.  I dont remember using a pad but th runner was a pretty thick wool one.  It has lasted 15 years.  They probably sell runners to exactly fit stairs too

Originally posted by @Dawn A. :

I'm going to be putting the Menards equivalent of the vinyl planking into a rental and have about 1,000 square feet to do.  The product seems to be pretty thick and durable. It doesn't need any adhesive or underlayment to install and looks really nice.  Looking forward to posting some before/after pictures.

 Any progress or updates for us Dawn?

Here are some pictures of how it turned out.

BEFORE

AFTER

(Note the floor is a little dusty as I took the picture after installation but before mopping the floor.)

I have used the regular TrafficMaster Allure grip-strip vinyl planking in 2 kitchens so far.  A year ago I laid it myself in my own home kitchen (so far so good), and this fall my handyguy laid it in a rental kitchen.  A year isn't quite enough to say it's fantastic, but I love it in the kitchen and there are no flaws popping up yet.   I'm trying to decide whether to try it in my home bathroom, which is why I'm revisiting all the BP threads on Allure tonight.

 I'm quoting myself!  Just wanted to report back on my 4th installation of the Allure grip-strip vinyl planking -- so far so good.  My own kitchen is going strong after a year (Blue Slate, ordered online.) There was never any of the feared vinyl fume smell.  I've heard it might have been a bad batch.  As far as I know,  rental kitchen #1 is doing fine in Autumn Oak, and I personally laid it in my own bathroom in February.  So easy (relatively speaking).  So far, no problem with moisture or other (although scuffs do show more on the whitish Coventry Oak, also ordered online. Duh)  Just last week, the same handyguy laid it in a 200 sq. ft. converted-carport-now-family-room in new Rental #3 (Autumn Oak again -- it's stock at HD).  This time, in hopes of providing a little bit of insulation against the concrete slab, the Allure went right over the tight-woven carpet I wanted to replace.  It definitely feels different underfoot that when laid on subfloor, but looks fine.  Again, so far so good.  Ask me for an update next year :-)

Originally posted by @Anthony M. :

@Marcia Maynard  Thanks to your detailed recommendation of Allure Vinyl, I bought some for a rental from Home Depot. 

My additional question is how forgiving are the interlocking vinyl planks on floors that are not.....shall we say perfectly flat? Will they flex to conform to the imperfections of the existing floor or do they strain at the seams and pop?

I am not referring to gruesomely disfigured floors just those with some minor issues......  slight elevation here or gradual dip there.

 I have it installed on a rental.  its been a year and it looks great.  I have a few areas that the cement was not perfect and you can really tell.  Its low end rental so i am not worried about it but I was surprised at how much it stood out.  Also make sure you don't ever get off a little on sticking them together.  Once you get off, its hard to correct and you can see cracks and that adhesive strip really shows through the gaps.  On mine it settled in and conformed to any dips and rises.

if anyone else follow Consumer Reports, they actually rated 'shaw' from Lowe's the highest of the vinyl planks, by a significant bit even over allure ultra or smart core. And it's priced about $2 sq/ft.

I've done it all, hardwood floors, tile laminate. the floor vinyl planks seem to be the best for me. They look awesome, they feel awesome, they dampen the sound between floors. I have not to have any damages or any problems with any of the vinyl flooring that I bought but if something should come up I always have extra tiles I can just replace the area that's affected. Home Depot sells it for a $1.49 per square foot and you can do it yourself with very little skill. It's a no-brainer for me.

Did anybody experience problems with temperature with the vinyl plank floors, as most manufactures require controlled temperature of between 65 and 85 degrees?

with over 20 yeas in the rehab business, I can tell you Carpet is the most expensive way to go. stay away from pergo. it is junk.  engineered hardwood for living areas and bedrooms and tile for bathrooms and kitchens. if it is put down right. tile will take a beating without breaking. Floor tiles breaks for 1 of 3 reasons. 1 wall  tile adhesive was used to put it down instead of thinset, 2 the thinset  is put down in a way that leaves parts of the tile "floating" meaning nothing underneath it. and 3 if it was put down right  someone put a hammer to it. you may have to re grout once every 3 or 4 years if tiled over wood sub floor thats it. and before you balk at the price of engineered hardwood. get away from home depot and lowes for your flooring and get to know lumber liquidators. you can always find great engineered hardwood for around $0.99 sqft.  the key in both of these is not using cheap labor in the front end it will always cost you in the back end. I have 2 large dogs  (over 100lbs) running around on my engineered hard wood for over a year. not a scratch. 

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