Flooring for rental??? Help

14 Replies

What is a good flooring option for a 1200 rental? Laminate? Tile is pry not a good option living in Michigan. I'm not looking to spend a ton of money. It's a 50k house renting at 900 per month. Thx!!

Allure floor  you can get it from Home depot or Lowes.. Easy to install and last. Easy to replace..

Hey Drew- we recently started using this vinyl plank product in our rentals. Looks good, easy to install and fairly cost effective. Good luck!

we do tiles in kitchen and baths. hardwood in living and bedrooms.

basement gets painted gray floors, white walls. same as the staircases

I'm a big believer in carpet in the bedrooms and living room/family room.
I go with the lowes frieze 1.25/sq ft and it ends up being about $2.sq ft installed.

I compare that to laminate where I spend $2sq ft for laminate and $2/sq ft for labor. So $4/sq ft for laminate.  Tile ends up being about $7/sq ft.

I do tile in kitchens and bathrooms. Carpet in the rest. 

I know that people say carpet doesn't last but I disagree. I'm having real good luck with this carpet. Its going on 6 or 7 years since I started to using this and I have yet to have to replace a whole house. On a couple of houses, I've had to replace a room of it. And when I do, I then go with laminate. Its ok to have different types of laminate in a house. Not such much with carpet. Thats just junk.

But I honestly think I can get 10 years or more out of that frieze. And maybe I do have to replace a room with laminate. But people prefer carpet in bedrooms. And the stuff holds up well.

If you had 3 bedrooms and a large living room, you might be looking at 850 sq ft of space. For carpet, that comes to about 1700 for install. And lets say I have to replace one room of it during a 10 year period. That would be 600 more dollars for the laminate (150sqft timex $4/sq ft).  

If I do laminate right from the get go, its going to cost me $3,400. And there's still that possibility that the tenants can damage laminate and it has to be replaced. Maybe not as great. But still a possibility. 

Originally posted by @George P. :

we do tiles in kitchen and baths. hardwood in living and bedrooms.

basement gets painted gray floors, white walls. same as the staircases

Drew:  check out the photos of rentals on George P.'s property website.  The tiles and hardwoods and painted basement floors really show well.  If you can get it done for the right price, I think the updated, clean factor will get you lots of applications and a better choice of quality tenants.


Here's the vinyl plank flooring we have put into a couple of rentals so far- for an top of the stairs landing in a common area and a studio apartment.


It looks beautiful and seems pretty durable, and it is very easy to install.  We plan to put this in where we can't restore the hardwood, and I will likely use it in at least some bedrooms.  

We had Empire put sheet vinyl floors in our kitchens and common area in our triplex last year and have been happy with that so far, but the planks beat that for price and installation.  


Tile kitchen/bath. Decent laminate rest of the house. 

If wanna spend a lil more go with a light hardwood instead of the laminate.

I have used Allure Ultra vinyl plank on a number of rentals now.  The Allure Ultra (not regular allure) is waterproof.  It looks great and wears really well.

I have about 25 units in SE MI in that price range and my first choice is to refinish hardwood if available, and give it 3-4 coats of poly. My next choice is a click together vinyl plank, about 5mm thick. I occasionally use ceramic tile in bathrooms and kitchens. I'm not a fan of sheet vinyl as it can rip and it's not that feasible to repair, but would consider it for a bathroom where you don't have heavy furniture going in and out. Laminate can be good, but I worry about kitchen/bath use.

I don't touch carpet with a 10 foot pole if I can reasonably avoid it, though it is by far the cheapest option installed, and is the best option for really uneven floors. 

I am in it for the long haul though, so I don't mind getting more durable flooring that will take years to payoff. If you need to maximize cash flow now then carpet may be the way to go. 

@Drew Denham ,

I love the 'survivability' of durable laminate 'hardwood' and tough tile.  But, it depends on how much maintenance you want to do vs. initial cost.  The cost will be higher to install the laminate and tile, but you likely won't have to worry about it for a longer time.  

Also, if you're working with multiple units and buy the same laminate/tile for each unit, replacement will be easier once you've standardized your setup.  So then you have a double-whammy... long-lasting stuff that is easy to replace.

It's hard to get a lot of years out of lower-end carpet, in my opinion.  As a result, you either pay for better carpet or laminate, which can end up costing about the same.  Or, you just have to replace more frequently... it comes down to preference in my book.  (:

Look at what the big boys do.  If carpet in the bedrooms and living areas wasn't the best overall, most economical choice, why would the big apartment complexes still use it. 

I always put laminate, or vinyl planking in the high traffic areas (living room, hallways, kitchen, dining) and I'll use carpet in the bedrooms and basement.

Pay attention to what your market is like. I'd love to stay away from carpet entirely, but if I don't put carpet at least in the basement, it won't rent NEARLY as easily...

I usually go with ceramic any time I have to replace flooring. The material is very cheap and durable. Installing it isn't much fun, however.

I am sick of smelly, disgusting carpet. Laminate still has wood dust in it that can warp when exposed to moisture. Vinyl planks are more water resistant than laminate, and look great. I like a big solid sheet of vinyl in the bathrooms because it doesn't have seams to trap moisture.

I own in a working class neighborhood. Prospective tenants have generally expressed a dislike of carpet.

If the tenants want carpet in their bedrooms they can get a rug.

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