Carpet cleaning or rip it out?

20 Replies

I have new tenants moving in this weekend and came to see the unit from the last tenants... This is the sun room.  This is my only unit with carpet, can this be cleaned or do I need to rip it out?

That's pretty bad. I would take it out, but I usually take out carpet anyway as a matter of course. Most people do not like carpet, at least where I am, and it is a pain to keep free from odors. It really depends on the level of rental - if this is a sunroom, it sounds a little more high end, and that would be detrimental. You can have very nice laminate put down for very low cost, if it is a money issue. 

Hey Brie, judging from the picture you posted, it looks like a good carpet cleaner should be able to remove most, if not all, of the stains in that carpet.  If you'd rather not deal with carpet any more, have it pulled, and replace the flooring with tile, wood, laminate, or linoleum.

Yeah, being the sunroom, and the only unit with carpet, this is your opportunity to replace. If it were mine I would go with vinyl planks. 

Hi Brie-

In my experience, some of the stains will come out, but not all.  We decided to clean carpets in all our units until they are worn out, then we will replace with anything but carpet in the future.  

Looking at your carpet, I would lean towards replacing it now- but what are your new tenants expecting?  Will they be ok with a vinyl floor?  We have put down vinyl planks in an entry way and in a unit that had  painted hardwood floors and have been happy with the flooring so far and plan to use it on everything else in the future.  It looks like wood, it is durable, and it goes down fast.  However, if your incoming tenants are expecting carpet it might be best to just put in new carpet- or just clean as best you can depending on the type of property it is.  Or call them and ask what they would like if you are going to replace it...


@Brie Schmidt

 Is there hardwood or anything good underneath? Since you have over 50+/- units (I just listened to your podcasts this weekend - very good!), and this is your only one with carpet...why not just go carpet free!


I can see both sides of the argument, but I am surprised how well a good cleaning service can dramatically improve the appearance of a carpet at relatively low cost or labor.

End the carpet battle. Rip it out and put in tile floors.

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I have similar colored carpets in one of my rentals and was able to remove even darker staining (see attached pic).  Of course, it had to be shampooed 4 times. 

Another option, if you don't want to replace the carpet, is to have it dyed a darker color.  It would be cheaper than replacing.

The issue with cleaning carpets is you are never going to know if they stains will come out until you have someone come shampoo/steam clean them.

If it is within your budget and time frame, install some vinyl plank.

So the house is hardwood with carpet in the bedrooms.  I am thinking of putting down vinyl planks since I am in a time crunch (tenants get keys tomorrow)

How hard is it to rip out carpet?  I just need a crowbar and box cutter right?

Assuming it is not glued to the floor, pull it off the tack strips, cut it into strips and haul it out. Utility knife and a small pry-bar to pull up the tack strips. Carpeting usually leaves some space to tuck under baseboards, so depending on what you put back you might need some quarter round molding to cover the edge gap. I would also go with the vinyl planks, they are surprisingly real-looking. 

Get the carpets steam cleaned. Probably won't cost more than $100 and the carpet will probably look like new afterward.

That carpet looks no where near as bad as the last one I had steam cleaned and now they look like new.

I would attempt to clean them. If it is one room, rent a machine. It will take an hour tops.

I have a Bissell Big Green Machine at home. Easy to use, and can be rented at Lowe's.

Carpet is a recurring cost. Pull it and put Armstrong Allure vinyl planks like others have mentioned. Lots of other posts on Allure planks on BP.  You can't go wrong with the planks. Looks good and wears good. 

All comments here are great, just to add if it's high turn-over unit, I would consider tile/ceramics they come in many different styles, colors, if you have good handy man it will last forever and never needs replacement. 

@Brie Schmidt

Depends on the type of stain if it will come out or not.  If it is a surface stain like dirt it shouldn't be an issue coming out.  If its pet stain usually the issue is the padding underneath soaks up the wetness and after you clean it can show back up.  In cases of pet stains You should rip out the padding also if you are replacing carpet.  Otherwise the stain can show in the new carpet.

I would suggest allure flooring at lower or home depot.  Its easy to install and needs no underlayment.  Just a sharp utility knife and some patients. :-)

Just as an update, we got the carpet cleaned and when I left it looked like it was in good shape.  But when it dried the stains showed.  

Unfortunately I didn't know till the tenants already moved in so my brother in law and I went there and ripped out the carpet and put in the allure.  That was my first time doing that and I was surprised at how easy it all was.  

Originally posted by @Steve McCondichie :

End the carpet battle. Rip it out and put in tile floors.

 I'm not fond of carpet either, but have found that tile floors constantly need to have the grout cleaned unless you go with a dark grout.  I haven't found it to be any easier even when the grout is sealed, in fact the sealer doesn't seem to make any difference. Some of the new composite wood products are really nice and getting less expensive all the time. I would be careful to choose something that is fairly indestructible; it certainly isn't as easy to replace boards as it is to replace one or two tiles.

I'm closing on a new rental property next week that has a mix of hardwoods and laminate- no carpet. I'm interested to see how it does. 

I'm certain that either one is better than perpetually playing the carpet game, that's like being the team every school wants to play for homecoming - a perennial loser. 

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