Flooring for rentals

26 Replies

Hello all, 

I have a vacant unit and I am getting ready to do some updates.  My business partner and I were at Lowes looking at flooring and noticed the peel and stick vinyl plank tile.  It looks really good for a rental both price point and ease of install.  

I was wondering if anyone else had any experience and/or reviews on this type of flooring?  How is the durability of the product?

They peel and 'curl up.' If you must, don't install them in kitchen or bathrooms. You are better off with the interlocking ones. 

@Dylan B.

Spend the money on a better quality product.  Use laminate flooring.  It will last longer and you can replace sections.  If you use better products you will attract better tenants and earn higher rents.  Less expensive products are not always the best choice.    

It's junk.

Would you want it in your home? No.

Then why would a renter want it in theirs?

Also, look at how many mils (I think it was).  I think that's how many millimeters thick it is.  Thicker is better for wear.  The stuff at Lowe's is often too thin to last in high traffic areas.

Laminate flooring-gray is popular. I suggest 13 mm thick material and better quality subflooring material. Cost for laminate is about $2/sf installation labor varies. It is very easy to do it yourself too.

Commercial VCT is actually very good product, but it is as expensive as good quality laminate flooring.  Its nearly impossible to install yourself, so by the time you hire a pro to do it, its cheaper and easier to just do 12 or 13mm laminate floating floor.


The stick down stuff they offer at HD or Lowes is garbage.  Stay away.

I'd say go with faux wood tile. I think it's worth putting a little extra on the things that are long term in the property.

I don't use laminate or carpet anymore. My go to flooring is the vinyl planks that interlock with adhesive. Some people have thought it is hardwood floor. It holds up in kitchens and bathrooms too. I have never had any that needed to be replaced after many years.

I have seen laminate get ruined it is exposed to a puddle of water. Maybe if you bought expensive laminate it would be more resistant to water but the vinyl is immune to minor water from my experience.

I buy mine at Surplace Wharehouse.

@Dylan B. ,

It depends on your rentals, and the types of tenants if this is a good decision or not.   My mentor LOVED them, swore by them, said tenants were always super happy when they replaced them and so cheap it was very cost effective.     He did all section 8, and in C to D- types of houses.    If you do those types, they'd probably be great!

We only do ceramic wood looking tile in our rentals now, no exceptions.    It's more  $$$  upfront, but so easy to clean, waterproof,  animal proof, and IMO the most durable flooring you can get!    People love the floors,  and we love that it's soooooo easy to clean!!!  Looks gorgeous too, very high end.. but it can be as cheap as $1/sq ft.   

@Linda D., how long have you had your ceramic wood-looking tile?  Does it eventually wear the wood look off?  Do you have trouble with it being chipped or broken because someone dropped something hard on it?  And do you buy it from a local supplier or do you buy someplace we could all go?

@Jody Schnurrenberger ,

We started about 2 years ago, and the color has stayed beautiful, no stains or signs of wear and tear.  I have only seen 1 tile break from a tenant, although there's a chance it was our worker, so overall  I'd say they do not break often.    We've only seen things break from being dropped, never seen a tile break from something being dropped on it.     People actually tend to really take care of it and put rugs down, probably b/c it's cold on the feet, but still--it's protected!

Check out Floor and Decor, they are amazing!   Having tile allows us to accept animals, and not worry about issues with the floors because of accidents!

I don't do the peel and stick - you are dependent upon the quality of the subfloor, the quality of the adhesive and the conditions it is exposed to for it to have any real staying power. Floating floor all the way if there's no hardwood floors already existing. Floating vinyl/waterproof laminate for kitchens & baths, that or some other laminate for bedrooms/living room. I like floors that have some kind of pattern and texture - not crazy busy, but something that will help disguise the inevitable scratches and dents. My favorite of late is the 100% waterproof SmartCore flooring that you can find at Lowes - you can carry the same floor everywhere - kitchen, bath, bedrooms, etc. It has texture, goes down real easy, has some thickness to it. The tongues on it are a little susceptible when you are installing it - they tend to chip if you aren't careful - but once it's down it is super resilient. 

@Dylan B.

A colleague of mine owns a restoration company, and constantly testifies to the durability and appeal of high-end vinyl flooring. I've put them everywhere (including basements) in my properties and most can't tell that it isn't hardwood (photo). They are waterproof, mold resistant, scratch resistant, and do not peel. 

Here is a link to the supplier we use I hope that you find it useful.

@Jody Schnurrenberger

The wood look tile lasts as long as any other quality tile.   I purchased mine at Home Depot.  I don't recall the brand but its in my living room, dining room, kitchen and den.  I love the stuff.

As we replace flooring, we have been going to the click-n-lock vinyl plank. I buy it in bulk when it goes on sale It is durable, waterproof, and easy to install. If something happens to a plank in the middle of the floor (which I have never had happen), you can pull up the quarter round and get to it to replace just that plank instead of the entire floor.  Tenants love it and it looks very sharp.  I have heard more bad than good about the kind that uses adhesive strips to attach together, so I spend a little more and get the click together kind.  No complaints at all about it.  

Also, note that I would avoid laminate like the plague - it is not water resistant and I would never trust tenants with it.  LOL

Good luck!!

@Daniel Sitler , can you try that URL to your supplier again?  It's not coming up for me...or just tell me the name and city/state of the company and I can google it myself.  :-)

I installed LifeProof LVT from HD in a rental bathroom. It looks great and went down relatively easy. Kinda price at $2.75/sf, but should be pretty bombproof...hopefully. :)

@Jody Schnurrenberger

I bought the flooring from http://www.metroflorusa.com/

Edit: Sorry. This is the manufacturer of the flooring but it seems that they do not sell it direct on their site at the moment. Strange. I will ask my colleague where this was purchased from last and message you the details, ok?

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thank you all for the replies.  

@Tom Parris we had planed on putting in a ceramic tile of some sort in this rental, I dont know about the wood look tile because of the type of rental such as @Linda D. had mentioned about the type of property/area it is in.  I would classify this property as a class C property and dont want to put too much money into it.  

Linda where are you sourcing your wood look tile at? 

@John Underwood one of the guys in my local landlord meetings does the same thing, he mentioned if he ever needs to replace one of the planks its fairly easy. I have one property that has laminate and I am going to have to replace the flooring due to water. 

@Dylan B. ,

floor and decor--- it's amazing!  We got some wood looking tile for 0.59/sq ft!  

I went 24 inch tiles with 1/8 inch grout lines. It hurts the wallet up front, but it is worth every penny. Indestructible and can always be made to look like new with a good sweep and mop. We installed tile in one unit and about five days later we had a pipe burst and flood the unit with about 1/2 inch of water. We lost baseboards, but the tile was perfect. If it had been any other flooring, we would be out about a thousand bucks. Instead, we squeegeed it up, turned on the fans and an hour later it was back to perfect. Had another unit where we were doing final touch-up paint and the contractor spilled a gallon of paint. Quick cleanup and it was like it never happened. Now I dont have to worry about tenants messing it up.    

Go with LVT...interlocking if you can get it. Minimal moisture sensitivity, the quality products are extremely resistant to almost anything you can throw at it. Full blown contract products typically flow through contractor or retailer channels and aren't available for direct-to-the-consumer sale. I'm in the flooring industry...I'll try and answer any questions that anyone might have. Happy to help.

Laminate sucks.  Water damages it too easily.  Allure vinyl is almost indestructible and looks great.

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