Color/shade of laminate to put in rental?

27 Replies

I was in the floor store looking at laminate and the store employee asked me what color the furniture was so that the laminate wouldn't clash. This hadn't occurred to me, since the house is vacant right now. Is there a "neutral" color to pick, and is it better to go darker or lighter?

Also, they had thicknesses ranging from 7mm to 12mm. Is there an optimal thickness to use?

There was another thread last year that discussed floor coverings in rentals. From what I've heard, laminates aren't a good choice. They're cheap, but also easily damaged. After your tenants drag their furniture across the room several times with the rubber feet worn off exposing the steel fastener, your laminate is going to look two tigers had a wrestling match in that room.

Hard wood is more expensive, but can handle damage better and can be repaired. My personal preference is ceramic tile.

neutral color that doesnt show dirt well or footprints if dirty or wet.

The small kitchen which connects directly to the living room has tile. The two smaller bedrooms also have tile. I was advised by someone to use laminate for the living room, hallway & master bedroom because it would be hard to match the tile that's in the living room, etc. and it might look funny to have two types of tile running into each other. (There was nasty carpet in the living room, hallway & master before)

kitchen tile:

what's left in the living room, after carpet removed:

I personally wouldnt use laminate in a rental but if i did i would definitly go with the 12mm and a light color because scratches on dark colors show more. I installed a dark laminate at my bro in laws and one section got scratched from something getting caught between the door and the floor as he opened the door and you can see the scratch clearly!

put carpet back in!

i'm against laminates as well. I just used them for the first time recently in the downstairs of a rental. Though it looks good now, it is already showing signs of failure to come. I don't trust it, and expect to be replacing it within 5-10 years if im LUCKY. Dark carpet can probably last longer, and it costs less. Get a good thick pad so it feels soft. If you want hard floors, anti up and get wood, bamboo is decent, never use ceramic in a living room (or dining room in my opinion). The cost difference between Hardwoods and laminate is considerable, but if you're holding, just forget about it ;-)
HARDWOOD

Originally posted by Bienes Raices:
^ I've heard never to put carpet in a rental?

Really? Are these the same people who say never put in a dishwasher, stove, garbage disposal, etc.? I would hazard to say MOST homes in the USA have carpet, especially in the bedrooms, therefore, tenants probably expect some there.

The only time I lived in a house that was completely tiled was on base housing in the Navy. Of course, that didn't stop us from buying carpet remnants from a shop in town and spreading it out in all 3 bedrooms. No, they weren't stretched or held into place with tack strips, they just floated there. But it was certainly nicer to walk on than the vinyl tile the Navy used throughout the homes. BTW, we did the same thing aboard ship! Made a six-month cruise a little more tolerable.

When we were looking for our primary, we saw one house with hideous tile in the master bedroom. Blue and white! Nasty!! I wish I would have taken a pic. Needless to say we didn't make an offer at all... not even a consideration. The owners probably thought they were doing an "improvement"

Originally posted by Mark Claire Updegraff:
When we were looking for our primary, we saw one house with hideous tile in the master bedroom.

When we were looking for our primary, we found a house owned by a tile setter. Good, you'd think, right?

Well, the guy had a dog, so for ease of cleaning he tiled the ENTIRE house, front porch, and back patio with Mexican Pavers!!!

First off, I HATE Mexican Pavers. They belong in 18th century California Missions and Tex-Mex restaurants. I even have some in one of my rentals and can't wait for the day I get to rip them out! Needless to say we passed on an otherwise nice house because of the seller's choice of flooring.

Bienes, laminate is a go to flooring for me. WHY?
- Its cheap: bought some recently at LL for .60/sf, typically your in the .80-1.10/sf and install myself which is very easy.
- Durable: I've dropped hammer off of ladder, we've had standing water on some after a plumbing leak, pets, whatever, this stuff holds up + as an added bonus, the tenant takes their stains and stink with them when the leave with a throw rug.
- Looks good: Propects love the look, I go for a lighter color like a maple or honey oak, if it does scratch its not as noticable. It doesn't have to be real fancy unless you're looking at long term flip but regardless, majority of it looks classy. I utilize Lumber Liquidators site a lot b/c they have real reviews and pics that show what it will look like.

All in all, Laminate is a godsend and I consider it to be one of the best choices when it comes to flooring...

PS: 6mm-8mm-12mm, the actual vaneer is the same whatever choice you make, the composite backing is what thickens.

thanks for the replies. Mitch & Mark Claire, I am uneasy about using carpet because I don't want to have to exclude pet owners, but don't want to replace the carpet every year or two either...and I'm afraid it will look bad to have two different types of tile abutting one another...I was looking for a happy medium.

Would vinyl tile or sheet vinyl be too tacky to put in the living room?

Not if it is section 8.

If it is nicer, use the carpet or hardwood and I always exclude pet owners. It makes for a nicer building.

Some might say to go with CVT or vinyl plank in a rental.

I just ripped out 32 month old carpet that was totally trashed. I put in laminate from Home Depot. I have some concern about its ability to hold up, but it has to be better than carpet. I though about putting carpet back in the bedrooms, but even those had damage and one was totally trashed. I grabbed some samples and took it home and bashed on it with tools and knives and was very surprised at how tough it was. The top surface is much tougher than I expected. I did consider hardwood, but I've seen how that holds up even in my own house. Which is to say not so well unless its treated with care. I'm not convinced anything short of concrete will really hold up long term in a rental.

I replaced the carpet in 2 of my rentals with laminate in July 2009. Bought some closeouts at Lumbar Liquidators for $0.66/sq ft & paid $1.00/sq ft for installation.

It has held up so far, and my tenants love it. However, like I've always preached, hard screening leads to better results all around. Sometimes it's not what you put in your rentals, it's WHO you put in your rentals.

Originally posted by Steve Babiak:
Some might say to go with CVT or vinyl plank in a rental.

Plank was the other thing I was considering. I've heard that it's really easy to install.

Originally posted by SolidReturns:
I replaced the carpet in 2 of my rentals with laminate in July 2009. Bought some closeouts at Lumbar Liquidators for $0.66/sq ft & paid $1.00/sq ft for installation.

It has held up so far, and my tenants love it. However, like I've always preached, hard screening leads to better results all around. Sometimes it's not what you put in your rentals, it's WHO you put in your rentals.

solidreturns, do you remember what millimeter thickness you bought?

I put Autumn Walnut colored laminate by Tarkett in a rental house. It has been through two dogs, three cats, a destructive 5 year old, and a 2 year old and still looks as great as the day I put it in. I caught it on sale for $0.99 sq/ft and the padding was $0.24 sq/ft. I have only found one small scratch and I just rubbed it with my finger and it pretty much disappeared.

Originally posted by Jon Holdman:
I'm not convinced anything short of concrete will really hold up long term in a rental.

I was thinking the same thing. I've seen concrete floors stained and polished in commercial properties and heard of some people doing that to the slabs of their homes, but every example I have seen were dark and probably not attractive for every home, especially smaller ones without a lot of natural light.

When I was picking out flooring for my own family room - knowing that with three young kids and a dog, it was going to take a beating - I went to Home Depot with my car keys in hand. Making sure I avoided the gaze of the employees, I dug my keys into all the flooring samples they had (trying to imitate drops, gouges, tools/toys etc). The laminate held up the best out of anything. Somedays I think my family room floor gets more abuse than my rental does.

Big Bubba, that autumn walnut sounds similar to the color I was going to suggest. A darkish gold tone can stand a lot of dirt without looking too worn. I've had laminate (sorry-already installed, don't know thickness) where what looked like scratches just cleaned up like scuffs with some scrubbing.

For anyone who has used it in a rental, have you had issues with the tenants cleaning it correctly? (I was told that laminate needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth instead of a mop and bucket, or it will be damaged over time.)

Bienes,

I don't recall what thickness they were. The only thing that mattered to me was that my contractor said it would work & that it was enough for the 2 units.

As for the cleaning question, I tell them that the Swiffer (mop-replacement) works just fine.

Originally posted by SolidReturns:
Bienes,

I don't recall what thickness they were. The only thing that mattered to me was that my contractor said it would work & that it was enough for the 2 units.

As for the cleaning question, I tell them that the Swiffer (mop-replacement) works just fine.

Thanks...
Do you know if it's possible to replace just part of the laminate if it's damaged? Or is it too difficult because the of the way the pieces lock together?

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