VCT Flooring?

12 Replies

I have a town home that has all VCT flooring throughout like a hospital or grocery store. I am doing a soft remodel on the unit when it goes vacant end of the month. As a landlord I love this flooring since it is so durable. The downside is all prospective tenants hate it. The flooring really makes the unit "cold". Prospective tenants cant picture the VCT floor with area rugs.

I am trying to decide what to do about this type of flooring.

Should I leave the main floor VCT and put laminate wood in the upstairs bedrooms and hall? Return on investment in about 1 year if no vacancy.

Should I put laminate wood all throughout to spruce the place up to get higher rent and more quality tenant? Return on investment in about 18months if no vacancy.

I have called around to see how much it would cost to buff the floors and it is the same cost as to put down laminate in the same area. I do not have the time with work to do it myself.

How hard is it to remove the VCT flooring? I think there is concrete under it.
How much is it to make the concrete floor shine like the new homes I see?

If you have VCT all throughout can you send me photos so I can see how it looks.

What would you do about the VCT flooring?

Originally posted by Andrew Jones:
Buy a few area rugs and put them in for showings. I wouldn't take out the flooring if its not damaged.

What he said! "Stage" your rental... it'll be your choice whether the rugs can be left in... you could even "rent" the rugs if you wanted to... floor furnishing :)

Justin: what color is the VCT? You might be able to down play the coldness if you change wall colors when you do your soft remodel. If you go beiger on the walls and not the typical rental Swiss Coffee or Navajo White (I hate those colors), you might get a nicer effect. But you say it's only 18 months return on your investment to do laminate? How much higher would the rent be if you changed the flooring?

VCT is so thin, you could probably lay down some luxury vinyl tile right over the top of it as long as the VCT is cleaned of any dirt, grime or wax and is secured. I've never done this, but don't see why it wouldn't work. Some of the luxury vinyl tile used to glue to itself sort of like glue-tongue and groove, and only the edge pieces glued down to the floor. Not sure if they still make any like this or not, but if they did, then you could still recover the VCT later if you wanted.

K. Marie the walls are light beige and the VCT is the typical speckle off white and beige.

How much would you set your staging budget at? This is a $1250/month rental.

I am thinking about carpeting the two upstairs bedrooms and stairs and putting wood pergo in the upstairs hallway. I would leave the main VCT floor alone.

I have about 10 years experience in the flooring industry (installation, cleaning, maintenance). VCT is a commercial product, meant for commercial applications. It should be stripped and waxed every 6 months, with heavy use. Could probably go a year or two with very light use, but entryways and other high traffic areas would dull sooner. It is generally not a great product for residential purposes because of this periodic maintenance, which is a messy process. If it isn't maintained it dulls and holds dirt, but the tile will remain. So, it may be acceptable to low end rentals.

When switching from VCT to another type of flooring, you rarely need to remove VCT. VCT is so durable it can have a second life as subfloor.
You can install padding/carpet directly over it. You can also install laminate directly over it. If it is glued down well, you can install vinyl/"linoleum" directly over it, although you should fill all gaps with thinset first. If going to ceramic, you can install the subfloor directly over the VCT.

The difficulty in removing VCT varies greatly, depending on type of glue used, age, time of installation, humidity, temperature, type of subfloor. Sometimes tiles will pop off on there own, other times you can spend 5-15 minutes per tile using heat gun, chisel, and scraper. I've removed VCT that has taken chunks of sub floor with it, concrete included.

As far as refinishing to shiny concrete, this is doable, even refinishing hardwood can be possible. However, if your prospective tenants dont like the "cold" feeling of VCT, I don't think concrete would alleviate that issue.

@Shanequa J. Solid colors do exist, but it isn't readily available like the armstrong tiles you can get at any HD/Lowes. It's meant for accents and borders, not whole floors. The seams, dirt, and uneven wear would be incredibly obvious in a solid colored floor, which is why most tile has that speckle pattern.

To everyone considering VCT:

As a flooring purist, I would never suggest installing VCT in a normal residential setting. It's ugly and creates an institutional feeling. It is a great product for large, heavily trafficked, commercial spaces. VCT has a long wear life and predictable long term cost, as long as it is properly maintained.

The shiny tiles you encounter in hospitals and large stores are the product of this frequent scheduled maintenance: daily dry mopping/sweeping, periodic wet mopping, semi-annual stripping and waxing.

Do you want to perform this maintenance as a landlord, would your prospective homebuyer?

http://www.armstrong.com/pdbupimages/194617.pdf

If it exists, or very low end and tenants don't mind, leave it by all means. Otherwise, look into other flooring options.

Originally posted by Robert R.:
Shanequa J. Solid colors do exist, but it isn't readily available like the armstrong tiles you can get at any HD/Lowes. It's meant for accents and borders, not whole floors. The seams, dirt, and uneven wear would be incredibly obvious in a solid colored floor, which is why most tile has that speckle pattern.

To everyone considering VCT:

As a flooring purist, I would never suggest installing VCT in a normal residential setting. It's ugly and creates an institutional feeling. It is a great product for large, heavily trafficked, commercial spaces. VCT has a long wear life and predictable long term cost, as long as it is properly maintained.

The shiny tiles you encounter in hospitals and large stores are the product of this frequent scheduled maintenance: daily dry mopping/sweeping, periodic wet mopping, semi-annual stripping and waxing.

Do you want to perform this maintenance as a landlord, would your prospective homebuyer?

http://www.armstrong.com/pdbupimages/194617.pdf

If it exists, or very low end and tenants don't mind, leave it by all means. Otherwise, look into other flooring options.

I totally agree. I looked long and hard at VCT before deciding it was not the flooring solution for me. Went with luxury vinyl tile in kitchen area because of wood framed floor and did not want to risk grout cracking in ceramic.

If you want to go over it then go to Home Depot and check out the Allure Flooring. It is similar to laminate because it comes in rectangular panels and the pieces stick together with overlapping sides that have a stick strip on them. They are better than laminate because they are make out of a rubber type material. They are also very easy to install- all you need is a razor blade to cut it. I think it has a 20 year warranty. DO NOT glue any tile over it or do anything to damage it like putting down tack strips for the carpet. You may decide to go back to the VCT in the future...

Mark

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