How much carpeting is ideal for rental properties?

40 Replies

Hello BP community,

I wonder how many of you decide to put carpeting down the hall ways to the bed rooms for rental property?

I have read that ceramic tile is the most durable option, It can last up to 75 years.

Meanwhile, vinyl flooring lasts up to 25 years. And Carpet lasts around 15 years (if you take good care of it).

Me and my wife are renovating a single family ranch style home and trying to decide on flooring in the next few weeks.

We would love to hear your advice.

Thank you!

-Ken

@Ken N. the ideal amount of carpeting in a rental is none.  Carpet absorbs stains, smells, some noise, and cash flow.  In higher asset class rentals I would consider replacing carpet, as well as if a second floor rental had an uneven floor.  Carpet and underlayment hide unleveled imperfections well.  But 12x12 tile is durable and vinyl is my next favorite, especially because the install and removal on vinyl is quick.  

@Ken N.

Short answer: second voice for "zero carpet," this time from east of you. Ideally, I have hardwood flooring, preferably 3/4-inch thick oak, in the bedrooms. If the tenants want to cover that up with a rug, good on them. Ceramic tile everywhere else.

This frees me from all kinds of baloney.

I cannot recommend that you do the same in your rental properties if you don't install the hardwood and the tile yourself. The costs add up quickly and the chances that you're going to get a poor tile installation, especially, are very high. Sadly, with modern methods, the differences between a 5-year tile floor and a 75-year tile floor are mostly invisible. Very few low-bidding contractors will do the work to build you a floor for life.

I agree zero carpet BUT we did lay some cheap $1.48sqft stuff in an A-class home with the heavier padding to give it that 40-60oz feel. It took a lot of abuse from 5 years of college girls BUT it was made from recycled plastic bottles & the stains came out. That home eventually sold in 4 days $15k over asking for double our initial cost & they didn't mind the neutral carpet.

If the tenants have pets it's definitely NOT a good alternative BUT we've also seen some nice hardwood flooring completely destroyed by cats/dogs. 

@Ken N.   In colder areas, I still like carpet in the bedrooms, but I know in rentals it may not last as long.  Tile is nice, but again what is a tile gets broken and the grout can be a pain.  Go with the vinyl plank and get extra that you keep at your house (some tenants walk away with everything) to replace pieces as needed.


Bryan took my answer....

Originally posted by @Bryan Noth :

@Ken N. the ideal amount of carpeting in a rental is none.  Carpet absorbs stains, smells, some noise, and cash flow.  In higher asset class rentals I would consider replacing carpet, as well as if a second floor rental had an uneven floor.  Carpet and underlayment hide unleveled imperfections well.  But 12x12 tile is durable and vinyl is my next favorite, especially because the install and removal on vinyl is quick.  

 

NO carpet. I put LVP/EVP everywhere (I occasionally tile the bathroom floors, depending on the house). I've had more than one tenant remark that they're glad there's no carpet, it's easier to clean and they can throw down an area rug for color and softness if they want.

@Ken N. -  If your market allows it, then porcelain tile EVERYTHING.  Waterproof, scratch proof, stain proof, very hard to smash up.  If it does get smashed, then you replace 1 tile.  Not half the floor

@Ken N. You never know how tenants treat the property. If you are looking to put as little money into the property as possible carpet is cheaper as initial investment but will most likely cost you more over the long run. If you have a high turnover rate (new tenant every year) you might have to replace the carpet every year depending on how tenants treated your investment. A LVT lasts much longer (7-10 years) even when the tenants are not as caring.

Material per sqft is $0.65 for an average quality carpet vs $1.59 for an average LVT with attached underlayment. Just from a material cost perspective (if you DIY to save money) it makes sense to use LVT flooring. Might have to lay LVT flooring (or pay someone) one time in 7-10 years whereas you might have to lay carpet 3-4 times over that same time frame of 7-10 years.

And then there’s the other positive effects of LVT: looks better and less maintenance/headache over time.

@Ken N.

If I had a ranch, and floors were flat, I’d do the same flooring throughout the house. Probably LVT everywhere and time in kitchen and bath.

Only time is use carpet Is if the subfloors are uneven, etc. (all my properties are 100 years old).

If you can stay away from carpet, I’d suggest that.

Agree with ZERO carpeting.

Ceramic tile installed correctly, meaning no air pockets in the thin-set upon install and cure, will outlast most everything. Porcelain tile is even more bullet-proof. Anyone that has installed tile know how much harder it is to cut porcelain tile versus other tiles. 

None.

Carpet doesn't last more then 3 or 4 years. Ceramic tile cracks (even with proper underlayment) and grout gets filthy and is tough to clean. Laminate dies at the first sign of moisture and hardwood is not durable.

My choice is LVP floating floor. Looks like wood and lasts like tile. It is inexpensive and comes in some beautiful finishes.


Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

@Ken N.

Single family ranch? I would do LVP in entire unit if it’s in your budget.


its not a direct answer but the most bullet proof i saw was a project of 38 section 8 houses in Hattisburg MS that I was bidding on when i still wanted rentals.. guy that built them put in concrete floors  did not stain them.. sloped to the middle with a drain.. High pressure hose and your good to go.. :) 

I bought some new construction rentals from builders and had them use stained concrete looks great and wears like a charm.. of course you have to build the home  :)  

 

@Jay Hinrichs

Reminds me of a regular poster to BP that says he buys the cheapest carpet he can find, no pad, and staples the carpet down at the edges. I guess it all depends on the class of rental, class of tenants, and rental rates. A little something for everyone out there.

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

@Jay Hinrichs

Reminds me of a regular poster to BP that says he buys the cheapest carpet he can find, no pad, and staples the carpet down at the edges. I guess it all depends on the class of rental, class of tenants, and rental rates. A little something for everyone out there.

One of my clients a big turnkey and Pm that does a lot of C class  they dont change the carpet they simply die it an ever darker color to match all the stains until it gives up the ghost  :)

 

@Ken N. None, zero, nada.

Glued down waterproof LVP is what I put in my rentals and I've never been happier.

Your comment on 15 years of carpet life for a rental made me laugh.

My first tenant DESTROYED the carpet put in by the previous owner. Stains, spills the whole nine.

Replaced with LVP and never looked back.

Definitely no carpet down the hallway - that's where the most concentrated wear is.  We put tile in our rental except for the bedrooms, where we put in cheaper dark brown carpet.  It's lasted fine for 9 years, hard to see stains on it. 

Tenants are very rough on carpet. Tile is definitely the best but expensive. I would recommend a vinyl plank because it's very durable and waterproof. I just installed these in one of my properties at $1.89 per sqft, underlayment attached, and a lifetime residential warranty: 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Decorators-Collection-Coastal-Oak-7-5-in-L-x-47-6-in-W-Luxury-Vinyl-Plank-Flooring-24-74-sq-ft-case-03918/300253426