How much carpeting is ideal for rental properties?

41 Replies

I deal with low-income rentals and my units only get the cheapest wall to wall tile or laminate flooring. That is what I was taught growing up working with my father who did primarily budget rentals. Someone wants carpet easy enough for them to buy a throw rug. 

That is the prison look and you can buff the painted concrete so they have a mirror shine. Where I am everthing is very old and usaully has a basement so concrete would not work for me. My father did that with a home back in the 80s and the plain concrete worked out well. He did tile a small section by the front door though. 
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Anthony Wick:

@Ken N.

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  :)  



@Ken N.

My husband and I pull carpet out of every house we buy even if it is in decent shape. We just don't want to have to deal with it later. We have used laminate in most, but LVP in one and ceramic tile in one. The LVP is our favorite. Its durable, waterproof, and beautiful. Tenants and guests (some are airbnb) love the floors, and we know they will last for a long time.

@Patricia Taveras

Do you install the LVP yourself? What kind? Cost? Cost of install? I have installed some myself, but not anymore. Hiring a person is cheaper and less painful than back surgery and knee replacements. Lol.

Agree - NO carpet.  Nowadays many tenants have allergies and won't rent a unit that has carpet. Luxury vinyl planks are more durable, waterproof and easy to clean.

@Anthony Wick

That's what husbands are for! LOL! My husband is a contractor. The LVP we bought at Ollie's (a discount store) for $1.38/sq foot with built in underlayment. Its beautiful but it was a beast to install because the planks were thinner and brittle. He paid a laborer 20/hr to install. Looks great. Last floor he laid himself we bought a thicker but cheap laminate floor that was a good quality and easy to lay for 1.59/sq foot at Lowes. Thicker is easier. Also looks great. If you are going to hire it out, ask the contractor for suggestions on brands. Floors that go down easier will save you money in labor and keep you contractor happy and willing to work with you.

@Ken N.

Agree with previous posts....NONE in a perfect scenario. And NEVER in a hallway.

That said, we just finished a unit that’s bigger than we typically go for. We did LVP upstairs, but the basement would have pushed our budget. We did commercial carpet squares. Looks nice (enough), easy to install, and you can replace one square instead of all the carpet. This isn’t going to be ideal in many situations because it’s not all fluffy and soft. But we didn’t want the basement to be that cozy encourages applicants with WAY too many people trying to live in the house. Basement is now more of a family rec area and storage, so in this case, the carpet squares will work.

LVP would be better if there was a way to repair a single piece without having to completely disassemble the floor.  Because of that, I wouldn't recommend it in a bathroom or any place where water may get underneath it.  I like it in smaller sections, not where it joins between all rooms in one big piece...having had to disassemble and reassemble a Lifeproof floor over 8 hours is not fun, when the same issue with carpet would have taken 30 minutes.

I personally like tile in the bathrooms, carpet in the bedrooms (or hardwood), and then LVP in the kitchen. Living room can be LVP or carpet or hardwood. Even if tile lasts 75 years, it's going to be out of style in 10 to 15 years anyways. If the tenant destroys the carpet, that's what the security deposit is for.

@Ken N. I’m sure this varies from market to market. In Memphis, TN I have found that my tenants like carpet in the bedrooms.

For a long term buy and hold I'm looking for LOW maintenance options.

My typical property is a three bedroom two bath ranch. I install hard surface flooring (Vinyl plank & Tile) in all high traffic areas and wet areas.

By installing carpet in only three bedrooms, the cost is minimal to replace if necessary in the future.

*we also have an agreement in place to clean the carpet at a set rate of $125 with a local company.

Since we're here and I'm driving a keyboard instead of my phone, I think this is a good place to explain that the biggest benefit of porcelain tile, or rather what's called by the industry PEI 5 tile, isn't that it's harder and has a higher break point, it's that it's impervious, impermeable to water. This makes it a good sanitary surface,

Floor tile has been getting a lot harder and thicker in recent years to allow floor installers to take more shortcuts when installing it. It still cracks when it's installed by an idiot. You can get generations of use out of soft tile, even marble, if you install it correctly and make sure the subfloor underneath it is sufficiently rigid and minimally deflects.

The thinset method of tile installation itself is really the problem that we all face when we try to pay workmen to lay in lifetime tile floors. No one goes to the trouble necessary. It's just too much exacting, methodical work for too little pay. That's why we have tile floors cracking all over the place, not because the tiles aren't hard enough.

Originally posted by @Ken N. :

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!


 No carpeting is the most ideal situation.