I have a unit that was recently well renovated, and I'm at the point where I need to install the carpet to get it ready for viewing.
With that said, I'm not sure whether I should go with Commercial Carpeting or Residential Carpeting. Either way, I'm going to be economical, so I do not plan on going with anything high end, but I'm having a difficult time deciding between the two.
Personally, I feel like commercial carpeting will provide the longevity I am searching for, but I do not want to make the place look cheap.
I was wondering if anybody could share some opinions to help me make a choice.
Thanks in advance!
Cheap commercial probably won't "walk" as well, but it wears better as the thread count may be higher, tighter but thinner and harder. The pad is what makes the carpet walk better, if it's the HD backing, rubber back, go with the thicker pad. If it's a jute back go with a better pad. Any "tip sheared" plush that is tight should wear well. IMO
I'm spoiled by the ability to drive one hour north and be in the carpet capitol of America. That is Dalton, GA. In Atlanta, they almost pay you to haul the carpet reminants away. We can get manufacturers defect rolls for very little here. I think that California has some mills also and that you can contact mill direct stores and find very good deals and an installer that will provde quality work for a resonable rate.
I renovated an 8 unit apartment building where 4 units were done each trip out. They finished the job in one day for $800 per unit. I think that would convey to about $1,400 per unit in CA. Either way, people like carpet, don't cheap it out. prospective tenants will recognize that and it will turn many off.
David G I think @Jeff Cook is right, people do pay attention to carpet. Flooring is the largest surface in the house, and it has to wear well. What do you mean by commercial carpet? We do commercial buildings and let me tell you we have installed many different types of carpet, and different grades of it. Sometimes carpet is glued directly to the slab, other times it is a typical install like in a home. The government offices specify nylon though few mills even make it anymore.
If you can't buy good quality carpet, buy the best quality pad you can afford and carpet will wear better. If people have kids, they want soft surfaces. In L.A. you should be able to find good deals on carpet. Also, check Home Depot and Lowes, they have deals on installation all the time.
P.S. Maybe you can post a pic on your profile?
I suggest you understand your local market better, because what works fine in one market is not accepted well in another market. Flooring is one of those things that does vary by market and by the grade of the tenant that will occupy the unit. Some BP member landlords recommend just painting the floor for their units - lower end tenants expected to occupy those. So there will be a broad range of flooring that you will read about here on BP.
Check what the competition around your unit is doing for flooring, and offer something similar but still durable - it is a rental after all. The tenant prospects will be checking out more than just your unit (usually), so they will see what your competitors have and either be impressed or put off by what you choose to do.
Yes depends on the tenant and where it is and how long you plan to hold the property.
For town house style the tenants in lower income rentals tend to work labor jobs.
The lower level takes an absolute beating if you have carpet. the red clay trashed the carpet. Many take their shoes off on the main level etc.
I have found tile is just as cheap as carpet you just have to find someone to install it for cheap and not the regular labor rate. On the living room you can thrown down a rug on clearance and when they leave after thrashing it just throw away.
The carpet upstairs I have seen only about 30% of the wear from the main level where the kitchen, living room, and bathroom is. So the difference is with tile when you turn you mop and shine it and then shampoo carpet upstairs rather than replace all the carpet down stairs as the wear and stains won't come out.
You could also just keep the pad underneath and replace just the carpet itself or it if is just loose pay someone to re stretch it and fix bad spots.
Does commercial fare much better to stains?
Babies spilling crap all over the floor?
Mud and dirt from shoes?
Is commercial carpet somehow incredibly stain resistant?
I would get darker carpet, definitely not white or beige.
I would say it also depends on your market. Some higher end rentals around here have beautiful mahogany wood floors.
My old college rental house had indoor/outdoor carpet... the cheapest (and ugliest) money could buy. In a college rental, that was good enough. It literally was carpet that could be used outside or inside. It was dark, very low pile... I want to call it "berber carpet." Gray with beige/blue specks in it. Didn't show stains much at all. If you put someone hot on it (iron or hair stylers), the carpet would melt. It held up pretty well to college spills, parties, pet stains, etc.
I'd say it depends on your tenants- the rental house we had in college had commercial carpet, we weren't thrilled but we understood the reasoning. Sounds like what Jon K is describing in the previous post. The only stain left after we cleaned it with a rug doctor prior to moving out was where one of the roommates had set a leaking bottle of laundry detergent...
Anyway, tenants like college kids and section 8 will put up with the cheap carpet. Other will expect something low grade but a little nicer- think builder's grade carpet. Higher end rentals obviously are going to expect high end carpet....
@Joel Owens brings up a good point. The layout of the unit makes a huge difference on the choices. You can use laminate, vinyl strips or tile on heavy traffic areas, and carpet in bedrooms. Personally I've used really expensive carpet before in my own house thinking it would hold up better to stains, wear, etc., and I don't think it made a huge difference.
I appreciate everyones feedback on the issue. It seems like I have some thinking to do.
For my rental properties I have (almost) completely gone to Allure in the living/dining/ common areas and a reasonable qualtity residential carpet in the bedrooms. I've considered commercial carpet as David G is as well, but decided against it. It just seemed too industrial.
That said, I do have a couple of higher-end SFHs (not super high end, but nice) in which I have carpet in other areas of the house besides the bedrooms. In my market, propective tenants would expect carpet in these homes.
As a landlord, I have been one that doesn't like to cut corners, and I typically don't like renting out units I, myself wouldn't live in, so I give everything a lot of thought.
The bathroom and kitchen floors have been tiled using high quality durable products. The unit has brand new cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances - which I was able to get for a decent price. And I decided to use medium quality residential carpet for the living room and the bedrooms as it is the best fit. I was originally considering doing laminate, but I decided against it for various reasons.
I appreciate everyones feedback, as it helped me make final decision.
David, I like your landlord style. Before you replace carpet, please consider taking a close look at floating vinyl plank flooring which can be installed at roughly the same cost. The look, long warranty and ease of repair make floating vinyl worth a careful look.
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