Help on vinyl plank or refinishing hard wood floors

57 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I have hardwood floors that I uncovered when pulling out the carpet.

I’m deciding if I should finish them or just buy vinyl planks. This would be done through the whole house.

It’ll cost me approx 1.3k to get vinyl planks and $700 to refinish.

Now, I don’t mind doing vinyl planks as it still fits the budget but I also would want to save money LOL.

I am stuck between getting vinyl planks then forget about em or refinish (PROVIDED that the floors are still okay) and save money and hoping I don’t have to come back or run into some issues.

What would you investors do if you were in my position. My goal is to make my portfolio passive as possible and also increase appreciation as I'm doing BRRR. Stuck on the fence right now to save or just get the planks.

Attached shows the condition of my floors.

Thanks.

Refinish them for sure @Karl Dela Cruz ! You'd be amazed what a good refinish will do. If you want it to look more "upscale" or "trendy" consider refinishing it with a different stain vs just putting a poly coat on top of it. 

We hired someone to redo 4 units in springfield last month and I couldn't believe how well they did. The tenant previously put down STICK DOWN checkerboard tiles over the hardwood and I for sure thought it was destroyed. Happy to say I was wrong!

Hello @Karl Dela Cruz

Is the property in Winnipeg?!  Hello from Montreal!

My business partner and I are refinishing our original hardwood floors in San Antonio, Texas. It is also a BRRRR. The appraiser has indicated the house will appraise around $15k more that we are refinishing the floors and keeping som other original features such as the shiplap and fireplace.

Hope that helps.

Best,

Alice

Refinish them, without question. Make sure you have someone who knows what they are doing - you can definitely tell if someone doesn't.

@Karl Dela Cruz

Hi,

I suggest using the vinyl plank flooring for rentals bc it is a durable, waterproof(most brands) product that has a great finish. If you do get any damage to a plank you can just replace that one piece with minimal work. They last at least 10-15 years(rentals) and when there lifespan is up you can simply remove the floating floor and replace it with more planks or whatever is in style at that point. If and when you decide to sell the property and the floors look dated you could refinish the floors to get max value. Just my two cents. Good luck and the floors will look great whichever route you choose.

I am an advocate for keeping old growth wood floors as they are irreplaceable. Refinish using a pro that knows old growth floors  

You can cover them with Lux plank flooring but pls dont remove the hardwood! 

I am also a bit in the middle of this. My contractor know it will be for a rental and said for just a couple of hundred, he can put laminate and be more durable and he has said he has done staining the hardwood floors before and it wont turn out great after a couple of years -- now, thats a red flag right? 

Another argument was brought up here is that hardwood floors appraised higher? I never thought of that. 

What type of stain or material do you recommend to use on refinishing hard wood floors? 

Refinish,  No stain unless you have to due discoloration, the floor guy can give you a read on that.   Why do laminate now if you can go  a few years on nearly half the price.

I say it depends:  

For a rental put down vinyl plank flooring because it's nearly indestructible and fairly tenant proof. I recently renovated this house and someone asked me why I was covering up the hardwood floors, I explained that the wood floors can only be sanded and refinished so many times so for a rental I put the LVP over it and don't have to worry about scratches etc then if/when I decide to sell we can just pull the LVP up and refinish the hardwood then. 

For a flip, refinish them.

Just my $.02

@Karl Dela Cruz

UPDATE******* The bath room and kitchen do not have hardwood flooring. Only the living room and bedroom main floor. So I would then have three different floorings on the main if a refinish. Still do it?

@Karl Dela Cruz it really depends on the market you’re in, but typically I would suggest to refinish the existing hardwood.

Definitely make sure that you don’t have any damaged boards that need to be replaced. Removing and toothing in new hardwood to existing can get expensive which might take you above your original LVP budget.

Good luck!

@Karl Dela Cruz

Selling, maybe you can risk refinishing them, but be prepared it's not an automatic that they will look like what everyone seems to think they will.

If you have long term rental plans laminate, as it will be much more tenant durable and much easier to repair / replace as necessary. Many brands look as good as refinish even if you know its not.

Hello, we own a flooring store and I would suggest refinishing the hardwood.  Yes, the vinyl plank can be floated and creates a durable waterproof surface but the challenge could be creating an area that traps moisture.  By the time it is discovered the existing hardwood could have warping or cupping.  I am not familiar with the weather in your area, but it's something to consider.  It is common for our crew to remove and baseboards for new vinyl plank floor projects - an added labor cost.  Sometimes the baseboards don't remove easily, requiring new painted base.  Some people will add quarter-round trim to existing baseboards instead of removing, again adding material and labor costs.  Refinishing hardwood does not require baseboards to be removed. 

A good hardwood floor crew can also repair floor by adding a few boards before refinishing.  

Good luck, I'm sure it will look great when completed. 

Originally posted by @Karl Dela Cruz :

@Karl Dela Cruz

UPDATE******* The bath room and kitchen do not have hardwood flooring. Only the living room and bedroom main floor. So I would then have three different floorings on the main if a refinish. Still do it?

 Karl,

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with what seems is this thread's consensus. Definitely cover the hardwood with LVP. As a landlord with 85+ SFR's and 120+ doors total, I can tell you from experience hardwoods are a no-no in rental units.

I used to do both basic hardwoods in my properties and even some exotics like Bamboo and Acacia. Bottom line is they simply don't hold up. Water or even high humidity warps them, they scratch easily so tenants who are careless or have pets ruin them quickly. They absorb pet odors. Once any of this happens they are difficult or impossible to repair. Repairs take a long time if refinishing is involved.

LVP is extremely durable, inexpensive, looks great and is simple to repair or replace.

I've attached a picture of an LVP job we just did in an intended rental, where we covered hardwood. I can tell you this did not hurt market value as I listed this SFR as a rental and received several purchase offers (one I couldn't refuse) and it is currently under contract.

Lastly, the continuity of one flooring throughout your unit will improve it's look immensely.

Respectfully,

Gary

I agree with @Mark Faustrum and @Gary L Wallman

You can only sand and refinish the hardwood a few times, so if it were me, I would put the tenant-proof LVP in today. Then down the road when it comes time to sell the property, I would likely refinish the natural hardwood and aim to sell the property at top dollar. I've heard this point mentioned by Brandon Turner in a few of his books and it seems like the long-term move that fits my investment strategy -- but, does it fit yours? Good luck with the decision.