Flooring options

10 Replies

I am rehabbing my first rental(buy & hold). It curr has Berber carpet - bit worn out. Looking at suggestions on whether to go with laminate or engineered hardwood. I don't want to spend extra for actual hardwood. Have apprx 1200 sq ft to be replaced. Is there a thumb rule that one improves the actual value of the house compared to another? Want to evaluate from long term + premium on rental. I have menards, lowes and Home Depot nearby. Are these the places to look for the flooring or should I evaluate somewhere else too? Suggestions / recommendations please. Thanks.

I just put in a vinyl plank and I am very happy with how it looks, but I don't know how well it will wear.

I was a manager at Home Depot for years and understand these products. If you are looking for durability for tenants go with laminate. It is very durable. I have had mine in my rental for 8 yrs and it still looks new.

If you are looking for resale and the neighborhood has hard wood then go with hard wood. Engineered is a cheap hard wood in my opinion. Hardwood and engineered scratch easy and will have to be resurfaced after a few years. 

You cannot resurface laminate only replace the board.

The vinyl planks are a newer product that came out about 10 yrs ago. They weren't really intended for the home but for office space with high traffic. I'm not a Big fan for putting this in a home because it looks cheap but in a C or D apartment I may consider it.

Common problem!

The good news is that both laminate and engineered hardwood have vastly improved in the last few years. The selection, quality, and pricing has improved dramatically.

Laminate is a great option if you are looking for something with minimal upkeep. They have also come leaps and bounds from their humble beginnings. I have seen several varieties that look nearly indistinguishable from the floors they are replicating. LVT will generally hold up to wear and tear pretty well. Most come with a wear coat between 1-5 mm. 

Engineered Hardwood will look and feel like a normal hardwood, but generally at a fraction of the price. What you walk on and touch is hardwood, the difference is the base layer underneath. From the long term view, this may give you great resale options or allow you to charge more for the unit.

In terms of shopping, try to see if there are any Pro stores that are open to the public that you can shop at.  These places generally have big discounts and  the people running them are very knowledgeable. The big box stores will often display some good prices, but the sales staff can be a little bit like a merry-go-round. I've been to Lowe's more than once and had to interrupt the sales kid while he was playing on Facebook.  

We have some great general information about floors on our site:

http://www.shoptheboss.com/#!hardwood/cjg9

Originally posted by @William Collins :

I just put in a vinyl plank and I am very happy with how it looks, but I don't know how well it will wear.

 What thickness did you use? I'm looking at using vinyl plank that looks like hardwood in my next house, found some that I love the look. I've been told that 5mm on up wears pretty well especially if you have kids or pets. Anything under shows more wear, but if you don't have pets or kids beating it up, it'll obviously last longer.

Originally posted by @Vicky S. :
I am rehabbing my first rental(buy & hold). It curr has Berber carpet - bit worn out. Looking at suggestions on whether to go with laminate or engineered hardwood. I don't want to spend extra for actual hardwood. Have apprx 1200 sq ft to be replaced.

Is there a thumb rule that one improves the actual value of the house compared to another?

Want to evaluate from long term + premium on rental.

I have menards, lowes and Home Depot nearby. Are these the places to look for the flooring or should I evaluate somewhere else too?

Suggestions / recommendations please.

Thanks.

 Also check with Lumber Liquidators. They have a wide selection and typically have some options for decent prices, especially ones that are on clearance. The clearance ones you can get real nice hardwoods or engineered hardwood for cheap.

thanks everyone for the suggestions. After looking at options decided to go with Laminate. turns out to be the most economical from an installation and upfront cost.