Laminate wood flooring in rental units?

10 Replies

Hey BP community, I’m remodeling a single rental, current floors are a mess and I’m considering laminate wood throughout (vs carpet or hard woods)

Any feedback in terms of durability vs hardwood?

Thank you!

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@Garlin Smith I will second LVP over laminate.  In addition to the advantages Jake mentioned, I also add that LVP is waterproof which is a big advantage over laminate.  I feel Home Depot has the best selection as they have several different types/brands (trafficmaster, Lifeproof, etc..).  Durability is just as good if not better than laminate flooring.  Make sure to put down an underlayment regardless of the flooring type you go with.  



Thx for your POV Brett, I just picked up a few samples of Lifeproof from the Depot, looks good and the lifetime warranty is a no brainer

What have you guys been using for kitchen and bathroom flooring, imagine this LVP can work in the kitchen, but maybe too much chance of water for bathroom?

Thx again

I've done carpet, LVT, regular tile, etc, and after I've had some issues, this is what I would say:

If it's a place that gets wet and might need to be pulled up, don't do LVT

The lifeproof stuff we have is great in some aspects (looks really nice, easy to clean) but it scratches easy and we had one basement in a split level where it was installed and got some water underneath it...that was awful taking it all apart and putting it back together.  Way worse than carpet, and tile would have been super easy in that scenario.

We put it in some bathrooms, hallways, kitchens, etc.  Appliances scratch it pretty easy, so you have to be careful.  Next time I'd:

Put tile in bathroom for sure

Tile or real wood flooring in kitchen.

Carpet almost everywhere else

I'm not sure I would use too much LVT anymore.  I'd probably just do more carpet and tile instead.  Or at least I wouldn't use Lifeproof, I know there are some other brands that don't scratch as easy.

@Aaron Taylor

With carpet though, aren’t you going to end up replacing it at least every couple of years? That’s would kill cash flow.

Vinyl plank is good. Another option is dry lay vinyl roll. It thicker and only requires glue or tape at seams or around the perimeter. It comes in simulated wood and tile patterns. It actually looks great and can be laid very fast and cheap per square foot. It is completely water proof because there are no seams or wood backing. It should last 15 years and then you just roll it up and roll out a new floor. 

I like carpet in bedrooms and living room for a similar reason. In one afternoon, I can have the whole house carpeted. The bedrooms usually last 15 years. Even with cheap carpet you can get 10+ out of a living room. Sure you can have a pet destroy carpet, but if you select tenants carefully it should be minimal and replacement is easy. 

Some people believe tile, laminate and vinyl plank are indestructible but they can be scratched and even damaged by pet pee. The problem is repairing is near impossible and tear out is much harder. The other thing people forget is that flooring gets dated. I have tile flooring in a rental now that is in great shape, but he early 1990's look just isn't working anymore.