What to do with Entry Way Floor

27 Replies

I have an entry way floor that I am trying to figure out what to do with. Sorry I don't have a picture, but let me explain. 

It's a two-family home. The floor I am referring to is when you open the outside door into the hallway leading up stairs to 2nd floor. It's about 30-35 sqft.

Right now it is old beat up looking hardwood. I was thinking about laying over vinyl floor tiles. (my thought is that it would be good to do this to protect wood against snow/rain, etc.


1. Should I lay vinyl floor tile over it?

2. Should I just stain it and throw a poly over the hardwood?

3. One piece vinyl floor?

4. Anything else?

Doesn't need to look "pretty", just needs to have good utility and make sense for this high traffic, possibly "wet" area (since it's the first floor directly from outside)

What type of rents are you getting? Are the tenants going to be expecting one piece vinyl or a nicer material? Personally I would try to refinish what's in place and then put a couple good coats of poly on it. If you have wood now, it's probably been there for a while.

I'd also think about doing some natural Slate tile for a higher end look. But if you go with tile(and possibly vinyl) make sure that you clear all doors. 

Tile. Easy to install, easy to keep clean and lasts for ever. Always use a dark colour grout in traffic areas. Darker the better.

Refinish the hardwood, and have that work include a filler such as Woodwise Full-Trowel Wood Filler, which a contractor used on a floor I had refinished. The filler takes care of all the irregularities in old wood. Then make sure the tenants have a good rug by the front door.

@Chris Carollo I'm getting $875 for rent. I would say it's a B-/C+ neighborhood, but great tenants and I truly maintain my property. I just purchased the home, so I am slowly working on updating a lot of the common areas are rehabbing both units. 

When I purchased, it was a one piece vinyl flooring stapled over the hardwood. I removed that and now want to make it more presentable. 

Tenants would not be expecting ceramic tile, but I am willing to install if you think it would be the best option (utility wise)

Thanks @Thomas S. I actually never even thought about putting down real tile. That is definitely an option.

@Bob H. The one thing I was worrying about with keeping it wood is the water and possible damaging the wood over time. 

Try commercial grade carpet squares. You could find them at your local carpet store warehouse and see if they have a closeout on them. Cost me about $50 a box and I got two. I found some in my area that was a dollar per sq ft and layed it down in the hallway with double sided tape that I bought at lowes. The carpet should last for years to come and when it get very dirty in about 2 to 3 years just take a carpet cleaner and go over it or replace individual tiles. 

@Steven Picker How are they to install? Do you need to be skilled in it, or could a semi-handy person do it?

they install like laminate flooring cut and click inplace option to glue or float

I've never installed laminate flooring. I would consider myself pretty handy, so I would think I could do this as well.

Click and  Lock LVT is a great option. Look for one with a 12 mil or better wear layer and a scratch resistant finish like AO or ceramic bead. If you can find it, there are vinyl plank that have a releasable adhesive already applied to them that leave no residue if removed so you could refinish the floor at a later date should you choose.

You are only doing 30 to 35 square feet.  You may consider putting in ceramic tile if you can get someone to do this at a reasonable price, or you can do it yourself.  I would buy something that looks nice, not necessarily the cheapest, as a dollar extra is only $35 total.

I like ceramic tile for this.  Its very durable and if water sits on this which it will, it wont rot out or degrade.  Always go with a dark grout (for floors) no matter what the traffic is as it will turn dark from dirt and lack of cleaning. 

Sheet vinyl and vct are good options as well 

It all depends on how much you want to deal with in the future.  All should give you a good 15 years on the low end.  Tile being the best preforming.  I would not spend more than $100 in product on this dyi project.  Figure $2 per sf for product on any of the 3 options.

If you go with tile make sure there is no spring in the floor, tile is not very forgiving. Make sure you use the separation membrane under the tile.

Speaking from experience of living in a snowy country.

If you install tiles then snow and rain will turn into dirt, it can get slippery, the dirt will eventually dry out but will be visible. Who is cleaning the floor in this area? If noone then tiles will be always dirty even if you choose a suitable dark colour.

If you install carpet, it will not be slippery but after some time the carpet will need to be replaced. But carpet looks nicer.

If you install vinyl, you can turn it up at the walls like they do in restaurants to create a cove. It is easier to clean with a mop.

You can combine tiles or vinyl with a rug if someone will vacuum the rug.

Also have a door mat outside.

I like the idea of leaving the wood. I think if it is finished with a good poly and a rug over it it should be fine.

Carpet squares are easy to install just have straight edge, tape measure and a good pair of scissors. If not then I agree completely with Mary Lou. Put down polyurethane to deter water then put down outdoor rugs throughout the hallway. Don't spend too much on it because tenants certainly won't care to clean and vacuum often.  

Allure Vinyl Plank Flooring.

Inexpensive. Water Resistant and comes with a good warranty. Pick it up at Home Depot and it will take you less than an hour to install in that space.

Then when you sell the property take off the vinyl (allure sticks to itself not the floor, it's a floating floor), and refinish the wood.

Hey @Robert P. I installed quality stick down tiles in my entry way. These are really thick and very sticky, I believe they ran about 1.45/sqft. They are 1ft by 2ft tiles. And the cool thing is, is that you can space them out with the little tile spacers and use grout, and be totally waterproof. They won't break, and you don't have to worry about the spring in the floor.

I was going to tile my floor but the whole floor was essentially 3/4 particle board with a thin plywood sub floor and they were ran with the joists instead of perpendicular. To fix that I would have had to either rip up the whole bottom floor of my house, go underneath and jack them up, or double up the floor joists. Instead I just screwed the floor down the best I could and put the vinyl tile down with grout. And it looks great.

It's the trafficmaster ceramica 12x24" coastal grey vinyl tile flooring from Home Depot.

Tile... Install a layer of hardi board with screws @ 6" OC intervals. You can find good looking 12 x 12 tile @ an box store for .60 / sf. Any squares, carpet or vinyl, will get H20 in the cracks where the tiles meet, and eventually fail. Poly on wood works, but will also require future maintenance. If it is the main entrance for 2 units, people are moving in and out, linoleum is easily damaged moving large objects in and out. Tile in an earth tone color, is a final solution installed properly.

Definitely tile.  Takes a beating, and you can find surplus, easy to install boxes everywhere for cheap.  Especially if its only a small area.  If youre worried about grout getting filthy, tighten up the grout joints as well as use a dark grout.  Also, agree with @Mike Dittman about the hardi backer, that will be you headache proof solution to having the floor last for a long time

commercial grade tile like you see in a school or hospital if that look won't be too clinical for the space. The stuff lasts forever and you can strip and wax it and make it look brand new. Got that tip from Mike Butler's landlording on autopilot  book and thats what I'll be doing next time I replace rental flooring. 

I appreciate all of the feedback everyone! Looks like I am going to decide between refinishing the hardwood with some good poly, or lay down some tile...

decisions, decisions!

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