Hardwood vs carpet for rental

8 Replies

I just acquired a property that I plan to renovate as a rental. When I pulled up the carpet, I saw nice hardwood floors underneath. So now I’m trying to decide if I should sand and finish the hardwood or if I should install new carpet back over top. Finished hardwoods would look nicer, but I can’t trust how tenants would care for them, so I may be sanding/finishing after each tenant. I don’t want the hardwoods ruined in case I decide to sell the place later. So, what say you BP fam? Should a decision either way also impact if I should rent to someone with a dog vs a cat?

Sanding after each is about the same cost as replacing carpet. Pets can damage both. I never replace carpet with carpet.

@Winford Hill

While I cannot advise you from the standpoint of having a rental with hardwood floors, I can give you some advice from owning a house with them. My current home has origional wood floors from when it was built in the 60’s. I also have 2 dogs. While I take them to get their nails trimmed and make it a point to walk them frequently I still regret living here with them. 

I can’t wait until we move/rent this house out so I can refinish the floors. The area rugs we have to help reduce damage do not do the wood floors justice.

Hope that helps :).

@Winford Hill you wouldn't sand and refinish the floors after each tenant. The original floors lasted for decades. Maybe they don't need refinishing now. I would refinish them (cheaper) and screen tenants well. Indoor dogs are a definite NO, especially big ones. All dogs, not matter how well trained, have accidents sometimes or the owner doesn't let them out enough. Carpet will definitely have to be replaced after each tenant if they have a dog. Smell, hair, pee, etc.

Im in similar situation, but I don't know the condition of the floors. Also it's not in all the parts of the house (additions don't have it ). I am going carpet as short term solution, I found a place cheap to do it and it's about 1/2 maybe a 1/3 of the price as vinyl

Hi Winford, 

You cannot assume that a tenant will take care of the nice hardwood floors, so I would suggest replacing the carpet instead. 

@Winford Hill I usually screen and re-coat the hardwoods underneath carpet when we purchase a new bldg.  I only do this on the first floor.  I keep the carpet on the second level floors and higher to keep the foot traffic noise lower for the residents below.  I do not allow pets, which is an easy justification for keeping some carpet.  In my area, I find renting with hardwoods easier and they bring higher rent. 

Screening tenants better for those who won't ruin either hardwood or carpet is probably the best course of action going forward with whatever flooring you choose.

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