LVP vs Carpet flooring (lack of sunlight scenario)

4 Replies

I'm doing a condo renovation with my own labor and I have the option to either flip-sell it or rent it out. It was a remote purchase where I didn't get to physically inspect and I'm just now visiting/renovating it. The flooring is going well. I acquired some luxury vinyl planks (LVP) and installed it already on everything except the two bedrooms. The LVP is a pretty dark 'Timberland Oak'. After the first few days of installing I noticed the unit doesn't get as much sunlight as I expected and I'm concerned the unit will just be too dark. Even the existing white wall paint doesn't seem to light it up. So I'm now trying to decide whether I should break up the dark color with some light berber carpet (maybe an off-white salt and pepper) vs. just continuing on with the dark LVP. I've read all the debate on carpet vs non-carpet flooring and most of you all side with non-carpet for durability and maintenance. 

However, in this scenario would you start to consider the light carpet option? Any experience to share with property that has lack of sunlight?

@Matt O. Hey Matt! We are doing a condo renovation as well right now in Fayetteville NC. We decided to go with LVP because we are holding it as a long term rental and dont want to replace carpets in between tenants. In my opinion lvp throughout the entire house for rental are ideal if they are waterproof and scratch resistant, which is what we purchased. If you planned to hold it I would go that route. If you plan to flip and sell I would definitely go with carpets in the bedrooms to make them appear brighter and keep cost low. Also another option could be to do light gray walls throughout the house and white cabinets in the kitchen. Or adding some white subway tiles to brighten it up if it's in the budget for a flip. To be honest some good quality LEDs lightbulbs could make a huge difference as well. Hope this helps! Goodluck!!! (:

@Chalie Krautkramer , thanks for the advice! The waterproof feature was a big factor in acquiring LVP. As for it's scratch resistancy, I have a low 'mil' layer depth so it's susceptible (however I can't beat my $1.55/sf price). Tip - when sliding the heavy LVP boxes across existing floor to use as weights as you tap plank rows together, make sure to brush away any inevitable concrete crumbs.. those will cause scuffs/scratches. And be careful dropping tools as you work.. best to put thick construction bags down in work area. 

I like the light gray paint for the majority and white subway tiles and white cabinets approach.. looking at a designer's photo now that integrates both (with stainless steel appliances though.. my existing apps are black). If I can get away with just doing a backsplash for the tiles in kitchen and bath, I'm sold. Perhaps that's what you had in mind. Also, thanks for delineating the rent vs. sell strategy and the mention about going with carpet when selling.

And you're right, well-placed lighting could help a lot. Has anybody budgeted for an LED retrofit? I may try it myself, but just in case I need help. There are currently zero holes in the living room ceiling, but if I go with recessed, how many are typical or cost-effective? I've seen some nice track or even hanging tubes, but they all are integrated with a modern motif.. I still have 1992 popcorn ceilings.

Here's the specs on the LVP I installed. I'm not affiliated with the product.. just happy with it (for now). I'm open to other products depending on the deal. Might even do laminate next time, but was sold on the waterproof feature of LVP. 

Apparently it has a 12 mil layer. From what I remember 5 mil is about the lowest people accept and 20 mil is the most I've seen offered. I'm pretty happy with the product, especially after shopping at Lumber Liquidators and other spots and seeing that they don't offer similar quality at that price range. 

As for the potential scratches/scuffs, it could be because I'm installing it myself that I notice every little detail. In fact, I asked a few friends "can you see that?" while pointing straight at it and they still didn't notice. But no doubt I'll anticipate some wear/tear, especially if I rent it out. Can anyone recommend a good scratch/scuff concealer repair kit? 

Might be too much info, but I have to forewarn that a tile cutter is almost mandatory to make the many chops during install (unless someone has Popeye forearms). I bought the Norge for appx $180 and it cuts beautifully.. BUT it only does straight cuts. For those angled, rounded or polygon cuts, it's difficult. Anyone know of a good snips that make these while not damaging rest of plank? Otherwise I'm scoring it and slowly bending with pliers to break.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you