Carpet mileage

7 Replies

how much mileage can I expect to get outta carpet?

What kind are you installing, and what class are the neighborhoods you will be installing it in?

In rentals I would prepare for the worst with carpet.  Plan on replacing it when an existing tenant moves out.

If you are in even somewhat of a desirable area, old carpet skives out new tenants looking to move in.

As Michael states above, it depends on the carpet quality and tenant quality.  We put in decent, but not extravagant, carpet in our rentals, and we get pretty decent tenants (min 600 credit score, income of 3x rent or more, etc.).  We expect to get about 6 years or so out of new carpet.

My father, who's been a landlord since before I was born, told me that when you get new carpet, you hope to get 10 years, you're lucky if you get 7 years, and you will probably get 5 years.  When I was growing up, we had the same carpet in our house for the whole 19.5 years we lived in that house.

There are so many variables here you can't have one hard and fast number.  It really depends on the tenants you put in your rental. 

Do they have pets?

Do they wear shoes in the house?

Do they fill their coffee mugs to the top and then walk around the house spilling it every where?

If you are lucky you can get the carpet professionally cleaned or just replace the carpet in the high traffic area that needs it the most.  I have been thinking about going to laminate just so it lasts longer. 

I would second those posts.

The length of time definitely depends on the type/quality of carpet you're putting in.

In a couple of my earlier rentals, I was going with the standard tan contractor grade carpet. It does not wear well.  

But after those first few, I switched over to the midgrade frieze (1.25 to 1.35 per sq ft at lowes).  Stuff cleans out amazingly well.   I've got houses upwards of 5 years with it and it looks every bit as good as when I put it in.

There are always exceptions though. Had a tenant that trashed the carpet in one room. I think they had a combination of pets and kids in the room and the carpet was totaled. I can guarantee they never vacuumed that room once in the year or so they were there.

Replaced that one room with laminate and called it a day. Wasn't too bad. The rest of the house was fine. And I had no intention of trying to match that carpeting.

That is the one thing, though, that most people forget.  When you ask how long will carpet last, you're really not going to see carpet in the whole house go out at one time. What typically happens is you end up with a bad tenant that damages one room of carpeting.   So you don't need to replace the entire house. Just the one room. And since I can't stand seeing carpet in a house that doesn't match, I just throw laminate in that one room and call it a day. I seem to be just fine with having different types of laminates in a house.....

I actually think you can get 10 or more years with the frieze if you go with the mid-grade stuff and a decent pad.  You'll likely have to replace a room or two of it with laminate during that 10 year run but so what.   You're still coming out ahead doing that then putting in laminate in the whole from the get go.

And to be honest, laminate can be damaged too. So its not like that stuff is bullet proof either. :-)

Good stuff. I was thinking anything greater than five is gravy.

Quality of carpet and quality of pad matter.  You can get more mileage out of a carpet if it has a good pad.  

If pets or smokers or hoarders are in the unit, be prepared to replace the carpet and carpet pad and odor seal the floor below too when they move out.  In our units with average quality carpets and good pads, where the households are smoke free, pet free, and outside shoes are not worn indoors... the carpets are lasting at least 10 years. For households with young children who spill drinks (red dye is the worst) and use indelible ink markers with the carpet as their canvas, the carpets may need to be re-dyed instead of replaced.  

Also depends on the market and property... A, B, C or D... as to what new tenants will find acceptable. Wouldn't recommend carpet in a C or D property. Provide a durable hard surface floor and let the tenant furnish the unit with area rugs.

Carpet & pad plus labor to replace the floor covering in 2 bedrooms, hall and living room is costing us about $1,000 a pop. We budget for that.

To keep turnover costs down, we aim for good tenants who will take good care of the property, who want to stay long term. Then we do what we can to serve our tenants well so they do stay.

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