When renovating an investment property, whether to keep as a rental or to sell, the flooring you choose can make a big difference. There are many options to choose from and not every option is right for every type of investment property. The best flooring choice will depend on the value of the property, the location of the property and the function of the room.
Value of the Property
The market value of the property will dictate the quality of flooring that should be used in the property. You do not want to spend an exorbitant amount on the flooring compared to the value of the property.
High-end homes should have equally high-end floors:
- In rooms where you are going for a wood look, you will want to install hardwood instead of laminate.
- For rooms that call for carpet, you will want to install a more expensive or plush carpet as opposed to a builder’s grade.
- In areas that need to be tiled, you will want to search for more luxurious stone options such as marble.
For a mid-range rental that will see a lot of turnover and take a lot of abuse, your main goal is to choose flooring that is durable:
- You will want to choose harder tile that is made for high traffic areas so it is less likely to crack.
- Carpet is not ideal in a rental as it retains odors and is easily stained and therefore has to be replaced much more often than other flooring options.
- If you are looking for a wood or wood look, there are many options including laminate, engineered hardwood and solid hardwood that will make sense for this price range. It is a matter of choice as there are pros and cons to each.
Location of the Property
The area of the country in which your property is located can also have an impact on the best flooring choice. In areas that are hot year round and those with a lot of humidity, tile is often preferred over hardwood or carpet. Tile helps to keep the home cool and is low maintenance.
Hardwood has the tendency to expand in high humidity because it absorbs the moisture in the air which can cause the hardwood to crack and buckle, so many humid climates avoid this as a flooring option. Carpet is also not a popular choice in warm climates due to its tendency to retain heat and concerns about moisture leading to mold or mildew.
Function of the Room
The appropriate type of flooring for a room can also depend on the function of the room. For example, in a bathroom, you want flooring that is resistant to water and to mold. Carpet and hardwood are not good choices for a bathroom.
A kitchen will have similar concerns. You will never put carpet in a kitchen. Hardwood is becoming more popular in kitchens, although there are concerns about warping due to the heat of the stove and water leaks from appliances.
In second floors where you are trying to reduce noise, carpet could be an option as it absorbs sound better than most other flooring materials. Carpet is also a great insulator in rooms that may otherwise be drafty.
Benefits of Updating Flooring
- Revive/Renew/Transform a Space- Changing the flooring has a drastic impact on the appearance of a room. You can transform a space just by changing the flooring. If a room had dirty carpet, a vinyl floor that was tearing or commercial tile that was coming up, changing the floor will give the space a clean, well maintained feel.
- Potential to Increase Property Value- A flooring upgrade to hardwood or a nice tile can increase the value of your property.
- Open Up a Space- Using the same flooring throughout can make a space seem larger.
- Lower Utility Bills- Carpet is a great insulator, so it can help cut heating bills. Tile retracts heat and retains cold better so it could help save on cooling costs.
- Less Maintenance/More Durability-Installing the proper flooring in the proper space can help reduce maintenance. You will want to choose durable flooring in highly trafficked areas and more delicate options in less trafficked areas.