As a landlord, you’ll know that decorating a rental property is a delicate balance between providing an environment that’s welcoming and attractive to tenants, but durable and cost-effective for you.
This is particularly important when it comes to flooring. Pick the perfect low-maintenance flooring for your rental property and you could stand to save yourself extra cost and hassle further down the line. However, with so many flooring options available, from hard-wearing carpets to vinyl and laminate, how do you go about choosing the best flooring for your rental accommodation?
In this post, we examine the best flooring options for rental properties, which combine durability and performance with affordability and ease-of-maintenance. We also outline some of the key things to consider when selecting your flooring, plus a few other top tips.
Know Your Aims
When selecting flooring for a rental property, think about what you want to achieve. The best flooring options will not only make a property look like a home to potential tenants, but they will also be able to endure the wear-and-tear of everyday rental life. This durability is essential if you want to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of replacing the flooring every time you get a new tenant.
Flooring should also be low-maintenance – for the same reason – and help both you and your tenants keep other costs down. For example, an easy clean carpet will save you a fortune in cleaning costs while also providing excellent insulation, keeping your tenants’ heating bills down too.
What to Consider
The style and type of property you own is a key consideration when it comes to choosing the best flooring. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with choice, bear in mind that a neutral coloured carpet will fit in with pretty much any style of decor.
If you’re renting out a flat with other properties beneath, it’s also important to consider the neighbours! Even the smallest sounds can travel far on a hardwood floor, so carpet is the best option for muffling sound if you want to avoid the hassle of complaints from downstairs.
Not all properties can cope with grand marble tiles or fancy hardwood floors. If you’re working with a smaller space, think about what will make it look bigger; a plain floor or neutral coloured carpet will work well in this instance.
It’s a good idea to consider who you’ll be renting to. Young families make up a large portion of the rental market and you may find that carpet is a preferable option for families who have the safety of young children to think about. However, if you want to make your property available to people with pets, thinner pile carpet (that won’t get pulled up by claws) or scratch-resistant laminate or vinyl can be better options.
As a landlord, splashing out on an expensive floor isn’t generally a cost-effective option, especially as rental property flooring is usually subject to a lot more wear and tear than flooring in non-rental properties. A hard-wearing carpet is probably the more cost-effective choice, with laminate or vinyl a close second.
Your Flooring Choices
Once you’ve considered the above points, you’ll want to have a closer look at the various flooring types available to you. Here’s a rundown of the three best options.
Cheap, warm, homely and good for muffling noise if your property is an HMO or adjacent to another, carpet is a good choice for many rental homes. Available in a wide range of colours to suit tastes and décor, carpet is an affordable option, but does come with a few downsides worth noting, including:
- Potential for stains and more visible wear and tear
- Moisture retention in kitchens and bathrooms
- Requires regular professional cleaning to look spotless
- Can harbour dust and allergens which may put off some potential tenants
Affordable and available in designs which closely resemble the luxury look of tile, real wood or stone, laminate flooring is also highly resistant to scratches, bumps and scrapes. This durable option is also fast and simple to install, making it a breeze for landlords in need of a quick turnaround.
On the downside, laminates aren’t as hard-wearing as “the real thing” and can be noisier underfoot than more substantial flooring options. This flooring style is also not idea for high moisture areas and can be slippery.
Widely used by landlords, vinyl is still one of the best low maintenance flooring options on the market. Easy to clean and moisture tolerant, vinyl is also noise absorbent and now comes in a wider variety of shades and styles than you may have realised.
Worth weighing up, however, is vinyl’s susceptibility to scrapes, tears and scratches, especially from dragged furniture or high heels. While individual vinyl tiles are easier to replace, sheet vinyl often needs to be refitted entirely to repair damage, making vinyl a less-than-ideal choice for living areas with heavy furniture.
A Few More Words of Wisdom…
Of course, the decision on which flooring you choose is entirely yours. However, here are some other tips to bear in mind:
- The prospect of keeping a bright or white carpet clean can put tenants off, so opt for natural tones or stylish neutral greys that will look good and stay looking good.
- Don’t be tempted to lay your floor yourself unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing; a badly laid carpet or poorly fitted laminate floor is likely to put off prospective renters.
- The cheapest option isn’t always the best option, especially if it leads to more maintenance and refitting.
- When buying flooring for your own home, you’re more likely to be thinking about the best look and quality you can afford. This isn’t as cost-effective for rental properties, which may not be as well taken care of.
Hopefully, this guide has given you a good idea of what flooring may work for your rental property. For more advice, or to arrange a free consultation to discuss your rental property needs, give us a call on 01473 717 171 or email us at [email protected].