Landlord’s Guide to Flooring in a Rental Property 

There are different flooring options available for rental properties. But as a landlord, you have to make your choice wisely. If you make the right choice, you are sure of maximizing your income and also reducing expenses.

Things to consider before choosing a floor for your rental property

Some landlords think that the favorable flooring option for their rental property is the inexpensive one. However, there are several things that you should consider before you decide on the best flooring option.

If you fail to do this, you may choose a floor that is inappropriate for your property. Below are the things that you should consider.

  • Type of tenants

What type of tenant are you expecting in your rental property? Are your rents high, average, or low? Is it a high-end property in an urban area? Your answers will help you choose the best floor.

  • Price

The cost of purchasing and maintaining the floors also matters. It also depends on your budget and how much the rental property generates. If the flooring option is long-lasting, it may also affect the price.

  • Durability
Entryway flooring in front of exterior door

You will want floors that can withstand rough treatment from tenants, visitors, and furniture. Not all flooring options can endure high traffic from renters.

  • Installation

The installation of the floors is also essential. Is the floor easy or difficult to install? How long will it take to perform the installation? How much will the installation cost? Can you easily find professionals who will install the floor? All these are questions you should answer.

  • Pets

Will your rental property support pet owners? If it will, is the flooring option pet-friendly?

  • Maintenance

How demanding is the maintenance of the floors? Will you have to replace part or all of it if any damage occurs? Can tenants maintain the flooring option you choose?

  • Aesthetics

Is the flooring option beautiful? Can it improve your rental property’s value? Can it attract renters who are willing to pay higher rents for the property?

  • Safety and health

The floors of your rental property should be safe. It should not be the type that increases the risk of trips and falls or becomes slippery when wet. Also, the floors should not contain toxic materials or serve as a hiding place for pests and bacteria.

  • The room’s function

The materials you use for flooring each room should also support its function. For instance, it would be inappropriate to use wooden floors in the bathroom.

Flooring options for rental properties

Marble and Porcelain Tiles in a North Dakota Home

After considering all these, below are the flooring options available for rental properties.

  1. Tiles

Tile floors are versatile and made from various materials such as ceramics, stones, or porcelain. You can have them in different shapes, colors, styles, and prices.

Some of them come in designs that look like wood. They are waterproof, scratchproof, easy to clean, and highly durable. For these reasons, tile floors are suitable for high-traffic areas, kitchens, and bathrooms.

However, tile floors are tough to install. They can crack under heavy impact. Also, they become cold and slippery when wet.

  1. Vinyl

Vinyl is an affordable flooring option that is common in rental properties. It has the appearance of stone, tile, or wooden floors, but it is low-maintenance and cheaper. Vinyl floors are soft, easy to install, noise-free, water-resistant, and easy to clean. They are appropriate for kitchens and bathrooms.

However, vinyl floors do not add value to a property. If you install them in an area that has access to sunlight, they will fade over time. Also, vinyl floors are difficult to remove after installation.

  1. Hardwood

Hardwood floors are luxury options for high-end rental properties. They add a lot of value to a rental property. Hardwood comes in various designs depending on the tree that was used in the production. Also, they are durable, long-lasting, and suitable for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining.

However, hardwoods are not noise-proof, scratchproof, or dent-proof. They are not appropriate for renters who own pets. Also, hardwood is not water-resistant and is vulnerable to humidity.

  1. Laminate
Natural stained hardwood flooring in a rental in North Dakota

These are synthetic floors that look like hardwood or stone floors. Laminates are affordable and scratch-proof. Some laminate floors are also resistant to fading following exposure to sunlight. You can use them almost in any room where moisture is not a problem.

However, laminate floors can pop up due to poor installation. Also, you cannot refinish them like hardwood.

  1. Carpets

Carpet floors come in various designs, colors, and patterns. They are cheap and help to hide some defects on the floors. Carpets warm the home, thereby reducing energy consumption. Also, they absorb noise and feel soft.

However, carpets can cause allergies. They trap allergens, dust, dirt, odor, and bacteria. When it stains, cleaning can become difficult. Also, if any part tears, you will have to replace the whole carpet.

The bottom line

The process of choosing the best floor for your rental property differs from that of your home. Here, you have to consider several needs of various potential renters before settling on a flooring option. When you answer the essential questions, professionals can help you select the appropriate floor for your rental property.

Carpet has remained one of the most popular flooring options in our part of the country due to it’s warmth and noise reducing properties. Most people would consider Fargo, North Dakota as a cold state six months out of the year, so carpet really does shine compared to other flooring options such as ceramic tile. Due to it’s popularity coupled with a skilled installer shortage, we’ve found that most carpets are not properly installed. One of the most skipped steps is properly power stretching the carpet.



     If your carpet is meant to be stretched but your installer says it’s not necessary, you may want to reconsider having them do your carpet installation. Power stretching carpet has been around almost as long as modern constructed carpets. Brands such as Shaw, Southwind, Mohawk, and Axminister actually require it per their installation instructions. A knee kicker does not apply the same amount of force as a power stretcher does, since the knee kicker can’t hold the wall to wall stretch that the power stretcher can. 

Man improperly installing carpet with no power stretcher
Man installing carpet properly with knee kicker and power stretcher

In the two photos above, you can see that two different individuals attempting to install carpet. Use of a knee kicker without assistance of the larger power stretcher will not only leave your carpet improperly stretched, but will also be much harder on the body and knees. This can potentially lead to injuries with a reduced ability to perform future carpet installations. 

 Power Stretching Helps A Carpet From Developing Wrinkles

A power stretcher helps keep a carpet from developing wrinkles, which means it stays looking and feeling newer for longer. Wrinkles or simply improper stretching can damage the bond between the primary and secondary backings in your carpet. Once your carpet starts to develop damage between it’s two backings, this can lead to what’s known as delamination which would make it next to impossible to stretch as the carpet can no longer attach properly to the tackstrip which holds it in place. 


Power Stretching is one of many steps required to properly install your carpet. There are other factors that help determine the longevity of your carpeting, such as carpet padding, fiber type, density, etc. We will cover that in future posts. If you have any questions, feel free to fill reach out to us via our contact us page! 


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