One of the main expenses when you own a rental is keeping up with maintenance. Try to keep on top of the little things before they become large and expensive things. Anything you can do to help minimize those maintenance expenses may be worth it in the long run. Flooring is one of those areas that by choosing wisely from the beginning will save you money long-term.
Worn carpet, chipped tiles, squeaky floorboards, you no doubt have heard all the complaints about flooring. But which source provides durability, is cost-effective and also gives you with an opportunity to update the look of your property?
It depends on where your rental is located. If you have property in Darwin then tile flooring is a great idea, but it’s not so warm and friendly if your property is in Canberra – so what options would work best?
Carpet is often the go-to choice for both home-owners and property investors. It is fast and easy to install (and often DIYers will install it themselves). It can also be a fairly inexpensive option – depending on the type that you choose. A more durable, luxurious option such as wool can last longest, but does need to be looked after, so depending on who you have as tenants, may affect which type of carpet you install. Carpet does tend to stain and needs work to maintain.
You will need to factor in replacement costs and professional cleaning (unless you write this in the lease as the responsibility of your tenant when they vacate the property.)
This is a great option for wet areas – kitchens, bathrooms, laundry. But unlikely to entice tenants if used throughout the property. However, the available options of lino are slowly becoming more and more sophisticated.
You will have to factor in that it is likely to tear, so you will either have to be handy if you want to keep on top of repairs or know someone who can repair this at a good rate.
The alternative to hardwood has come a long way over the past few years. The durability and look of laminate is impressive. It’s a fantastic alternative to hardwood, looks great and easy to maintain – when compared to carpet. This is a great way to update a tired older looking property.
The downside is that it takes more time and money to install than carpet, but the maintenance costs are lower so it a great long-term option.
Tile is a great water and stain resistant option. Since there are various ways to install your tile you can also get quite creative with flooring design. The downside, however, is that it is a pretty cold option, so unless you live in a warm climate your tenants would need a rug to ‘warm up’ the areas. Or you could just limit its use to wet areas.
The ‘gold standard’, they are durable, look great and can increase the value of your property. It is warmer to walk on than laminate (due to its natural insulation properties). The downside is that it is more expensive, takes a bit of time to install and it does scratch.
So which do you think would work in your rental property? Laminate and carpet is more than likely to be at the top of your list.