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Rental Property Flooring Options

One of the most important amenities you can offer your Baltimore County tenants is high-quality flooring.

modern Baltimore County rental property with hardwood floors

There are many options to choose from and depending on your specific needs you might choose one or several available options.

Becoming knowledgeable about the different types of flooring you can choose to place in your rental will help make your property as visually appealing as possible while remaining functional for your property’s needs.

Yet, how do you know which flooring type is best suited for your rental home?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common flooring types you can choose from as well as some interesting alternatives.

Additionally, we will take a look at some advisable tips for placing the right kind of flooring in your home that will benefit your overall cash flow and make your tenants happy.


Flooring Options for Rental Properties

There are many different styles of flooring that you can have installed in your rental home. Understanding the differences, pros, and cons to each will help guide you in your flooring decision.

  1. Carpet

carpet-flooring-in-baltimore-county-rental-propertyThis popular flooring option is by far the quickest and easiest to install. It can be extremely cost effective and is the most common choice amongst landlords. However, maintaining carpet as a landlord can be difficult.

Odors, stains, and worn down appearances make carpet unappealing to potential tenants. Professional cleaning is a must after every tenant, unless the wear and tear is beyond a deep clean; then you must replace the carpeting which can prove to be expensive if done several times.

If you have good tenants that do not wear down your carpet during their lease term, expect carpet to last approximately 5-7 years before a full replacement is necessary, maybe less if you allow smoking and/or pets in the unit.

Understanding that normal wear and tear is a given is also important. You will more often than not be responsible for cleaning and/or replacing all carpet within your rental property so budgeting for this is crucial.

  1. Laminate

Laminate-flooring-in-baltimore-county-rental-propertyThis flooring gives the visual appeal of hardwood without all of the cost and maintenance.

Using recycled bits if hardwood flooring, laminate is flexible, easy to maintain, and prevents against termites, an issue all Baltimore County residents should be aware of.

This flooring type is more difficult to install than carpet though and may require a professional installer which can become costly.

  1. Linoleum

Linoleum flooring in baltimore county rental propertyLinoleum is very low cost and water resistant.

Perfect for rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, this option is often a good one especially if you have several rental properties to maintain.

The downside to linoleum is that is has the tendency to look cheap, can stain easily, and is at risk for ripping or tearing easily.

  1. Tile

Tile flooring in baltimore county rental propertyAnother great option for rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens is tile. In fact, it even looks classy in large formal rooms as well.

This flooring has endless design options, is relatively easy to maintain, and is quite durable though it is at risk for chipping or cracking.

Another thing to consider is grout color and the grimy look it can take on if not cleaned on a regular basis. If you choose a tile that can match a darker colored grout, you may be able to prolong its usability, since stains may be less noticeable than they would be on white grout.

An alternative to tile would be vinyl flooring. Highly resistant to mold, mildew, and moisture, this easy to maintain flooring can offer many benefits to your rental property.

  1. Hardwood

Hardwood flooring in baltimore county rental propertyDurable and beautiful, hardwood is the highest-quality flooring you can offer your tenants.

Although expensive to purchase and install, hardwood is a long-lasting material that is very high-end looking. It is also a natural insulator to offer a warmer feel than tile. You may even choose to purchase engineered hardwood flooring as it is less likely to be affected by humidity within the home or due to weather.

This type of flooring will definitely add value to your rental home and possibly increase your rent payments to become more competitive in the current market.

It is important to note, however, that hardwood floor can be damaged by furniture, rough shoes, or even pets in the form of scratching, which can be costly to repair.

  1. Green Options

As people increasingly attempt to do better by the environment, it is only natural that green flooring options would become more readily available. Here are two of the most common choices right now:

Concrete Flooring

Concrete flooring in baltimore county rental propertyInexpensive, easy to maintain, and having the ability to be stained in different colors to suit your design needs, concrete offers a very green option for flooring.

Concrete flooring requires less energy than other flooring types to produce, is good for indoor air quality as it prevents mold, mildew, and odors, and it is completely recyclable.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring in baltimore county rental propertyAnother interesting alternative to the common floor types is cork flooring.

This green living option is great because there are limitless design options, it is easy to install, and it is resistant to rot which can occur in areas of high moisture.

What’s better is the energy it takes to produce cork flooring is renewable. Only the outer layer of the tree bark is removed in order to manufacture this flooring; the tree bark simply grows back and no harm has been done to the tree in the process.


Flooring Considerations for Your Rental

Now that you know a little bit about the different types of flooring options available, let’s take a look at some important considerations when it comes to which flooring you choose to install in your rental home.

It is important that you consider:

  • Your overall budget
  • Room location and function
  • Installation price and process
  • Purchase price
  • Durability of flooring
  • Maintenance and cleaning obligations
  • Overall appeal

The best choice for flooring in your rental property should be based mainly around the value of your home, the location of your home, and the function of the room.

If you are renting a high-end property that demands exquisite amenities, then budgeting for expensive flooring is necessary. Typically high-end properties will not yield as much wear and tear, and should this be the case, large cleaning deposits should be in place to counter such issues.

Additionally, if you have long-term tenants in your home, such as the ones in White Marsh, investing in high quality flooring is a good idea because it will last longer and be a benefit to someone who is dedicated to renting your home from you. Good flooring options might include tile, high-grade carpeting, or even hardwood.

Should your rental property be located in places such as Catonsville or Towson (home to Towson University with over 22,000 enrolled college students), you may opt for more middle-ground quality flooring with durability and easy maintenance trumping design. You may choose to skip on easily dirtied carpet instead opting to install inexpensive tile or laminate.

local weather in Baltimore County MD may affect flooring options

Taking weather into consideration is also important when making a flooring decision for your rental property. Baltimore County boasts a lot of rain, humidity, and snow. These factors can really affect the flooring you place in your rental property and either increase or decrease the hassles you will have to handle.

Hotter climates require cooler flooring such as tile, hardwood, laminate, or even the green options of concrete or cork flooring. Humid climates can damage solid hardwood due to rot and cracking issues.

Colder climates may require warmer flooring such as carpet. In the end, there are many choices to pick from and evaluating your individual rental property’s needs is the best way to choose the correct flooring.

The function of the room also makes a difference when it comes to flooring. Tenants usually prefer a tile or laminate type flooring in their kitchen or bathroom as they are water resistant and easier to clean. Take note of each room’s function and include that in your decision making.


Final Thoughts

Flooring in your rental property can make a big difference in the value of your home, the rent you can charge, and the type of tenant you can attain.

If you are unsure of what type of flooring may work best in your Baltimore County home consider contacting your favorite property management group for assistance.

Not only will they be able to advise you on what types of flooring may work best in your rental property, they can help find the perfect tenant for your home, determine what to charge for rent, maintain your home, including your flooring, during lease terms with regular inspections and move in/out reports, and much more.