Ultimate Guide To Rental Property Flooring [2023]

Leo Zhang
5+ years of experience
Moving into a new rental home

Ultimate Guide To Rental Property Flooring [2023]

Considerations of Flooring for Rental Properties

One of the hardest decisions in rental property is flooring. There are many different options, but the two best are unquestionably laminate flooring and hybrid flooring.

In order to figure out which is the best flooring for your property, you’ll need to understand what their strengths and weaknesses are and whether they fit in with your rental property. Let’s go over the four main areas that define the quality of hard floors.

1) Scratch & Dent Resistance

Part of what it takes to be the best flooring for rental property is being low maintenance and highly durable. As a rule of thumb, flooring for your rental property should have good resistance to scratches or dents. Hard floors that are highly resilient against sharp objects will save money in the long-run.

2) Moisture & Waterproofing

Depending on where your rental property is, moisture-resistant flooring options could be essential. Some people can make do with carpets but this may not always be a good choice for a rental home. Not all wood floors have waterproofing, so if you’re particular about your flooring option being visually appealing or want to avoid more maintenance, you might want to prioritize moisture resistance above other criteria.

3) Cleaning & Maintenance

No matter what kind of rental property you own, cleaning is an inevitable part of it. But the best flooring for your rental properties will help you cut down on maintenance.

You could always stock up on flooring products that will make cleaning easier, but it could be more beneficial as a property owner to install flooring that only requires minimal vacuuming, as opposed to dust capturing carpets.

Most flooring options, including hybrid flooring, luxury vinyl flooring or laminate flooring, are great for requiring minimal cleaning maintenance, especially if the installation makes the cracks in-between planks (bevel) as thin as possible.

4) Cost Effective

No matter what kind of product you’re buying, an affordable option is always preferable. Laminate, hybrid flooring and engineered hardwood in general are no exceptions. Engineered hardwood flooring is especially effective in rental properties that can also be considered investment properties, or if you want a renovation project that will increase your property value over time.


Top 3 Rental Property Flooring Options

Hybrid Flooring

Hybrid flooring is a popular flooring option these days, and for many good reasons.

What’s probably the main reason hybrid flooring is getting a lot of use these days is that they are 100% waterproof. This makes them ideal options for areas next to a lot of water, particularly laundry rooms or kitchens.

Because they have perfect waterproofing, they are highly resistant to peeling/warping and will have long-lasting durability. The top surface is a protective topcoat whereas the core is either a stone or wood plastic carbonate.

Hybrid flooring also has a pre-attached underlay, which essentially makes them have better comfort for bare feet. It also absorbs noise, making them good options for apartments, units or other areas that are meant to have soundproofing.

Hybrid flooring diagram depicting pre-attached underlay

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is another popular flooring option, especially because it is the most affordable option on the market. This makes it a good choice for rental properties as opposed to your own home.

Additionally, laminate is easier to install compared to hybrid flooring which makes it appropriate for people on a deadline.

While laminate is not quite as durable or waterproof as hybrid, it still has solid sturdiness and moisture resistance, though you may experience some moisture damage if they are overexposed to water. This can make laminate a less than ideal choice floor choice for bathrooms, but a carpet can help mitigate this issue for most surfaces.

Laminate flooring diagram

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

While the debate between laminate and hybrid flooring is the most common one nowadays, we’re going to look at one more final option so that you can compare and contrast even more. Our last option is known as luxury vinyl flooring.

Vinyl flooring or vinyl planks have more in common with hybrid flooring rather than laminate. For one thing, they are both 100% waterproof and they are both more expensive. However, their installation is quite different.

Hybrid floors need to be installed on very flat or level ground as they aren’t very malleable. Vinyl planks are much more malleable due to a softer core, so installation is easier due to them being much more forgiving. The only caveat is that vinyl planks require glue to be installed, which can be less convenient for some.

One thing vinyl has that hybrid typically doesn’t is that it has fantastic anti-slip properties. Vinyl material doesn’t become slippery when wet like most surfaces. This makes it a fantastic choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. That also makes it a great option for giving an extra sense of security to your tenants, or if you have them installed in a home that has children.

A vinyl floor is technically a hard surface, but it is noticeably softer than hybrid or laminate. This makes it comfortable and eliminates the need to install a carpet.

While luxury vinyl flooring can be pricey, it is a fantastic option that combines the best aspects of durability and waterproofing. It’s a good option for any rental property or your own home.

Conclusion – Which Flooring Is Best?

It is impossible to pick the flooring option that is “objectively” the best one as each has its own pros and cons. Some flooring options will be the best in one scenario but the worst in another. There are always many factors to consider when answering this question. The key is to decide what the best flooring option is for you.

In the end, it depends on your situation – where is it being installed, who will be living there, are there pets and kids? Do you like using carpets or hate having them? How durable do you need your floors to be? How much are you willing to sacrifice for low maintenance? How much furniture will be in the bedrooms and bathrooms?

If easy installation and affordability are your priorities, then you cannot go wrong with a laminate floor option.

On the other hand, if waterproofing and comfort are what you need either for children or your tenants, the hybrid floor option could be your best bet.

These aren’t the only factors to keep in mind, but they provide a simple set of criteria to decide which option you ultimately want to choose.

As a side-note, you are allowed to use a mixed combination of laminate, hybrid and vinyl flooring throughout your home or rental property. Different rooms often benefit from different floors. It may not be feasible depending on your budget or the makeup of your property, but if it is an option available to you, it never hurts to keep it in mind.

If you have any remaining concerns or questions about how to figure out the best flooring for rental property, feel free to contact our experts at FloorVenue any time.

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