When decorating and furnishing your rental property, it is important to consider the type of materials you will provide your renters. As an owner, you want to protect the money you invest in renovations for your rental units.
Whether you rent to short-term vacationers or long-term tenants, choosing the ideal flooring can save you thousands of dollars. You want to “tenant-proof” your property as much as possible so that when your renters move out they don’t leave you with high turnover costs.
Flooring is generally much better for withstanding renter abuse. It helps the unit stay clean and free from stains. However, sometimes carpeting is the best option for a particular rental property. In that case, it serves to know which carpet is best for your rental property.
Not all carpets are created equal. Some carpets are more durable, stain-resistant, and more attractive to renters. Let’s review which carpet is the best choice for your real estate investment.
What to Consider When Choosing Carpet For Rental Properties
When figuring out which type of carpet is the best choice for your investment, it is good to familiarize yourself with the choices on the market. You also want to think about how you want to present your rental units to renters.
Ask yourself what qualities and standards you want your rental property to reflect. Determine your priorities, perhaps you want a carpet that has the most durability, or maybe stain resistance is more important to you. Also, the carpet can vary from room to room.
The number one consideration when choosing carpet is determining the type of renters it is for. Renting long-term to a family with young children is much different than renting to short-term adult vacationers.
Think of renters who have pets or college students that engage in sports and parties. These considerations will help you gauge what type of wear and tear, stains, and traffic the carpet will face.
Let’s explore some considerations:
1. Fiber Material
When shopping for carpeting, you are likely to find four main fiber materials including wool, polyester, olefin (polypropylene), and nylon. The most durable and preferred by investors is nylon carpets.
They are durable and made with fibers that can withstand heavy traffic. Nylon carpets hold their shape well and give units a polished look.
The second most popular is polypropylene carpets because of their excellent durability. Polyester carpets are stain-resistant but have the weakest fibers unable to withstand heavy traffic.
Lastly, wool carpets are durable keeping their shape for years of heavy furniture and lots of traffic.
2. Height of Fiber and Density
When choosing carpet, you can look at the height of the fibers and the overall density. Generally, merchants measure density as the fibers within one square yard. They also measure the weight of the fiber, and the number of fibers woven into that square yard.
You want to look for carpets that feature the best density score, which will be the ones with the most durability. This does not mean that carpets with longer fibers and weight are more durable. Such is the case with “high pile” carpets.
Carpets that are considered to be “high pile” have looser fibers, which tend to lose their shape sooner. These types of carpets also tend to accumulate more dirt and hide more bacteria. They are harder to clean either by the renters or professional contractors.
Shag carpets are an example of “high pile” types. They are very comfortable and may look nice, but they are not durable or practical for rental units. The longer fibers may weigh more, but that does not translate to durability.
3. Type of Tile Backing
To give the carpet its firmness and shape, the fibers are woven into a tile backing. Different types of tile backing impact the overall look and performance of the carpet.
The main factor for choosing a quality tile backing is shock absorption. Those made with open cell cushions are great for shock absorption. They also help maintain the height and shape of the carpet. Tile backing made from closed cell cushions tends to let carpet wear down sooner.
Keeping these considerations in mind when choosing carpets for your rental units will make your life much easier. Not to mention making your wallet happier as well!
Sometimes stains are inevitable no matter which type of renter you have. Stain-resistant carpets are most important when renting to people that have young kids and/or pets.
A quality stain-resistant carpet can save you lots of money in cleaning expenses or having to replace the carpet.
The best carpet by far for stain resistance is polyester fibers. It is made from a material that is easy to clean and naturally repels moisture. By choosing this type of carpet, you are sure to remain worry-free even if you have terrible renters.
Nylon carpets are resistant against mold, dirt, mildew, but do not resist moisture properly. These can be treated with a stain-resistant coat for better protection.
Carpets made from polypropylene fibers perform well with moisture and stains in general, except stains generated by oil-based substances.
Most reputable manufacturers treat carpets made from synthetic fibers with a coating that is stain-resistant against most substances. Wool carpets are not synthetic and are not treated with stain-resistant coatings, but they are naturally resistant to most stains, even those that contain oils.
Light carpet colors are delicate and harder to keep clean. Rental property owners generally choose colors that are warm, but not too light. A beige carpet will show more dirt than those of darker shades.
Some carpet fibers interact with dyes better than others. For example, polyester and nylon fibers come in a variety of color choices, making it easier for property owners to brighten up the place.
In contrast, polypropylene carpets come in more subtle shades and are likely to offer fewer choices. The color choice has to blend well with the entire decoration of the place.
It is important to choose a carpet that accentuates the unit because making it as attractive as possible will attract higher-quality renters.
Since a rental property is an investment, choosing the most cost-efficient carpet is most beneficial. An expensive choice is a wool carpet because it is a natural high-quality fiber. It can cost double the price of carpets made from synthetic fibers.
The least expensive carpets are those made from polypropylene fibers. You will want to assess the value you want to display in your rental unit. Ask yourself what type of renter are you going after and what rental price point you are aiming for.
Being conscious of the environment is something real estate investors now have to incorporate into their practices. This is especially important for eco-conscious renters.
Eco-friendly carpet can be a great selling point for your rental property.
A polyester carpet is an amazing option because it is produced from recycled water bottles. It is a great way to promote your property as a “green rental.” Wool is also eco-friendly but is generally not ethical for those who protect animals.
Foot traffic and furniture can certainly take a toll on the carpet. No one wants to use a carpet with worn-down fibers that make it thin. We all want to enjoy lush carpeting that looks and feels great.
To enhance the durability of carpets, manufacturers are using particular techniques and materials. Durability, however, does not ensure comfort. Some carpets might be very durable, but lack the softness bare feet like to enjoy.
If you want to have a lush carpet that feels good to your renters as they try to get cozy, then softer carpets are ideal. On the other hand, if durability is your number one priority, then you may not mind sacrificing the softness of the carpet.
Is Carpet Better Than Flooring For a Rental Property?
Rental properties become very welcoming when the living room is carpeted. It is an affordable option that is easy to install. Renters like the soft and warm feel carpets provide.
Carpets help make rental units less noisy as the fibers and padding absorb much of the noise. This characteristic makes it a good option in multi-unit properties compared to flooring.
As long as the carpet is well maintained and does not affect the unit’s habitability, it is a great addition to your rental properties.
What is Rental Grade Carpet?
Typically, rental properties are furnished with rental-grade carpets. It is also called “apartment-grade” or “builder-grade.” These lower-end carpets last approximately 3-5 years. This is the type of carpet seen in most apartments and hotels.
Choosing to Carpet Your Rental Property
As an owner of rental properties, carpeting the bedrooms and living rooms attract renters. You must weigh the pros and cons for your specific scenario to see if installing a carpet makes sense.
Although it helps dampen noise and can be comfortable for renters, it may become difficult to maintain it in good shape. It all comes down to the time and money it takes to prepare the unit for a new tenant.
All rentals have a unique set of parameters that will help you determine if carpeting is the right choice for your rental property.
What questions and/or comments would you like to share? Please Comment below. Thank you and have a great day.