5 Best Flooring for Rental Property in 2023

Choosing the right flooring for your rental property is crucial to its longevity, durability, and appeal to potential tenants. With a vast array of options available, selecting the best flooring can feel overwhelming.

In this article, we will explore some of the best flooring options for rental properties, keeping in mind important factors such as cost, maintenance, and tenant preferences. This will help you make an informed decision and ultimately increase the value and desirability of your investment property.


Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for rental properties due to its durability and timeless appeal. It’s available in a variety of species, such as oak, maple, and cherry, and can be refinished multiple times, which prolongs its lifespan.

Some of the advantages of hardwood flooring for rental properties include:

  • Visual appeal: Hardwood flooring offers a warm and inviting look, often preferred by tenants.
  • Durability: Properly maintained hardwood floors can last for decades, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Easy maintenance: Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are usually sufficient to keep hardwood floors looking great.

However, there are also some downsides to consider:

  • Cost: Hardwood flooring can be more expensive upfront compared to other flooring options.
  • Sensitivity to moisture: Hardwood floors can be damaged by water and humidity, making them less suitable for areas prone to moisture, like bathrooms or basements.
  • Scratches and dents: While durable, hardwood flooring can still sustain scratches and dents from heavy furniture or pet claws.

When selecting hardwood flooring for a rental property, consider the following factors:

SpeciesChoose a species that strikes a balance between aesthetics, durability, and budget. For example, oak is widely available and reasonably priced, while offering good durability.
FinishOpt for a durable finish, like polyurethane, to help protect the floor from everyday wear and tear.
Installation methodConsider the installation method, such as nail-down, glue-down, or floating, as different methods may impact cost and stability.

By evaluating these factors, you can select the best hardwood flooring option for your rental property that meets both the aesthetic and functional requirements.


Laminate flooring is a popular choice for property owners, especially as a cost-effective alternative to hardwood. It is comprised of multiple layers, including a wear layer that protects against scratches, a decorative layer mimicking the look of wood, a core layer made from high-density fiberboard, and a backing layer that prevents moisture damage.

Below are some advantages of choosing laminate flooring for rental properties:

  • Durability: Laminate can withstand daily wear and tear, making it an ideal option for high-traffic areas.
  • Easy installation: It often comes with a click-lock design, making the installation process quick and easy for even novice DIYers.
  • Low cost: Compared to hardwood, laminate flooring is typically more affordable, with prices ranging from $1 to $5 per square foot.
  • Low maintenance: Simple cleaning and damage-avoidance measures, like using furniture pads, are usually sufficient to maintain laminate floors.

However, there are a few downsides to keep in mind:

  • Water resistance: While laminate is moisture resistant to an extent, it is not waterproof. Prolonged exposure to water can damage the material.
  • Repair limitations: Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate cannot be sanded down and refinished. In case of damage, the affected planks will need to be replaced.

Considering these factors can aid in deciding if laminate flooring is the best choice for a rental property.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a popular choice for rental properties due to its affordability, durability, and ease of maintenance. It comes in a variety of styles and colors, allowing property owners to achieve an attractive and modern look while staying within budget.

There are three main types of vinyl flooring available:

  • Sheet vinyl
  • Vinyl tile
  • Luxury vinyl plank (LVP)

Sheet vinyl is the most affordable option, while LVP offers a more realistic appearance and better resistance to wear and tear. Vinyl tile falls between these two options in terms of price and durability.

The following table provides a comparison of the key features of each type of vinyl flooring:

TypeAverage Cost per Sq ftInstallation DifficultyDurabilityWater Resistance
Sheet Vinyl$1 – $3Easy8 – 10 yearsHigh
Vinyl Tile$2 – $5Moderate10 – 15 yearsHigh
Luxury Vinyl Plank$3 – $10Moderate15 – 20 yearsHigh

One of the main advantages of vinyl flooring is its water-resistance, making it suitable for areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, it is easy to clean and maintain, making it an ideal option for rental properties with high tenant turnover.


Tile flooring is a popular choice for rental properties due to its durability, low maintenance, and variety of design options. It is especially suitable for high-traffic areas and rooms that are prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Tile flooring comes in various materials, including:

  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Stone
  • Glass

Each material has distinct advantages and considerations. For example, ceramic and porcelain tiles are both scratch-resistant and easy to clean; however, porcelain is more resistant to moisture and stains. Natural stone tiles, such as those made from marble, slate, and granite, can offer an upscale look, but they may require additional maintenance, like periodic sealing.

MaterialCost (per sq. ft)DurabilityMaintenance
Ceramic$1 – $5GoodLow
Porcelain$3 – $10ExcellentLow
Stone$5 – $25VariesMedium
Glass$5 – $20GoodLow

When selecting tile flooring for a rental property, consider both the upfront cost and long-term durability. While a more expensive material may have a higher initial cost, the long-lasting nature of tile flooring may provide better value in the long run.


Carpet is a popular flooring option for rental properties due to its affordability and comfort. It can provide warmth and insulation, making it more attractive to potential tenants. There is a wide range of carpet materials and styles to choose from, with options to suit various budgets and preferences.

The most common types of carpet materials include:

  • Nylon – Durable, resilient, and easy to clean
  • Polyester – Soft, stain-resistant, but less durable than nylon
  • Wool – Natural, luxurious, but can be more expensive and less stain-resistant
  • Olefin – Affordable, resistant to moisture, but prone to crushing

When selecting carpet for your rental property, consider factors such as foot traffic, the area’s climate, and the type of tenants you expect. High-traffic areas may require a more durable carpet material, while properties in colder climates may benefit from added insulation provided by plush carpets.

Here is a comparison of the average cost and lifespan for popular carpet materials:

MaterialAverage Cost per Square FootAverage Lifespan
Nylon$2 – $78 – 12 years
Polyester$1 – $45 – 8 years
Wool$5 – $268 – 20 years
Olefin$1 – $35 – 10 years

Maintaining and cleaning carpets regularly can help extend their lifespan and make your rental property more appealing to potential tenants.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the best flooring for rental properties, it is important to consider multiple factors. These factors will ensure a balance between aesthetic appeal, durability, and cost-effectiveness, ultimately resulting in a wise and well-rounded investment. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of key factors to consider:


One of the major concerns when choosing a flooring type for rental properties is durability. High durability ensures value for money and reduces frequent replacement costs. Here are some common flooring materials and their relative durability:

  • Vinyl: 10-20 years
  • Laminate: 15-25 years
  • Hardwood: 25-100 years
  • Tile: 50+ years


Property owners should consider cost-effectiveness. Balancing upfront costs with long-term durability is crucial for making a worthwhile investment. The table below provides an overview of costs associated with different flooring materials:

MaterialCost per sq ft

Maintenance and Cleaning

Ease of maintenance and cleaning is vital for both landlords and tenants. Some materials require minimal upkeep, while others demand more attention. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Vinyl: Easy to clean and maintain
  • Laminate: Requires moderate maintenance (avoid moisture)
  • Hardwood: Demands regular maintenance (refinishing)
  • Tile: Simple to clean, but grout may need attention

Tenant Preference

It is essential to consider your potential tenants’ preferred flooring. Appealing options can attract quality tenants who are more likely to stay long term. Factors such as household composition, pets, and climate should be considered when assessing tenant preferences.

Best Flooring for High-Traffic Areas

When choosing flooring for high-traffic areas in a rental property, it’s essential to select a material that is both durable and easy to maintain. Here are a few options that offer those qualities:

  1. Vinyl flooring
  2. Laminate flooring
  3. Ceramic or porcelain tile
  4. Engineered hardwood

Vinyl flooring is a popular choice due to its low cost and durability. It is available in various designs, including those that mimic the look of natural wood or tile. In addition, vinyl flooring can withstand high foot traffic and is resistant to stains, making it easy to clean.

Laminate flooring, another cost-effective option, is made from synthetic materials and resembles natural wood. It can stand up to heavy foot traffic and is resistant to scratches and stains. Laminate flooring, however, is not as water-resistant as vinyl, so it might not be the best choice for areas prone to moisture.

Flooring TypeResistance to ScratchesResistance to Moisture

Ceramic or porcelain tile is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas due to its durability and resistance to moisture. Available in various styles and colors, these tiles are easy to clean and maintain. However, tile flooring can be more expensive than vinyl or laminate.

Engineered hardwood offers a natural wood appearance with added durability. Made from real wood veneer combined with layers of plywood or fiberboard, engineered hardwood can handle heavy foot traffic better than traditional hardwood flooring. However, this option can also be more expensive than vinyl or laminate.

Best Flooring for Pet-Friendly Rentals

When considering flooring for pet-friendly rental properties, it’s vital to choose materials that withstand potential damage caused by pets while remaining visually appealing to tenants. Here are a few suitable options:

  1. Vinyl Flooring: Vinyl is a popular choice due to its durability, water resistance, and ease of maintenance. It mimics the appearance of wood or tile, while providing additional comfort underfoot for pets.
  2. Laminate Flooring: Laminate is another pet-friendly alternative that is affordable and reasonably durable. However, it’s essential to select high-quality laminate with high wear resistance to avoid damage from pet nails.
  3. Tile Flooring: Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer excellent scratch and water resistance, making them suitable for pet-friendly rentals. Select tiles with a textured surface for additional slip resistance.

Keep in mind that some flooring materials may not be ideal for pet-friendly properties:

  • Hardwood Flooring: Although visually appealing, hardwood is prone to scratches and water damage, making it less suitable for properties with pets.
  • Carpet: Carpets are challenging to maintain and are easily stained or damaged by pet accidents. However, if you must use carpet, choose low-pile, stain-resistant options.

As a property owner, it’s crucial to balance the needs and preferences of potential tenants with pets while maintaining the longevity and appearance of your flooring investment.

Leave a Comment