Landlord Advice

Carpet vs. Laminate Flooring for Rental Properties

Are you a landlord who has just purchased a new buy-to-let property, or maybe, you already own one, the last tenants have left and you are looking to renovate it a bit before finding new ones? Are the walls in need of a splash of paint? Or is the floor covered in horrendous-looking old stained wall-to-wall carpeting? Decisions, decisions… Well, one important part of your property is the flooring, of course. So, if it’s in poor condition, your chances of getting new tenants soon will be definitely lower, unless you do something about it. Right then, you may be asking yourself “What’s the best type of flooring for a rental property?”

After all, there are so many options out there, depending on your budget. Don’t forget that time can be also a factor, in terms of floor installation. So, if you are in a rush and a bit cash-strapped, you need to weigh your options. On that note, carpeting and laminate spring to mind as affordable and easy-to-install types of flooring for long- or short-term rental properties. And our post will explore the pros and cons of each to hopefully give you a better idea of what to go for, once you understand their main differences.

Table of Contents:

So, if you:

  • can’t make up your mind on how best to refurbish the flooring of your rental property;
  • are confronted with the dilemma – laminate flooring vs. carpet for rental property;
  • want to know the advantages and disadvantages of carpet and laminate floorings in great detail;

Then, read on.

And for more helpful guides, check out our collection of rental property advice for landlords!

What is laminate?

Let’s get an idea of what laminate flooring is first. Laminate flooring is made of synthetic materials, but it is designed to mimic hardwood or even stone floorings. In the early days of laminate, there weren’t many quality brands, but nowadays, there are more expensive variants that imitate hardwood pretty well. 

Laminate is made of layers of different synthetic materials. The design that makes it look like real wood is actually just a photograph inserted as a layer. The top layer is a clear coating, which serves to protect the surface from moisture and scratches. The bottom layer is made to be quite sturdy and water-resistant, too, so the boards do not warp over time. The core layer is made of High-Density Fibres or HDF, for short, which gives it the overall structural strength – the thicker this layer is, the harder the board. Laminate flooring is held together by an easy-to-install click system, so DIY is an option here.

Pros and cons of laminate flooring

Pros

There are many pros of choosing laminate flooring for your rental property. The first and most obvious is the price – laminate is relatively cheap. Another advantage to consider is that it is easy to install, too, saving you time and money. Here we’ll list a couple more:

  • Easy maintenance – laminate flooring is easy to clean – regular vacuuming and mopping do the job, and it is very resistant to stains; 
  • Many appearance options – laminate comes in a variety of colours, designs and patterns, so you can have it looking the way you want.

Cons

Although there are many benefits to consider when choosing laminate flooring for your property, you should be aware of some of the cons it comes with, as well:

  • Susceptibility to moisture damage – although laminate is fairly water-resistant if any moisture makes its way into the boards, they can warp and start to rise in high-humidity environments. Keep this in mind when cleaning the floors;
  • Fake look – more expensive laminate looks pretty good and imitates hardwood really well but the cheaper varieties give a more fake look to your flooring; 
  • Noise – laminate flooring is a lot noisier than carpets and that may be a problem if other people are living underneath your property. Consider a good quality underlay to place the boards on, and maybe, a couple of rugs on top in the spots where there’s more foot traffic. 

What is carpeting? 

As we’ve already mentioned, another option to consider for your flooring in your rental property is carpeting. This is still a very popular choice among rental owners in the UK. There are many different types of carpet that you can choose from. The two main ones are called cut pile and loop pile. The difference between these is the overall look and the exact method, in which they are made. Of course, the materials used can be different, as well. 

There are many options, in terms of the type of materials, which a carpet is made of. The most popular materials are synthetic, but your floor covering can also be made of organic fibres. Carpets are made by weaving yarn or yarn-like threads through a backing and then piling them on the other side. The type of pile determines the overall look of the carpet.

  • Cut pile carpets are made by threading the yarn through the backing and then cutting the loops on the top side. There are different styles such as Saxony, Textured or Frieze. 
  • Loop pile carpets, on the other hand, are made by threading the fabric and looping it on the top side without cutting the loops. This creates a more hard-wearing and durable carpet, due to the tightly woven and densely packed fibres. Some of the styles of this type of carpet include Berber, Level loop and multi-level loop.

Pros and cons of carpet flooring

Pros

Carpet flooring comes with its own pros and cons. The first benefit that comes to mind is the overall look of carpet flooring – it always looks cosy and the pattern, colour and design choices are almost limitless. It can be also easy on the budget if you consider a wall-to-wall carpet for your rental property. Here are some more examples of pros and cons related to carpets.

  • Less noise – carpets provide cushioning and reduce noise from footsteps, meaning they improve the acoustic of a room.
  • Easy to patch and repair – instead of replacing all the carpeting in your property, if the damage is not that bad, you can patch and repair a small section to save money.

Cons

Of course, carpeting has some downsides, as well. For starters, a good quality carpet can be a bit more expensive than good quality laminate and it is generally harder to maintain in good condition. Still, there are a number of synthetic types of wall-to-wall carpeting, which can be more budget-friendly than laminate flooring. Some other cons to consider are:

  • Susceptibility to stains and odours – carpets can be easily stained and can retain bad odours. Some stains may prove harder to deal with and you’ll need professional cleaning help to remove them. This makes carpets a bad choice for a kitchen or hallway.
  • Harder installation – wall-to-wall carpets are the most popular choice but they have to be laid all at once, which may prove difficult and most likely will require help from experts.
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Carpet vs. laminate – the verdict

In conclusion, if you are on a budget and convenience is your goal, your best choice is to opt for laminate flooring. It is easy to install and easy to clean. In addition, they can be more durable than cheap carpeting. Last but not least, when it comes to the safety of your tenants (which you have a legal obligation to ensure), laminate flooring is less combustible and more fire-resistant than inexpensive synthetic carpeting. High-quality laminate comes with many good looking design options, too, but keep in mind that hard flooring might be a bit noisier for the property owners or tenants below yours. 

If you are looking for providing your lodgers with comfort and more colour options, then go for carpets. Carpets can be a bit more expensive when it comes to installation, especially, and harder to clean, but they provide unmatched cosiness in your rental property, which can reflect the higher monthly income you can get. 

Need help with installing laminate flooring in your rental property?

Are you a landlord looking for expert professionals to help you freshen up your rental property? Fantastic Services offers amazing property renovation and refurbishment services for you! If you have decided on having new laminate flooring installed, we’ll send a team of experts to do it in a quick and efficient way. The qualified pros we work with are skilled in many refurbishment and installation jobs and you can rest assured that you will get amazing results, no matter what their task is. 

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Takeaways

  • Laminate flooring is easy to install and clean and can be more budget-friendly.
  • Carpets provide a cosy atmosphere in your rental property and help reduce noise from footsteps and thus, minimising the risk of neighbours’ complaints.
  • Both laminate and carpets come in many different design options.
  • Laminate is more durable, and water- and fire-resistant than carpeting.
  • Carpeting can be a good choice for bedrooms and the living room, an investment that can be returned quickly through a higher monthly rent.

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Did you find this information helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

Image source: Shutterstock/ronstik

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