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Mike makes a good point and for a low end multi family, I might follow his advice. I believe however that you said this was a SFR?
You now have several opinions on several differnt investments. Go with what fits your biz.
The problem with carpet pad in a rental is that it holds/traps liquid (water, soft drinks, beer, pet urine) that the idiot tenants are not smart enough to clean up. After a relatively short time, a wet carpet pad will begin to break down and will adhere to the floor. If left in place longer, that pad will completely break down and will be stuck like concrete to the sub floor requiring a sander to remove it.
It is time to replace the carpet and I am wondering if I should just put cheap carpet back in it or put in cheap laminate, as I believe laminate would hold up better? The laminate I am looking at is swift lock from Lowes it not the cheapest it slightly above it at about $1.50/sf I plan on installing it myself(only about 550/sf total) or I could get cheap carpet and have it installed. Any advice on which I should install or anybody that has experience with the longevity of laminate would be greatly appreciated. But it just not appropriate in some places. I couldn see having a tile living room.
Carpet may very well last longer in a pad if the occupants of the house are normal people. However, most tenants are not normal people. They are on the lower rung of the ladder because they consistently make poor decisions. Many of these people live like pigs! The reason that I don install carpet pad has nothing to do with money. Air Max 95 Front
As for hardwood floors I agree with Pete that they the best floor you can have and will last the longest in a rental. In fact, we paint the hardwood floors in all of our low income rentals and they look GREAT, even with some of them being over 100 years old. I didn talk about hardwood in my original post because the original post was about laminate vs. carpet. Laminate is light years different as compared to hardwood.
As for hardwood not being tenant proof, yeah, I guess nothing is, but, hardwood comes awfully close. Simple carelessness or neglect will not ruin it. Air Yeezy Blink
As a property manager I find that the best way to reduce long term maintenance costs when it comes to floors is to get rid of carpets when they lost their useful life and replace them with linoleum tiles. They last a very long time and they are easier, quicker and cheaper to clean when tenants move out. Ripped/broken tiles can also be easily removed and replaced individually which is why every one of my apartments has exactly the same type/style/color linoleum tile. There is also a happy or sad medium between those two extremes. So the answer really depends on what type of unit you have.
Laminate is cheap and quick and it stands up well, assuming it is not abused. I have it in my bedroom and am happy with it. But, a careless tenant can ruin it quckly with gouges or leaving spills to soak into the cracks.
contractors are looking for work in the current economy, so they are likely to give you very reasonable estimates.
If so and it a decent one, I suspect you are catering to someone a bit higher up the tenant food chain whom might Air Max Floral Pink appreciate higher quality flooring. Also, being a SFR, you may someday move back or sell it. What flooring would you or a prospective new owner want.
You might need to refinish it now and again, but, if you can do the work and have access to a sander, it is fairly quick and quite inexpensive. And if you have one of the newer large orbital models, it reasonably close to being idiot proof!
Cheap carpet or Cheap laminate
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My recommendation would be good old oak hardwood. Lasts damn near for ever, puts up with abuse, is an acceptable floor surface in pretty much any room and if you can lay it yourself, the price is not that far off other floorings. Assuming this is a place you plan on holding for awhile, I think the extra dollars are a wise investment even if you hire an installer.
I plan on moving and keeping my current residence as a rental.
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