When it comes to multifamily properties, there are plenty of flooring choices to fit any budget and size. The options may seem endless, but when dealing with apartment units that will service many different tenants, we think there are few no brainers that would make any property management company’s life much easier! To make things simple, here are our pros and cons of each:
1.) Sheet Vinyl
First but not foremost, sheet vinyl. Honestly, we try to forget that this product exists. Although it is affordable and somewhat durable, we would shy away from covering an entire project in sheet vinyl unless you are building a B- or C Class property.
2.) Laminate Wood
Next on our hit list is laminate wood. Flashback to the early 2000’s when laminate wood was the thing to do, and MySpace was still cool. While laminate wood is definitely a step above our beloved sheet vinyl, we still believe there are better options within a similar price range.
This may seem like an obvious choice for bathrooms and kitchens, as it is perfect for any ‘wet’ location, both indoors and outdoors. It is easy to clean, pet friendly (if you’re into that kind of thing…), and also has fantastic long-term durability. However, tile holds a higher price tag than other products with these same attributes, and it is also very labor intensive.
The argument of the century! We know that there are plenty of carpet lovers out there, and if you’ve ever seen any show on HGTV, this argument proves to be very consistent and makes for GREAT television. But, here’s our take on carpet in multi-family properties… It is okay in bedrooms, and sometimes quite cozy. On the other hand, it is the most easily damaged type of flooring, and the cost of cleaning or replacing this carpet between turnovers can add up quickly. This can also take up crucial time before getting a new tenant in the unit. And if you are pet friendly – Just don’t! One dog’s fleas are not the next tenant’s friends (we know this from experience).
Another option is hardwood – While many people love having hardwoods in their homes, it is very cost prohibitive for a multi-family community. If you are renovating and hardwoods were preexisting, then by all means, refinish them! If not, see our next point.
6.) Luxury Vinyl Plank/Tile
The latest, greatest, new standard. And we are completely on board, can you tell? Luxury vinyl tiles mimic their ancestor perfectly, and you can grout in between to achieve the exact same look as real tile. The Luxury Vinyl Planks also replace the need for hardwoods at a fraction of the cost and with easier installation and upkeep. Bottom line- this option is quick, inexpensive (but doesn’t look like it), easily replaced, and appropriate everywhere. And we love everything about it (especially that it is also pet friendly).
The Bottom Line…
So how do you choose the product that will meet your flooring needs? And what does that choice say to prospective tenants? This answer might depend on the size of the community, potential tenant population, and most importantly, your budget. If you are building a high-end project, a great option would be to upgrade to hardwood and tile. But if you don’t want to break the bank, go with our favorite, vinyl plank.