Decorating and furnishing a rental property is a balance between practicality and attractiveness. If the balance is skewed, you can end up out of pocket, either because nobody falls in love with the property enough to rent it from you, or because you are finding you have to redecorate or replace the flooring every year or so.
To address this balance with regards to flooring, you will need to opt for something that is low maintenance while also offering an aesthetic value. Light-coloured carpet might look fresh and airy, but it isn’t particularly durable and will quickly show up marks and stains. Solid wood flooring is a durable option but can be quite pricy — a good choice if you are sure it will be maintained properly; however, you might love it but will your tenants feel strongly enough about it to look after it properly?
The type of property you are letting out is key when considering flooring types. Carpets work well in flats as they dull noise, protecting the ears of the neighbours below. If you opt for carpet, choose a neutral, mid-to-dark colour in an easy-to-clean material.
Scratch-resistant laminate is a cost-effective and attractive option. It’s also easy to clean, making it desirable for the tenant, and its light and neutral feel offers a range of furnishing options — attractive to potential tenants.
Vinyl is another option worth considering — it’s easy to clean, tolerates moisture and is noise absorbent. Aesthetically, it has come a long way from the vinyl options of the 1970s; it’s now available in a huge range of styles and colours. If you do opt for vinyl, tiles may be the best option as you will be able to replace a single tile should any damage occur, for example, from dragging furniture. Buy extra tiles from the same batch when you fit it, giving you enough to keep it going for a few years.
The cheapest option is not always the best; do take into consideration who is likely to be renting your property; for example, a house with four bedrooms will probably attract a family and thus a heavier football, meaning a more durable covering may be required.