Hardwood or Carpet for Rental Properties

wood floor

Landlords have two primary goals when it comes to their rental properties. A landlord wants the property to attract dependable tenants and a landlord wants a property to be relatively easy to care for and maintain.

Therefore, when it comes time to choose a type of flooring for a rental property, which type of floor is best for a landlord to choose? The two most popular options are carpet and hardwood floor.

In our opinion, the best type of floor for a rental property is a hardwood floor. Here is why …


In 2017, hardwood floor is the most popular choice for younger homeowners and renters. More often than not, tenants will be younger couples or single men or women unable to afford a monthly mortgage and home ownership costs. Therefore, you want your rental property to appeal to millennials and younger generations and hardwood floor accomplishes that.


The best part of hardwood floor is that if you purchase a quality material it will last the entire lifetime of your rental property. We do recommend you prevent tenants from letting a large dog live in the apartment and you should require that a cat be declawed. If you are able to prevent scratches in hardwood floor it will remain beautiful for many years to come.

If you choose carpet, you should plan on installing new carpet every 5-10 years if your tenants are careful about vacuuming and caring for it. However, a particularly dirty or careless tenant could result in needing new carpet very fast.

You do have to pay for the durability upfront in the cost of materials and installation but if the hardwood floor helps to attract new tenants and requires minimal future investment throughout the years you will earn your money back very fast.


Another amazing benefit of hardwood floor is that it is very easy to care for and maintain from a short-term and long-term basis. Short-term, the tenants will just need to sweep and wipe down the floor perhaps one or two times in a week in order for it to maintain a clean appearance in their home.

For a landlord, you shouldn’t have to invest any effort into the hardwood floor unless it needs to be refinished after a decade or so. This is much different than carpet in which a landlord will need to hire a professional carpet cleaning service in Chicago one time each year and every time a new tenant rents the property. I use Arevalo Bros Chem-Dry in Chicago for the apartments I own that have carpet but I prefer the properties I own with hardwood floor as they require no attention from me each year.

This post illustrates several reasons why landlords should install hardwood floor if possible and avoid carpet in their rental properties. The many benefits of hardwood floor outweigh the initial cost investment and you will never regret the decision after you finish paying off the initial cost.

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