Carpeting Or Tile In Rental Houses

Here's something for people who own rental properties to give some serious thought to. A few years ago, our home burned down in the San Diego fires, October 2007. October 22, to be exact. I imagine I will never forget that day, but I did get some valuable information, that I can pass on to landlords, property management professionals and people who own apartments, condominiums or houses that they rent or lease.

I was looking for an apartment to live in and a friend of our suggested and eight unit apartment complex that a friend of theirs had owned. I met with the property manager early the next morning and noticed that the entire apartment floor was tiled with 12 inch ceramic tile. I personally do not like that much tile in a home, because it's hard on my feet and cold. The cold tiles will keep me cold and the home cold as well. Carpeting seems to keep the house a little warmer than tile.

Curious, I asked the property manager why they had tiled the entire apartment. I assumed, for some reason that this was the only apartment that was like this in the complex. He replied with," it's quite simple, as you see, we're located next to a college and a large amount of our tenants are college students, these students rarely take care of anything, including these apartments. We don't have to clean the carpets when they move out and it only takes a few tenants to completely destroy your carpeting sometimes. We have owned the property for eight years and it's working out great"

I had never thought of this, and I would imagine it has never occurred to most property managers or owners of rental property. I thought, that it was time for me to share what I have learned. It seems like a pretty good idea and I would suggest, that if you own a few properties, what would it hurt to tile the entire floor in one of them, just to see what your expenses would be like over the next decade.

I don't know if tile laying these floors over time is better than carpeting, but it's worth looking into, especially if you have a rental that seems to get turned over often, by that I mean people moving out in less than a year.

PS. Avoid using glossy tile, because it is slick and with a little moisture can become a safety hazard. Use a rough or textured tile that is preferably light brown, the color of dirt. This will cut cleaning costs down even more.