Author Topic: Laminate for SF rental?  (Read 4418 times)

Must_Stash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Laminate for SF rental?
« on: April 16, 2014, 07:46:09 PM »
I just bought my first rental for 53K.  Expect rent at $975.  The neighborhood seems to have many young professionals.  I want the place nice but not overdone.

I'm considering refinishing badly pet-stained floors with a dark stain to cover maybe 90% of the discoloration.  This is also the cheapest option, at $750 for sanding, stain, and 3 coats oil-based on 500 sq. feet.  The other option (and a necessity for the upper bedroom) is laminate.

 Is there a durable, appealing, cost-comparable laminate that is also installable by an novice (myself!)

I'm reading installation horror stories online.  And for every product I research, there are 50% terrible reviews and 50% wonderful.  I'd have more confidence in Mustachian opinions-- so, who loves a laminate?

rachael talcott

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
  • Age: 45
  • Location: TN
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 05:46:50 AM »
Congrats on the first rental!

The one big downside of laminate is that it cannot get wet, so you don't want it in the kitchen or bath, especially for a rental where people might not be super careful.  I have used the floating vinyl that looks like wood (or rather it looks like laminate) and it seems to hold up well even in wet conditions.  But if you have the option to stain and refinish wood, I'd go with that.  It will look better, wear better, and cost less. 

 

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 07:27:30 AM »
Forgive me, I'm not a home owner so I don't know anything about installing laminate or what to buy, but I've rented a few apartments in my time (and in SF for a while). I'm curious if laminate dings or scuffs up easily? If so, I would actually go with an inexpensive carpet; because renters will move in and out and will not care if they scrape the furniture across the floor. I'm not saying that's what *I* would do, but I know it's common among renters, even young professionals, to not really care about keeping the apartment in pristine condition.

tryan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 09:02:23 AM »
Refinished wood floors trump laminate all day long.

But if you must (in the bed room) make sure it can get wet.  I've installed many floors using bargin basement (99 cents/foot) laminate only to have the seams lift at the first wet mop.  Depressing.

Johnny Aloha

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 315
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 12:59:14 PM »
I've heard great things about Trafficmaster Allure, and installed some myself.  I installed the kind with glued edges in a house I sold a while back, so can't comment on long term performance.  A friend just installed the version that clicks/locks together instead of glued edges, and is very happy with it.

You'll find a wealth of information by searching the biggerpockets forums.  Generally, seems like most people like Allure.

dan@themadrealworld

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • The Mad Real World
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 01:58:26 PM »
I just tried laminate for the first time in one of my rentals.  It was awesome!  Easy to install and looks great. Hoping it last a long time.  Only semi-hard part was having to cut the boards but overall pretty easy to install.

I found some on clearance from lumber liquidators for $0.39/sq ft!

I used that in the bedrooms.  I refinished the wide pine floor in the living room and it looks awesome.

I put down some peel and stick tile in the kitchen.  Also easy and looks great, only hard part is cutting side pieces.  Think I paid .38 or .48 per sq ft on that one.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5739
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 02:08:35 PM »
Pergo makes a laminate that is made for water/kitchens/baths. WE installed it in those 2 rooms.  I think it is actually a vinyl but looks like wood and was easy to install. My son who had no prior experience was able to do it.  It has held up really well.

Must_Stash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 07:12:03 PM »
Wow, thanks.  I'll check out Traffic master, and the pergo water-resistant.  I now think I will go with laminate ONLY upstairs. 

The downstairs I'll have sanded and stained dark to cover the old pet stains.  I hand-sanded a few boards just to check how deep the stains go-- they're surface only, for the most part.  I believe this is because there was carpet and padding on top.  It was such a foul job removing it that I can't see putting carpet back down. 

And thanks for the congrats on the first rental.  For the past 18 months I've been renting two rooms in my house.  It's worked out well.  So I think renting a separate residence will have different challenges, but I'll make it work too.

dan@themadrealworld

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • The Mad Real World
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 08:30:41 PM »
Yeah I wouldn't bother with carpet at all.  Too easily stained and worn out.  Gl with the rental property. Just be very careful with your tenant selection.  Better to be vacant a month than to put in a bad tenant, trust me.

tarantoga

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 12:28:46 AM »
I'm curious if laminate dings or scuffs up easily?

I have put laminate into my own home (the cheap Ikea brand) and am currently putting Pergo into a rental home (more expensive).

The main reason is that it's so durable (if kept dry). My wife wanted bamboo in the rental, but I let her try this to convince her: Go to the sample area at your home improvement store, take a key or screw, and try to scratch bamboo vs hardwood vs laminate.

I am not able to scratch laminate, even the cheap stuff.
It's possible to ding it though if you drop something heavy and sharp.

Blindsquirrel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 656
  • Age: 1
  • Location: Flyover country
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 08:05:10 AM »
    Refinish the floors you can but another vote for laminate from Lumberliquidators. We have carpeted one room in the last 5 year at a tenants request. Everything else for 13 houses and most of our rehab investments has been laminate. I blew so much money on carpet before I realized that laminate was the way to go it is sad.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4015
Re: Laminate for SF rental?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 06:43:33 PM »
Dark stained real wood sounds much better than laminate!  Some stains showing through is ok IMO. 

We had laminate in a low traffic living room in our old house.  7 years there and it wasn't looking too hot- dog had an accident while we were at work (so the wetness sat all day) and a few things with sharp edges got dropped, plus the medium traffic areas looked scuffed.

We had different laminate for one year in a rental house, in the kitchen and by the main door.  It looked awful after a year- gouges in the kitchen, tons of blisters at the seams in the kitchen and by the door from drips of water, despite trying to be very careful.

In  a bedroom it might be ok since no water and not much traffic, but if your renter spills a glass of a water in the bedroom, doesn't clean it up right away, the laminate will buckle or blister.  It just takes one oops to ruin it,