Carpet vs Laminate Flooring?

OakLaminateCarpet vs Laminate Flooring.  

This is an important question for all landlords.  Carpet can be ruined after one tenant, even after only a few months.  Laminate flooring is generally more durable, but more expensive.  Laminate flooring can also be ruined by water.

I have been using laminate flooring on all my floors except the bedrooms.  The flooring I use is a lifetime warranty, with an attached foam pad, available at Sam’s club.  It costs about $1.50 per square foot and there are about 500 square feet in a unit that get covered with the flooring. The total cost of materials is ~$825 for the flooring for my apartments.  I put it in the living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway.  It stands up to a lot of abuse, but not standing water. 

Good tenants do not have standing water, and they understand how to use a damp mop, not a wet mop.  

Installation costs vary, but you can find laminate installers from .75 to $1.99 per square foot.  For my apartments, it takes about two days to install it, or 16 man hours.  If I am super efficient, and do not take too many breaks, I can do it in under 12 hours.  I do it myself if I have time.  It’s really easy.  Paying someone it generally costs at least $700 or so.  After several renters, the laminate is still in good shape.  More renters like laminate, than carpet.  They like the ease of cleanup.

 I have purchased carpet from many different suppliers.  I have found Home Depot, with a $37 install, to be the cheapest.  I make sure the carpet is removed, and the room ready to go.  The carpet butts directly up against the laminate, so no metal strips or transitions are needed.

A typical install, for a 10-year warranty carpet, is ~$750.  That is three bedrooms.  If you are comparing prices, make sure you compare against another 10 year warranty carpet.  My units generally have ~53 yards of carpet in all three bedrooms.  There is very little waste and no seams.

Do you prefer carpet or laminate? Are you a landlord or tenant, or homeowner?

4 Replies to “Carpet vs Laminate Flooring?”

  1. Great article, I just had one of my places done with a high quality Vinyl that looks just like hardwood but is (in my opinion) much more durable. I’ve been saying for years that carpet is a real gamble depending on the tenant, I feel that laminate and vinyl just hold up better and don’t require replacement as frequently (assuming no standing water, like you said).

    1. That is exactly correct. I have had tenants ruin carpet in six months. Anytime you have a high-traffic carpet area, and tenants, you have issues. But low-income and low credit score tenants have the worst issues. Carpet issues, pest issues, holes in doors issues, etc…

      I looked at some of the vinyl too, but have not yet made the jump. It seems to be easier to install, and costs about the same, or just slightly higher. The click connect, vs. the stick/overlap connect, seem to be the way to go.

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