Hardwood floors can add character to a rental property. However, while they can boost your property’s appearance, they aren’t as low-maintenance as your tenants would want. Below, we’ve put together a couple of tips to protect your hardwood floors in a way that isn’t too demanding of your tenants.
Pros and Cons of Hardwood Floors
When preparing your apartment or property for renters, you need to consider what type of floors to put – should you use carpets, or should you go for elegant hardwood floors? Hardwood floors are a common choice as they generally go with renters’ interior design needs, however, it may not be the better option. Here are the pros and cons of choosing hardwood floors for your South Florida rental property:
- They’re gorgeous. Hardwood floors are elegant. They also come in neutral colors, so they can be matched with most forms of furniture, such as classic and contemporary.
- They don’t show the dirt. It’s hard to tell whether or not hardwood floors are dirty. Compared to carpets, hardwood floors don’t show dirt, so your rental property’s floors will always appear pristine.
- They don’t show dents. Again, compared to carpets, hardwood floors don’t get dented from the furniture. If your tenant turnover rate isn’t the greatest, it’s worth considering floors that won’t get dented. This way, your floors won’t get dented due to the dragging and rearranging of furniture.
- They work with carpets. If you put a carpet on top of a carpet, that’d only look weird. However, if you put a carpet on top of hardwood floors, you can add character to the room.
- They’re noisy. If you own a multi-family property such as a townhouse, hardwood floors aren’t the ideal choice. When tenants walk on hardwood floors, the tenants downstairs will hear it, too. Don’t be surprised if they complain about their noisy neighbors to your property management company.
- They’re uncomfortable. Hardwood floors aren’t friendly to the feet. If your tenant has a toddler who’s starting to crawl, they’d probably be more comfortable on carpet-covered floors.
- They show scratches. If your tenants own a pet, hardwood floors aren’t the perfect option as they will show the slightest signs of scratches.
- They don’t do well in humidity. Certain indoor conditions can cause hardwood floors to warp, rot, or grow mold and mildew. Hardwood floors can also be stained if water spills aren’t cleaned up as soon as possible.
Should You Use Hardwood Floors in Your Rental Property?
The answer to that depends on the type of tenants that you want to attract. If you want to rent to low-maintenance tenants (e.g. those who don’t own pets), then hardwood floors are a worthy option. However, if your market consists of pet-owning tenants, parents, and the like, chances are it’s not a good idea to get hardwood floors for your rental property.
A property management company can determine if it would be ideal to complete your floors with hardwood. They’ll look into your market to know who you’ll likely rent to.
How to Protect Hardwood Floors on a Rental Property
Let’s say you’ve decided to add hardwood floors to your rental property. If that’s the case, there are certain things you can do to protect your floors from regular wear and tear.
Fabric pads are a low-cost solution to protecting your hardwood floors against damage. The fabric pads cover the sharp bottom of chairs, tables, etc. to enable a smooth movement over the hardwood floors. They protect your property’s floors from scratches, scrapes, and so on. You can suggest to your tenants that they use fabric pads on their furniture as a way of protecting your hardwood floors.
If the floors are covered by a rug, your negligent tenant (or their children) won’t be able to damage it. Add an area rug (or rugs, plural) that’s huge enough to cover the entire living area, or ask your tenants if they will be bringing one with them when they move in. It’s not uncommon for landlords to require a carpet, particularly for tenants with pets.
By adding a rug, you’ll be able to protect your hardwood floors. The downside is that you won’t be able to show off your fabulous floors. But by far, this is one of the best ways to preserve your hardwood floors in areas where your tenants spend a lot of their time in.
Rearrange the Furniture
We know we said that furniture can cause hardwood floors to appear scratched, however, regular furniture rearranging (as long as you don’t drag the furniture, of course) can actually prevent hardwood floors from wear and tear.
Tenants tend to walk through the same “route” and step on the same spots. By rearranging furniture, your tenants will be able to tweak their walking patterns. This can reduce the pressure on a particular spot on the floor, and in turn, lower the chances of the wood sagging in certain areas.
A Note on Using Water to Clean Hardwood Floors
On surface-sealed hardwood floors, it’s fine to use water, however, it should be used sparingly. Water and wood don’t mix well, but if the floors are treated with urethane or polyurethane, they should be fine.
Do not use water to clean wood that’s been treated with a penetrating oil wood stain! This is a type of stain that seeps into the wood. Water could cause the wood to permanently warp, fade, or worse – be the breeding ground for mold and mildew.
If possible, partner with a property management firm that can hire a professional cleaner on your behalf. This is by far the best way to ensure that your hardwood floors are well-maintained.
Want someone whom you can ask to keep an eye on your residential real estate property when you can’t? Luxury Property Care has been providing expert property management throughout South Florida and surrounding areas since 2008. To discuss your real estate needs or find more information on our offerings, contact us today by calling (561) 944 – 2992 or completing our contact form.