Laminate Flooring in rental properties

Questions and Answers

Laminate flooring in rental properties questions

Laminate Flooring in Rental Properties


Amy S.  Asked

I am replacing the flooring in a duplex. We have always had carpeting in the rental units, which turns out to be gross in the end, and so we are now considering complete installation of  laminate flooring in rental properties  OR laminate flooring in living areas (kitchen living room, basement) and “apartment grade” (cheap) carpeting in bedrooms. Tell me failures or successes/ recommendations.

  Laminate Flooring in Rental Properties answer button

Hello Amy,
I have installed  laminate flooring in rental properties numerous times with no complaints from the owners. I have installed laminate flooring in several private residences with cats or large dogs, where damage from their claws was a concern, with no complaints. I have installed laminate flooring in a few kitchens and bathrooms with no complaints, I do feel however that there is a greater risk of damage to laminate floors installed in high moisture areas.

There are a few things that you may want to consider if you choose to install laminate flooring in rental properties.

Most laminates can be damaged by excess water standing on the surface. It will seep into the cracks and may lead to swelling and buckling of the floor. If you are going to use it in kitchen or bath areas look for a brand that is water resistant. A better alternative for kitchens and baths may be a product like Alure Ultra,  a vinyl based 100% waterproof product. (see link below)

Traffic Master Allure Ultra

Be sure to install a floating type floor that, as the name implies, is not nailed or glued down. If it ever has to be replaced only the shoe mold around the perimeter has to be pulled up to allow removal of the entire floor.

Don’t use the shoe molding that is sold with the flooring. It is ridiculously expensive and comes in short lengths resulting in too many joints. Instead buy standard shoe mold and paint or stain it before installing.

When installing laminate flooring in rental properties consider using transition strips in all transition strip between roomsor most all doorways between rooms even if you don’t have to. Transitions strips allow the floors of each room to be isolated from each other. If a floor in one room is damaged and needs to be replaced It can be removed up to the transition strip without affecting the flooring in other rooms.

Many flooring companies use inadequately trained installation technicians, with little or no background in construction, resulting in poor quality craftsmanship. Almost anyone with a carpentry (especially finish carpentry) background can do a better job than many “flooring technicians.” In my experience many of the subcontractors that the big box stores use are either inadequately trained or inadequately motivated to do quality work.

for some insight on installing laminate flooring in rental properties click here

Of the half dozen or so brands of laminate flooring I have installed I have only had issues with two brands. One was a discontinued low end Armstrong brand that a client bought on sale. The self locking seams failed on the ends of a couple of pieces resulting in a crack between the ends of two boards. (I have installed other Armstrong laminate flooring with excellent results) The other was a very low end (cheap) product, bought by a client at a Roses store, that had a propensity to chip at the corners as it was being locked into place. Use a mid to upper price range brand such as Pergo, Kronotex, Bruce, Mohawk (which now owns Pergo) or Tarkett and you won’t go wrong. I have also installed laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators (St.James brand) that I was pleased with.

Be aware that some brands come with a built in pad and some without. When comparing prices be sure to include the additional cost a separate padding (underlayment) for brands without the attached pad.

If the laminate flooring is to be installed over concrete a vapor barrier must be installed.

Good luck,


Wood’s Home Maintenance Service can professionally install laminate, engineered or prefinished  solid hardwood floors in one room or your entire home.  We offer sequential or turn key project progression.  Contact us now for a free estimate!

About Tony Wood

Tony is a life time resident of North Carolina with over 40 years experience in multiple facets of the industrial, commercial and residential construction industry. For the past 33 years he has owned and operated Wood's Home Maintenance Service, providing services primarily in Johnston, Wake and Sampson Counties of North Carolina. ______________ ______________________________________________________ The information contained in this Blog is opinion derived, from hands on experience of over 40 years in the construction industry and by extensive research by the author. All postulations are referenced to the geographic location in which this experience was gained.
This entry was posted in Flooring, Interior Maintenance, Questions and Answers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Laminate Flooring in rental properties

  1. Jenny Cindrella says:

    Your opinions are really informative. We have to choose some inexpensive options for rental proprieties. This maintenance issue recurs in rental properties. Nice post….

  2. Express Home Services says:

    Interesting! Your information about laminate for rental property is really simply superb. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Harry says:

    Awesome info! I am glad I read it before proceeding. THANK YOU!

  4. John says:

    Thanks for this information. It was just what i was looking for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *