When we speak with potential customers about flooring for their project, their motivations and expectations tend to vary. There is the real estate investor who wants something “indestructible” because he/she is tired of replacing all of the carpets after each tenancy. There is the flipper who wants something that will look trendy and last long enough to snap pictures for the MLS listing. And of course, there is the eager home owner who has Pinterest dreams of turning their outdated home into the envy of all of their friends and family. What this article aims to achieve is simply to help you identify yourself with whichever category you fall into and thereby start to narrow down your options into categories including style, product type, and manufacturer; as well as some other helpful tips to use to make your project a success!
Real Estate Investor
We’ve had this conversation with residential real estate investors and landlords so many times that I know you have been in the same boat. “We just replaced the stinking carpet two years ago!” You’re probably considering the fact that you’ve never even had to replace the carpets in your personal home. And you may be asking yourself what on earth your tenants are doing to destroy the place in such a short amount of time. It’s the kind of thing we can almost laugh about because the stories we’ve heard from customers like you through the years are unbelievable at times. However, it’s really not that funny because this is your money and that house is an asset. So where do we go from here? Is there a type of flooring that can stand up to engine oil in the event that a tenant decides to work on their Harley in the living room? We’re glad you asked. If what you are looking for is the most durable, waterproof, scratch resistant material on the market, glue down rigid core luxury vinyl is what you are looking for. This is a fake wood floor composed of several layers of synthetic materials allowing it to stand up to heavy furniture, animal claws and teeth, high heels, and the list could go on. The reason we recommend glue down when durability is the main concern is because although it is arguably less comfortable without an underlayment, the flooring will not shift at all over time from foot traffic. This is especially a concern with floating floors over subfloor (in a multilevel home). A few tips to keep in mind when having glue down flooring installed, it is not DIY friendly as you will have to work with adhesives and possibly leveling compound. Plus, if you have any tile or linoleum in the home, demolition of the existing floor will be very labor intensive. For these reasons, unless you are personally experienced it will be best to hire a contractor.
Finally, the reasons for a real estate investor to use glue down rigid core luxury vinyl for an investment property are not only its durability, but its potential to be repaired without having to replace a large portion or an entire room. It is not impossible for this material to be damaged. Its main susceptibility is extreme heat. A hair straightener, clothing iron, or flame can potentially melt it. However, in this case an experienced flooring installer will be able to remove only the damaged piece and replace it. For this reason, it is always a good idea as an investor to keep an extra box or two of the material used. And if you have multiple homes in which you plan to upgrade the floor, we recommend using the same material in all of them so that you are always likely to have spare material on hand if a repair is necessary.
This is one of our favorite types of customer to work with! In the case of a home owner, there are multiple factors playing into what type of floor one should choose. From style preference to comfortability, and value to marketability in the event of the sale of your home. These factors will all come into play when deciding what material to go with. Because of the subjectivity in a home owner’s motivations, we are going to use conservative recommendations in this article. In other words, let’s say you want a little bit of everything: durability, value, a timeless style, and something fairly comfortable. For this customer we would recommend embossed-in-register (EIR) finish glue down vinyl flooring with seamless transitions throughout the home. However, a home owner with a tighter budget may consider leaving carpet in the bedrooms and updating the rest of the home instead. In 2022 in our market of Austin, Texas, the design trends tend toward light, open, and spacious. For these reasons home owners are moving away from carpeted bedroom/living, tiled bathrooms, and vinyl sheet flooring in the kitchen. Continuous flooring is simplistic and doesn’t chop up the house into distinct spaces. Choosing a blonde colored vinyl plank will also help to make your home feel large and spacious as opposed to claustrophobic. We know style presences are subjective but being aware of trends like these in your market is valuable especially if you expect to sell your home in the future.
This customer is considering a few factors that our other typical customers are not. If you are flipping a house you have a compact timeline, a break-even-point, a rigid budget, and possibly terms associated with your financing that affect your timeline, budget, and overall process as well. Not to mention inspections, permits, and appraisals that all factor into your project running smoothly. If this is you, are you likely to pick the most high end flooring on the market? Well, with the exception of higher end flip houses where fancier materials are called for, the average flipper will obviously not choose the priciest stuff. In most house flipping scenarios, a customer is trying to update the house and make it trendy at the highest value for money possible. Considering this as the core goal of the average house flipper, when it comes to flooring we recommend going with continuous rigid core luxury vinyl (WPC vinyl) throughout all living spaces. We recommend not to go with wide plank as it is more pricey. When considering glue down versus click, consider that in spite of click being a more expensive material you may be able to install click over the existing floors in the home and save the difference in price by avoiding pricey floor demolition. An experienced contractor will be able to tell you if this is an option in your scenario. And remember, choosing a lighter color and having the floor installed throughout the home as opposed to chopping up each room with thresholds and transitions between different floors will make the home feel lighter and larger than it is. This will cause the home to show well and appeal to more buyers.