Best flooring for apartments? Vinyl plank flooring is an alternative to hardwood or laminate, offering many benefits to renters & landlords. Low maintenance, looks great - perfect fit!

Best Flooring for Apartments: The Benefits of Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring in Rentals

What’s the best flooring for apartments? It’s time we talk about an apartment flooring alternative that looks great and will save money. What’s not to love?

Landlords often use the time between renters to spruce up the space. Apartment walls get painted, bathrooms get new fixtures and nearly everything else gets cleaned up. Apartment flooring is often overlooked in these refreshes because of the idea that it’s a project that will take far too much time and money. As it turns out, the best flooring for apartments is also one of the least expensive, even though many landlords usually only consider two options when thinking flooring.

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Hardwood floors are memorable and popular if you have them in the unit. Otherwise, carpeting is considered the only cheap flooring alternative. Well, there are more inexpensive flooring options available to property owners that are cheaper, easier to maintain, and the best flooring for apartments will revitalize a unit better than a new roll of carpet.

Popular Floor Options Beyond Hardwood and Carpets

vinyl plank flooring in home

Landlords who want the look of hardwood without the cost (and the noise) should consider laminate floors for their units. Well-done laminates can be indistinguishable from hardwood floors to the naked eye. They are more scratch-resistant than hardwoods and friendlier to pets than carpets. Cleanup is easy, though laminates can be vulnerable to standing water. Laminate floors are also difficult to refinish. It’s usually just easier to replace them completely if they get damaged.

Tile floors are often a popular choice for bathrooms but can also lend a timeless elegance to other rooms of an apartment or condo. Tile comes in many different styles, like marble, porcelain, granite, or slate. Glazed ceramic tile resists scratches very well. Tile is also very easy to clean and resists stains. However, tile is very loud to walk on and it stays cold longer than other flooring. Residents with cold feet will turn up the heat, which can eat up cash in the winter—especially if you’re paying their utilities.

Vinyl plank flooring has been around for decades, but it’s recently seen a resurgence because of some modern innovations. It’s one of the most inexpensive flooring options and is easily installed over existing flooring. Installing vinyl floors won’t take much longer than applying a fresh coat of paint. Vinyl flooring offers several advantages as a choice for improving the look of a rental unit.

Benefits of the Best Flooring for Apartments: Vinyl Plank Floors

Overall, vinyl flooring offers the combined benefits of improved comfort, soundproofing, liquid resistance, ease of both maintenance and install, as well as being one of the most cost-effective apartment flooring options. It’s no wonder many consider vinyl plank flooring to be the best flooring for apartments, bar none.

Comfortable and Quiet

Between style, ease of maintenance, cost-effectiveness, and soundproofing between floors, perhaps the single greatest benefit (for tenants at least) of vinyl flooring is its sound deadening qualities. One of the most frequent complaints in any apartment setting is that of noisy neighbors. Solving this issue can be challenging to say the least, but the addition of soundproofing flooring can go a long way in multi-home apartment units. Vinyl flooring is designed with the inclusion of a soft layer of foam or felt, a feature that gives it an element of comfort while also reducing sound.

While standing on a vinyl floor may not be as comfortable as a carpeted one, it makes a great solution for hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens in particular. People tend to spend a good amount of time in both kitchens and bathrooms, making comfort an important feature in both locations. From cooking to washing dishes or cleaning up a mess, people spend a lot of time standing in these areas. The balance of both standing comfort and resistance to liquid spills makes vinyl flooring an easy answer and just a few of the many reasons why this is the best flooring for apartments.

Easy Maintenance

Vinyl plank flooring is easy maintenance and so resistant to wear, it's the best flooring for apartmentsHallways and entryways see a lot of foot traffic and, as a result, tend to wear more rapidly than other areas of apartment flooring. The durability and added softness of vinyl flooring in these high traffic areas is excellent for reducing the sound of heavy footsteps and can help to keep noise complaints down. On the other hand, kitchens and bathrooms experience frequent use and liquid spills. Vinyl flooring is heavily resistant and easy to clean up.

The best flooring for apartments doesn’t get this title without addressing a major concern: maintenance. Maintenance is a breeze when it comes to vinyl plank flooring. It can be installed over other flooring without the need for costly time-consuming demolition of the previous floor. Vinyl covers up cracks and other wear very well, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas of a unit. Cleaning vinyl takes little time. Just a quick sweep or mop and the floor looks just like new. And vinyl’s moisture resistance is unbeatable – aside from the seams between planks, it’s pretty much impervious to liquid, making it a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens. Vinyl flooring also wears extremely well—manufacturer’s warranties can last for as long as 15 to 20 years.

Stylish and Versatile

Improving the aesthetic value of an apartment can be a major factor in attracting the ideal tenants, and vinyl flooring can instantly update a room to be modern, contemporary, or anything in-between. Vinyl flooring offers a lot of decorative options for apartment flooring (another reason why it’s the best apartment flooring solution). Available in multiple colors, styles, and ways to match an already existing style, vinyl flooring is still one of the cheapest and most cost-efficient solutions available today. It can also mimic other types of flooring like wood and stone. It won’t stand up to close scrutiny, but if a room is going for a theme or feeling, it can be a much more inexpensive option to complete a concept that might change in a few years.

Where to Get the Best Flooring for Apartments

Online vendors offer excellent discounts for bulk orders of vinyl flooring planks and tiles. They also provide the biggest selection of colors and styles because they have multiple warehouses to draw their wares. Renovation projects can be difficult to get a proper estimate on needed materials. Running out can slow down the project and ordering too much can clutter up storage space with extras. Returns can be a challenge because they require shipping and sending unused portions back. Before choosing a specific vendor, review shipping policy to make sure returns and exchanges are easy to handle.

Many property owners turn to big box stores, like Lowe’s and Home Depot, for materials for these types of projects. These massive stores have a similar selection to online vendors but with easier return and exchange policies onsite. Sending materials back for store credit becomes easy, and those gift cards will certainly find their uses in future property projects. Most stores expect you to know what you want and get out. Wandering around a big box store can take longer than expected and finding out the subtle differences between flooring choices can take even longer if a knowledgeable employee can’t be found.

Shopping local offers a chance to build relationships with other local businesses. Stores like Carpet City and Kerns Carpets offer a personal touch to renovation projects. They are also more likely to cut deals and offer business-to-business discounts with big orders because they want to have happy, loyal customers that keep coming back for more materials. Small businesses working together builds a sense of community and also gives you a great option to refer renters to if they want to take renovations into their own hands.

Is Vinyl Flooring the Best Option for Your Apartments?

vinyl plank flooring in living room with fireplace

Renovating with the best flooring for your apartment doesn’t have to be a massive investment of time and money. While hardwood floors and carpeting are the most common options, they aren’t the only ones. Laminate floors offer a hardwood look without the hardwood cost. Tile floors are easy to clean and maintain. Vinyl floors offer a versatile look at an inexpensive cost. Vinyl flooring’s built-in softness reduces noise by soundproofing between floors while offering greater comfort.

The best flooring for apartments doesn’t require much for maintenance. Vinyl flooring seamlessly matches a wide range of modern and contemporary decors. Remember that online vendors offer a large selection but can be difficult to deal with for returns. Big box retailers can provide easier returns but may be lacking when looking for an expert opinion. Local businesses offer expertise and value for long term customers. It doesn’t take much to renovate using inexpensive flooring options like vinyl plank flooring, but those who do can give new life to their rental property.



Images “Great Room’s New Floor” and “The Floor is in” courtesy of Flickr user BluebearsLair licensed under CC by 2.0.