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Laminate Flooring For Rental Properties?

Laminate Flooring For Rental Properties?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
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 laminate flooring throughout. Could you direct me on which might be the best laminate flooring for rental properties?
– Jill

Dear Jill,

It’s a great idea that you’re switching from carpet to laminate flooring for your rental! Laminate flooring is perfect for homes and rental units for a variety of reasons. We’re happy to help point you in the right direction of which laminate flooring will be best for rental units!

The Best Laminate For Rentals

In truth, a rental is no different than a residential installation. This means that there is no “special rental” laminate flooring. What you may want to consider is the durability of the flooring. You could most definitely get away with installing an AC3 durability rated flooring. However, you may want to consider an AC4 or AC5 commercial rated flooring. Having the added durability will save you money in the long run, should unruly tenants attempt to destroy the flooring. And don’t confuse thickness for durability. The thickness of the laminate flooring only adds to the stability of the flooring. If you have a thin plywood subfloor, opt for a thicker laminate. If you’re installing over concrete, you can most certainly install a thinner laminate flooring.

Important Things To Consider

Is your duplex split into an upper and lower level, instead of the side-by-side type of duplex? You may be required by law to install an underlayment with specific IIC and STC ratings.

Say what?

IIC and STC ratings tell you how well the underlayment will dampen sound. The higher a number is following these letters, the less noise will be transmitted. The effect of this is mostly noticeable in rooms underneath the room in which the underlayment and laminate are installed. This is why many apartment buildings, commercial offices buildings, and condo associations require a minimum rating where sound is concerned. There isn’t a standard minimum, but most require a rating of the IIC and STC to be 50db or above. If there is no such requirement for your duplex, you may want to consider some form of sound dampening underlayment. The tenants who are living beneath your upper tenants will thank you.

Have more questions regarding rental units and laminate flooring? Write to us in the comments below or at and we will be happy to help you!

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Bob and Betsy
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