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Tile, Hardwood, or Vinyl?

Man Installing Brookline FlooringWhen it comes to flooring materials for your Brookline single-family rental property, there are many options available. The most well-known flooring types – tile, hardwood, and vinyl – are at the top of most property owners’ lists. But if you’re trying to decide on just one, that can be a little more of a major challenge. Tile, hardwood, and vinyl flooring each have pros and cons. Knowing what those pros and cons are can help you make the best flooring decision for your properties.


There is something timeless about a tile floor, which explains why it remains one of the most popular choices. Tile has a broad array of benefits, together with long-lasting durability, and high levels of water resistance. Tile also comes in many different colors, sizes, and styles, making it possible to make your floors as plain or as detailed as you want. Repairing and replacing tile is a relatively hassle-free task since individual tiles can often be removed and new ones put in their place. Lastly, tile tends to be more affordable than hardwood, and typically requires less maintenance than hardwood, too.

It does not imply that tile doesn’t have several disadvantages, nonetheless. Even though the tile itself will no doubt last for years, that is only true if it is properly maintained. Some kinds of household cleaners can damage certain types of tile. Moreover, tile grout will get stained and dirty after a certain time and will need to be cleaned or replaced and re-sealed to keep in a good state. In the end, it’s great to keep in mind that replacing an entire tile floor can be a difficult endeavor, and tile availability does change sometime later.


The beauty and warmth of a hardwood floor are tough to beat. Therefore, hardwood is such a popular choice for property owners. Like tile, hardwood tends to be durable and can last a very long time with proper maintenance. With a lot of various wood options, it can also add value to your property, not to mention attract tenants who are looking for an upgraded rental home.

On another note, the biggest disadvantage to hardwood has to be the price. It is among the most expensive types of flooring around, partly because it requires skilled installation. Hardwood floors are also more sensitive to water damage, stains, and wear, so regular maintenance is very crucial. Harsh chemicals and cleaners can damage a wood floor, which means you’ll need to ensure your tenants know how to care for it the correct way. In addition, you’ll have to budget funds for refinishing your property’s wood floors every few years to ensure that it maintains long-term appeal.


While tile and hardwood are both great options for rental property owners, vinyl flooring is by far the most common selection. There are various grounds for this, starting with the cost. Vinyl tends to cost less than either tile or hardwood but still offers a whole lot of colors, styles, and options. Property owners also like vinyl because it is comparatively trouble-free to replace and repair if needed. Vinyl planking, in particular, can be repaired in small sections without needing to replace the entire floor. Vinyl is also easy to keep clean and can withstand a good deal of water damage.

There are various arguments to think carefully before installing vinyl, however. Vinyl floors are often easily gouged or scratched, especially if a tenant moves heavy furniture without protecting the floor under it. Vinyl works well in some rooms, but some tenants may not like vinyl in all rooms of the house. And also with tile and hardwood, it is possible to damage vinyl by using the wrong cleaning solution so that tenants would need very clear guidance on vinyl floor maintenance.

While tile, hardwood, and vinyl flooring are popular for a good reason, each comes with disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration. Once you have done so, however, it can make choosing the right flooring for your rental property a rapid and simple method.

Have you found a rental property to invest in, but are feeling overwhelmed with the management side of things? Real Property Management Boston has your solution! Contact us online or call us at 617-522-0099.

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