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Hardwood vs Softwood Flooring in Your Essex Rental Property

Installing Hardwood Floors in Your Essex Rental PropertyWe recognize that there are aesthetic and functional differences between hardwood and softwood floors. So which type of wooden floors should you have in your rental property? There really isn’t a simple answer to this question. It all depends on the purpose of the floor. This is why you should learn the important differences between hardwood and softwood flooring. When you understand them, you can be confident with whatever decision you make. You will know that you have the best type of floor for your rental properties in Essex.

When we mention hardwood floors, what we typically picture is the traditional oak planks. And that’s right since they make up the vast majority of wood flooring. But oak isn’t the only hardwood floor type available. Hardwood comes from a classification of trees that are slow-growing with a complex structure. This is why traditional hardwoods are so durable. Beyond oak, other types of hardwood used for floors include maple, birch, and beech, along with walnut and bamboo.

Softwood floors are still an attractive option for many property owners even though they aren’t as popular as hardwood floors. Considered “soft” in relation to its hardwood counterpart, this flooring’s name comes from an increased tendency of the wood to show dings and dents. The most popular types of softwood floors are made from pine and fir, but options like cedar, hemlock, and cypress are also available.

For some rental properties, choosing either hardwood or softwood floors depends on how you want to position your property on the market. For example, a traditional hardwood floor may look good to certain types of renters or help make your rental home more like other houses of a similar type. It would be beneficial for rental homes in upscale areas, in particular, since tenants looking for a rental home in these areas typically want the beauty and durability of a hardwood floor. With softwood flooring, it makes a property have that appealing rustic charm, which is a huge plus in areas where that aesthetic is desired.

A hardwood or softwood floor also offers long-term benefits. Hardwood floors can help you avoid replacing carpet every five years while requiring minimal maintenance for it to stay in good condition. Softwood flooring is often less expensive, helping you create the custom interior you want in your rental home for far less than you might expect.

Wood floors (of either variety) come with a few disadvantages as well. Hardwood can be very expensive, and you also have to add the cost of professional installation. All in all, it can be a significant investment. That investment may not always be returned right away. In some cases, it would take years before the cost of the hardwood floor is recouped.

If hardwood floors aren’t a sought-after feature in your location, you may not see much of an increase in either property value or rental income. Likewise, softwood isn’t the perfect solution as it can be damaged quite easily. This makes it a poor choice for high-traffic areas like walkways and kitchens. Both hardwood and softwood floors are also susceptible to moisture damage, and may not work well in humid climates or flood zones.

Given both the pros and cons of installing hardwood or softwood floors, it’s not easy to figure out which flooring would be best for your rental home. But if you have the right information, you can clear up this issue. That means you need to learn a lot about your target demographic, your local market, and your financial goals.

When you have a good grasp of who you want to rent to, how your property stacks when compared to others in your area, and how much you want to invest in upgrading the home, you can make an informed decision on which flooring is best for your property. If you want to know more about how we can help you with your Essex property management journey, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 802-861-6468.

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