Carpeting is something every property manager has to grapple with between renters. It is an ever-present concern we have gotten many questions about from homeowners trying to manage a rental unit. For this reason, we are republishing this blog with tips on ways to save when re-carpeting. Find out what issues you need to consider.
Originally published in May of 2015
Carpets are one of the items that get the most wear and tear in any home. In rental units, they often get changed out between every few tenants. The question of whether to go with an inexpensive carpet or a better, longer-lasting style can become confusing. Here is some information to help property managers in Olympia sort it out.
The Pros and Cons of Cheap Carpeting
Inexpensive carpet made from low-twist, low-density polyester blends does wear quickly. The fibers fray from one another and become “fuzzy,” especially in high-traffic areas. You will also see areas where the fibers become lose from the foundation and falls out. You want to avoid this kind of cheap carpeting as you will likely need to replace it between every tenant and may even need to replace it while a tenant is still in the rental unit. In the end, you wind you paying more than you would for a higher quality carpet.
Polyester is the cheapest carpeting material. It does not last long and is less stain-resistant than nylon. This means that if it does survive between one tenant and another, you may need to replace it anyway because even a professional cleaning does not leave it looking clean. Polypropylene, also called olefin, is a more durable material but is even less stain-resistant. Nylon is the strongest and most durable of these three types of economic carpeting options.
The next thing to consider is density. This means how tightly the fibers are packed per square inch. A high-density carpet will hold up better than a low-density one. Look for a minimum density of 1/6 of an inch apart. The number of twists per tuft also factors into the longevity of your carpet. A good minimum here is at least 7 twists per inch.
When you are ready to buy, first check out the vendor you plan to use. Some carpet sellers will sell you more than you need, essentially overcharging you. Get an accurate estimate in writing before buying and comparison shop before you commit. Look at review sites and make sure the company you use has a good reputation for installations as well as pricing. Lastly, pass on any information about caring for the carpet to your tenants. Make sure they know the best methods for stain removal and general care.