We know that hardwood and softwood floors have differences both aesthetically and functionally. So which type of floor would be best for your rental property? Well, before arriving at a decision, we should learn the important differences between hardwood and softwood flooring. When you have this information, you will be better equipped to decide which one will work best for your rental properties in Columbia.
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 you aren’t limited to just oak. There are other hardwood options available. Hardwood comes from a classification of trees that are slow-growing with a complex structure. This is the explanation of why traditional hardwoods are so durable. Excluding oak, some of the popular types of hardwood used for floors include maple, birch, and beech, along with walnut and bamboo.
Softwood floors, while not as popular as hardwood, is something property owners can consider as an attractive option. Considered “soft” in relation to its hardwood counterpart, the name of this flooring comes from the 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 draw a certain type of renter, or it could also bring your rental home up to the same level as other homes of similar style. 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. For softwood flooring, it has an appealing rustic charm that it adds to a property, which is a real plus in areas where tenants want that aesthetic.
Both hardwood and softwood floors also have long-term benefits Hardwood floors can help you avoid replacing carpet every five years, and this with minimal maintenance to keep it in good condition. Softwood flooring is often less expensive, making it easy for you to create a custom interior 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. The cost of the wood is already high and you also need to include the cost of professional installation. These things add up and it becomes a significant investment. That investment may not always be recouped right away. Sometimes, it takes years before a hardwood floor pays for itself.
If hardwood floors aren’t a feature that is highly sought after in your area, you may not see much of an increase in either property value or rental income. Softwood, on the other hand, also has its drawbacks. It can be damaged quite easily, which 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 can be a bit difficult to figure out which one best suits your property. But you can overcome this challenge with the right information. That means you need to know your target demographic, your local market, and your financial goals. And you need to know them well.
When you know who you want to rent to, how your property stands in comparison to others in your area, and how much you are willing to invest in upgrading the home, you can better decide on the flooring that is right for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or give us a ring at 410-415-1736 to know more about how we can help you with your Columbia property management journey.
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