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Hardwood vs Softwood Flooring in Your Gainesville Rental Property

Installing Hardwood Floors in Your Gainesville Rental PropertyWe know that there are differences in the aesthetics and functionality between hardwood and softwood floors. So which type should you get for your rental property? While there is no blanket answer to this question, understanding the important differences between hardwood and softwood flooring can help a lot. From there, you would know which type would work best for your rental property in Gainesville.

When the phrase “hardwood floors” is mentioned, we typically picture the traditional oak planks. And that’s pretty accurate since that is what makes up the vast majority of wood flooring. But there are other hardwood options besides oak. Hardwood comes from a classification of trees that are slow-growing with a complex structure. It is this complexity that makes traditional hardwoods so durable. Besides oak, the most common types of hardwood used for floors include maple, birch, and beech, along with walnut and bamboo.

Softwood floors aren’t as popular as hardwood but they are still a good and attractive option for property owners. Considered “soft” in relation to its hardwood counterpart, the name of this flooring originated from the increased tendency of the wood to show dings and dents. The softwood floors that are usually chosen are made from pine and fir, but options like cedar, hemlock, and cypress are also available.

For some rental properties, choosing between hardwood or softwood floors depends on what you want out of it. For example, a traditional hardwood floor may be attractive to certain types of renters. It can even raise the level of your home, making it similar to other homes of similar style and build. It would be advantageous for rental homes in upscale areas in particular. In these areas, tenants tend to prefer the beauty and durability of a hardwood floor. For softwood flooring, it gives a property a different aesthetic— an appealing rustic charm. This is really good in areas where tenants want that look.

There are also long-term benefits that a hardwood or softwood floor offers. Hardwood floors can help you avoid replacing carpet every five years, and with minimal maintenance should keep it in good condition. Softwood flooring is often less expensive, allowing you to create the custom interior you like 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 earned back right away. In some instances, it would take years before the hardwood floor will start to pay for itself.

What’s more, if hardwood floors are not sought after in your neighborhood, you may not see much of an increase in either property value or rental income. On the other hand, softwood 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 can be difficult to know which flooring makes sense for your rental home. 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 exactly who you want to rent to, how you want to position your property compared to the others in your area, and how much you’re willing to spend to invest in upgrading the home, you will be better equipped to decide on the flooring that is right for you. Feel free to contact us online or by phone at 706-864-5456. We’ll be glad to assist you with your Gainesville property management journey.

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