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Hardwood vs Softwood Flooring in Your Austin Rental Property

Installing Hardwood Floors in Your Austin 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? A simple answer won’t cut it. You’ll need to understand the important differences between hardwood and softwood flooring so that you could better choose which flooring will work best for your rental properties in Austin.

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 reason behind the durability of traditional hardwoods. Other than oak, some of the more 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, this flooring gets its name from an increased tendency of the wood to show dings and dents. The softwood floors that are commonly used 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 more appealing to a certain type of renter, and it could also raise the level of your rental home to be in line with similar homes. 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.

Both hardwood and softwood floors also have long-term benefits. 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 price of the wood itself is high and you must also add the cost of professional installation. The amount you finally have to pay can be quite 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.

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. 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’s a bit tough to determine which option is best for your property. But you can overcome this challenge by gathering the right information. That means you need to learn a lot about your target demographic, your local market, and your financial goals.

Having a thorough knowledge of your target demographic means knowing exactly who you want to rent to. Knowledge of your local market means knowing where your property stands when compared to others in your area. And knowing your financial goals connotes knowing how much you’re willing to invest in upgrading the home. When you have these three things, you will be better equipped to decide on the flooring that is best for you. Please contact us online or call us at 512-580-3099 to learn more about how we can help you with your Austin property management journey.

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