Best Flooring For Rental Property

Best flooring for rental property

When you’re choosing a new look for your rental property, an often-overlooked area is the floor. We interact with our floors almost constantly, and your floor plays an enormous role in tying your style and décor together. For example, the clean texture of tiles can help you achieve a neutral and contemporary tone, while the natural warmth of solid timber might help your room feel more intimate and cosy.

Given the importance of your floor in creating an atmosphere in your home or office, what about those of us that are renting our properties and can’t easily rip up the ones we already have? Well, you’re definitely not alone – in fact, the percentage of Australians renting their home has been steadily increasing, from 27% in 1997 to 32% in 2017 and higher in 2021 and beyond. And luckily for you, there’s a flooring construction called ‘floating flooring’ that helps you get the beauty of a new and stylish floor in your home or office without modifying your existing floor.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how floating floors work and some floating floor types that will work great in a rental property.

Floating Floors: What are they?

Simply put, floating floors are a renter’s dream – essentially, these floors have been specifically designed to be installed over your existing floor without the need of any permanent attachments like adhesive or nails. How do they do this? In a floating floor construction, the floorboards come with advanced click-lock joints that connect them together. This means that once installed, the floating floor is securely held together and in place using the forces of gravity and friction.

What does this mean for you? Well, compared to a traditionally installed floor, floating floors are much cheaper and easier to install (and uninstall). Also, as we’ve mentioned earlier, floating floor constructions don’t disturb the existing floor underneath, so you can revert your rental space to its original look if you move out. The only drawback is that floating floors can sound a little hollow, although this can be mitigated by using a sound dampening layer of foam underlayment underneath the floating floor. Floating floors also can’t be installed over carpet as carpet doesn’t provide enough stability to hold the floor in place.

Floating floor constructions have become increasingly popular over the years, and there are now many flooring types that can be ‘floated’ over your existing floor. Let’s take a look at some of these flooring types, as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors are also known as imitation timber, which makes them more affordable than real timber and also more durable at the same time. They are constructed from a high-density fibreboard which is made of fused wood pulp rather than sawn timber.


Why choose laminate floors? The primary reason is that laminate floors are highly cost-effective, which means that they’re a great way to liven up your space without significant outlay. Despite their cost, laminate floors are very and stylish, with hundreds of great designs that realistically mimic the texture and look of surfaces like hardwood flooring.

Laminate floors are highly durable due to their scratch and UV-resistant top coating, which also makes them a breeze to clean. All you need is regular sweeping and occasional mopping with a damp mop, and you’ll have a great-looking and hygienic floor that’ll last for ages.

Furthermore, today's laminate floors tend to be moisture resistant which makes them much easier to clean and maintain. These characteristics make it the most popular flooring for rental properties, as they don't cost as much as real wood and are more durable at the same time!


Why might laminate floors not be suitable for you? Well, their primary limitation is that they’re not waterproof and can get damaged by extended exposure to moisture or standing water – this means that laminate floors aren’t really suitable for places like the kitchen.

Cheaper laminate floors might not look great and can suffer from problems like pattern repetition, where the design printed on the floor repeats too much and looks unnatural when installed. Depending on how they’ve been made, some laminate floors can also emit unhealthy gases that consist of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause respiratory irritation.

Interested in learning more? You can explore laminate flooring options!

Laminate flooring in kitchen

Hybrid Flooring

Hybrid floors are essentially an improved version of laminate and vinyl planks – they replace the particleboard substrate with plastic that’s infused with either recycled wood or natural limestone. This helps alleviate the primary drawback associated with laminate floors – that’s right, hybrid floors are 100% waterproof!


As hybrid floors largely retain the same time-tested construction of laminate floors, they have many of the same benefits. Hybrid floors are very stylish – they come in hundreds of styles and colours – and are quite durable in the sense that they resist the general wear and tear of everyday usage.

Another benefit of hybrid floors is that they come with pre-attached underlay which absorbs noise from ambient sounds and foot traffic.

Add waterproofness to boot, and hybrid floors are great for almost anywhere in your rental property! Like laminate floors, hybrid flooring is very low maintenance.


However, this comes at a cost. Hybrid floors are more expensive than laminate owing to the materials used in their construction. Cheaper hybrid floors can suffer the same problems as cheap laminate, like pattern repetition and off-gassing of irritating chemicals. Further, hybrid floors tend to be slightly less durable than laminate, although they’re still plenty strong enough for most usage scenarios like rental properties.

Feel free to explore the waterproof hybrid ranges!

Grey hybrid flooring in a rental property

Engineered Timber Flooring

Engineered timber floors are a great floating floor option for your rental space. Unlike hybrid and laminate floors, engineered timber floors use real solid timber in their construction, bringing you the warmth and beauty of authentic wood floors to your rental property. This veneer of real timber is sealed between a protective coating and a thick plywood core, creating a highly stable and rigid floating floor suitable for almost any room.


Engineered timber floors are also quite durable as they use a scratch-resistant polyurethane coating similar to that found on laminate and hybrid floors.

One unique feature found on engineered timber floors – and not possible for hybrid or laminate flooring – is that their real timber surface can be sanded down when it starts to look tired. This process (also known as refinishing) greatly extends the life of the floor and helps engineered timber flooring look better for longer. This is a great feature for your rental properties as it can refresher your floors between tenants.

Furthermore, hardwood timber has the highest return on investment as it pushes up property value. If you have an investment property for renting out, engineered hardwood floors are a great addition.


Like laminate floors, engineered timber flooring is not 100% waterproof, which means that it’s not suitable for environments like the kitchen. However, Flooring Works stocks a unique 99% waterproof engineered timber flooring known as HydroPro Timber, which can withstand the moisture in kitchens. HydroPro Timber uses a limestone composite core which is 100% waterproof rather than plywood.

As engineered timber floors do use real wood, they’re more expensive than both laminate and hybrid floors. Engineered timber floors also don’t last as long as solid timber flooring, although solid timber floors are more expensive and don’t come in a floating floor construction.

Looking to shop our engineered hardwood floors? 

Engineered hardwood flooring in kitchen

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo floors are one of the floating types of flooring on the market and can help refresh your home or office with a classy and contemporary feel. As their name suggests, bamboo floors are made out of bamboo grass that’s been shredded and compacted together (and sealed with a protective finish) to create sturdy floorboards.


One of the main claims to fame of bamboo floors is that they’re quite sustainable – not only do they use fewer synthetic plastics than hybrid or laminate flooring, but bamboo is a renewable giant grass that grows very quickly in only 4 to 7 years compared to hardwoods which take upwards of 40 years!

Bamboo floors also sport a unique look that is quite unlike the normal timber grain you’re used to, so they’re great for making a statement.


Although bamboo floors are a great floating floor option, there are a few things you should note. Firstly, like laminate flooring, bamboo floors are not waterproof – this means that you need to take care not to leave any spills for too long.

Furthermore, depending on how the bamboo floor has been made, they might not be as durable and scratch-resistant as other types of flooring. Cheaper bamboo floors might not bond the bamboo fibres as well, and the adhesives used could also emit gases.

Flooring Works only stocks high-quality bamboo floors that meet stringent emissions standards.

Strandwoven bamboo flooring in living room


Just because you’re renting a property doesn’t mean that you can’t personalise it and add a touch of your own style! Floating floors are a great option to drastically change the look of your home or office, and their popularity and versatility means that you have an expansive array of designs to choose from.

Although there are many factors to consider including durability, waterproofing and return on investment, it really goes to the property owner - yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of flooring is best for a rental property?

If you’re looking for a new floor for your rental property, ‘floating floor’ constructions are the way to go! This describes floors that don’t need to be glued or nailed down during installation, which means that the existing floor is untouched and can be returned to its original state easily.

Some flooring types that are designed to be floating floors include laminate floors, hybrid floors, engineered timber floors, and bamboo floors. They are all very durable and can withstand the rough and tumble of everyday wear. Hybrid floors are also waterproof, making them suitable for high-moisture environments like the kitchen.

Is laminate flooring good for a rental property?

Laminate flooring is a great option for a rental property! Not only can it be installed as a floating floor – meaning that its installation won’t affect the existing floor at all – but it’s extremely affordable and stylish too! If you’re looking for a way to change the look of your space (or simply add protection to the existing floor), laminate floors are the way to go.

Some other flooring types you could also consider include hybrid and engineered timber floors, which are just as stylish but add features like stability and waterproofness to the mix.

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