Is it Good or Bad to Have Carpet in Rental Units or Airbnbs?

In my professional opinion, having carpet in rental units or Airbnbs is a bad idea due to multiple reasons. Most importantly, maintaining a clean carpet requires an extraordinary amount of effort as it gets dirty very easily. Guests often spill water, food, and other substances, leading to stubborn stains and odors that can be difficult to remove without professional cleaning.

When it comes to deciding on the flooring for rental units or Airbnbs, many property owners consider the comfort and aesthetic appeal of carpets. However, while carpets may initially seem like a good choice, they often prove to be more trouble than they are worth. This blog explores why having carpets in rental properties is generally a bad idea, particularly focusing on how it complicates cleaning and maintenance.

High Maintenance, and Cleaning Requirements

Carpets demand significantly more maintenance compared to other flooring types. Regular vacuuming is essential to keep them free from dust, dirt, and allergens. Despite diligent cleaning, carpets can still harbor bacteria and allergens deep within their fibers. For example, if a guest spills red wine or a tenant’s pet has an accident, these stains can seep deep into the carpet fibers and padding, requiring professional cleaning to remove completely. In rental units and Airbnbs, where tenants may not be as careful or diligent as homeowners, maintaining carpets can become a time-consuming and costly endeavor.

Durability and Longevity Issues

Carpets are less durable than hard flooring options like tile, hardwood, or laminate. High foot traffic, which is common in rental units and Airbnbs, can quickly wear down carpet fibers, leading to visible wear and tear. For instance, in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways, the carpet can become matted and frayed within a short period, necessitating frequent replacement. In properties with frequent tenant turnover, the lifespan of carpets is significantly reduced. Regularly replacing carpets can become a recurring and unnecessary expense for property owners, making hard flooring a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Hygiene Concerns

Hygiene is a significant concern with carpets in rental properties. Carpets can trap dust, dirt, pet hair, and other allergens, creating an unhealthy living environment, particularly for tenants with allergies or respiratory issues. Over time, even with regular vacuuming, these particles can settle deep within the carpet fibers, making them difficult to remove completely. Additionally, carpets are susceptible to mold and mildew growth if exposed to moisture, such as from spills or high humidity levels. This can pose serious health risks, including respiratory problems and allergic reactions. In contrast, hard flooring options like tile, hardwood, or laminate are much easier to clean and maintain. They do not trap allergens and can be quickly wiped or mopped, promoting a healthier and more hygienic living space for tenants.

Odor Retention

Carpets can absorb and retain odors from various sources such as pets, smoking, cooking, and spills, leading to unpleasant smells that can be difficult to eliminate. In rental units and Airbnbs, where a fresh and clean environment is essential for tenant satisfaction and positive reviews, lingering odors can be a significant drawback. For example, a tenant with pets might leave behind a persistent pet odor, or a spill of a strong-smelling food might seep into the carpet fibers, making the entire unit smell unpleasant. Even with regular cleaning, carpets may require deep cleaning or replacement to completely remove these persistent odors, adding to the maintenance costs. Hard flooring options, on the other hand, do not absorb odors and can be easily cleaned, ensuring a fresher and more appealing environment for new tenants.

Allergen Accumulation and Indoor Air Quality

Carpets are known for trapping allergens such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. These allergens can negatively impact indoor air quality, leading to potential health issues for tenants, particularly those with allergies or asthma. For instance, a tenant with a dust mite allergy might experience constant discomfort due to the allergens trapped in the carpet. Poor indoor air quality can also lead to more serious respiratory issues over time. For property owners, ensuring good indoor air quality is crucial for attracting and retaining tenants. Hard flooring options, like tile or laminate, do not trap allergens and are much easier to clean. Regular sweeping and mopping can effectively remove dust and allergens, resulting in better air quality and a healthier living environment for tenants.

Difficult Stain Removal

One of the most frustrating aspects of carpet maintenance is dealing with stains. From food and drink spills to pet accidents, carpets are prone to staining, which can be challenging to remove completely. Stains not only detract from the aesthetic appeal of the property but can also lead to disputes with tenants over damage deposits. For example, a red wine spill or a pet’s accident can leave behind stubborn stains that require professional cleaning services to address effectively. These professional cleaning services can be quite costly, adding to the overall maintenance expenses for property owners. Furthermore, persistent or severe stains may necessitate replacing sections of the carpet or the entire carpet, further increasing costs. Opting for stain-resistant flooring materials, such as vinyl or laminate, can save property owners time, money, and hassle in the long run, as these materials are easier to clean and less susceptible to staining.

Costly Replacements

While carpets might be cheaper to install initially, their frequent need for replacement due to wear and tear, stains, and odors makes them a less cost-effective option in the long term. High foot traffic, common in rental units and Airbnbs, accelerates the wear and tear on carpets, leading to visible signs of damage and degradation much sooner than other flooring types. Odors from pets, spills, and general use can become embedded in the carpet fibers, making it necessary to replace carpets more frequently to maintain a fresh and appealing environment. Each replacement involves not only the cost of new carpet but also the labor costs associated with removal and installation. Hard flooring options, such as tile, hardwood, or laminate, while more expensive upfront, typically last longer and require less frequent replacement. Their durability and ease of maintenance make them a more economical choice over time, reducing the long-term expenses and the hassle of frequent flooring replacements for property owners.

Our Suggestion

If you’re looking for an efficient flooring material for rental units or Airbnbs, consider installing vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring is highly durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas. It mimics the look of hardwood or tile but at a fraction of the cost, and it can withstand spills and heavy use without showing wear and tear. For a reliable option, check out LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring, which offers a wide range of styles and exceptional performance. For more details, visit the Home Depot page on LifeProof Vinyl Plank Flooring.

While carpets can provide a sense of warmth and comfort, their drawbacks make them less suitable for rental units and Airbnb. High maintenance requirements, poor durability, hygiene concerns, unpleasant odors, allergen accumulation, and difficult stain removal all contribute to the disadvantages of carpeted flooring in rental properties. Property owners and managers should consider alternative flooring options, such as tile, hardwood, or laminate, which offer greater durability, ease of maintenance, and a healthier living environment for tenants. Making the right flooring choice can enhance tenant satisfaction, reduce maintenance costs, and ultimately lead to a more successful rental property.

For those managing rental properties in Ottawa, Good Cleaner Co. can provide expert advice and professional Airbnb cleaning services (or any similar platform such as, to help maintain your property’s cleanliness and appeal. Remember, time is the most valuable commodity, and choosing the right flooring can save you both time and money in the long run.