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Carpet vs. Vinyl: Which is Better for a Multifamily Property?

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What’s on your floors? No, not the unfolded laundry or the pile of recycling you haven’t taken out. Do you have carpet or vinyl?  And which is better?  The answer isn’t as easy as you might think, even as carpet has seemed to decline in popularity.  Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and either one may be better for you and your properties than the other.  If you’re installing or replacing flooring, it’s up to you to decide which way to go — and we’re here to help you do it!  Check out our list of factors to consider when making your decision.


This is one area where vinyl generally has a big advantage.  Vinyl flooring usually has at least a couple of layers to it, and the top layer will be sturdy and specifically designed to hold up well over time.  That means that it will hold up much better to wear and tear than carpet, which will wear out much more quickly and visibly.


Cleanliness is actually related quite closely to durability. After all, if it’s harder to clean something, it makes sense that you’ll need to replace it sooner. 

Again, vinyl flooring has the edge over carpet here.  Dirt and dust are easily cleaned from both, but spills are much easier to deal with on vinyl, making stains much less likely.  Further, if spills aren’t cleaned properly from carpet, moisture can actually soak through the carpet, allowing mold growth underneath.  News flash: that’s bad!  New carpet tile technology aims to alleviate this by making individual sections of carpet easily removable and re-installable, but vinyl still has an advantage when it comes to cleanliness.


The cost of vinyl flooring tends to be more variable than carpet, with high-end vinyl costing more than high-end carpet but inexpensive vinyl costing less than inexpensive carpet.  You’ll probably want to stick to better options if you want to really experience the advantages that a particular type of flooring offers, though, so carpet is generally going to be more cost-effective in most cases.  The difference won’t necessarily be huge, but it is likely going to be enough to be worth taking into account.


Comfort is always subjective, so there probably won’t be one solution that everyone finds more comfortable.  With that being said, you’ll probably find that most people will say that carpet is more comfortable.  Why?  Well, simply because it’s soft, whereas vinyl flooring is harder and colder.  Many people will choose to use rugs over vinyl floors, which can help, but vinyl flooring on its own won’t usually be the most comfortable for most people (aside from your furry friends, at least).

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