What flooring would you want in a Miami condo?
June 26, 2013 3:38 PM   Subscribe

We have inherited a dated 2 bedroom condo in Sunny Isles, Florida that we intend to sell in the autumn. The market for permanent residents and snow birds is pretty strong, and we've decided not to do a gut reno, but do want to "neutralize" it somewhat with fresh paint and flooring. White paint is easy to decide, but how to replace the 10 year old blue carpet is puzzling us. As a Floridian, would you want / expect ceramic throughout a 2 bdrm condo or laminate "hardwood"? Why? Our realtor advises ceramic tile throughout, but as Ontarians, that seems weird for bedrooms. I have seen this question but our situation is really focused on immediate resale in an upper middle class community - universally attractive is more important than durability.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Instead of ceramic tile for the living areas, consider marmoleum. It can work beautifully in bedrooms too.
posted by Kerasia at 3:58 PM on June 26, 2013

I have been in many, many condos on the Florida coast. Ceramic tile is extremely common.

I would imagine hardwood/laminate would wind up with impossible-to-clean sand in the cracks between the boards.
posted by erst at 4:10 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ceramic tile is definitely common in south Florida, both for the humidity and the sand.

You definitely do not want carpet, because of the humidity.
posted by dfriedman at 4:13 PM on June 26, 2013

Have you thought about a porcelain tile that looks like wood? There are options out there now that look very very nice and not fake. You get the look of wood, with maintenance of a tile.
posted by elisebeth at 4:47 PM on June 26, 2013

I know you're going to laugh. But don't. Please look into radiant floor heating. There are a few kinds/brands. It's not so much that it gets cold here in Florida (the jury is out on that one), but that bare feet on a warmer floor is just a heavenly thing. People who are already year round residents will appreciate the bonus.

Tile or linoleum is very common here. Hardwood less so, but not unheard of (lots of great, beautiful, and sometimes intricate wood floors in the beach areas).

Another thing that is gaining traction is staining the concrete. For a lot of reasons, I don't care for it. They can be beautiful, and leave the next buyer more options for what to do, including choosing tile or wood for themselves!
posted by bilabial at 5:08 PM on June 26, 2013

Have you seen the 'luxury vinyls' that are out now? They might be another option. I live in south Florida and most of the homes and condos that I have seen have some sort of wood/laminate/ceramic/stone flooring in the main living areas and carpeting in the bedrooms. Upscale homes are more likely to have hardwoods in the bedrooms rather than carpeting.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:11 PM on June 26, 2013

I would definitely do some kind of hard surface in the common areas. Depending on the architecture, something blandly "spanish" looking would fit in nicely. But for bedrooms, some kind of carpet would be fine IMHO.

As a buyer, however, I'd probably be happiest to see either cheap brand new carpeting or some kind of cheap laminate. Nothing glued or mortared down. This way, I have a few years of acceptable flooring and at the end of that time, I can rip it out and do what I want. If you go through the expense of ceramic, you'll want to recoup your cost. You'll also limit your marketplace of buyers to people who can live with your choice of ceramic, since removing tile is an expensive chore.

I personally hate laminate, but it's a nice clean look that almost always makes a place *look* better, and cheap stuff can be had awfully cheap these days.
posted by gjc at 5:52 PM on June 26, 2013

Best answer: Tile, tile, tile. Tile everywhere. Keeps things cool, easy to clean, nowhere for critters or moisture to accumulate.
posted by gnutron at 5:55 PM on June 26, 2013

Carpet is miserable when coupled with humidity and sand, it ends up possibly mildewed and at least somewhat gritty, don't put down carpet. Laminate wood floors with no cracks or tile is very common, go with that.

I grew up on an island in the south if that helps!
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 5:57 PM on June 26, 2013

I've lived in a Miami condo in addition to many other types of dwellings all over Florida. Tile in the main areas and carpet in the bedrooms is completely normal; if the current carpet does not have mildew then I don't think you need to worry about that being an issue. Tile throughout the entire condo is also very common, although I personally hate tile in bedrooms. Too cold, hurts to walk/stand on, too slippery when you walk out of the shower with your feet still slightly damp, etc. Bleh. If I were you I would save some money and just put in carpet in the bedrooms.

Although ceramic tile is without question the standard go-to hard floor in Florida, I'm definitely seeing a lot more hardwood/fake hardwood lately. Example example example. I think it looks a lot nicer than ceramic tile and mercifully avoids having to clean/seal grout. So, this type of flooring would certainly not look out of place or shock anyone. We have it in our South Florida home and I absolutely love it after dealing with tile in every place I've lived for the last 15 years.

The ceramic tile that looks like wood is definitely gorgeous, but from what I've seen it's incredibly expensive. My parents just looked at it for their home and had major sticker shock. Unless this is an ultra-luxe condo, I wouldn't bother if you are just trying to spruce it up for selling.
posted by gatorae at 7:08 PM on June 26, 2013

I just got beautiful wood-grain porcelain tiles from Lowe's @ $2.50/sf.
posted by droomoord at 9:32 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's going to be tile, and the smaller the grout lines the better. Also, in Florida approximately 33% of the population are tile layers and they can do the job professionally for less that you can do it for yourself. If you're re-doing bathroom tile or a tile backsplash in the kitchen, have them do the whole thing for you at the same time.

My advice is to see if you can find some new construction condos and go look at the models for an idea of what is current in building today. Then emulate that.

I'm on the fence about glass tile backsplashes. There were the thing about 5 years ago, but I'm starting to wonder if they're played out.

Just some thoughts.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:19 AM on June 27, 2013

Tile is nice but give a look to cork.

It feels wonderful underfoot and it could care less about humidity.

posted by sandpine at 3:26 PM on June 27, 2013

Marmoleum is actual linoleum, and is a reasonably eco-friendly product, but is not cheap. It's warm and a little soft underfoot, which is nice. Cork tiles (not so much the cork panels) are eco-friendly, soft and warm underfoot. Commercial vinyl, either sheet or tile, is cheap, cold underfoot, and environmentally wretched. Older buyers might like carpet. I dislike the hardness and noise of ceramic tile. You could clean the carpet and offer a flooring offset. Realtors are happy to encourage you to spend, but the flooring might not actually pay for itself.
posted by theora55 at 4:03 PM on June 27, 2013

The best question I asked my agent was, 'what is the most cost-effective thing I can spend money on that will help sell the place'. I spent $5k, got ~$30k return ($25k net) (their estimate, not mine), and the place sold before it was even officially for sale.

You want to maximise your net return, and get a quick sale. This might mean dropping the price, it might mean spending a few dollars, but fixate on 'net return', and 'fast sale', and you won't go wrong.
posted by GeeEmm at 8:24 PM on June 28, 2013

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