Carpets are normally depreciated over 5 years.* This applies, however, only to carpets that are tacked down. If the carpet is glued down (perhaps in a basement) then it becomes “attached” to the property and must be depreciated over 27.5 years.

Most other types of flooring (i.e. tile, hardwood, linoleum), unlike carpeting, are usually more or less permanently attached when installed. This needs to be considered when re-working floors as these “attached” flooring types will have to be depreciated over the much longer 27.5 year period. If the idea of paying several thousand dollars for new flooring without the ability to write off the cost in a short time frame is unappealing then tacked down carpet (with its shorter 5 year depreciation schedule) should be strongly considered.

*Keep in mind that if you install carpet as part of a pre-rental renovation, it will have to be capitalized and depreciated of the rental property depreciation schedule which is 27.5 years.