Like appliance depreciation 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.
Beyond that distinction depreciating carpeting is the same as depreciating a new appliance (see the more detailed appliance depreciation article above). Since the carpet is tacked down (the most common method of installing carpet) it can be removed easily and remains personal property, like a stove or refrigerator for instance.
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. The 5 year depreciation period CAN apply to other types of flooring but they must be installed in an easily removable fashion. This is rare however.
* * New carpeting purchased in 2010 is eligible for 50% bonus depreciation. Note that to qualify for bonus depreciation the carpeting must be tacked down, not glued down (not permanently attached). The same 50% bonus depreciation applies to other types of flooring as long as it’s not permanently installed (see above).
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