Wooden flooring is a product in popular demand these days with many property owners considering it to be an attractive and lower maintenance option, particularly those buy-to-let investors.
As Estate Agents in central London, we have witnessed a variety of different products from laminate to solid wood and in a range of colours and patterns.
So what do you need to consider? With the help and advice from our surveyors, agents and property managers, we have put together a short guide to help you with your decision.
Firstly and most importantly, are you a long leasehold owner?
If you hold a long lease on a flat or apartment and want to remove your carpets and install wooden flooring, it is essential that you first ascertain whether you require permission to do so.
Your lease may have restrictive covenants on floor coverings and Freeholder consent for this type of work may be required. Graham King, from our Residential Management Department, recommends checking with your Freeholder or their managing agents first. It may save you a considerable amount of money and a lot of conflict. Noise complaints between flats without adequate acoustic insulation are very common and before you know it, you may find yourself paying for acoustic testing to appease the neighbours below you, and then having to lift your new floor to install more insulation or worse yet to remove the wooden flooring and go back to carpets!
Some leases may require a licence to alter (fees will probably be applicable) and if so you will need to advise your managing agent/Freeholder on the following:
– What type of flooring is proposed (see some options below)
– Specifications on the type and thickness of the proposed acoustic insulation
– Details of your chosen contractor and their method statement
LAMINATE VS. VINYL
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic floor. The top layer is a photographic high resolution image of wood. All the layers are fused together by lamination.
Laminate flooring is cost effective, easy to fit and easy to clean. It is a perfect product for busy homes as it takes a lot of wear and tear. However, it can be slippery surface, particularly when wet. Laminate cannot tolerate pools of water and is therefore not particularly suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. In the event of a water leak or heavy scratches and grooves, laminate will most likely need to be replaced.
Davis Brown’s laminate brand love – PERGO
Established over 30 years ago, Pergo has a range of styles and colours to choose from. Alternatively, any DIY store stocks laminate flooring.
Vinyl is hard wearing, low maintenance and water resistant product. It is softer and tends to be more comfortable under foot. Vinyl is softer and warmer underfoot than laminate. There are three types of vinyl floors:
- Vinyl sheet – can cover most rooms in one piece. However, it is difficult to install yourself and you cannot have underfloor heating due to the adhesive to secure the floor in place.
- Vinyl tile or plank – the joins between each tile create more a natural look. They come in a range of colours and designs – you can even mix and match your colours! Again, due to the adhesive, you cannot have underfloor hearting.
- Luxury vinyl – a thicker, more robust tile which typically comprises of four layers. The top layer has a urethane or polyurethane layer which projects the tile from scratches and wear and tear. Luxury vinyl can be used with underfloor heating.
Davis Brown’s Vinyl brand love: KARNDEAN – http://www.karndean.com/en-gb/floors
What was once a small family run business, Karndean is a global specialist in luxury vinyl flooring. They provide a range of styles, colours and looks
ENGINEERED WOOD VS. SOLID WOOD
Engineered wood is made up of layers of plywood and topped with a layer of hardwood which gives the look and feel of solid wood flooring. This means you can choose from a number of wood types. Engineered wood has a high resistance to temperature and moisture and it is therefore suitable for underfloor heating, kitchens and bathrooms. However, you can only sand it down a number of times.
Solid wood floors, is as it sounds – single pieces of timber cut into various sizes and thickness. Solid wood floors looks truly stunning and are a big selling point when selling or letting. They can be sanded down many times and therefore last a lifetime. They do not have a good resistance to moisture and temperature and therefore are not recommend in conjunction with underfloor heating, kitchens and bathrooms.
Davis Brown Wood Flooring brand love – Natural Wood Floor Company
Based in Wandsworth, London, The Natural Wood Floor Company has it all. From engineered to solid wood and in numerous types and colours.
STYLE & DESIGN
The style and design of your flooring is equally as important as the product itself. A simple plank will be a classic for years to come, however we are seeing more intricate and interesting designs. The herringbone parquet is a traditional setting while the inlaid parquet can create an art deco style.