9:55 AM, 20th July 2011, About 10 years ago 5
It’s all too easy to put down the cheapest flooring possible when furnishing a rental property. But unless you want to be continually replacing it between short lets, it is worth spending a bit of money ensuring it will look good and last.
It used to be the case that landlords would fit lightly coloured carpets to make properties seem larger, or cheap laminate flooring downstairs. Thankfully, darker, brown coloured carpets are the new beige. A heavy duty wood effect vinyl will look better than a laminate with awful beading around the edges too. One of the major disadvantages of laminate is that if it gets wet, it can lift. Many landlords are also unaware that they will require a different underlay for a laminate if it is being fitted on the first floor to absorb noise. If you have gravel outside the front door you may even find that the laminate becomes “pock marked”- the same thing happens with killer stilettos! In fact, even a real wood floor can be ruined by heels.
A good tight twist pile carpet, preferably wool, will keep its appearance well and generally any imprints from heavy furniture will reduce, letting the pile bounce back. Try going for a 40 oz 1/10th gauge wool carpet. If you are doing the whole property in the same quality and colour then many retailers, including myself, would usually offer a discount. There is a tendency to look at wool loop carpets, but unless you tell your tenants not to use the beater brush on their vacuum cleaner you may find that its appearance becomes quite matted over time. Foam-back carpets are popular- and a good European made product will have a decent backing and stick down quite well.
Keep carpet away from bathrooms as it just isn’t worth it. Vinyl is a far better option to be stuck down all over. The same goes for kitchens- a leaky washing machine or dishwasher will ruin a carpet or wood floor kitchen.
Also be aware of any under-floor heating and the type and don’t forget tog values are important to ensure the heat comes through and also that the electrics do not overheat. All carpet suppliers will be able to offer you the tog values of their products plus an alternative underlay which is suitable for under-floor heating.
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