Laminate vs wood flooring for rentals

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  • Laminate vs wood flooring for rentals

    Hi

    Im about to convert my house in Islington, London, into 4 flats. It is an old victorian house. I am not sure whether to lay laminate or wood flooring bearing in mind I am planning on renting the flats. I know some landlords swear by laminate, as they say "put wood in your own house, but not in a rental accomodation".


    Some people I have spoken to reckon I ought to go for wood as laminate will never be the same as wood. Others say it is a faux pas to put anything down other than laminate. I am currently being swayed by laminate, as it sounds like the more sensible thing to do. Wood would be lovely but am I thinking with my heart and not my head..bearing in mind I am not going to be living there, and instead it may be some tenant who doesnt care too much about scratching my new wooden floor.

    The flooring whichever way I go will be an expensive investment and not something I can change my mind on once its laid, so Id be grateful for people's opinions.

    Kind regards

    Sal

  • #2
    Originally posted by salblue22 View Post
    Hi

    I know some landlords swear by laminate, as they say "put wood in your own house, but not in a rental accomodation".
    How much do you want to spend? which section of the rental market are you aiming for? do they require such "high spec" flooring? etc.etc.

    I would go for good quality laminate/karndean. There's quite a good range available. Where properties become vacant and need work doing, I am gradually changing flooring in hallways/living rooms (high traffic areas) etc. to laminate and leaving carpets in bedrooms.

    The first BTL flat I bought, I put down karndean (I was flush then). A decade later, its still looking very good, no complaints from any of the tenants, its easy to keep clean, worth the investment.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am assuming that the property has suspended wooden floors. (Please correct me if necessary.) How are you going to eliminate the inevitable noise produced by people walking, running, playing and dropping things on such a surface? There are numerous posts about insensitive neighbours causing misery to the people below - and they are not always necessarily insensitive, reasonable movement on such surfaces can also cause annoyance.

      Comment


      • #4
        I second the vote for good quality laminate. It can look almost as good as wood and is easier to maintain, much more idiot proof than wood. I installed Pergo 'walnut' flooring in a rental and am still happy with it several years down the line.

        What is crucial is to fit it underneath the skirtings boards and not use the plastic moulding/edging which looks terrible IMO.

        I also second Poppy's comment about sound insulation; though you will be obliged, anyway, to comply with Building Regs regarding this. See http://www.soundreduction.co.uk/

        I used a product called Acoustilay at home (Victorian conversion) under a wood floor - the neighbours in the flat downstairs have never complained about noise. I also put in extra thick carpet underlay elsewhere (bought cheaply on ebay).

        My other rental flat has engineered wood floor on the ground floor. This is because I originally planned to refurb and sell but got stuck with it due to housing market plunge. Two years on, the floor is showing signs of wear (even with careful tenants). Still looks okay but I really wish I'd put in laminate.

        But if you do go with wood, make sure you check the hardness on the Janka scale
        http://www.realoakfloors.co.uk/janka_hardness_scale.php

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Poppy View Post
          inevitable noise produced by people walking, running, playing and dropping things on such a surface?
          I second the vote for not having laminate flooring.

          Our lease says wooden type floors must not be fitted, and carpet must be fitted everywhere except kitchen, where "lino" can be substituted for carpet.

          If the OP wants continual complaints, then fit wooden type HARD floor covering. Carpets tend to keep the place feeling warmer as well. I don't fancy my bare feet on cold wooden / laminate floors in the morning.

          Another way to look at is is .. hmmm, land lord is a cheap skate, he can't even afford carpet, what else has he penny pinced on ?

          You are supplying a comfortable residential, nice to come home to environment, and there is a first contact of soft carpet to dampen the noise from shoes, etc, etc, etc. I would never entertain a property where the landlord cheapens the place with cold looking and unattractive floors. ( in my opinion ).

          Below Pergo photo makes me feel cold already. "Brrrrr" ( But each to their own ) I have my feet on a nice warm carpet at the moment.

          Comment


          • #6
            p.s.

            Here's the Pergo in the rental. Click for larger image.

            Comment


            • #7
              Injury

              P.S. My mother had this type of flooring, but only round the edges, and she slipped on it, and dislocated her hip when her foot slipped under a cabinet ( Due to the laminate floor ) One foot on none slip carpet, other on laminate.

              I can assure you , you do NOT want to hear the continuous screems eminating from someone with a dislocated hip, with the hip joint pushing up through her body, due to the pull of the tendons. It brings tears instantly, to grown men. She could not crawl to the phone, and had been on the floor for 3 hours, passing out with the pain, and at her age, could have killed her.

              I had the laminate edge flooring removed after that. So, just something to bear in mind.
              Last edited by ram; 12-03-2010, 11:35 AM. Reason: one word added.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ram View Post
                I second the vote for not having laminate flooring.

                Our lease says wooden type floors must not be fitted, and carpet must be fitted everywhere except kitchen, where "lino" can be substituted for carpet.

                If the OP wants continual complaints, then fit wooden type HARD floor covering. Carpets tend to keep the place feeling warmer as well. I don't fancy my bare feet on cold wooden / laminate floors in the morning.
                True, but some people are allergic to house mites/dust; using hard floors minimises the risk.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  True, but some people are allergic to house mites/dust; using hard floors minimises the risk.
                  Then they go for laminated floored properties, OR use a vacume cleaner. Many people seem nowadays, not to know what a vacume cleaner is, and that it sucks up mites and dust ! ( Shocking revelation, I know, that technology has advanced so far, and not many tenants have heard that vacume cleaners are now available in the shops. )

                  See post link below ( item 15, page 2 ) then go straight to item 24 page 3, intersting reading.
                  http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...4&postcount=15

                  see a judges ruling on floor coverings at item 24, page 3

                  http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...8&postcount=24
                  Last edited by ram; 12-03-2010, 11:32 AM. Reason: Sentence added about future technology ,available now

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by salblue22 View Post
                    Hi

                    Im about to convert my house in Islington, London, into 4 flats. It is an old victorian house. I am not sure whether to lay laminate or wood flooring bearing in mind I am planning on renting the flats. I know some landlords swear by laminate, as they say "put wood in your own house, but not in a rental accomodation".


                    Some people I have spoken to reckon I ought to go for wood as laminate will never be the same as wood. Others say it is a faux pas to put anything down other than laminate. I am currently being swayed by laminate, as it sounds like the more sensible thing to do. Wood would be lovely but am I thinking with my heart and not my head..bearing in mind I am not going to be living there, and instead it may be some tenant who doesnt care too much about scratching my new wooden floor.

                    The flooring whichever way I go will be an expensive investment and not something I can change my mind on once its laid, so Id be grateful for people's opinions.

                    Kind regards

                    Sal
                    As other's have said, it depends on who you are aiming the properties at.

                    But in any event, unless you have a verifiable requirement (e.g. Letting agents telling you without hesitation that almost all their tenants want wood flooring and lots of ads of available properties in your area showing rooms with wood flooring), I would stick with good wearing and smart looking carpet, preferably light coloured, as this brightens up the room even though it means it looks dirtier quicker than darker colours and so you'll have to wash the carpets more often..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have laminate floor in my rental prop and I think it looks amazing. I also got it dead cheap (50% off) from Wickes. My last T has totally destroyed it in one room and the cost of replacement is <£100. The only problem with it is that the floor is freezing cold on the ground floor. I am told wooden floor is warmer.
                      Upstairs however it is absolutely fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        laminate vs wood

                        Thanks for all of your views. Hmm, it looks about 50-50.

                        I was, and still am, a believer in genune wood floors, but recently have seen some very smart laminate floors. I realise you can spend anywhere between £5 psm and £15 psm for laminate. The more expensive ones look like real wood and are even textured to feel like wood.

                        To answer some of your questions:

                        I am aiming for young professional. I will have to ensure the acoustics meet building regs of course.

                        Right now I think, the way forward is a top of the range laminate. I quite liked the brown pergo(?) posted above..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Real wood is lovely but expensive and very easily scratched. The karndean has much to recommend it, especially if noise reduction is an issue. Good quality laminate is OK too, but I agree with westminster about fitting it under the skirting. We've used B & Q'a Aqualoc which has proved bey tough and waterproof.
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by salblue22 View Post

                            I am aiming for young professional. I will have to ensure the acoustics meet building regs of course.

                            Right now I think, the way forward is a top of the range laminate. I quite liked the brown pergo(?) posted above..
                            Yes, Pergo 'walnut' effect.

                            My market is early 30s professionals in central London. The flat in the photo is in Covent Garden and while turnover is reasonably frequent - Ts tend to stay for 12 to 18 months - voids are minimal. I think this market prefers and expects hard flooring but doesn't care whether it's good quality laminate or real wood, the priority being a smart appearance, and quick and easy maintenance. If anything, they might prefer laminate because there is less worry about damaging it.

                            If they want a cosier feel they can always buy a big rug. Agents also tell me that a lot of tenants don't want carpet because of allergies, as well as a perception, particularly with foreign tenants, that carpets are less hygienic than hard flooring.

                            Why not talk to a couple of local agents and find out what the Islington market likes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Many thanks guys.

                              Westminster - thanks for your post. Im in a similar boat to you in terms of target tenants. Its funny, a few agents have told me exactly the same thing about alienating the European market if I put down carpet and tenants not too fussed over wood or laminate.

                              Comment

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