Choosing the right flooring for your rental property

If you’re renovating a property to let rather than live in, the considerations may be slightly different. As with other kinds of décor, it’s better not to impose your own taste but to choose more neutral patterns and colours.

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It’s a false economy to buy cheap materials that could quickly need replacing, and therefore cost you more in the long term. Also, you cannot reasonably ask rent for a commercial property whilst you’re renovating it, so durability and a long life-span are important. Your tenants may be fastidious or they may not, so easy cleaning and low maintenance are a priority too.

So how do the various types of flooring measure up against these key pointers?

Carpets

Carpets are a beautiful warm flooring option – when they’re new. How will they fare in the longer term, though? Cheaper carpeting needs replacing sooner than almost all the alternatives. It’s particularly unsuitable as a solution in kitchens, toilets or bathrooms because it is not very water resistant or easily washed. It tends to retain odours and so may be off-putting to subsequent tenants, especially if there will be pets or smokers.

Engineered wood flooring

Unlike old wooden floorboards, these fit tightly together and have a highly resistant finish. They can be fitted much more quickly than traditional floors and are warmer and softer on the feet than some of the alternatives. There are varieties suitable for kitchens and bathrooms too – but take advice on this when you purchase. Check online retailers such as UK Flooring Direct (http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/engineered-wood-flooring), to see a good range.

Vinyl coverings

These are fairly inexpensive, but to be long-lasting, they will require a carefully fitted and good quality underlay. They can also be a little cold on the feet, so again your tenants might prefer a different floor covering in lounges and bedrooms. Vinyl flooring offers useful sound proofing qualities, which could be an advantage in a rented property.

Ceramic, stone, or polished concrete

These are certainly hard-wearing, waterproof and long lasting. However, they involve more work and cost more to install, and are cold and uncomfortable in living rooms and bedrooms. Your tenants may not consider the house fully furnished if they feel obliged to buy rugs. If there are children, these flooring options could be seen as a hazard.

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Christopher Washington

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