At Kite, whilst much of our work is with consumers, we also work alongside residential property professionals looking for a flooring strategy that will deliver the best returns. In Lettings, the factors to consider are i) minimising upfront spend, ii) ensuring the features of the product fit the use case, iii) maximising lifespan, and iv) giving sufficient “wow” factor. For Sales, we give “wow factor” more weighting, but the other factors are broadly similar.
i) Minimising upfront spend
This is generally the starting point for investors. But, remember, flooring is not simply based around product cost. Fitting should also be factored in, plus additional materials. Certain products, such as those with click systems, are easier to fit, other products are harder, such as Chevron or Herringbone engineered wood. Also, some products will require underlay, others will have it built-in. Get the full cost, before making a decision.
ii) Ensuring the features of the product fit the use case
Every product has features and benefits, as well as scenarios where they’re not suitable. For example, wood products and most laminate are not suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms, and solid wood floors are not suitable for use with underfloor heating. Acoustic properties should also be considered; vinyl products will minimise sound transfer in new-build flats, and if laminate or wooden floors are used, extra precaution should be taken with high-density underlay. In some leasehold flats the freeholder will even specify the type of underlay that should be used.
iii) Maximising lifespan
The flooring industry is very good at putting long warranties on products and then creating small print to ensure it’s almost impossible to ever claim! However, these warranties can still be used as a guide for durability. For most use cases, 10 to 15 years is sufficient, it is certainly not worth paying a premium for longer from an investment perspective. Some Luxury Vinyl Tiles come with a lifetime guarantee!
What is relevant is how the product performs when stressed or damaged. For example, an engineered wood floor will always struggle to withstand stilettos or a sofa being dragged across it. Vinyl or Laminate will barely mark. In the Private Rental Sector, the reality is tenants won’t maintain the floor with the same care as an owner-occupier, so a more resilient product will prevent deposit disputes at the end of tenancy.
iv) Giving sufficient “wow” factor
At Kite, we obviously love floors, but sometimes products just need to work. On the flip side, for certain Sales markets, a Herringbone or Chevron floor could deliver the “wow” factor to make the sale. At Kite, we can provide entry-level laminate for affordable rentals, that will last for years, be fitted quickly, and will deliver more than enough “wow” factor to attract suitable tenants. We also have trained carpenters that are able to fit the most complex of wooden floors in prime residence.
For advice on the best flooring solution for your next project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re a UK wide full-service operation and can quote any property in the UK within 72 hours and normally fit within two weeks.