Wooden Flooring in Rental Properties

As a landlord looking to rent out your property, chances are that you are looking to charge a realistic price mindful of what others in the area are asking for. If you are looking to get a bit more, you need to make your property more attractive to a larger group of prospects. One mean is to renovate part of the property with emphasis on first impression improvement such as updating an old flooring solution. When a prospect walks in the door, he or she should see a visible change compared to other properties hence first impression.

In this guide we will explain how to source suitable wood flooring for your property as most letting agents will agree, wood often makes a property more desirable.

Noise Regulations For Landlords

Under the 2003 ‘Building Regulations Approved Document E’ if your property is situated above another property you must make a proactive effort to reduce noise. In the case of wood flooring, it refers to using an underlay with sufficient acoustic soundproofing to meet your noise reduction obligations. Each underlay features amongst its properties two important features, walking noise reduction (in percentage) and impact noise insulation in dB (Decibel), which will help you narrow down the most suitable one.

Types Of Wood Flooring

As a landlord, any flooring solution you are fitting should offer many years durability and low maintenance. It is therefore a question of matching the most suitable wood flooring type to your letting property. There are two types of wood flooring that you may consider. One, which is made from 100% wood and called solid wood flooring, while another is made from wood and syntactic materials and called, engineered wood flooring. When fitted, the two look identical so naturally they differ in how each reacts in various circumstances.

Solid Wood Flooring – Each board is made from 100% hardwood, one of the strongest natural materials on the planet. You can see various examples of solid wood in historical and period homes, which vouches for its durability over time. Precisely what a landlord will look for in a flooring solution. Furthermore, the use of 100% wood means that every few years you can sand the boards and recoat them again thereby giving the appearance of freshly fitted flooring solutions for a very small investment. Remember, first impressions count!

Engineered Wood Flooring – Each board is made from a layer of solid wood (same as in the previous type), however it is supported by MDF, Plywood and Softwood as opposed to 100% solid wood. It gives greater versatility in terms of where wood flooring can be fitted. If the property includes under floor heating or you wish to fit wood flooring in the bathroom or kitchen areas only engineered wood flooring is suitable.  Fitting solid wood in such conditions is unwise due to the tendency of natural wood to expand and contract in the face of temperature changes, whilst engineered wood does not react in this manner.

Wood Flooring Species

We now know that both solid and engineered flooring contain natural wood. Once you have decided on the most suitable type for your property, you need to decide on the tree species. While there are many options, certainly too many to list in this article you can’t get it wrong by choosing traditional British and European species.

Oak and Walnut are two of the most common options as they offer tremendous strength and are harvested from managed forests so your decision to fit wood flooring does not endanger habitats. These are available as solid oak flooring, engineered oak flooring and the same goes for walnut and other common species. If you come across exotic species, we encourage you to check the origin of the wood with the seller.

Wood Flooring Finish

Your last consideration is selecting the most suitable finish. The finish is a top clear coating that is applied onto the floorboard be it solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring.  It acts to seal the wood from common damage and is essential in securing its potential service life. Your options vary and include the following common finishes:

Lacquer Finish – A shine finish, durable, cost effective and requires low maintenance. Lacquer is considered extremely durable because it sits on the wood’s surface.

Oil Finish – Matt finish, less durable compared to lacquer, however oil is easier to repair. Oil finish will quickly sink into the wood, therefore providing less durability compared to lacquer finish.

UV Oil Finish – Considered the best compromise between the first two, the finish presents a light gloss look and all the durability of the lacquered finished.

Fitting wood flooring in your rental property is a smart way to introduce a durable solution and one that can make your property standout from the crowd.

Written for the online letting agents by wood and beyond.

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