Wood flooring has become increasingly popular in leasehold flats from laminate wood flooring to real hardwood flooring and as a London block management company, we have encountered each and every type.
Whilst a well managed project can create homely bliss for the owners, however, a badly run refurbishment project can cause havoc to other flat owners, the freeholder, the property manager and the flat owner themselves.
We take a look at the particulars of the how you can get the benefits of laying wood flooring that you want, with the minimal amount of disruption to you and your neighbours.
Building Regulations and Law surrounding wooden flooring:
As with most matters involving a leasehold flat, the first port of call must be the lease. Your lease will have the ‘rules’ regarding what you can change within your flat and any permissions you must obtain before proceeding.
From our experience it is typical that you will require the freeholders permission prior to changing the fabric of the flat including the flooring. The process of obtaining permission is quite straightforward. You will need to contact your property manager to find out what they require as each agent can differ however we require:
- before and after professional drawings
- project timeline breakdown
- copies of your chosen contractors insurance, method statements and contact details
Depending on the freeholder involved, there may be a nominal fee in order to provide written permission to proceed with your refurbishment project.
Each different type of wooden flooring will have its guidelines for installation and therefore there are limited regulations covering the ‘how’ of laying your flooring. Building regulations do cover the resulting effect of noise on other persons. Building Regulations Approved Document E details your obligations to minimise the noise pollution to others. It is very important to discuss your obligation with your chosen contractor as you would not want to have to remove your brand new flooring simply because you hadn’t taken noise pollution into consideration.
We would always advise anyone that is looking how to lay wood flooring to contact their neighbours below, this may resolve future problems before they have the chance to surface. Legally, each leaseholder will be entitled to quiet enjoyment of their flat. Whilst this covers a variety of issues, it does have an implication on the noise stemming from your wooden floor. If you have laid insufficient noise dampening material, even walking barefoot on a wooden flooring can sound like hammer blows with each step for the flat below.
Complainants can contact their local Council and under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 they have a duty to investigate and assess all noise issues. If it is deemed that your wooden flooring is causing a nuisance it may result in an abatement notice requiring a resolution to the matter, which if ignored can finally lead to court action.
Types of wooden flooring:
Wood flooring is one of the easiest and best flooring for flats. Below are the three different types of wood flooring options, along with their benefits to give you the best advice possible before making your final decision:
The benefits of laminate flooring are:
– Tends to be cost effective
– Easy to install as it comes in ‘click in’ system
– Wide variety of designs as it uses a photographic image as a top layer
Engineered Wood Flooring
The benefits of Engineered wood flooring are:
– It can have an expensive resulting look
– Fewer changes due to temperature and humidity
Solid Wooden Flooring
Solid wooden flooring, as it sounds, is made up of a singular piece of wood, varying in its density and thickness depending on what type of wood used.
The benefits of solid wooden flooring are:
– Traditional, exquisite look
– Can be used as a benefit due the sale or letting of the flat
Wooden flooring design ideas
Whilst having wooden flooring has become popular, a simple straight plank floor design has become slightly dated. We have become used to seeing more intricate designs with more adventurous styles in London homes. Below we have shown a few examples of wooden flooring in bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms:
Bathroom wooden floor design:
Kitchen wooden floor design:
Living room wooden floor design:
Where to buy wooden flooring in London
Having discussed the latest designs for your wooden flooring project, we researched the top 3 companies in London where you can purchase and have installed your new wooden flooring.
Havwoods Ltd: Based on Tabard Street in SE1, Havwoods is an international company and have been supplying and installing wooden floors since 1975.
Castle Wood Floors: Based in Battersea and having been in business since 1998, Castle Wood Floors offer next day delivery to London addresses.
The Natural Wood Floor Company: With their showroom in Wandsworth, the natural wood floor company supplies wooden flooring across Europe.
Block Management London – Strangford Management Ltd
Now having explained the benefits of wooden flooring as well as the problems that you can encounter with a poorly managed project, it is imperative that your Property Manager provides you the best advice and guidance prior to your project commencement so that you can enjoy your new flooring.
Strangford Management Ltd is a specialist property management company in London, providing professional advice to flat owners across all property management issues.