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New carpet needed in rental…


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Cost is obviously a consideration here, however I don’t want to cheap out totally as I want to give a good service to tenants and also want the carpet to last.

 

They have requested wood/laminate in the hallway.

 

I have been looking at onlinecarpets.com, but do not have any idea on how much I should be spending to get the ‘half decent quality but reasonable’ aim met. Also same question for underlay.

 

Any advice?

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Dil,

 

I'm not underway with investing yet but will say this (having recently been involved in carpeting for three houses) - DON'T go to one of the big furniture shops and be seduced by their offer of "free underlay". It's usually a pointless layer of plastic that serves no purpose. You can get really high quality foam underlay (Cloud9, Tredaire) 9-12mm thick for a matter of £2-3 per square metre online, the same stuff is charged at about £12 by the likes of SCS. General wisdom is to spend to get the best underlay, as it improves the feel of any carpet and will easily outlive whatever you put on top of it. We've recently put the good stuff in a couple of my parents' bedrooms and the difference stepping off it onto their old "bumpy rubber" stuff is night and day (or day and night, if you prefer!)

 

Regarding carpets, if you're not choosy I'd opt for a roll-end from a local place. Unless your rooms or >4m (most roll widths are, I think, 4 or 5m) you'll find plenty of decent carpets in a variety of neutral shades. I'd expect to pay £100-150 for a 3x4m bedroom carpet. The carpet shops round our way have the details of self-employed fitters who can collect and deliver the carpet and fit for cash - usually about £40/room. Top tip - if it's a specific carpet you're looking for, get the carpet shop to fit it, then ask one of their recommended fitters to supply and fit. They usually get a discount and I've found you can often knock off almost enough to cover your fitting!

 

By the way, if you're doing a whole house, it's worth just talking nicely to the guys in the local shops - we did this with our new build 6 years ago and got all our underlay, door bars and grippers for less than the online prices and did it all for about a quarter of what the housebuilder wanted to charge us (and they would only do one carpet type for the whole 4-bed house!)

 

Hope that helps!

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Oh, and regarding laminate - I put down B&Q's cheapest 3-plank oak laminate in our hall and kitchen (£3/sq m on offer, usually about £5/sq m) and it lasted brilliantly for 5 years until my wife wanted a change. But... laminate is really vulnerable to warping if you get it wet (unless you get the really fancy stuff). Needn't be a neglectful tenant, it could get quickly wrecked by someone diligently mopping every couple of days. My in-laws have had vinyl click flooring installed and it seems pretty good. Doesn't suffer warping and apparently has a lot less expansion in it than laminate (so no need for the expansion gap). That said, it's really thin so you end up with a significant level change between rooms, especially if you've gone for thick carpet underlay, which can be a trip hazard and also looks crap if your doors are sitting 15mm above your floor.

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I'd agree with Dan's post. I used to use the big sheds to supply and fit the carpets but stopped for 2 reasons - 1. they didnt take the waste/off cuts away meaning I had to deal with it, and 2. they once refused to fit a door bar to a hall doorway because the floor was concrete, they didnt know where the gas pipe was, again, meaning I had to do it.

 

So for the last 10 years or so Ive used a small independant business for carpets in all my developements. Their price is about the same anyway, the job is better (they finish it and take the off cuts!) and as a regular the service I get is way better than the big businesses could give.

 

For laminates though, my builder does that. He gets it from Howdens and up to now seems to be pretty good, certainly looks like it will last.

 

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