We propose terrazzo tiles as a floor finish in the kitchen and cork tiles (which are warmer) in the bathroom; both these materials possess hard wearing and easy cleaning characteristics.”

Chamberlin, Powell & Bon, Architects “Barbican Redevelopment” April 1959

Carpets -vs- wood floors

Clause 4(5)(e) of the Barbican lease says the owner must “carpet all the floors in the premises from wall to wall”. (The City didn’t comply with the letter of this requirement themselves: the kitchen floor was some kind of laminate, and the bathroom was tiled.)

Many flat owners have ‘illegally’ put down wooden flooring in their flats. You may want to do so.

The Barbican Estate Office’s policy now seems to be that they won’t give consent for wooden flooring, but if you have a flat with wooden flooring already installed they won’t take action to require you to take it up again, unless they have a complaint from a neighbour about noise, in which case they may take action. So there is still the risk that you might have to put down carpeting.

Damage to underfloor heating pipes

The floor contains the underfloor heating. Please read that page for more on that subject.

Owners are not allowed to do any works at all to the floor involving tacks, nails or screws, including fixing down the strips to attach the carpets to. The lease says that the flat owner must “not … insert or drive nails or screws or sink plugs or make any fixing whatsoever to the floor of the premises.” The very good reason for this is that you could pierce your flat’s under-floor heating pipes, which lie just under the surface of the concrete screed. Unfortunately, once under-floor heating has ceased to function, there’s no easy way to renew it.