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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

Building materials - Note 22 and Note 23: carpets


Note 22 (VCONST13010) holds that carpets and carpeting material, such as carpet tiles, are excluded from the meaning of ‘building materials’.

All other fixed floor coverings (such as vinyl and parquet) are ‘building materials’.

Fixings such as gripper rods, and accessories such as plastic protective strips or ‘nosings’ on stairs, as long as they are separately identifiable from the carpet supplied, are not included in the restriction because they are not carpets or carpeting materials.

Use of carpet as sound insulation

Carpet is often used in the construction of blocks of flats as a means of meeting building regulation requirements on sound insulation. Such use, however, does not make them ‘building materials’ (VCONST13500).

Note: Past cases on carpets used as sound insulation centred on whether carpets were ‘ordinarily’ incorporated in buildings. Although it was found that carpets were not ‘ordinarily’ incorporated at the relevant time, it is implicit from the current law (which was changed in 1987) that they now are. Therefore, past cases must no longer be cited.