How to Test Vinyl Flooring Samples
The floor is the foundation of any room design and one of the most expensive components of any space. Feel confident about your investment test vinyl flooring samples to know they are right for your taste and your space. Putting them through some easy tests will help you decide if they are right for you. When browsing the materials available, make sure to choose samples in various color tones, finishes, and styles. Sometimes, the colors you are drawn to online aren’t the ones you fall in love with when they are in the space. Branch out and choose some samples you may not initially be thinking about.
Once samples are in hand, put them through a variety of tests to make sure they will hold up to the rigors of daily life. Before you begin, make sure to really think about how the space is used and what you need the floors to hold up to. Make your tests the most extreme of circumstances and you’ll have the peace of mind that you chose the ideal vinyl floors for your space. Not sure if vinyl is the right option? Complete these same tests against multiple flooring types, including engineered hardwood and hardwood. Then you can see how the products stack up against one another.
Test Vinyl Flooring Samples Before You Commit
Can it Resist Stains?
Whether you live alone or have a brood of children, spills are inevitable. Take the flooring samples and test them against coffee, mud, drinks, and spaghetti sauce. Clean up the spills right away and then repeat the test. Allow the stains to stay on the surface of the vinyl for longer the next time. Make sure to clean up the mess using the same cleaners you would typically choose for your floors. Make sure the cleaners themselves don’t alter the look of the finish or leave a residue that would be problematic if the floors were running throughout the whole room.
Is it Durable?
Daily life can be hard on floors. Test the durability of your flooring samples by putting them through the paces with a variety of different situations. Walk on them in high heels, scratch them with keys or something pointy, try dropping something like a weight on them, or jump on them in cleats. Inspect each sample after your tests to see what, if any, marks are showing. It is one thing to read about the durability of a product but seeing it for yourself is something entirely else.
Subject it to Temperature Changes
Every climate is different. Subject your samples to a variety of temperatures and humidity levels. Make sure that the flooring does not buckle, swell, or warp in the various temperatures. If you are using vinyl in a specific room, make sure to place the samples in that room for a day or two to see how the flooring reacts in the space. This is especially important if the flooring is intended for a basement.
Compare Colors in Various Lighting
The look of the vinyl flooring is incredibly important. Because flooring is an investment, it is important to select a color that looks great now but will also stand the test of time. Place each sample in different rooms of the home. Compare them against the wall color, trim color, cabinetry, and furniture in your home.
Natural light and artificial light can cause the color of the flooring to look very different. Move the samples throughout the home and look at them in various lighting situations. Samples placed under a window or in front of a sliding glass door will look different than samples placed in a laundry room or closet void of natural light. The light can also vary greatly at different times of day. Look at them in the morning, mid-day, and evening to make sure you like the look of the color at all times.
Vinyl flooring comes in a variety of different finishes. Make sure it is comfortable in shoes, socks, and bare feet by walking over the flooring samples. Some vinyl flooring features an integrated underlayment while others require additional underlayment. Keep this in mind when walking over the samples. Some vinyl flooring is smooth while others feature more of a textural design to mimic the look of wood or stone. Smooth floors can be slick if you walk around in socks. Textured floors can sometimes feel a little rough on bare feet. Test them out to see which finish you prefer.
Is It Waterproof?
Many types of vinyl flooring boast waterproof designs. This feature can be incredibly important when they featured in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Pour water on top of the sample and allow it to sit. Come back and look at the product later to see if the water caused any damage. Check out any integrated layers with the sample and make sure the water didn’t damage any portion of the construction.
Selecting flooring can seem like an overwhelming decision but when you take the time to test the possible flooring samples in a variety of ways, it is easy to know you are making the right decision with your material selection. Take a few minutes to consider how the use of the space and put your samples through any tests that reflect how the flooring will be treated when it is fully installed in the home.