Choosing a new floor for your home can be an exciting experience, but actually committing can be a bit nerve wracking. It is a great idea to test flooring samples – several of them – before settling on the one. Engaging with your flooring samples while you’re at home will help you understand how the flooring will look and feel in the space, and whether it fits with your design scheme and lifestyle. BuildDirect offers up to 5 free flooring samples of many of our flooring options. Whether you’re looking into laminate, hardwood, or tile, let’s take a look at how you can test flooring samples to decide on the floor of your dreams.
1. Discover Look and Feel
Experiment With Lighting
Put your flooring samples near a window in the room you want to redecorate. As the daylight changes, look at your flooring samples in every light. When it gets dark, use different accent lighting combinations, like overhead lighting and lamps. Consider taking pictures of the floor in each type of light to help you decide. We also recommend that you move it around the room as the day goes on to see it in all areas and all lighting.
Use Your Hands and Feet
Run your fingers over your flooring samples to see how they feel. Put them down and try standing on them in bare feet and in socks. Intentionally stand on them while you get ready in the morning. It’s not the same as walking across an already installed floor, but you’ll get an idea whether you like the feel of the carpet, laminate, or hardwood under your feet.
2. Test Durability
Will your hardwood or carpet react well to moisture? Spray or drip water on your sample twice. The first time, wipe it up immediately. The second time, let it sit.
Repeat the water experiment with the beverages your family drinks the most, like juice, coffee, or red wine. Use the cleaning products you typically use, whether that means homemade cleaner or bleach wipes.
Test flooring samples with simple, everyday actions. Drop your keys on the sample. Walk across it wearing your favorite pair of boots or heels. Try scuffing it with your tennis shoes. If you have pets, grab an old fork or a key to mimic the scratches pet claws may leave behind. Get it muddy or sandy to mimic the detritus that’ll track in on your shoes. You want to mimic the wear and tear your family will create to see which flooring holds up best.
3. Assess Style
Compare With Your Curtains
Lay each flooring sample beneath your curtains one at a time to see if they match. Try this in different lighting to see which one matches your window dressings best. If you’re redecorating the entire room, compare the flooring samples with the curtains you’ll be hanging up. Take the samples with you to the store to see how they look with your curtain options.
Match Your Paint
Will your flooring look good with the paint on your walls? Even if you’ve got a neutral color like white or beige, you’ll find that each flooring sample has specific undertones (especially exotic hardwoods), some of which will match better. If you’ll be repainting the room, think about painting a small section of wall near the floor so you can test flooring samples with the new color.
Check Your Accessories
How do your flooring samples look with your furniture? For example, testing hardwood samples with wooden furniture is essential because you may end up clashing, or you could decide that the room has too much wood in it. Hold your flooring samples up to your accessories, accent pieces, and artwork. You may discover a sample you thought would match clashes with one of your favorite pieces.
BONUS: Explore Your Options
Even if you have your heart set on hardwood, it’s a good idea to test similar options like laminate or engineered. Somtimes what we think we want doesn’t end up working well in a particular space. BuildDirect offers up to five free flooring samples, so you can try different tones or materials to find out which works best.
The last thing you want is buyer’s remorse for such a large and long-lasting investment. You want to love your new flooring, so if your favorite sample didn’t do as well in the coffee-spill test, that doesn’t mean you have to choose something you’re not crazy about. Keep exploring until you discover the right flooring for you and can make a confident decision.