YESChef! Blog

Decorative Flooring - What To Expect

Jack Josephsen

When it comes to getting the best finish and a truly stunning decorative floor, the importance of a fully informed client is often overlooked. As touched on in a previous post, once again in the resin flooring headaches series (Project Ready), having a good grasp of the decorative flooring process and the elements under your control can make a big difference to the outcome.

Keep decorative floors sealed

In that original post we listed things like managing the various trades on site, clearing and cleaning the work area in readiness for installation, restricting access during application, making sure power is available for tools, lighting etc., and sealing off openings as tasks you can lend a hand with for your own benefit. All of those are very much relevant in a decorative flooring context as well, however one in particular demands extra special attention and that is the sealing off part. A beautiful, high-gloss finish can quickly be ruined if a breeze dumps a blanket of dust on it, so it pays to be extremely vigilant and take every measure you can to close off all inlets. A little bit of discipline is required here because taking a sneak peek at the floor while it’s hardening can undo all of your good work. Seal it off and keep it closed for as long as it takes!

Decorative flooring will benefit from having a clear space, unlike this crowded car garage.Decorative floor with dust on the surface ruining the finish.  

Plan to be floor-less

As far as the process goes, the best thing you can do is get on top of the scheduling around the flooring installation. Find out how long the process will take for preparation, application and hardening so that you can plan how to carry on without interrupting these critical time frames. It’s very easy to miss the fact that most resin-based decorative floors will take at least 2-3 days before they’re hard enough to accept full traffic and it can be a problem if you simply must get back on it any earlier.

Photos are your best defence

The final word on what you can do to place matters more into your own hands is take photos, photos and more photos of the decorative floor. While the best applicators will take many photos and/or videos for their own records, having your own set of the floor at various stages isn’t a bad thing, particularly in the event of damage or dispute. If all goes to plan and they’re not required for any official purpose, you at least have a nice little “before and after” keepsake that will forever remind you of the stunning transformation you witnessed.

If you have any questions about what to expect with decorative flooring, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef  

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.

Decorative Flooring - Same Page

Jack Josephsen

Many of the points raised in the previous post (Decorative Applicators) hinted at an underlying goal in the quest for stunning resin-based decorative flooring – you have to get on the “same page” as the applicator doing the job. This includes a whole host of things, such as costs, suitability, application time, maintenance etc., however what we really want to drill into here is the design itself.

Take control

What’s the best way to make sure you share the same vision for the floor? Unlike timber, tiles, carpet and vinyl, not many resin-based decorative flooring applicators have an established design range to choose from. FLOORChef has bucked the trend to develop reproducible systems, however the industry is still fundamentally all about one-off designs. While this may be considered a weakness, it doesn't have to be if you can find a way to express what you want.

Communication is king with decorative flooring!

The first step on this path is to spend as much time as possible communicating with the applicator about the project and what you want out of it. Most creative people are visual, so drawing a picture of your design at some stage will quickly improve their understanding. Overall, it’s about allowing them to get a feel for you and your tastes. This get-to-know-you period is equally beneficial in reverse because you’ll also get a read on them and whether they’re capable of delivering the goods.

Decorative flooring sampleboards cut to the chase

The second step is the all-important sampleboard. The reason why they’re so vital to the design phase is because nothing gives you a better indication of the end result than a sampleboard. A large board (600mm x 600mm min.) will enable you to approve a design concept as well as “touch and feel” for yourself – lay it down in the corner and see if it complements the decor; look at the finish from a distance and see if it matches your expectations; walk on it and see how it handles. All of these are simple, powerful tests that allow you to assess your options in a more accurate manner.

Decorative flooring sampleboard placed in the corner of a kitchen to see if it suits the decor.Decorative flooring sampleboards in a rack that are smaller than the recommended size.

One thing to be wary of with sampleboards is, ironically, the perfect finish. The nature of resin-based decorative flooring makes it hard to completely avoid defects, so you don’t really want to see a flawless finish (unless it can be guaranteed of course!). Finally, keep in mind that unless a reproducible system is being offered, a sampleboard will never be EXACTLY the same as the floor. Most applicators can only show colour combinations and basic design concepts for you to evaluate.

If you have any questions about finding the same page with decorative flooring, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.

Decorative Flooring - Decorative Applicators

Jack Josephsen

The use of the right applicator has been discussed previously in this blog and will continue to pop up because it’s a real cornerstone of quality resin-based flooring. The first time we discussed the right applicator from a more general perspective when trying to avoid resin flooring headaches (Right Applicator). While all of that applies in a decorative flooring context as well, there are a couple of traits specific to decorative floors that make some applicators “more right” than others.

Give it to me straight

It may sound odd, but arguably the most desirable characteristic in a decorative flooring applicator isn’t someone with amazing creativity or flair (although it obviously helps). It’s simply someone who will “tell it like it is”. In a competitive, emerging market trying to gain a foothold against other established options, the temptation to over-sell and under-deliver is very strong. Whether it’s the resin capability, the standard of finish or even the question of going ahead in the first place, you’ll benefit enormously from finding an applicator that’s completely open and honest on these matters.

A quick test of a decorative flooring applicator in this regard is to ask for the “fine print”. Every decorative flooring option on the market has strengths and weaknesses – the strengths get rammed down your throat at every opportunity, whereas the weaknesses are guarded like a top secret document. A knowledgeable applicator that’s willing to inform you of the relevant risks and let you make the call is exactly the sort of person you want to be working with.

Decorative flooring with a bug in the topcoat, which is one of the risks you need to know about.

Go the extra yard for decorative flooring

The second box to tick off in the search for the right decorative flooring applicator is a hard-working, meticulous attitude. In other words, an applicator that doesn’t cut corners. Someone who believes sampleboards are an essential part of the design process and will pump out as many as it takes; who has a catalogue of thrilled customers ready to show you; who knows what it takes to get the best possible finish and maintain it; and, very importantly, someone who schedules a 3-6 month follow up to make sure the floor is meeting expectations rather than disappearing forever.     

Decorative flooring sampleboards prepared by an applicator and presented to their client.

Unfortunately the type of decorative flooring applicator defined above doesn’t grow on trees, however they do exist and a little bit of perseverance when doing your search will be greatly rewarded.

If you have any questions about the right applicator for decorative flooring, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.


Decorative Flooring - What Works

Jack Josephsen

In this post we’ll move on from making dream decorative floors work (Your Dream Floor) to a broader discussion on some good general design principles. If you want a decorative floor but have no idea where to start, what should you know?

Solid doesn't mean boring with decorative floors

It may surprise some to hear a plain, solid-colour floor can be a good starting point when trying to jazz things up. You already know plain white and black can be troublesome, however just about anything in between can work really well. Most people understandably gravitate toward metallics when tossing around ideas for resin-based decorative floors, but the humble solid colour can transform a space as well and may even be more effective in some cases. Another thing that might come into play here is that plain solid colour floors will also be more affordable on average.

Make me feel something

Whether you go for the solid colour or metallics, getting the dominant colours right is the crux of effective design. Many readers are much more qualified to talk about what works in that sense, so I won’t go into that here. What I can comment on though is the grave mistake of underestimating the impact a decorative floor has on the overall “feeling” or “emotion” of a space. Just like colour on a wall or ceiling, a floor has a big say on how people react when entering a room. To illustrate what I mean, predominantly red floors can evoke warmth or passion, blue a chilly blast and green a sense of serenity. In some of the more creative decorative floors, we’ve even heard of hunger or certain tastes coming through! To borrow a famous quote, with such power comes great responsibility and the choices made here can be a triumph or a disaster depending on your design brief.

Decorative flooring with brilliant blue and white swirls generating a very cold feeling.

See decorative floors for yourself!

Perhaps the best advice when it comes to resin-based decorative flooring is to view it “in the flesh”. Whether it’s a sampleboard, showroom or visiting in-situ floors, it’s a worthwhile exercise because photos struggle to do them justice. Of particular note here are colour change metallic pigments that take on a different shades or colours entirely depending on the angle they’re viewed. To fully appreciate the “wow” factor these pigments add you simply must see them for yourself.

Decorative floor with a colour change pigment producing a great effect.

If you have any questions about what works with decorative flooring, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.


Decorative Flooring - Your Dream Floor

Jack Josephsen

Resin-based decorative flooring is an emerging market with a growing fan base primarily attracted to two aesthetic features – the seamless finish and the unlimited creative potential they hold.

Can we vs should we with decorative floors

While the opportunity to do away with joints is widely appreciated, it’s the ability to customise resin-based decorative flooring that really draws people in – particularly those with long-held visions of a dream floor and no way to make it a reality. Unfortunately for these people, it must be said, there’s often a gap between what works in the mind and what works on a floor, and the question often flips from “can my dream floor be done?” to “should it?” What we’ve found is that most dream designs can be done, however a small tweak is sometimes needed to make them work on a floor.

Small changes can make a big difference

At the front of the queue here are the glossy plain white or black floors decorative floors because both have some drawbacks not many are aware of. For white, they’re difficult to do well and keep clean as they show every small defect, speck of dirt, scuff etc.; for black it’s pretty much the same and they also tend to act like a giant mirror, which makes them unsuitable for change rooms and the like. We find both of these finishes benefit greatly if you can add something to “break it up”. Whether it’s a semi-gloss finish, textured basecoat or a hint of metallic pigment, a little extra something can retain the integrity of your design while making a huge difference to these shortcomings.

Decorative flooring with a clear anti-slip finish to reduce the gloss levels and reflection.

Metallic decorative floors aren’t immune

Speaking of metallic pigments, resin-based decorative flooring has become synonymous with the brilliant swirls and illusions of depth these facilitate. Creative types are discovering more and more ways to use them, however they’re finding out rules also apply. The most notable is “soft and subtle” is often best or, alternatively, “less is more”. Many people dream up masterpieces and are shocked to see them resemble a spilled mess. Basic metallic designs will help avoid making it too “busy”.

Decorative floor that has too many metallic pigments and looks too busy.

Lastly, a common element of dream floors involves matching it up with a surrounding colour. While an exact match isn’t out of the question, don’t pin your hopes on it because colour matching with an existing surface, regardless of the environment or product, is always a challenge.

If you have any questions about your dream decorative flooring, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.