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.
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.
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.