Picking a floor..what I learned
I also posted this in kitchens.
I am speaking about engineered or click flooring.
1. Get 3 - 4 free samples at HD or buy and return them to Lowe's. Lowe's says they are OK with it. Doesn't have to be the ones you want.
Do these tests to learn about flooring.
2. Scratch test: Scratch each piece with equal pressure with a spoon. Try 3-4 different pressures. Some that I tested are rock hard; some scratch VERY easy.
3.Dent test: Tap very hard with the bottom of the spoon. Some make a very small dent; some are very soft. It doesn't really have much to do with the micro thin top wood layer as it does with the underlying wood. And you don't know what wood that is.
4. Water test: Put an inch of water in a container. Lay the sample on it's side (not flat). Soak over night. Hard to believe but some were NOT affected. Some expanded. Some top layers rippled. The laminate and cork CORE balloned out so bad it was crazy. Important; let dry and see if wood and core shrinks back down to the normal size.
4. Staining: Wet a cup on the bottom and set it on the flat top of the sample. Also smear a little mustard, etc and see how it stands up. Pet problems causing staining? Try to replicate.
5. Repair test: With enough force you can scratch any wood. Do that and see how difficult it is to repair; how bad it shows.
6. Smear, smudge test: Believe it or not there are many complaints about floors that are impossible to clean. If you know a good way to test that, please post.
Now you are an expert. :-) At least you have a greater chance of avoiding a major flooring headache, lawsuit, etc. Now you can go shopping for real.
You have decreased you chance of getting a bad floor by a huge factor. Think all floors are good? Look up complaints about popular brands. You will never buy wood flooring based on brand and beauty again. Testing is fun and easy and pays off.
One person's personal experience,