While helping my mom choose the right colour for her vinyl deck flooring in her sunroom, I took one look at the brochure and was so disappointed with the colour choices! And, I pretty much had to check my colour expert ego at the door. Here’s my advice if you, too, are considering sheet vinyl decking.
The vinyl decking at the AirBNB I stayed with my Mom (above)
We Chose Vinyl Decking for the Sunroom
She has decided to go for a four-season sunroom and it’s currently in production but I thought I would entertain you today with how I selected the vinyl decking she had installed.
I have never sourced vinyl decking in the 20 years that I have been in the colour world and now I know why.
I specify composite decking all day and all night in my New Build consultations but never vinyl. Oh, and here’s a post I wrote about the Best Permanent Colour for your Deck, Patio or Balcony.
Mom does not want tile. She wants it to be easy care and washable. She loves plants and wants to fill her solarium with them and doesn’t want to worry about the floor so this seemed like the best and most economical choice. After all, this brand new addition/solarium will be expensive enough.
Since I have now seen pretty much all that was available to me and I hated them all. Oh, and I will not mention any brands to protect the innocent.
How to choose the right colour for vinyl decking.
Here’s how it went:
The contractor building the deck arrived with the samples of sheet vinyl decking/flooring.
I took one look at the brochure with 11 colour samples in tiny 2″ x 2″ squares and this is how the conversation went”
I hate them all.
What other options do I have?
“Well if you find something better, let me know and I’ll get an account set up if I don’t already have one”.
And then I went down the rabbit hole of looking at all the other manufacturers.
One company I called said they absolutely would not send me a photo of the ‘lighter brown’ shade they had available. Of course, I could drop by and look at them in person. Well, I didn’t want to drive 45 minutes to see a colour that I would probably not like anyway. [sigh]
Later when I asked our contractor why they were so unhelpful, he confided that it was because they really don’t care about the one-off deck a homeowner is building. Mostly their business is volume and that looks like decks for apartment buildings.
Then I found one company that looked like they had some better options than what I had been shown.
So I called him and asked about it.
He said “Well they are located in Kelowna I don’t have an account with them, and it will take time to order and ship here which will delay the project. I like the company I showed you because they are local, easy to deal with and their product is readily available”.
I will admit I next went on a bit of a rant, haha, and this is basically what I said:
“I don’t care, I’m an internationally known colour consultant, I CANNOT put an ugly vinyl floor in my Mom’s house.
It makes no sense to choose something ugly just because we don’t want to wait a couple weeks.
Who cares if I get it today, I have to look at it for 10-15 more years, NO WAY.
I feed bad for the unsuspecting homeowner who ends up disappointed in the finishes they have in their house because they were bossed around by their contractor or builder who just wants to make money, and by the way, UGLY IS ON SALE AND FOR YOUR INFORMATION, I’M NOT BUYING IT!!??!!
And another thing!! I have 400,000 monthly readers and I’m just not going to choose something ugly.
He was so great with me, and repeated many times that he wanted me to be happy and to go ahead and tell me which samples I wanted to see and he would make it happen.
So, I went online and clicked on all the samples I liked to see what they looked like installed on a deck.
And, guess what, I hated them all too.
Checking my Colour Expert ego at the door.
So I sheepishly called him and said “Okay, I see that there’s actually nothing better out there so I’m going to choose from YOUR brochure”.
Well he got quite a kick out of that, haha. Here I am on a “Don’t you know who I think I am?” rant, only to come full circle right back to the few choices he had originally shown me.
I learned a lesson that day which is never show your arrogance until you have all the facts.
All they had in this realm was primarily blue grey and this dark green beige/brown looking one. I would have even taken something that looked a lot like a cedar deck. Or even white marble tile would have been a great option.
So here it is, the only one I could live with.
So there you have it. We now know that the reason why vinyl decking companies don’t care about design and colour options is because this product is made for a builder who is covering a deck for a condo. And they pretty much just care about making money so colour/design doesn’t matter.
Here’s the product on the deck of the AirBNB my Mom and I stayed at earlier this month! I thought it worked because it matched all the orange cedar shakes on the house!
Over to you my lovelies!
And before you launch into LVP and tile, all that was way over my Mom’s budget. The decorating is more important anyway and once we have an outdoor rug down and there’s a look and feel in the room, the vinyl deck colour will not be important. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a bossy, overpowering colour and that is my advice to you when you are choosing one.
If you’d like to learn how to choose or specify the right colour/neutral undertones for your exterior projects, join my Exterior Masterclass here.
If you need help with your exterior or new build colours, those packages are still available. Due to high demand, our smaller packages are currently SOLD OUT.
I also created a video explaining what I talked about above but with more detail:
COVID update on my Specify Colour with Confidence Live Events:
Also if you were already registered into one of my live events, you should have an email with the newest dates we have moved to later in Spring 2021. If you didn’t receive one, please check your spam folder or let us know because sometimes they get bounced.
I am so sad to do this again, however the Canadian borders have extended their closure until the end of August, and everyone keeps talking about a second wave.
To keep the Fall dates, we have to think about quarantine, social distancing, team exercises and how that would work and the biggest concern is that the world gets shut down again this Fall.
So rather than have people book flights and hotels, AGAIN, we have pushed them far enough out into next year in the hopes that everything will be open once again.
We hope you are well and we’re sending prayers of continued good health and colourful prosperity!