Hardwood and Laminate Flooring Buying Secrets Revealed

Did you ever say to yourself when you’re about to make a large purchase: “Wow…I only wish I had knowledge of what I am buying like these people who are trying to sell me this stuff.” After reading this report, you will have that knowledge when it comes to hardwood or laminate flooring. I am going to explain to you how to correctly purchase hardwood and/or laminate flooring. I have been in different businesses for over 30 years, and I have been in the flooring business for over 15 years. I find many people approach their flooring purchases incorrectly, therefore costing them lots of money; and at times, customers will buy inferior products from inferior merchants. This report will list 10 Topics that you need to read and understand. After doing so, you will be prepared to make that perfect hard surface flooring purchase and have the peace of mind that you approached your purchase just like an expert.

1. Use the internet for research. Whether hardwood or laminate flooring, I like to browse the internet for styles that appeal to me. I also use the gardenweb.com flooring forum or other forums to ask others what products they seem to be having success or difficulties with. You can also go to my3cents.com to see if there are many major complaints with the products you are considering. Check out the reviews of the box stores on my3cents.com while you’re at it. I do not recommend purchasing flooring products via the internet. One reason for this is that many of the manufacturers will not warrant products from internet purchases. Also, should you have a problem with your floor, it will be difficult to get any type of representation to solve your issue. Another major issue is damage caused from third-party shippers. There’s nothing worse than making a purchase, only to find damage and have to remedy it through the internet store. Finally, it normally does not save you money to purchase through the internet. When you factor shipping into the cost, many times a better buy can be made from a local independent retailer that has great buying power. I will explain later in the report the right things to mention when buying at a local retail store to bring your cost down.

2. Take samples home. I strongly recommend visiting a good local retail store to ask their opinions on products. Those that are of interest to you and seem to be in your budget need to be signed out and taken home to be viewed in both natural and artificial light and in the surroundings where the product will be installed. Independent stores will show the products under the actual true manufacturer label making it much easier to comparison shop. Buying groups such as Carpet One, Flooring America, Abbey, Floors to Go, and the big box stores have most of their products privately labeled, making it nearly impossible to comparison shop. This is done for obvious reasons.

3. Ask for a bottom line price. The best thing you can do is mention that you will not be making a decision that day and that you are checking prices. Mention that you are not the type of person to bounce back and forth and that you would like their bottom line price right from the start. The worst thing that you can do as a consumer is state that you will only buy from that store. That will cost you money as it assures the store you are not shopping, and flooring is a competitive business.

4. Cash and carry vs. installed purchase. This is always a tough one because a flooring product is only as good as the installation. I have seen a lot of want to-be independent installers out there that can ruin a laminate or hardwood job. Most carpet installers are not carpenters, but many do pretend to be. It is rare to find an installer that can do it all. As a matter of fact, I have yet to find one. Many are top notch at some types of flooring, but not others. So when you hire a friend of a friend, or someone working under their own shingle, are you guaranteed the type of installation you expect? Also, when using a moonlighting installer, you should be paying no more than 50-60% of the prevailing rate of the independent retailer installation rate. I have seen moonlighting installers charge half again as much for an installation than the customer could have gotten from a flooring store. When you have the flooring store install the product, there will be no finger-pointing should there ever be an issue. There are so many different complications that can happen after an installation, and if you are dealing with a rock solid independent retail store, you have protection. In my opinion, there needs to be significant savings for you when you cash and carry a product. If you have the ability to install on your own, then there is normally a substantial savings realized and I say go for it. If not, let the experts do it.

5. How to determine if the store knows its stuff. Just how do you know if a store knows what it’s doing? There are a few things that you need to look for. First of all, if you are looking for the independent retailer to install the product for you, they must come to the job site and measure for you. Diagrams just don’t cut it and a good store knows that a 3-D viewing of the job is the only way to finalize a price. Notice how much attention the store pays to transitions between rooms in your home. Are they going to undercut door casings? It is a must. Are they going to pull baseboards or use rounds? Baseboard pulling makes the floor look like the house was built on top of the floor and that is what you want. Depending on the type of baseboard you have, rounds are sometimes necessary, but it should always be discussed. Notice the amount of perimeter detail the measuring technician is noting. If it is just a diagram drawn with no discussion, that’s not good enough. Look for another store. You’ll immediately notice the difference between stores just by watching the approach taken by the measurer. An expert will be in total control and will ask you all the right questions and discuss the project with you. Is the store going to document who is doing what and who isn’t? There will also be certain job preparation issues that will need to be discussed, such as moving appliances, toilets, furnishings, tearing out of existing flooring, etc. These items need to be decided and should be listed and signed by both parties so that there is no confusion. Moonlight installers tend to put all the little detailed preparation directly on the consumer or they charge you extra for it. Alternately, many times the prep will be included in the retailer installation package.

6. What to look for in a laminate floor. I believe this can be answered pretty simply. Make sure the product has the styling that you like and falls in your budget. All laminates today perform extremely well regardless of price. Retail stores do carry many laminate products and I believe each one 膠地板推介 will perform as well as any. High- or low-priced, they will perform about the same. The technology today is superior to the laminates of even 5 years ago. Most of the old chip board core laminates from 10 years ago or longer look like the day they were installed. Gone are the old glue-together products, and now with the drop and lock technologies, joint separation is pretty much nonexistent. The biggest difference I see in pricing of products is that manufacturers extend the warranties and make more realistic looks in the higher-priced products. Performance will be very similar between all the products. The number one enemy of a laminate floor is water. If the laminate is going to get wet, pick another floor. I also get concerned with some of these high shine laminate floors. My company has seen some issues in that they will (not surprisingly) show abrasions to the finish much quicker than a lower luster finish. If it were my home, I would only use a high shine product in an area that gets minimal wear. I have seen some pretty flimsy laminates at big box stores and buying clubs. These laminates are not really any less expensive and are really flimsy when holding them. I believe they are products made especially for these stores, and really are no less costly. One trick of these stores is to put a low amount of square footage in each box, which makes the cost appear less. Always do your math and compare apples to apples.

 

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