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Online flooring companies have gained popularity as excellent places to buy flooring due to several compelling reasons. First and foremost, these platforms offer an extensive selection of flooring options, encompassing various materials, styles, colors, and patterns. This vast diversity provides customers with a broad spectrum of choices, allowing them to find the perfect flooring solution to match their specific needs and preferences.
While many flooring companies attest to the quality and care they place in their product, not all are created equal. We've winnowed the wheat from the chaff to find not only the best out there, but to offer a few helpful tips for you as well.
Friday, September 29th
Flooring inc. is a friendly flooring retailer that's been in business since 2004. Flooring Inc. puts in the work to give a face, name, and location to their online store (as opposed to many online retailers that are effectively anonymous). With a customer-centric company, excellent service, and an impressive array of flooring products, you can expect good support and quality with Flooring Inc.
Best selection in the industry
Flooring Inc. has a huge amount of flooring for commercial, residential, and athletic needs: bamboo, hardwoods, carpeting, high-impact gymnastic flooring, kennel and horse-specific flooring, basketball court flooring, and more. The list could go on, but it would take up half the review. In short, Flooring Inc. is very likely to have what you need, as they have the most extensive selection of flooring on our list.
Great clearance section
Not only that, but Flooring Inc. offers a rotating list of monthly deals, and a clearance section, This could be just the thing you need if you frequently work with flooring, or have a set of home-projects that need doing, it is likely you will find a nice discount. Keep in mind that the clearance section is not subject to their returns policy, and may have a higher probability for defects.
For those in the flooring business, Flooring Inc. offers a respectable discount program determined by the overall cost of your orders. If you order $10,000 or more, you'll get a 3% discounts; $50,000 or more and you'll get a 5% discount and unlimited free flooring samples; at $100,000 or more you will earn a "dedicated concierge" who can assist with shipping, questions about delivery, tracking information and more. In addition, you are able to order custom quotes across all levels of the Professional program.
Informative and easy to navigate
We strongly appreciate that Flooring Inc. has worked with the accessibility experts Allyant to ensure that their website is accessible to all comers. Not only is their site accessible, but it contains a vast amount of buying, installation and care guides for every type of flooring they offer. Not only are Flooring Inc. guides in-depth, but they are well-written, easy to read, and easy to navigate. When compared to competitors, Flooring Inc.'s informative and easily navigable guides put other companies to shame. When the consumer has information, they have the ability to stick up for themselves, and we appreciate that Flooring Inc. respects this simple fact.
Flooring Inc. offers a commonsense 30-day return policy with some important (and fair) caveats; it must be in original packaging, you can't have installed it and tore it out to return the product, and . If you want to return your purchase after 30 days, you are still able to do so, albeit, with a 35% restocking fee for a refund, and a 10% restocking fee for exchanges. All in all, Flooring Inc. returns and exchanges policies are fair and customer minded. However, a policy is only as good as its real-world implementation, and Flooring Inc. undoubtedly surpasses expectations when it comes to customer service.
While Flooring Inc. doesn't offer any kind of free shipping, they do clearly explain all their shipping options, and the logic behind their variable rates (primarily being that flooring is heavy. And often requires specialized LTL shipping services). Flooring Inc. also clearly informs the customer that to maximize your potential for returns, that you should be certain to note any potential damage on the delivery recipe your shipper asks you to sign. So, while their shipping policies are nothing amazing, just like the rest of their service, everything is explained clearly, succinctly, and respectfully.
Excellent customer service
Flooring Inc. has earned an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, and their ratings therein resonate with their letter grade. Earning a phenomenal 4.45/5 out of 748 customer reviews. Customers report that even when something went wrong, Flooring Inc.'s customer service team would work quickly, respectfully, and efficiently to fix their issues. Getting a good customer rating with the BBB is tough, and we are impressed with the huge number of satisfied customers that Flooring Inc. has supported throughout the years.
First choice for flooring
Flooring Inc. is hands down one of the best out there when it comes to ordering flooring online. Their 30-day warranty ensures your product is up-to-snuff, their installation and care guides ensure you're in-the-know as to how to maintain and install their product, their customer service team has earned stellar marks from hundreds of customers, and their professional plan is great for contractors and installation experts who need a large volume of boards with responsive customer support. We strongly recommend Flooring Inc as your first choice when shopping for flooring online, as they have certainly earned commendation for their customer-first, respectful, and responsible practices.
Founded in 1999 as a Vancouver based online retailer of bulky home improvement goods, BuildDirect has earned a reputation as a reliable online flooring retailer with an excellent selection of products and a responsive customer service. In addition, they have frequent deals for the customer to take advantage of, and while we wish said deals were framed with less urgency placed on the customer, they are still one of the best out there when it comes to buying flooring online.
Excellent products, smaller selection
While BuildDirect has an excellent selection of good quality flooring, they do not offer as many specialty flooring options as the highest rated on our list. That being said, they have expanded their offerings since our previous review, and now offer carpeting in addition to their excellent selection of Vinyl, hardwoods and laminate, and decking. In order to ensure that your flooring is right for you, BuildDirect offers to mail free samples of all of their products. While this seems like a no-brainer, not all of the online retailers on our list commit to free flooring samples. In addition, BuildDirect offers a clearance section for some timely discounts; keep in mind however that BuildDirect's 30 day warranty does not apply to clearance items.
Pro program for discounts
BuildDirect offers some significant discounts for those ordering large amounts of flooring, with the tiers corresponding to amount spent with BuildDirect: their "welcome" tier at 0-$4,999 includes no rebates, but unlimited free samples; the "Gold" tier at $5,000 to $14,999 gets you a 1% rebate; the "platinum" tier at $15,000-$49,999 gets you a 3% rebate; and the "Diamond" tier at $50,000+ gets you a 5% rebate. Across all tiers you have access to a dedicated sales concierge and custom orders. While their rebates are somewhat less than the top rated on our list, they do offer a dedicated concierge at all levels, so if that is a deciding factor, BuildDirect may be the choice for you.
A good refund
We appreciate that build-direct offers a 30-day refund guarantee, which to qualify for you requires only that you return all of your product in its original packaging unused and in resellable condition. Customers are also able to return a partial order, should only part of the shipment prove faulty. There are, however, some caveats to their return policy, as it does not cover clearance items, custom orders, container orders, and special orders. While BuildDirect doesn't offer to install for you, we think that- for the professional or home-improvement minded- BuildDirect offers a nice combination of clearly communicated and reasonable pricing, with some all-in-all good policies.
Customer Reviews of BuildDirect are overall quite positive. With an "A+" on the Better Business Bureau, and 4.24 out of 5 stars across 17 reviews, all signs point to BuildDirect providing a quality and well-supported service. In fact, responsiveness and a willingness to work with customers was a common theme across reviews for BuildDirect.
An excellent choice
While we don't appreciate BuildDirect's flashy countdown sales, and BuildDirect's CTO was charged with pandemic loan fraud (in which he claimed business loans for pandemic relief, and funneled them into his personal account), all-in-all the company itself provides a wide variety of products with excellent customer service. If you find a good deal or attractive piece of flooring offered by BuildDirect, or you appreciate their pro-rewards program, then they may well be an excellent choice for your next project, or as a major supplier for your company.
A staple in the home-improvement retail market, a Home Depot can be found in almost every major city, and is a staple for those in need of a quick home-improvement fix, hardware, or cleaning/maintenance supplies. As reader's may well know, the cost of flooring has significantly increased during the pandemic, which is reflected in the offerings of major retailers. In any case, here's what we've found about Home Depot's selection and policies regarding flooring.
Great selection of products
Home Depot's flooring is just as almost as extensive as our highest-rated online only retailers, but it is respectable, nonetheless. With offerings of tile, laminate, hardwood, vinyl, carpet, garage, and high-impact gym flooring, Home Depot is more than likely to have what you need. In addition, Home Depot features frequent sales and weekly specials, which may add some extra value to your order.
While their products are all-in-all faultless on the front-end, their website makes it rather difficult to actually browse and compare products. The guiding ethos of most major retailers-it seems-is to overwhelm customers into submission with popups, frequent eye catching "deals" with huge windows, and nonsensical organization; in short, Home Depot's website mars the experience of actually finding and comparing their products in a meaningful manner.
Good return policy
One of the biggest pluses to purchasing through Home Depot is their generous and easy to access return policy. To return, one need simply bring your purchased merchandise to a Home-Depot store within 90 days of purchase, they will find your order number, and they'll swap your purchase for cash, a similar item, or in-store credit. Should you desire, Home-Depot also supports returning online as well. The ease and flexibility of Home-Depot's return policy is quite frankly just better than their online-only competitors, and goes a long way towards increasing their score in our estimation.
Home Depot's physical locations provide some excellent flexibility in regards to shipping as well, allowing you to simply pick up from the store for free, and save a chunk of change on what otherwise could have been rather expensive shipping costs, depending on the size of your order. Otherwise, shipping is charged at a flat $5 rate, or more depending on the size of your order, and whether you choose expedited or an alternate shipping option.
While Home Depot's competitive pricing and in-store pickup and service are undeniable pluses, there are a large number of negative reviews regarding installation with Home Depot. While they maintain their "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, their overall customer satisfaction on the same website is 1.12/5 based on 2,735 reviews. The overwhelmingly negative complaints tend to involve problems with installation: either it was done poorly, or in such a way that it damaged existing structures in the home (as in faulty appliance installation). Either way, it seems that-if customer testimony is anything to go by (and we think it is)--don't use Home Depot to install your flooring, even if you end up purchasing it through them.
Good value, poor service
All in all, Home Depot can offer some great value to you through the simple fact that they have a storefront: you can pick up there, return there, and even talk to employees in person. Coupled with the fact that Home-Depot offers some how-to's on installation, they are a good option to pick up the needed materials for some floor renovation. However, reviews regarding Home-Depot's installation options are almost overwhelmingly poor, so while the economy-of-scale can help you out when taking advantage of shipping/returns, perhaps look elsewhere if you need someone to install the flooring for you.
Well known for their bright-blue storefronts and low-price home-improvement supplies, Lowe's is one of the largest retailers out there. Founded in 1921 as a local Carolina hardware store, they've grown to become a near-ubiquitous sight in retail lots across the U.S. While Lowe's certainly offers some good value on shipping and selection, their installation services can-at times-leave something to be desired, and have been the subject of customer complaints.
Lowe's offers most everything you will need to install and maintain your flooring, and offers vinyl, hardwood, laminate, tile, and carpet. While Lowe's may not carry the specialty flooring you may find with an online-only retailer (such as basketball and kennel flooring), their selection is respectable and expansive. Lowe's inventory is made more accessible through the simple fact that you can visit their retail locations in person, in addition to accessing their room visualization tool online, which allows you to see a sample with your chosen flooring in a series of sample rooms.
Upload your photos to see how it looks
You can even upload your own photos in the sample to swap out your current floors with your potential purchase. We appreciate that Lowe's offers a convenient tool to experiment with their vinyl, laminate, hardwood, tile, and carpet options. In addition, Lowe's offers frequent sales and deals, which could potentially save you a pretty penny on your upcoming flooring project.
By nature of their physical locations, Lowe's can offer some significant value should you choose to pick-up your online order in-store, and forgo shipping fees. Lowe's still does handle shipping to your home, and it can still be free if your order is over $45 and under 150lbs. Considering the nature of flooring, however, unless you are only ordering a very small amount, you likely won't qualify for free shipping, and your specific price will be calculated by weight at checkout. Keep in mind that for very large orders-such as an office or jobsite - Lowe's does offer quotes on truck delivery, which may well be worth your while.
As Lowe's is a large retailer, they can offer some excellent value simply due to the economy of scale. However, this comes with an associated difficulty of controlling quality across all of their stores/installers. Customer reviews about Lowe's are consistently poor, and while they have earned an "A+" with the Better Business Bureau, customer ratings on the same website give Lowe's a 1.12/5 from 2,344 reviews. Most of the negative reviews center around problems with poor installation services, poor deliveries, and the delivery of defective products and appliances.
When mistakes do happen in these services, customers further report that Lowes communication is rather poor. Poor customer experiences with a large retailer are not very surprising, as large stores are known for cutting corners on labor costs; for example, all of Lowe's "installation experts" are technically not Lowe's employees, but independent contractors working through Lowes, which certainly saves Lowe's money, but certainly does not ensure the highest quality of service.
Good for small orders, but take care
If there is a specific deal or clearance flooring that is right for you, Lowe's could very well be an excellent choice due to your ability to save some significant money by picking up your order in store. However-much like similar large retailers-their installation and customer services appear consistently subpar. As such, if you need to make sure that customer service is on point for a large project or installation, or simply want to be assured that if something goes wrong it will be promptly fixed, you will likely want a more highly rated retailer than Lowe's.
Wayfair is primarily an online furniture retailer that got its start in 2002, and has been mailing home goods, decorations, and flooring ever since. Wayfair has a reputation for being very inexpensive. So depending on what you need, Wayfair may be a good option for you.
Almost anything you need
Wayfair offers most anything you might need for flooring, from tile, laminate, carpet, hardwood, vinyl, gym, and garage flooring, even radiant floor heating. Some of their flooring types come with a 5% bulk discount, though not all: often, discounts are floor specific. Wayfair's business model is often one of fractional sales and stacking discounts, and as such if you are shopping with Wayfair, it makes sense to pay attention to the various item-specific discounts being offered (even though we prefer companies' that just offer a good price, as opposed to hiding actual prices behind ever changing "deals" ).
No free samples
One thing we were disappointed with is that Wayfair does not offer free samples for many of their items. This is disappointing to say the least. That being said, Wayfair does offer free shipping on most of their flooring, which is a nice bonus that few other retailers make.
A disappointing buyers guide
While Wayfair does include buying guides as to each of their major flooring types, these buying guides are not as extensive as the top rated on our list, and after almost every paragraph is a link to "Shop X now!" . As such, their buying guide seems to be more of a way to further funnel user traffic into a purchase, as opposed to being first and foremost informative. From our perspective, if you sprinkle useful information in between glaring and annoying buttons for purchasing, it strongly detracts from one's ability to read and digest said information.
Wayfair is in the business of constantly having "sales" , but these are rarely a great deal. Wayfair has been known to raise their prices only to turn around and offer a limited time sale of some sort. Often, online retailers advertise sales to create a sense of urgency, rather than offer you a good deal. Many sales end up being more smoke-and-mirrors than anything else. Wayfair's prices are constantly changing, and customers can feel yanked around through shifting, data-driven sales.
No control over installation
As is common across major retailers that offer flooring and appliance installation, Wayfair's installers are third-party contractors. They partner with "IME" for all their installation work, and IME has earned itself a "D" with the Better Business Bureau, and a 1 /5 stars overall. We found many customer complaints of frequent installation errors. Unfortunately this casts a negative shadow on Wayfair as well.
Customer Reviews for Wayfair are generally negative, and usually focus on fluctuating pricing, poor shipping, and unhelpful return policies. Customers report that Wayfair refuses price adjustments if you purchase something right before it goes on sale, frequent complaints with poor quality furniture, very unresponsive customer service, and shoddy quality from their in-house brands. Combined, these have earned Wayfair a "D" from the Better Business Bureau, and a 1.39/5 rating based on 70 customer reviews.
You get what you pay for
Wayfair earned its name as the place to go for low-price furniture, and everything about them speaks to that fact. If you purchase flooring from Wayfair, it may be you'll get a lower price than competitors. But don't be surprised if the quality of the flooring doesn't meet your expectations, or there are problems with their installation. Just keep your eyes open.
A Midwest staple, you'll likely know money from their commercial advertising presence ("save big money at Menard's" ), while less ubiquitous than their larger country-wide competitors, Menard's is well represented in the Midwest, and especially Wisconsin (from which it originates). While we ultimately found Menard's to be slightly worse-off than their non-regional competitors, they may still be worth your consideration if there is a Menard's close to you. As such, here's how we came to their review.
A nice selection with frequent bargains
Menard's is by no means lacking when it comes to product variety, and they have the exact same selection as their larger competitors, which includes cork, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and gym and garage flooring. While you can order these online, Menard's has many physical locations, so it may be worth your while to see if there are any store-specific pricing and deals as well. Menard's also has a "Ray's list" bargain section, which often includes significant discounts on flooring and related items. However, their "Ray's list" bargain section is quite difficult to navigate, and requires a significant amount of scrolling to find what you're looking for.
Good buying guide, bad website
Menard's buying guide is comprehensive, and contains almost everything you need to know about buying, installation, and care for all their floor types. We strongly appreciate the informative material's Menard's provides, however, when compared to more high-rated companies' on our list, Menard's guides are harder to read, and the huge-font Green-on-white color scheme with oversized pictures makes it annoying to navigate. In short, we appreciate the information, but we think Menard's would do well to pay a bit more attention to overall design and readability/accessibility of their guides, and their website overall.
Like other retailers with physical locations, Menard's offers in person pickup for free, meaning that you can save some significant money on large and/or heavy orders that may otherwise cost quite a significant amount in shipping. One thing we do not appreciate is that Menard's does not disclose shipping or delivery costs until you have completed checkout, which requires you give them your contact information. Even if you choose not to create an account, you will need to enter your address and contact information to determine the price. While small, this minimal foot-in-the-door technique is not appreciated by us; we prefer that companies' give all relevant information before they ask for contact info and the like.
Uncertified and an "F" rating
Even as a slightly-smaller regional retailer than its larger competitors on our list, Menard's still succumbs to their common Achilles heel: poor and variable service from both its customer service departments, and the independent contractors they hire for delivery. Reviewing the Better Business Bureau, Menard's has an "F" rating (maybe due in part that they aren't registered with them), and a 1.11 rating out of 258 customer reviews.
Poor customer reviews as well
Customer reviews regarding flooring report cracked hardwood, and difficulty contacting customer service. Difficulty contacting customer service is likely due to the fact that Menard's does not have a phone number for customer service. As such, you are only able to email them should something go wrong. All in all, customer reviews paint a poor picture of Menard's in responding to faulty products and customer complaints.
Not Recommended for big orders
While Menard's has all of the downsides of a major retailer, they have fewer positives than competitors. With no customer service line to call and difficulties with shipping contractors, all in all there is nothing especially compelling about their service, and-it seems-a slow response time should anything go wrong with delivery or installation. As such, while they may be worth your while if there is one close to you and you can pick up your small to mid-sized order in store, don't go out of your way to purchase your flooring from Menards.
Founded in 1994, FastFloors has been a dependable flooring retailer for 19 years. One of the major critiques you could levy against them, is that it seems they have updated their service very little since then. With high shipping costs, a rather outdated website, and (it seems) not enough staff to quickly respond to customer complaints, it is likely that FastFloors is not the best choice for your project. In any case, read below to see how we came to their score.
Good selection of floors
FastFloors provides a good selection of flooring, including bamboo, vinyl, stone, tile, rubber, laminate, cork, and hardwood. While they ask that you call for a quote, they display up-front the expected pricing on all their floors. When compared to some companies' that attempt to use information asymmetry to get you a bad deal, we appreciate FastFloors open and honest communications.
Low price guarantee
In addition, FastFloors offers a "low-price guarantee" . If you are able to find the same flooring for a lower price elsewhere, they promise to work with you to either match or lower their own price to be more competitive. Not only that, but FastFloors offers a helpful calculator in which you can calculate the square footage of product you need, amount of moldings and trim needed, and any other potential floor-specific requirements such as tile-stone glue and other underlayment materials.
While we could not find any readily-available discounts, you are able to opt-in to their email list to receive special offers. So, while we found no extra-flashy "deals" with FastFloors, it wasn't necessarily a problem, as often those promising the "biggest deals" with huge percentage numbers off, are often those out to deceive and overcharge you. In that light, we strongly appreciate FastFloors' no-nonsense, plainly communicated pricing and pricing policies.
Buyers guide offered
One thing we appreciate is that FastFloors includes a helpful and informative set of guidelines to almost every single flooring type they offer, which is organized under buying basics, brands and styles, design ideas, and installation/care guidelines. While some of the categories are missing (such as the "buying basics" for hardwood), and their guide is not nearly as extensive as the top-rated on our list, there is still a good amount of helpful buying information, which is simply not provided by many competitors.
High shipping cost and no free samples
Where some flooring companies' helpfully offer free samples, FastFloors will charge you about $10 all told for the sample and shipping costs. In addition, most of FastFloors' products come with a $500 purchase minimum, and most free shipping is locked behind $1,200 purchase minimums. Where other elements of their company feel informative and helpful, FastFloors shipping policies significantly detract from their scores.
Reading through customer responses on the Better Business Bureau, one gets an image of a company that works with their customers, but still has a higher-than-normal number of complaints. Their customer rating with the Better Business Bureau is a 3.8/5, and this reflects the fact that they respond to and negotiate with customer complaints even when they technically fall outside of warranty claims. Even so, there are mishaps demonstrated that a larger company would not be as likely to make (such as general technical errors, low response times, and incorrect colors sent). So, while we found a willingness to work with customers, we also found a tendency for avoidable errors, which has detracted from their overall score
An okay choice, but not great
FastFloors feels like a company that has put very little effort into quick customer service, or into their front-end website more generally; the somewhat mixed (though not bad by any means) customer reviews speak to their average performance. All in all, we think that FastFloors' could be a good choice if the specific flooring you're looking for is reasonably priced. But if you want very attentive customer service, you would likely be better served by one of the better rated companies' on our list.
As a Georgia-based custom floor manufacturer, Simple Floors is more of a local company with a fair website than any kind of major flooring retailer (which opens itself up to a wider array of pros/cons when compared to major companies). While our previous review of Simple Floors noted a non-functioning website, it seems Simple Floors has improved their functions somewhat since then. Here's how Simple Floors compares today
Smaller selection than others
As a smaller/local manufacturer and retailer, Simple Floor's collection is respectable and seems good quality, but is not as extensive as their larger competitors. While they offer hardwood and engineered hardwood, carpet, vinyl, laminate, and tiles, as a manufacturer, they are only in the business of selling their product, as opposed to larger flooring retailers on our list. One nice plus is that their manufacturing process is "Green-wise" and adheres to European environmental standards.
More information would be nice
We appreciate that they have standards set as to the quality of their flooring, however, we would've liked more details as to where/how they manufacture their website, and who exactly they are. In addition, while Simple Floors does offer samples for free, they do not detail their sample policies anywhere on their website. There appears to be no way to add said samples to your cart.
Poorly communicated return policy
Simple Floors does not detail their returns policy online on their website. Upon further investigation, we discovered that they do have a 30-day return policy. That being said, one customer review (the only in-depth review about Simple Floors we could find) described significant difficulty with processing their return.
No free shipping
Simple Floors also does not detail their shipping policies on their website. It appears they do not offer any kind of free shipping or in-store pickup. However, they very clearly detail their pricing charts, and also state that many stores use "free shipping" to hide costs (which is true). As such, we appreciate Simple Floors open shipping policies, but are baffled as to why they choose not to include this information on their actual website.
Few customer reviews
As a small company, customer testimony about Simple Floors is few and far between, and they are not BBB accredited. That being said, Simple Floor's does still have an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau; this is likely due to the fact that they only have one customer complaint on the site after 17 years in business. That one customer complaint was from a home renovator, who stated that-while Simple Floors was helpful and responsive for many years-when he had a problem regarding faulty flooring, Simple Floors was very unhelpful, unresponsive, and ultimately lost his business. Even so, the fact that there are so few complaints after so many years in business, is itself a good sign, even if we critique Simple Floors' poor communication overall
Potentially good, but needs some work
While Simple Floors appears to manufacture and sell high-quality flooring, their website still needs some work, as there is a lot of need-to-know information is simply not communicated to the customer, such as how to receive a sample, their shipping and returns policy, and details as to their manufacturing process/the identity of their company. If one is going to order online - and not through their in-store presence in Georgia-then they're going to need some assurance as to quality and the overall process. As is, Simple Floors simply does not offer enough information, and their lower-score is representative of that fact.
EmpireToday is a company you are likely familiar with through their common television advertisements, complete with a cheery jingle and a friendly, gray-haired carpenter magically updating the floors of your home. This cheerfulness belies nefarious intent, however, as EmpireToday is known for their aggressive, stressful sales tactics, cheap product, and poor installation. If you want to know the details, read below to see how exactly EmpireToday earned their review.
Extensive options with a VR app
EmpireToday offers almost any flooring type you could think of: vinyl, carpeting, wood, laminate, tile, whatever you need, they will likely have something for your floors. EmpireToday differs from competitors in that they offer a lot more guidance in the choice of installation of your floors, and will come out and install it themselves. To help potential buyers make a decision, EmpireToday offers a VR app that lets you see your home with sample floors, in addition to the option for a "free in-home consultation" with an expert to help you make the right flooring choice. For most (except perhaps the experts) picking between multiple similar products can be an overwhelming experience, and we appreciate that EmpireToday offers the expertise to help customers make the right choice.
No online prices
This seemingly helpful orientation, however, begins to seem a bit suspicious in light of one simple fact: they don't list any of their prices online. Without a good way to gauge what you're getting into, any kind of "customer service" (especially from a salesman sitting in your living room) has the potential to become a high-pressure, upcharge sales pitch. When looking at customer reviews, this (unfortunately) appears to be EmpireToday's modus operandi.
Scathing customer reviews
Customer testimony regarding EmpireToday on discussion forums dedicated to flooring and home renovation is almost universally negative. Customers report being subjected to almost every sales trick in the book to pressure them into high-cost purchases (including "HUGE DISCOUNTS" that don't actually exist, and are simply artificially-raised prices they present before applying their discount). At the same time, customers report that EmpireToday has earned a reputation for cutting corners, as all of their installers tend to be lowest-bidder subcontractors, and not employees of EmpireToday. We found many customers who feel that EmpireToday is in the business of squeezing as much money out of you as possible with manipulative sales tactics, while spending the minimum to actually install the flooring they've overcharged you for.
Large number of BBB complaints
Many customers also complained that EmpireToday oversold what their warranties actually cover. All of this is reflected in the Better Business Bureau's website. Even though EmpireToday has an "A+" rating (due in large part to being responsive to customer complaints), their overall customer rated score is a 1.85/5 in over 1,500 reviews. In short, a huge number of people seem to have a terrible time with EmpireToday's services..
Policies exaggerated for sales
EmpireToday includes a series of warranties and optional service plans with their products, and while these are often oversold and exaggerated by salespeople according to customer reviews, they still are respectable in their own right. EmpireToday offers a 1 year workmanship warranty that covers faulty installation through EmpireToday contractors. This does not cover any wear from normal everyday use, and taking advantage of this warranty will require that EmpireToday chooses an independent flooring expert to assess potential installation defects. In addition, each product comes with a manufacturer-specific warranty that can be easily viewed on their warranty page. So, while we do not appreciate their business practices, we do appreciate that their mix of warranties and guarantees are at least easily navigable.
Deceptive practices; not recommended
While we appreciated the prospect of a flooring company with robust and helpful customer service, it is disappointing to see that EmpireToday's "customer service" seems to be a mere code-word for manipulative, high-pressure marketing and systemically low-quality installations. In short, you are likely to get a better deal on flooring if you order elsewhere than EmpireToday, and if you are looking to have it installed, you will find much more reliable work with your local flooring experts, as opposed to EmpireToday's lowest-bidder subcontractors.
Previously known as "Lumber Liquidators" , LL flooring is a bulk flooring company with a whole lot of experience, but a whole lot of poor reviews. LL Flooring may be a good choice for your project due to their low-cost and ubiquitous in-person retail presence across the U.S. However, with a history of health-related litigation, and a horrible reputation among flooring experts, you would likely be better served with a company rated more highly.
Respectable range of flooring
LL Flooring offers a respectable range of flooring, and - as a major supplier - doesn't miss out on any of the staples; hardwood, vinyl, laminate, cork, and hybrids of the previously-listed types, are all for sale at LL Flooring. (However, Tile is noticeably absent). To help you make your choice, LL Flooring provides a varied list of sample kits: whether a collection of customer favorites, a theme, or material sampler, we appreciate that LL Flooring provides some low-pressure comparisons for their customers. In addition, LL flooring provides a clearances section, though fewer warranties apply to said clearance options. LL Flooring also offers flooring installation through independent contractors, and-as a nice bonus-they do offer an installation estimate for free.
In-store pickup offered
One definite benefit of LL Flooring are their physical locations dotted throughout the country, meaning you can have your order delivered to them before you pick it up: saving on delivery costs. Otherwise, shipping will vary depending on the weight/quantity of your purchase. For example, the shipping for one box of hardwood from LL Flooring costs about $31.
90 day returns - on unopened products
LL Flooring does not advertise or openly flaunt any kind of favorable returns policy, however, you are able to return within 90 days if the box is not opened, or if there are obvious defects with their products: keep in mind that if you install the faulty product, you are considered to have voided your warranty, which may be inconvenient if there is a defect that does not show itself until after installation.
Guides offered, but poorly formatted
Similar to their competitors, LL Flooring provides some good-to-know educational materials about every aspect of flooring: from choosing the right material, to installation and care, and everything in between. However, while helpful, their educational materials are not nearly as neatly or intuitively displayed as some of the more highly rated providers on our list. All in all, their materials are difficult to read due to their relatively poor website design, which detracts from their usefulness.
Known for poor boards and formaldehyde
LL Flooring is infamous on DIY and flooring discussion boards for their overall poor quality; some who were contractors themselves, stated that they charge extra if a client sources their wood from LL Flooring to account for the extra time they would need to take installing a shoddy material. Not only do they have an overwhelmingly poor reputation among customers on discussion boards, but they have been in significant legal trouble for selling laminate flooring cheaply sourced from China with harmful levels of formaldehyde, and were ordered to pay $33million in damages. Shoddy quality is one thing, but when that poor quality affects the health of their customers, LL Flooring's low-budget boards feel a lot less attractive as a potential flooring option.
Overall not recommended
LL Flooring's shoddy offshore-produced vinyl boards negatively affected the health of thousands of people; if a company cannot be bothered to determine that their products are actually safe, and further have a terrible reputation for shoddy workmanship, poor customer service, why risk the trouble? While their flooring may be cheap, that cost could be eaten by the simple fact that it will take longer to install poor-quality, potentially warped, short-cut boards. In other words, if you go with LL Flooring, you're making a gamble, and it's a bet that we wouldn't recommend.
Following the many supply chain issues of the pandemic, lumber (and building materials more generally) can be more expensive than ever. If you're going to be spending the money to renovate your home, or require bulk flooring for your business or a specific project, then you want to be sure as to not only the quality of the product, but the support you'll receive as a customer.
Though vinyl seems to be all the rage these days - many of us are familiar with the "landlord special" of flat white paint and lowest-cost gray vinyl - the best flooring companies today offer multiple potential installations for your home, from glossy laminate to luxurious hardwoods, tile, and even specialty floors such as high-impact gym floors and cork.
While shipping is important for all online retailers, it is especially important for flooring, as costs can often balloon simply due to the weight of materials you order. Many large retailers offer on-site pick-up or store delivery, and that can help you save a significant amount if you have the space to haul your order from the store to your home or renovation site. In short, be sure to check shipping costs for each supplier before you order, and also keep in mind that if shipping is advertised as "free" , they may be more than making up for it in the actual cost of the boards.
Convenience is another standout feature of online flooring companies. You can browse and purchase flooring materials from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for time-consuming visits to traditional stores. This convenience is particularly advantageous for individuals with busy schedules or those who may not have easy access to local flooring retailers.
Moreover, online flooring companies often offer competitive pricing. Lower overhead costs compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores enable them to provide cost-effective options to customers. Additionally, many online retailers frequently feature discounts, promotions, or bundle deals that can result in significant savings for buyers.
One specific thing to watch out for when buying flooring online is this: some less-than-reputable retailers will disguise high-pressure sales pitches as informative "consultations" to get you to order overpriced materials. In short, an ounce of research is worth a pound down the line.
So, what can you use to decide which online flooring retailer is going to be your best bet? There are a lot of them out there, and it can get overwhelming quickly. Here are some criteria that can make the experience a little more worry-free:
Flooring can be a significant expense for your business or home renovation, so it pays to find a good, reliable supplier who works with you when something goes wrong. Top Consumer Reviews has done the legwork to find the most reputable flooring retailers out there today, and we're confident that this research will be helpful as you decide where to spend your hard-earned cash on new flooring!
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Tue, 26 Sep 2023