Published at Sunday, May 12th, 2019 - 04:59:06 AM. Laminate Flooring. By Maurina Guiraud.
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.
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. 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.
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