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Hardwood floors - sources?


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Carol's Forum Posts: 12

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By Carol on 2/23/2004


I came across a website for hardwood floors - hardwoodflooringusa.com - it is a mill direct order site. I wonder if anyone has any experience with them. The prices look good, but I hesitate to get wood floors sight unseen - what about knots?
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By Glenn in golden, CO on 5/31/2004


Carol,

 I too, am building a home and looking for a reliable and reasonable source of hardwood and installation contractors. I found prices varied wildly between local and internet sellers and looked at the site you mentioned as well as several others.

What I decided to do is go with a company called Lumber Liquidators - lumberliquidators.com . They'll sell you the wood via the internet, but also have retail stores in many metropolitan areas. They don't install, but can refer you to local installers if you visit their store. After a great deal of research, I expect to pay a net of $7.50 per square foot for the job, including all materials and installation. A couple more things: The price of oak flooring has skyrocketed during the last 6 months, and you may find so-called "exotic" woods to be competitive with good-old red oak prices. Pre-finished wood seems to be a better value and will hold up better than site-finished products.


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By Carol on 6/1/2004


Thanks, Glenn. I too, have discovered lumberliquidators, and think we will use them as well. Anyone out there have any experience with them? I went to their "store" in Hartford, CT., but it was really just the office of the warehouse, with not much of a showroom. I know that's how they keep their cost down, but just wondering how people have found the quality/appearance of their products? Thanks! We're breaking ground this week!
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By Michael in Cave Creek, AZ on 6/2/2004


I purchased 1,800 SF of #2 red oak unfinished from the Lumber Liquidators store in Phoenix. The material is of the exact quality as the sample in the front office. They quoted a 12-week lead time and it took twelve weeks.

Their customer service is terrible there is only one guy who works there and he takes orders, answers the phone and drives the forklift. Each visit to the place to pick up a pallet/bundle 700 SF per F150 truck load takes over an hour of waiting for these guys to get to you and get the material. If you have lots of spare time this supplier is ok. If you value your time and can spend a few cents more per SF go someplace else.


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By Glenn in golden, CO on 6/3/2004


My local lumber liquidators has only 2 guys manning the counter, phone, and warehouse. One way I've avoided problems is to never go to or call the store on weekends. I will take an hour off during the middle of a weekday. The counter guys have plenty of time for me then.

I too, had been warned that their counter staff are spread thinly and will avoid wasting my own time by having the installer (who was referred by the people at Lumber Liquidators) do the pickup of materials. I've heard that these guys do not wait - because they get priority service. If you are doing your own install, make sure you deal with them only during off-peak hours, or as noted, you will be waiting for service.


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By Sara in Bellingham, WA on 6/4/2004


I am currently working with American Hardwood Floors (hardwoodflooringusa.com) and have been quite pleased so far. I will most likely buy from them as they have amazing prices (compared to local stores, Internet, and local Canada stores), and I've gotten great service so far.

I plan on putting hardwood in my entire house (with the exception of tile in bathrooms) so it is a big investment. I've been quoted $3.69/sq ft for a 5" American Cherry plank, builders grade. 3/4" thickness. I chose this because I wanted variation in the wood color. They just shipped a sample to me and I'm quite pleased. The builders grade is technically lower (and cheaper) than the Select but I find the look much warmer and casual. Also, because it is a lower grade does not mean that the wood is of poor quality. The sample I am looking as is very very nice (and I'm a picky person!) Sara


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By Selma in NY on 1/20/2005


WARNING! Do not buy from American Hardwood Floors Inc. or hardwoodflooringusa.com.

They accept checks only, payment in full at time of order and then they do not deliver the flooring. Check the complaints about this company on badbusinessbureau.com and thegardenweb.com and you will read how consumers were scammed out of thousands of dollars.

They promise delivery but they don't deliver the flooring. I wish I had read about this company before I ordered from them. There is no customer service at all. I paid $8,000 for flooring that was supposed to be delivered in November. They are nice before you place your order, but after there is no one to talk to.

Sel


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By John in Erie, CO on 1/21/2005


I decided against working with Lumber Liquidators - I am doing 2200 sf of hickory.

We liked the product, and I wanted to buy it.  I needed a quote that I could take to the bank and get a check for.

They WILL not do quotes, nothing in writing.  "We'd have to honor that price if you came back later" they whined.

funny, the rest of the industry puts expiration dates on their quotes.

So for me, it wasn't worth the headache.  I bought it elsewhere, with 50% on order, and 50% on pickup, via my bank.

John

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By Glenn in golden, CO on 1/21/2005


John- I can certainly understand your problem with not being able to present your banker with an iron-clad quote on the flooring pricing, but you must consider Lumber Liquidator's position with respect to wholesale pricing.

Hardwood has become a commodity during the last few years. The price moves several times each month, sometimes pretty substantially. Unless LL has money in hand and a committment from their hardwood mills, they cannot give you a firm quote.

This is not so much of a problem with the big retail brands like Bruce, etc, who have very fat profit margins, but when you operate on very thin margins like Lumber Liquidators does, a 20% movement in the price can kill you.

I'm convinced that LL is the best deal around - if you can work with their "today's price" constraints. I've noticed that Bob Villa is now doing nationally-broadcast endorsements of their "Bellawood" product. Look out, because that usually means they'll raise their prices to pay for the advertising.

I am very bullish on LL and believe firmly that they saved me a couple of thousand bucks on my new vacation home up in Park County. Let me know if you ever want to swing by (25 miles from Breckenridge) and see what the product looks like installed.

Glenn


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By John in Erie, CO on 1/21/2005


I understand protecting a quote, but the other places I got quotes would make a quote valid for 7 days, or 30 days, or whatever.  Without anything in writing, I'm supposed to plop down 12k for flooring that won't show up for 6 weeks???  I'm sure I'd get a reciept once it's paid for, but my bank won't issue a check without some documentation.

All in all, it worked out better.  We went with owens plank floor, which has a full thickness wood layer over an engineered substrate.   Full mfg warranty over radiant heat, and site finished so there are no little dirt bevels.  The product is available a few places, and I worked with schacht millworks, who did everything in writing with a 30 day expiration on their quotes.  Stayed within 0.10 psf of the LL prefinished price.

LL can do business how they like; it's a free market, and I prefer not to work with folks who can't at least write their price of the day down for my bank.

Other than that little thing, I wouldn't have hesitated to work with them.  While rude on the phone, in person  they were great, and they do keep overhead to a minimum.

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By Mike in Huntersville, NC on 7/26/2005


Selma, thanks for your post.  I was also ready to place an order with AHF.  Today, I tried to pull up their website and knew something was wrong.  Then, after a Google search, I found your comment and then all the others on BadBusinessBureau.

I wrote to them in March after they repeatedly called me asking if I was ready to order.  I told them that I was doing a lot of work myself and that it would be a while.  I told them I thought it was strange that they were so persistent with such a small order ($5000) like mine and other concerns I had.

Someone named Mario Sayer wrote back assuring me everything would be fine and I hate to admit, but I was 'sold' on it.  Had I been ready early, I would have lost my hardwood flooring budget to these bastards.

THANKS!!

 


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By Mark in Valencia, CA on 7/26/2005


Not giving you a written quote is bull!  Pure and simple.  I buy diesel fuel every day.  The price changes every day.  I still get a quote, every day.  So, the fact that it's a comodity doesn't wash with me.

I was planning on buying my flooring from them, but I recently became aware of another bulk sale store by the name of Amigos.  But, I don't know if they are national, though.

Mark


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