I am looking to install engineered hard wood flooring, 3/8" thick. Do any of you know why the flooring is much less expensive at places like floor and decor, seconds and surplus, lumber liquidators, etc than some smaller places?
I initially thought it was because they are so much bigger they buy more in bulk at better prices. I recently learned that the quality isn't as good bc as the floor is being made, the boards that aren't perfect are set aside and packaged and shipped to the discount stores. Do u know if this is correct? And what is the difference in quality? I would rather save the money but I want it to last too. Any advice is appreciated.
There are definite differences in quality. go pick up samples and compare. I've found that many of the really cheap places are filled with knotty or lower grade wood, often have more pieces you'll have to waste due to warping, they may not perfectly align.....and the finish may not be as good. Now that said......you also don't have to spend 10 bucks a foot to get good flooring......for most people.....somewhere in the middle is good.
Sometimes when a company is building a large apartment complex they will order flooring by the train car load overbuying what they need because they can get it cheaper in large quantities and also to make sure when they get down to the last units they don't run out and have to try to buy some more. When the job is completed they sell what is left to these stores. Other times when the factory is running the flooring and something goes wrong like the flooring being a little narrow or wider or the stain color is slightly off they will just sell the lot to one of those stores instead of paying someone to sort through them and pulling out the good boards. If a person bought all the flooring for their project from the same lot what would it matter if they were 1/32" more narrow. I would just be sure to buy enough for the project to begin with because you wouldn't know if the flooring was left from an apartment complex or there was something minor wrong with it. If you went back in a month chances are the flooring you would buy would be from a different lot.
Along with the flooring with varying quality issues ,you will also find in these stores slow moving product. If a company has some perfectly good flooring that they have not been able to sell, at times this type of product will find its way to These types of stores. Also discontinued product.
The answer is simple; if it is cheap then it is cheap.
As an exporter (located in Bolivia) we have sold several times to huge chains in Europe (like home depot) and all they want is price and deliver reliability. If there are defects such as pinholes, 'just a little warping', no problem. When I am visiting Europe and go and visit these stores it is really cheap crap quality.
With engineered flooring the glue is essential, also that all parts have the same level of hardwood, straight cut, 90 degraas angle, flooring is really a difficult product to manufacture so you should never ever trust cheaply priced flooring.
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