Somerset Country Hardwood Made in China

blondie859111January 13, 2011

After ordering 1650 sf of Somerset Country hardwood, which appeared to be made in KY, I found out it is made in China and imported to the US. I called the company and they confirmed. I told CS rep they don't disclaim this on their site, and just mention KY plants, and she said "I Know..."

I am curious to see what the China equivilant of "white oak" is. So sad that they don't warn buyers. If I wanted in import from China, I would have gone to Home Depot.

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I would like to know how you came across this information as Somerset is actually a real nice product. I am involved in 25 manufacturers of hardwood and have my ears wide open to your comment. I am also not sure a CS rep has the knowledge or ability to confirm this. I have sat across the table from Somerset Corporate rep (not a distributor) and they do not talk of an import. They have invited me to mill tours so I am really anxious to hear some details. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 11:36PM
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Your post is already showing up on search engines. I am going to do some research on this as this type of post really hurts the perception of this product. It is not priced like an import from the wholesale side. That I can assure you of so it is upsetting to read this and at this point, frankly I do not believe it. They really promote themselves as American milled. They do sell exotics, and have quite a variety of distressed, hand scrapes, etc. These are products not normally found in Chinese imports.Just an expert opinion thrown out to discredit a rumor style post which really slanders a reputable manufacturer.If I find you are correct, i will vehemently apologize. Would really like to read your facts other than a CS Rep saying "I know".

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 11:50PM
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I understand, it saddens me as well. My husband and I are building our house from the ground up together- alone, with the exception of the foundation, sheetrock and metal roof. I spent hours picking materials that are made locally in the northeast, and if that is not possible, made in America. I despise the fact that Americans are loosing jobs hourly because of imports, so I did my research on this before posting. Here is how I found out.
When speaking with he owner of initial flooring company I was dealing with, I was divided. I could not decide to go with oak or maple. He told me to avoid the maple because it was a wood from China and did not have the quality of the maple I would be familiar with. He recommended the white oak, which was also an import. I mentioned that I was surprised to hear the wood was imported, and he said he was certain because he had just had a meeting in KY with the folks from Somerset. At this point I assumed that even though the wood was imported, and that the finishing was done in KY. At least Americans would be employed in that process. I called Somerset, spoke to three reps who kept passing me up the chain, until I finally got ifrom that person that the wood was indeed imported. Sadly I still assumed that the finishing was done in the US.
Shortly after, a local retailer heard about the size of my order and asked to put in a bid. Although their price was higher, decided to go with his bid because his company is a major employer in the area, supplying many families in the area with good health benefits and a reasonable income. When we discussed the arrival dates, he mentioned the transit time from China, and said six weeks was probably the soonest I could get the product. I then thought, if it is going to take six weeks to get the wood here, how long until it is a finished product? He told us the finished product comes directly from China. I was just heartbroken, and upset with myself for assuming it was finished here.It never actually goes to KY at all.
Again I called Somerset with my question, and again, was put on hold, and shuffled from person to person. The rep I spoke with told me that the wood was from China, the handscraping was done in China, the finishing was done and China, and the finished product was shipped from China to the US. I expressed my concern about products made in China and the disgusting odors and worse that have arisen and how the company would stand by me if that issue arose. She said "I don�t know, it has not come up".
floortech, I understand your concerns more than you could imagine because I have 1650 sf of this import on the way to my home, a home I put a great deal of effort in making a home that was built with American products- no easy feat these days. A home that used American products wherever possible, giving jobs to Americans, because that is important to me.
As for your statement about the wholesale pricing, that's the thing about importing- the company makes a great deal more money hiring cheap labor, and gain the financial rewards of that. Companies generally do not use labor and goods from China to pass along costs to American consumers. So, yes, I am paying the price for an American made hand scraped flooring for an import from China. Somerset is the winner here. Not the American workforce and certainly not me.
floortech, I encourage you to phone customer service at 1-877-404-9663 and ask them exactly where the Somerset Country handscraped Oak is made, and the origins of the "white oak". As them to list the other Somerset handscraped flooing is made in China. I did, and was saddened by the answer. Trust me, no one would like me to be proven wrong more that myself! I still have no idea if what they are calling "white oak" bears any resemblance to NA white oak.
If the info you get is the same as mine, no need to apologize- we are all sorry. I scoured the website over and over and they do not mention China at all. I feel as though I have been misled by the company. My initial reaction was like yours, so much so that I never bothered to ask if anywhere in the process American hands touched the product. Other than the loading docks, that is.
Keep me posted!

Here is a link that might be useful: Contact information for Somerset

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 1:11AM
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I recently purchased 2400sf of hand scraped white oak Somerset (17,000.00 installed) and thought it was American made when I purchased it. I found out after looking at the box it came in and it stated it was made in China. I questioned this with my builder and he said the oak is shipped to China from the US and they process it there. It does come with a 50yr warranty and does look beautiful. Had I known it was made in China I might not have ordered it. I did check the website and it does lead you to believe that is made in KY.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 7:30AM
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Zippy, I am so glad you like the product, I think it is beautiful, and just need to get over the China thing. Do you happen to have a picture of your finished floors?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:19AM
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Blondi, The reason why I choose this flooring was my son built a new house two years ago and he used Somerset Country white oak with random boards and I fell in love with it then. He floor is still beautiful and he has no complaints. The guys that are installing my flooring feel it is top of the line and good quality. I will post a photo later today.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:39AM
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Blondie- Thank you for sharing your research on this product. I agree, it is very sad to mislead people, as to where a company's product actually originates.

If I want to employ Chinese workers, I would knowingly buy Chinese products. While many American companies import products, as part of their process, I would not expect to pay top American dollar for a Chinese product.

While it may be too late for you to change your order, I think the least Somerset Country can do is CLARIFY this issue on their website. Perhaps other buyers would prefer to buy wood from another company (even another area of the country) in order to actually buy American.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 10:47AM
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Well said, Lav.
Zippy, can't wait to see the floors!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Still trying to figure out how to upload pictures in a message. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 9:00AM
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Hi Zippy,
You have to upload your photo at a place like link below. Upload it and save it to an album. They give you that option right away. Then go and look at your image.
Then when you see your photo put your curser over it and a box of data will appear below the picture. Like below:

You will notice the first box under the blue bar beneath your pucture says HTML Code. Click in the box to the right of where it says HTML code, and it will say "copied" briefly. You now have what you need to put a pic on GW.Go to this post and "post a follow up" write what you need to write in the message box, and WHILE STILL IN THE MESSAGE BOX paste the HTML code using Control V or with Apple Command V.
You will then see a bunch of HTML code. This is perfect.
Then preview message and you should see your picture. The big mistake folks make is trying to put the HTML code into the link options below the message box!
Now, this said, if it is too much trouble for you I fully understand. I appreciate what you are doing! If no luck of too much to deal with, let me know and I will post an email address and you could email them if you cared to and I will post.
Thank you and good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket to store pictures

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Sorry Blondie, I have not great success, will send it to you privately. Sorry list
I was doing great until I got to Apple CommandV part.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Thank you! Is it ok if I post your picture once I get it?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 7:49PM
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These pictures are of Zippys beautiful floor! Thanks for sharing Zip.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:21PM
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I just got confirmation from Somerset Hardwood. The wood is not North American wood because they say it would not be practical to export the wood from NA. The wood is sourced from Asia and other locations.
The product is completely made in China then exported for sale to US.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:48AM
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It's not practical to export the wood from NA?

Why not keep the wood HERE, manufacture/mill it here...and then sell it here? Then they wouldn't have to export it! Just a thought :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 2:19PM
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A building I was working on called for interior marble. We imported it from Italy twice because the first time around it cracked in a storm coming over on the boat. It was still cheaper than buying it from Vermont. It's all about the money.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:54PM
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Lav, it's all about labor costs. Anderson Hardwood uses prison labor here in the US for their handscraped line and it it still quite costly compared to Somerset line.
The pay for labor in China is a mere fraction of what a US worker would make. There are so many Asian imports that it's difficult for US workforce to compete and offer a competitive product for a labor-intensive line like handscraped.
Nana- I priced out Vermont marble and was shocked, I know what you mean!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 5:55AM
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Got the delivery date for my flooring- supposed to be Feb. 8th, but the shipment from China will be delayed. Looking at March now- this is really becoming a problem. Can't get a mortgage till the job is completed. So much for the Kentuckey Hand Scraped flooring.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 8:09AM
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Hi Blondie,

I would love to see photos after you install. I think when it comes to building a new home it seems like a
lot of waiting or hurry ups.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Somerset floor update: I cancelled the order. I just can not tolerate the flooring:
#1- Coming from China when the website says nothing about it
#2- Knowing it is the only product not made in the USA in my house
#3- The companies inability to give me a delivery date
We're going with a 4.25" dark stained ash product made in Maine, by Maine Traditions Flooring.
It's not hand-scraped, which is what I have always wanted, but it does fit in with what is important to us- which is that the company employes many local people and a good working environment.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 6:47AM
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Blondie- Good for you! Buy American, whenever possible :)

Maybe Somerset could be a little more forthcoming on their website...that would be nice, too.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:38AM
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Wow, is this really true?

On their web-site they really imply that their wood is from the USA:

However, they don't specifically state that it is made in the USA.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:58PM
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Lav, thank you! I agree with you!
avcs, it is sadly true. My order was delayed for one month because of the length of time the shipment from China was taking. It was going from China to New Jersey- never got anywhere near the Somerset plant.
The oak is actually Siberian oak, and is shipped from there to China for handscraping (by machine I found out) and finishing. You can call the company, and if you specifically ask them, they have to tell you.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 8:31PM
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I just got off the phone with "Bob" at Somerset in KY. Here is what he told me:
All of their flooring products are grown, processed and finished in Kentucky EXCEPT FOR THE FOLLOWING PRODUCT LINES:
Exotics (as would be expected)
Antique (Engineered flooring, not solid wood)
Country (so called hand scraped)
All the rest are born and bred in the good old USA!

I am down to a decision between Somerset Specialty Hickory in Nutmeg or Bruce Kennedale Maple in Sumatra. Both look beautiful and it's now only a question of which 'looks' better in our room!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:07PM
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Somerset has a new plant in Kentucky up and running engineered flooring with product scheduled to hit the market in late June.
This plant is to replace nearly all of their Chinese imports with American made.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 9:36AM
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I'm thinking about purchasing Somerset Country flooring. Has anyone purchased that? I'd be interesting in knowing how you feel.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:40PM
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Hi pcope,
I have Somerset Country in Buttercup and I love it. We have been living in our new home since June and I am really happy with it. I have both cats and dogs and it is doing well. It is easy to clean and can take a beating.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:48PM
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I'm very disappointing with a Somerset Natural Red Oak floor. It's been down for one year and looks great, but it dents and scratches way more easily than my old oak floors. We're two seniors and don't wear outdoor shoes inside. The slightest thing seems to mar the floor. Not happy as it was expensive and the dealer claimed it was a superior product. Would not recommend.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 2:34PM
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I recently redid my new townhouse with all new floors. I chose Somerset flooring over the manufacturer I had previously used because I couldn't find any negative reviews and I preferred the tones in the white oak flooring I wanted to use. Choosing Somerset was a huge mistake. My floors are just over one year old and look awful. The scratches and dings are too numerous to count. We are a family of 3 adults and one very small mature dog. I have had similar hardwood in every home I have lived in and never had the wear these floors are showing. The only thing I found worse then the durability of Somerset flooring was their customer service. I strongly suggest thinking twice about using this flooring.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Thank you very much for your information/heads up regarding Somerset being made in China.
I am replacing carpeting with wood and while I love Mirage, it was a tad expensive for the home I am putting it in. Mine but a relative lives there and I'm saving Mirage for my home :-). So the Somerset line was there right across from Mirage and I was almost sucked in at $4 less a sq. ft. Looks good on the surface but I will also buy American whenever possible without a rediculous price tag. I think I can find one in their price range made here. If I could find a China product that lasts then I would consider it but to this day only the Great Wall of China still stands and it isn't made of China wood. All floor warranties are for *&%$ so one needs to realize this before they buy a product. Even Mirage demands a 40% minimum humidity on their floors. I just buy extra of a quality product in case of needed repair.
Looks like it's back to the search for an American quality product line. :-(

This post was edited by GarageRat on Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 13:35

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:33PM
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So many interesting and informative comments ... I am visiting a couple of floor dealers next week and DEFINiTELY "'will not touch Sommerset products with a 10 ft pole"!!!

Thanks so much for all your posts regarding this issue.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Joni Smith

I wish I would have researched this flooring before we purchased it. 3 adults, 1 cat, have the floor less than 3 years. It is dented and scratched. The finish is coming off. I had a rep come to inspect it. Evidently you cannot let any liquid, not even water, touch the floor.... ever. Don't spill ANYTHING on the floor.....ever. Tables and chairs....don't sit on the chairs if you don't want dents (we're not heavy people) yes, there is padding on the chair feet. Hold everything in your hand tightly. If a cup, or piece of frozen food fall to the floor, you WILL get a dent. Dents and scratches are not covered under warranty. They don't care if you've lived in other houses with hardwood floors that don't dent, scratch or have the finish wear off. They don't care what everyone else's beautiful hardwood floors look like. They only care about trying to make you believe it is your fault their floors look like crap. Don't waste your money on this awful flooring.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 11:49AM
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What type of Somerset did you purchase specifically? Sorry that you haven't liked your floors.

    Bookmark   22 hours ago
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