Buy hardwood flooring through the internet?

barbara_tMarch 3, 2007

I've been on the Kitchen Forum for a while and just discovered this Flooring forum.

I really want the Lauzon natural maple Nextstep for my entire main level. Too expensive from my local dealers. I found Hosking Hardwood internet site and the employees are sooo nice, been in business for long time and they are an authorized dealer for Lauzon. I can save $2,500 by buying from them. I have a good hardwood flooring installer that is going to intall them (if I go this route)

Has anyone else bought over the internet? Any suggestions or recommendations? Has anyone bought from Hosking?

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A few of my clients have purchased from Hosking Hardwood, with great results. Don't be affraid one bit, to purchase from them, or any of the reputable on-line E-tailers.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:45AM
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I am trying to purchase wood from, but it is becoming a nightmare. I dont know that it is their fault, though. I called on Tues. or Wed. to purchase the wood. They called me two days later to tell me they are out of quarterround, do I want it shipped without it? I called back and said yes PLEASE. The sales man had said the wood was in Dallas, and should get to phoenix fairly quickly. Now the salesperson tells me that it is in florida. I came home last night to find an email saying that the visa wasnt working (there should be nothing wrong with it). But of course they are in Florida, and closed when I call. I cant do anything until monday, now, and I am starting to get frustrated. I need this wood soon and it has been 4-5 days since I ordered it and it still hasnt shipped. Again, I dont know that any of this is their fault, and I imagine it could happen with any company. As long as I get the wood in two weeks, I will be happy. It will have saved me 2k ordering it through them vs. buying it from lowes.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 2:26PM
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When I can't get a credit card to go through, I will not ship anything. I see where they are coming from. I see your frustration. But, if you had gone to lowe's and they had problems with your credit card, I don't think you would have your wood either.

Stuff happens, I'm sure there is a very good reason.

Stuff gets shipped from the Dallas hub, at a big rate. If they have problems with getting a payment confirmed, someone else may have got what was in Dallas, before your order was finalized with a payment.

Not making excuses. I can see how it happens.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 1:53AM
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FastFloors is a very reputable online retailer and can't be held responsible if your credit card is bad, or if there is a problem with your credit card issuers processing and authentication center being down for maintenance.

If the transaction is not approved, the sale cant go through until it is approved.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:18AM
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Back to the original question, I have unloaded many shipments from Jeff Hosking with zero problems to date.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 5:09AM
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I purchased mine from Hosking. Zero problems. Two different orders.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:16AM
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Does the $2,500 in savings take into account any freight costs? Be sure to ask how damamged shipments are handled.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 12:18PM
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My recent experience with was VERY positive. I got a great deal on the hardwood flooring that I purchased and it got delivered very quickly. supposedly has a price guarantee, but they were NOT able to match pricing.

I was originally going to go with a high-end product, like a Lauzon, but I got the Hartco Valenza Engineered Kempas instead. This product is of top quality (31/2" 10-ply with a very thick 4mm wear layer), and it installed very nicely, with practically no waste. Just another option to consider.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 5:15PM
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Be VERY careful buying flooring online. I've Hosking had had a beautiful experience. I used and it was a total nightmare.
(for details:

1) Anyone with access to a computer can set up a web site where they can sell flooring, even if they know very little about flooring or installation.

The poor experience I had was with a company certified by the National Wood Flooring Association. My installer (with 25 years of flooring experience) said their advice on things was bad and I should only listen to him (my installer).

2) A local company is going to have a well established relationship with the wholesaler delivering the flooring, and therefore, a better product will be delivered.

This makes sense because the boxes we received looked like they were the stuff no one else would have accepted. There visible damage plus many of the boxes we opened had forklift damage (which couldn't be seen from the outside of the box). Our internet company representative admitted he did not know what to do about the damaged flooring. What baffled me most was that the company that delivered the flooring was the group responsible for inspecting it... it was like the IRS deciding to audit someone, then asking them to check the numbers themselves. They had a vested interest in saying there were no issues with the flooring.

Good Luck with your flooring!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 2:56PM
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I didn't notice much of a savings when shopping for wood at online sites vs. Home Depot. I'm just interested in the basic gunstock engineered floating wood for a basement. Since I can purchase it near my house and get it immediately without having to wait a week I will buy from Home Depot. I think the price difference came to .40, not worth it to me to buy online.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 8:54PM
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I wanted to buy locally but every time I saw my retailer the price kept going up until finally I went to the Internet. I purchased rosewood flooring from Blackriver and had a very good experience. The cost savings was too large to ignore. One of the things that worried me was the delivery. I didn't want the trucker shoving the flooring off the back end of his truck on to my driveway. Blackriver was one of the few companies that offered inside delivery. It cost a bit more but it was worth it. When I replace the rest of the flooring in my house I will be going to the Internet.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 2:26PM
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We installed 2500 sq. ft. of mahogany engineered wood flooring and bought it off the internet from We had no problems and were very satisfied. They even sent us samples.-Smile247

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 4:20PM
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I used Hosking myself and they were great to work with. We purchased a BR111 product but I am sure you will witness the same success with this group that we did. Don't hesitate and good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:41AM
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Dear Reader, (Regarding previous Review)
This customers complaint is absolutely false. This customer ordered flooring from and installed over 100 sq feet. After installing this amount she decided she did not like the width of the flooring she purchased. If we delivered flooring in terrible shape then 1. why did she accept the delivery? 2. why did she install it? If she would of read our Terms and Policies at she would of seen that once you install your flooring, (especially 100 sqft of it), you can not return it. That is the industry standard. This customer has also filed 2 complaints with the Virginia Commonwealths Attorneys office. Of course they sided in Floormall.coms favor. If you would like to see the letter as proof to this customers false claims please email us directly at, subject Virginia Commonwealth letter. This customer also issued a chargeback with VISA/MASTERCARD and lost her dispute due to the fact that she had no basis for a claim to begin with. As a potential customer to any business you are very fortunate to do your do-diligence on the company you purchase from. Unfortunately as a business owner you can not do your do-diligence on your customer base. If we had the opportunity to sell to this customer again we would definately refer this customer to our competitors. Rembember this, just because someone post on a forum does not mean it is the truth until you hear both sides of the story.
Thank you for your time,
Marc Henderson
CEO and President
800-313-1107 ext 109

Here is a link that might be useful: FLOORMALL.COM

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 7:24PM
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As a retailer, I must agree that DIY purchases can not be returned once they are installed.

However, they can file a claim against the manufacturers warrenty, which does not look to be the case here in the abve claim.

Since no manufacturer claim is apparent, it seems this may indeed be a frivolous claim.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:43AM
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We purchased over 700 sq.ft. of Armstrong laminate flooring from retailers could not touch the price. Had a 100% satisfactory experience. The floor was first quality, no damaged pieces. Installed beautifully! My DIL ordered a rather large quantity of tile-look laminate from them recently, also-had the same great experience.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 5:26PM
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We purchased over 700 sq. ft. of prefinished solid 3/4" quartersawn white oak from online and it was gorgeous. The co. sent us samples immediately and we had our order in house within a week of placing the order. The installer said it was unbelieveable wood. Not one bad board. The truck/delivery man called us the day before and again on the day of delivery to tell us where he was and when he would be at our house. Entire purchase experience was excellent.

As another person said above, anyone can set up a website. Ask for references and if in doubt order just one box so you can see what you are getting before you spend thousands on a large order. Then check the delivery before you accept it...that means, open the boxes and look at the wood inside the boxes!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:20PM
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When things go great you made a brilliant decision. When you have a warranty issue then you have a major crisis and you need to sue the sob's. Read the Garrison post. Its a crap shoot, you just have to play the odds you won't have any problems.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 1:36AM
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When a consumer says undurable wood, and starts slamming the manufacturer, I know right off the bat, it is buyers remorse.

Wood is a natural product, with durability characteristics grown in it, not produced at a factory.

This person was looking for a wood floor that wouldn't scratch or dent!! They should have never bought wood, period!!! Durability... Hahaha!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 6:43PM
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You hit the nail directly on the head. Lets switch it up a bit. Lets just suppose you ordered a 63" HDTV from Best Buy for lets say $8000 and they come and deliver it to your house. You open the box and you see the screen is cracked. Hmmm, do you try and use the TV or do you refuse shipment? No brainer right? Well, this is the same thing with Hardwood flooring. You open the boxes, inspect the wood. If there are damages you refuse shipment immediately. Now, if the installer, who has 25 years of experience does not already know this then we know where to point the finger. You do not install 100 sqft and say Hmmm, this is bad wood. Any installer worth their weight inspects ALL the wood. You put the customer in a very bad position by not doing so. The installer is the professional NOT the customer. Buyers remorse is very common in the flooring industry and we do our best to resolve any issues but this is not a perfect world and we are not perfect ourselves. Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: FLOORMALL.COM

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 7:49PM
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Bridget Helm

internet has WAY better prices and so far so good in customer service. waiting on shipments from and I'll let you know how it all turns out.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 10:01AM
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Anyone use and or install the floorboards or artsian products? I need about 2000sqft but not sure on ordering online!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 2:27PM
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I need to know about too!! I've spent several hours trying to find references and opinions, and I'm coming up short.

I'd really like to find more info if anybody has it!

jpa2400, I HAVE ordered flooring online before. From Fastfloors about 5 years ago. Saved a bundle. That's why I'm doing it again.

Fastfloors, iFloor are both good and reputable. SimpleFloors products look so good, but I have to do my usual crazy anal research, so...


    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 5:54PM
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The on-line vendors are all doing a great job with service and delivery, these days, compared to the infancy years. They know they won't be around, if their service and delivery, along with selections, are not equal to their competition.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 10:02AM
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I would love to save money and buy online. Would you please tell me that I certainly can expect the delivery driver to wait until I opened every box and inspected the contents of all before accepting delivery? Is this done this all the time? Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Looking around to learn some more about flooring before I embark on my purchase, I saw this thread, and browsed through it. Seems like a good discussion.

1. Bridget, many thanks for sharing the experience. Sorry you had to go through the whole thing like that.

2. I normally check the BBB as well to see the # of complaints against a particular merchant. This needs to be balanced with number of years company has been in business, the volume they handle (which is hard to know), how the complaints were resolved. It is just another data point in your research.

Check out some of the companies in the thread here: 33 complaints in the last 36 months 15 complaints in the last 36 months (there were several, possibly several branches, so you need to check several of them) 28 complaints in 36 months

3. I would also check with friends, co-workers etc.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:05PM
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I used FastFloors. Good website. The people on the phone didn't seem terribly knowledgeable. The rebates they offer must be filed quick otherwise you will miss them. I imagine that may be part of the goal. Some of the floor was slightly damaged due to a nail not flush with the pallet. I only discovered this after I had been unloading the floor from the pallet and it was the last one. It was something I could live with. A reducer was broken and they agreed to replace it no problem. I did have to get the driver to call the station and get a claim # on the spot. If I didn't I'm not sure how the replacement would have went.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 9:20PM
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Don't be fooled, most of these positive comments are written by the internet sales companies themselves. They are very clever when it comes to PR. In fact they are very clever with a lot of things, including the way they try to suck you into buying their private label brands (usually cheap products from China).

However, even if you decide to buy a brand name product from an internet retailer you are asking for a lot of trouble. Here are just a few of the potential problems:

*Customers will have to install themselves (usually not DIY friendly products), or arrange for installation.

*What will happen if there is damage to any of the products received?

*Who will you turn to if you encounter a problem? If the problem is not deemed a manufacturing issue, the internet based retailers charge consumers for having third party inspection companies to review the claim.

*How does the consumer know they are purchasing first quality goods?

*Unlike a regular retailer who will only ask for a deposit you will be required to pay the internet retailer the full amount up front before they even deliver the product.

*You will have to inspect all the goods before excepting shipment (this is extremely difficult to do with products that come packaged in boxes). If you don't inspect and note shipping damage before accepting the product you won't be able to make a claim for damage.

Finally, if you really are looking for the best price you are should shop your local retailers. There are plenty of local retailers that are competitive with the internet guys and you will have the peace of mind that if you do have a problem you can go right to the store and get your issues resolved.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 6:00PM
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Price Fit Flooring is one to STAY AWAY from. I spent $3100 on flooring from John Cooper. Should have known better but went ahead even though he said he did not take Visa. Bad move on my part.

I shall post a notice with my pictures to corroborate what I am saying. I believe my poor purchase deserves a post by itself so the message does not get lost.

I would like to save others the frustration I am experiencing trying to get him to answer his phone. I have had to resort to having people from other parts of the country call so he can not tell who is calling him. When he sees a new number, he answers.

Again, STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 12:38PM
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That it is!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 11:35AM
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This is a great thread -- even tho it's been going for a while! It is important to make a distinction here. There are outfits that only sell hardwood flooring over the internet. They don't sell any other way. I would be very careful about using such dealers. Then there are dealers who have been around for a long time, who have real, bricks and mortar facilities, and who also have websites. After all, nearly every company has a website today.

Take Carlisle Flooring, for example. They are the most famous name in wide plank flooring. They also have a great website. If you want to "shop" the site, then call and talk to them, finalize your purchase, I think it's going to be fine. (Carlisle is at They ship flooring all over the United States. Other well-known companies are like Kellogg Hardwoods, based in Connecticut ( Again, you can either go to their showroom in Connecticut, or shop their site, call them, and order your flooring. Timberknee, based in Vermont, ( is another great company that comes to mind.

Just because a company has a website, and you can order by phone from them, doesn't mean it's a bad way to go. It's actually important to call around, and check prices etc. Like everything else, you have to use common sense. If you're looking at a website selling "discount" wood at "rock bottom prices," and you have to order it using an online shopping cart -- "buyer beware!"

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 4:17PM
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One comment about the BBB.

I have experience with online sales. It has almost become a weapon some customers will use to get satisfaction. Three and one half years we have received three complaints.

Of those three complaints two were the same person who failed to count the products ordered because it was raining. Sorry, there are policies people have to go by. The other complaint by the same person was because they told the freight company the wanted liftgate service. Liftgate service was not authorized, it costs extra money. For authorization they needed to contact us prior. All policies were agreed upon when the customer signed an order confirmation. Incidentally, order confirmations and polices may take only 2-3 minutes to read.

A third complaint was from someone who received some damaged trim moldings. No problem we'll take care of it but the shipping company wants to inspect the damage first. The customer threw them away! Unfortunately in order to help the customer we need proof or documentation there was actual damage.

In those two cases the customer was at fault and used the BBB trying to resolve their problems. It did not work. Just created tension and problems for everyone involved. At one time we actually ate these costs trying to keep the customes happy. Costs probably amounted to $1,000 when we said NO MORE. Granted this is small compared to the likes of IFloor and others.

Conclusion: I would not put much confidence in the BBB and their reports. I also feel it's worth noting many do not spend the time needed on their end by reading necessary policies to insure a problem free experience.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:39AM
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This thread is rife with internet dealers posing as satisfied customers. Unfortunately the internet flooring companies are very good at this game and you know the old adage "there is a sucker born every five minutes." They depend on the naivete of their customers, for who in their right mind would buy such a large ticket item this way when they could shop at a local and verifiably reputable dealer and in most cases save money.

Use your common sense--these guys are into the flooring business for a fast buck. They use tricks and deception to peddle inferior goods.

The only concievable reason I can think to buy any flooring over the internet is if they have some unique product you can't get anywhere else. Most internet companies will claim to have a unique product but in truth it is some cheap import (usually from China) on which they put their own name.

Many manufacturers will tell you that their warranties do not extend to purchases made over the internet and will indeed discourage you from buying their product that way at all--just give them a call and ask them what is the best way to purchase their product.

The internet is full of horror stories involving internet flooring purchases, many others just accept the fact that they have been ripped-off because they are embarrassed that they were foolish enough to buy flooring this way.

Floor buying needs to be a face to face transaction. If you can look your dealer in the eye your much less likely to fall for a lie!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 1:02PM
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I was originally going to reply to your post dated June 19. Had it all set to go and I inadvertently clicked something and lost it all. Here goes again, but the first was better.

"Don't be fooled, most of these positive comments are written by the internet sales companies themselves. They are very clever when it comes to PR. In fact they are very clever with a lot of things, including the way they try to suck you into buying their private label brands (usually cheap products from China)."
True on the comments, especially internet sites. Ive seen some happy Harriet comments that in no way could have been written by anyone unless they were in the trucking or flooring business. Words and descriptions I rarely come up with either. Private label brands are popping up everywhere. Carpet One has a few, Home Depot has a few, the list goes on. China is a reality now.

"However, even if you decide to buy a brand name product from an internet retailer you are asking for a lot of trouble. Here are just a few of the potential problems:

*Customers will have to install themselves (usually not DIY friendly products), or arrange for installation.
Agreed, some are not DIY friendly, yet many companies make them out to be including the Big Orange and Lumber Liquidators. However some people are looking to save a few thousand dollars and donÂt mind the extra legwork. Yes, you can negotiate with some local dealers but they get poorly beaten up because they donÂt have the buying power. I mean really beaten upÂmajor!
*What will happen if there is damage to any of the products received?

Right on. This is a good one. I run into too many problems with shipping. Specifically products that are not designed for long distance shipments. One problem is Longstrip type hardwood products (96" length). Some pallets that come from manufacturers are not internet friendly for shipping. They are and never will be internet ready. They are functional for shipping from distributor to dealer because they may be handled only twice with a forklift and handled more carefully by the distributor/dealer employees.

Going 3,000 miles is a whole different animal. Freight companies do not run in a straight line with one truck across country. Your purchase could be handled a dozen different times by a dozen different forklift drivers in a half dozen locations when transfers are made. These guys care more about time than keeping your purchase in tip top shape.

If itÂs packaged poorly it is inevitable it will get damaged. I see it quite often with products larger than a standard pallet (42" x 42") IÂve raised the issue with more than one of my distributors and they are small regional gorillas in the business. They donÂt care. The excuse is "weÂll have to buy a couple hundred (large pallets) to get a good price"

Here I am willing to split the costs because one out of four shipments on irregular sized products get damaged. Another issue is they will not spend the time making it right. This pertains to nearly all internet dealers that handle name brand hardwood products through distributors. I wish I could be more specific but cannot as the internet can be a maize of who has what and how it can be obtained. Most products come from legitimate distributors but there is quite a bit of boot legging going on. ItÂs truly an amazing and confusing business.

For the most part I would suspect nearly all internet companies make good on damaged shipments. There may be smaller ones that can be problematic. Unfortunately correcting problems can take time. Inventory is this business is not like buying a loaf of bread at the supermarket. Products have set production schedules. One large commercial job may wipe out two months of one product SKU sitting in the entire USA. If somebody receives five damaged cartons as an example and thereÂs none available for 5-6 weeks there is a problem.

LetÂs assume I am in a position to buy something of similar size and value over the internet. Would I take the plunge? No

HowÂs that for my PR? Just telling like it is including the BBB part. IÂm a straight shooter. Why? Why not? Frankly I do not see the internet and major name brand flooring lasting much longer. Companies are beating each other to death on price without considering their costs and major name brand manufacturers have an extreme distaste for internet sales period.

IÂll get into more if you are interested.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Great post "forgotten"-- I especially agree with part about the internet floor covering companies not lasting much longer. I think they are already starting to fade, in fact the largest of the internet flooring companies is now going to a traditional store model apparently to hedge their bets in the face of what appears the decline of a dubious business model.

So, one more thing for the internet consumer to worry about...What do you do when your internet flooring company ceases to exist? Who will help you with your warranty issues then? Hmmmmm.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 5:59PM
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"in fact the largest of the internet flooring companies is now going to a traditional store model"

Hehehehe!! Boy have you been misinformed. Steve Simonson, the owner of the Smooth Corp, which owns, opened brick & mortar stores, to stay in business on the internet. The local dealers nation wide have been complaining about internet sales incroatching on there exclusive territories. They, the local retailers, years ago, made it so trades people that did not have a brick & mortar store, could not buy wholesale directly from the distributor, and cut them, the middleman, out.

So yes, you will see more and more internet exclusive flooring dealers, open brick & mortar store fronts, Like Ken at Hardwood Installer dot com did, by opening Bonita Floors, just so they can continue to sell over the internet, all around the world.

You would think, more and more local flooring retailers would offer products for shipping directly to the consumer, uninstalled. But then again, the local retailer, makes a killing on the installation, and they do not like it when the installers don't need them anylonger, and they would not be able to call their installer employees, subcontractors anylonger, to undercut labor, while still making their marked up labor rates. Installed retail sales wants to keep the installation pay low, while they charge you the consumer double or triple, what they actually dictate the pay to the so called subcontractor

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 8:54PM
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What you say has been very true and still is regarding retailer/labor relations. It is one of the things that has plagued most of the flooring sectors (carpet, resilient, hardwood and even tile). It was never the right thing to do, nor was child labor for that matter.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 7:24AM
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* Never purchase from any internet flooring company that requires you to pay more than 50% before receiving and inspecting the goods.

* Never hire an installer without references.

* Never pay upfront for installation. If fact don't pay the installer on the jobsite until the installation work has been thoroughly inspected--even if you have to mail the check later.

* Do not take phone quotes for installation but insist on a complete quote (set price/no extra charges later) from an installer or estimator who has been to the job location.

* Remember the lowest price is not as important as the reputation of the installer.

* Manufacturer warranties are voided if the flooring is improperly installed.

* If you are going with an independent installer make sure that you get their license and insurace information and insist on an installation warranty in writing.

Also, please take a moment to review this site--you may be disuaded from buying flooring on-line.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 3:49PM
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Well, this is an interesting thread. We bought our flooring from Coswick in Canada last year. 3/4" quartersawn oak. Now they do have a website but I had to call them to order samples and place the big order...but I did talk to someone who worked there (not a call center) and their customer service was A-1.

The samples were delivered promptly and when it came time to place the big order they were most helpful. I needed some different transition pieces and they helped me figure out what I needed. Again, this was not a call-center operation.

The shipment came when they said it would (in fact the driver called us numerous times) and we inspected the wood BEFORE we off-loaded it from the truck.

Remember folks, if you have ANY wood flooring delivered, you must inspect it before it's delivered. If you see any problems, then refuse the shipment. Once you accept the shipment, it's yours and your problem.

So maybe we had an unusually good experience. But I don't think it was just "luck" - do your homework on any company if your are going to drop thousands of dollars at their doorstep. I do know that without the internet, we never would have found this flooring. (And it's been down a year now - still as beautiful as when it was installed by our local installer).

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 2:07PM
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Anderson Hardwood Floors will not honor any warranty claim for any product purchased over the internet, nor will we accept any returns for any such products. Since 1946, the Anderson Family has strived to be a manufacturer that delivers quality, beauty and performance

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 7:57PM
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We have received numerous calls from consumers who have had unpleasant experiences as a result of purchasing flooring over the internet. The installation of a Kährs floor in your home is a substantial investment, therefore we offer the following warnings before considering a purchase over the Internet:


Warranty protection: Kährs will not review a claim without the selling retailer and selling distributor inspecting the floor and confirming that a problem exists in accordance with our stated warranty.

Poor installation is the number one cause of consumer dissatisfaction. Authorized dealers are required to follow the Kährs Installation Guide and have access to all installation and product training programs offered by Kährs and our distribution partners.

Kährs provides warranty coverage on first quality material only. Economy grade products are not covered. This can pose significant problems for the Internet consumers if they are not able to visit their local retailer should they have any questions or concerns.

Beware of products offered at substantially discounted prices over the internet. Hidden costs such as frieght and installation are generally not reflected in those discounts. Your local authorized dealer offers the benefits of full warranty protection, superior customer service, and manufacturer-backed quality that are reflected in their prices.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 8:00PM
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A statement from Mirage (The best hardwood flooring manufacturer in my opinion):


Mirage Internet Sales Statement
Mirage prides itself on delivering superior prefinished hardwood flooring to its customers at competitive prices. Using our state-of-the-art production technologies, we are one of North America's most advanced and accomplished manufacturers.

As an ISO 9001-certified manufacturer, Boa-Franc, the manufacturer of Mirage hardwood floors, works tirelessly to ensure that our products adhere to the highest standards, from raw materials to the final product we deliver. To this end, we support a network of select distributors and exclusive Mirage MaestroTM dealers whose qualified, experienced professionals provide customers with the best in service, support and installation.

Mirage believes that its high standards benefiting customers cannot be maintained if its hardwood flooring products are sold via the internet. Though at first sight, products purchased online may appear less expensive, the customer in the end may pay more because of lasting harmful effects from the loss in service, quality, installation and authenticity.

Why does Mirage sell its hardwood flooring products exclusively through qualified distributors and dealers?

Service Consumers who purchase hardwood floors should expect service both at and beyond the point of sale. Mirage provides customers with a network of trained, authorized dealers who are experts in the purchase and installation of hardwood flooring. They can also educate consumers throughout the buying process. These dealers support your local area, and are easily accessible for personal, hands-on service and support if needed.
Support Our network of dealers will help you select the appropriate wood technology for your specific application. They are knowledgeable in regards to the latest trends and ensure that you make the right choices for your lifestyle and desired look.
Specialized purchase Hardwood flooring is not a commodity item like buying a book or a compact disk, it is a natural product that requires special attention. Consumers will use their hardwood floors every day - an investment that will accent their homes for years. Buying flooring from a reputable dealer ensures that your flooring is sold, installed and serviced by highly trained, experienced professionals.
Installation Approved Mirage dealers can arrange installation by an experienced, trained professional who will properly install the floor to minimize waste, ensure the proper look and fit, and make sure that the flooring is safe and is installed in a manner that will prolong its life. Trusting the installation process to an untrained technician could risk consumer safety and the overall appearance of the floor.
Freight issues If you purchase your hardwood flooring through the Internet you will be responsible for verifying the goods to ensure that they are not damaged or warped. This can be quite an endeavor for non-experienced customers. Furthermore, if the goods are damaged and a claim needs to be filed for replacement, the delivery company will likely contest the claim and attempt to prove that the issue is not their fault. In all, a lot of time, aggravation and extra cost could result.
Product quality With the proliferation of foreign wood manufacturers and other imitation products, you need to know that the Mirage high-quality hardwood flooring that you desire is in the box. Buying from approved dealers assures that what you receive is authentic.
After-sales service Your local dealers will also be there after the sale is complete to help you maintain your floor and assist with repairs.
We invite our valued customers to educate themselves about Boa-Franc's rigorous production processes, quality control systems and highly trained distributors and dealers. Please use our Mirage dealer locator tool on this Web site to find a professional near you, or contact customer service at (418) 227-1181 or toll free at (800) 463-1303.

At Mirage, we want to assure ourselves that our customers receive the Peace of Mind they deserve. Product and service excellence is our commitment to you.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 12:08PM
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Flooring bought over the internet, can be very easily inspected by a representative, commissioned by the retailer or manufacturer. Happens everyday.

Who recently bought Anderson!!! That scare tactic policy will soon be changed.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 9:56PM
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Excerpted from the Tarkett Warranty PDF: "Only Tarkett wood floors purchased thru Authorized Dealers are backed by this warranty. Floors purchased over the internet are not backed by the manufacturers warranty".

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:54PM
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"Freight issues If you purchase your hardwood flooring through the Internet you will be responsible for verifying the goods to ensure that they are not damaged or warped. This can be quite an endeavor for non-experienced customers. Furthermore, if the goods are damaged and a claim needs to be filed for replacement, the delivery company will likely contest the claim and attempt to prove that the issue is not their fault. In all, a lot of time, aggravation and extra cost could result."

Freight companies rarely contest claims. They just don't pay (as much) if the product is shipped in a lower class. I suppose that is one form of being contested. Customers should not be responsible for handling freight issues, but I have noticed one or two smaller online companies (in this business) put the responsibility on the consignee (person who receives the merchandise) Frankly I dont see how they can survive!

The major online companies handle freight damage. Its not like the customer gets ten boxes of damaged flooring and they are supposed to handle it. If the damaged shipment has been noted properly with the driver before he leaves, the seller has what they need to file a claim. They file the claim, not the customer. What has bothered me in the past is people do not follow directions or read polices! Im just as guilty on occasion with stuff in general but only blame myself.

Lets say happy Harriet gets some damaged merchandise and she depends on the driver (not the procedure) to make notes on the delivery receipt. The driver doesnt care. He has other places to go. He scribbles down something like "damaged" Not a whole lotta good that will do anybody including Harriet! Also every now and then the buyer may not be there to receive the shipment. Instead, a friend, neighbor etc is there. Often they dont know what to do if there are problems because nobody told them and the buyer/consignee is unavailable.

When the seller gets a copy of the delivery receipt, usually online within 24 hours, they dont know whats going on because Harriet didnt follow procedures. The damaged merchandise replacements will take longer to verify, ship, and receive. The seller has to satisfy Harriet, because they dont want her going to eponions online or the BBB spreading the word this company is awful, dishonest and so forth.

Online companies eat a lot of this stuff, trust me. We all want great customer service but that kind of service cant be expected if the buyer doesnt put a little extra time in on their end insuring everything will go well. It doesnt take much effort if youre organized.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Tarkett was bought out by who?? Shaw owns Anderson now, so you know that stance will change and realy can't be enforced.

You make it, you sell it wholesale, you have to place a warranty on the product as a federal law. The warranties can't change, because it was sold by retail, who purchased wholesale. This is a scare tactic, local retail estblishments have put on the manufacturers & distributors. Once a long time ago, local distributors would and could sale wholesale to the public, if they wanted the product. Retailers sold an installed product, and made their mark up on that. The retailers pitched a Bi... and threatened loss of their business if the distributors kept selling directly to the public. Then they made it so individual installers and tradesmen, could no longer buy from distributors. It all had to go through the retailer. The last to make this was the wood flooring distributors, as the carpet retailers, got into prefinished wood flooring.

Local retailers are losing market share and sales to the power of the internet. I can buy Mirage on-line, and have it shipped to my door, with full warranty. It is so easy.

On-line retailers are legit, retailers. They buy directly from the manufacturers wholesale, and resale with a mark-up to make a profit and stay in business.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:51AM
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This is how bamboo is marketed on a very large internet site that shall remain nameless:

Bamboo Basics
As a flooring product, the benefits of bamboo are unbelievable. Given its hardness, durability, beauty, and environmental friendliness, bamboo is a simple, sensible alternative in a complicated world.
Strength and Durability
When you think about a thin bamboo cane, it might seem almost flimsy. But in comparison to Red Oak, the most commonly installed wood flooring, it is actually 25% harder and just as strong. Bamboo is even harder than Rock Maple, making it an incredibly durable, impact-resistant form of flooring. Better still, it expands and contracts 50% less than other hardwoods. As a result, bamboo can be used in homes and in climates where high humidity or temperature variations make hardwoods impractical.

This is the testimony of a very disappointed customer:

I purchased bamboo flooring from [well known internet site] for its advertised durability. What a farce! I have beautiful, unscratched oak over most of my house, but within weeks of installation (in a low-traffic room) the bamboo looked like it had been through a war. [well known internet site] advertises this product as 25% HARDER than oak, yet when I sent them pictures of the damage (deep gouges) to my new floors they refused to stand behind it. Their response was - too bad, not covered by the warranty.
They also refused to answer basic questions about installation, instead referring me to a new customer service rep several times until I finally reached an answering machine who never returned my call.
I will not shop there again, and I would HIGHLY recommend anyone considering bamboo to choose a different product unless you like the "distressed" look!

Here is an excerpt of Consumer Reports take on bamboo:

Flooring: Bamboo (a fast-growing grass), cork (made from tree bark), and linoleum (made from linseed oil and wood or cork products) are all considered eco-responsible alternatives to petroleum-based vinyl flooring and slow-growing hardwoods like oak. But, while cork or bamboo flooring are greener options, ShopSmart tests showed that they may not wear or keep their colors well. For a natural, resilient and least-pricy green flooring option, choose sunlight- and dent-resistant linoleum, which starts around $4 per square foot.

This excerpt from another informational that is not trying to sell you something:

Tipster Brad installed a bamboo floor and says "The environmental benefits are great, but the flooring itself is awful". We have had mixed experiences with it ourselves and decided to look more closely.
Before we look at the environmental issues, let's look at its utility- is it all it is cracked up to be? One of the major benefits touted by vendors is how hard and tough it is. Its Not. The popular carbonized darker bamboos are comparable to Black Walnut, considered a soft hardwood, and the lighter natural colours test comparable to maple. (colour is achieved not by staining but by heating, and the longer it heats the softer it gets) It is like any wood floor- it is damaged by dents, scratches and the killer of all wood floors, high heels. Jazzy aluminum oxide finish or not, it is a natural material that should not be marketed as being harder or more durable than conventional wood flooring.

The lesson: It is very hard to get a straight story from internet flooring retailers. They are trying to lead you into buying the type of flooring where they have the highest profit margin. Never research your product on any site that wants to sell you something and my best advice take-it-or-leave-it, DON'T BUY FLOORING ONLINE!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:52AM
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Tarkett was just bought out by an investment group. Same sort of group that ran Hoboken into the ground.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:30PM
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excerpted from Mannington Mills' website.

At Mannington Mills, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality flooring and best service in the industry. In order to protect that mission, our products are sold through a network of authorized Mannington dealers in the United States and Canada. To that end, we have become aware of a growing number of consumers who have had unsatisfactory experiences as a result of purchasing flooring via the Internet.

The Internet is a useful tool for researching companies and the products they make. Mannington's website, for example, offers product information as well as a state-of-the-art room visualizer to assist in the flooring selection process. However, when it comes to the purchase, there is no substitute for personal, professional service and installation. Flooring is substantial investment, and we highly recommend that consumers purchase flooring from a local Mannington retailer in order to get the best service both during and after the sale.

We urge you to consider the following points before you make a Mannington flooring purchase:
1. Professional installation is key to the long-term performance of your Mannington floor, and key to your satisfaction. The number one cause of consumer dissatisfaction with flooring performance and appearance is poor installation. Mannington retailers have access to a network of professional installers who are proficient in installing all of our flooring products.
2. Mannington cannot and will not guarantee that flooring purchased over the internet is 'first-quality'. Only first-quality merchandise is covered by Mannington's product warranty. Keep in mind that a price that seems "too good to be true" probably is exactly that too good to be true.
3. Finally, please consider more than just price when selecting a new floor. Consider the value of advice from trained salespeople; the beauty of professional installation; and the peace of mind knowing that you have a local businessperson to call on with any future questions about your

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 6:05PM
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"On-line retailers are legit, retailers"

Not from my view. I did some research a few months back on Kahrs trying to find every conceivable way to search if 12 online companies were actual authorized dealers/retailers. From corporate names to addresses. Only 2 of 12 passed the test. Look at the websites, do any show an actual showroom?

"They buy directly from the manufacturers wholesale, and resale with a mark-up to make a profit and stay in business."

Nope...well some smaller manufacturers but not the major brands. You are badly misinformed sir.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 8:03AM
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First of all, Luvhaight and Forgotten have you both disclosed each of your personal credentials so as to give everyone insight into what might be fueling your own arguments?

Secondly, beware of blanket statements such as "They use tricks and deception to peddle inferior goods." I produce high quality flooring products and I sell to a few very highly respected internet flooring companies. Floorguy is right, they buy in wholesale direct from manufacturers and sell via the internet at usually lower cost than brick and mortar stores because they have lower overhead. I'm sure some buy products of their own and private label them but I don't see how this makes them evil.

Thirdly, please someone define for me "legit retailer".

Fourthly, there are some highly respected companies out there who also do a large portion of their sales via internet.

Sounds to me like there are some people who are just worried about change. The status quo is being threatened and that is terrifying to some. Buying flooring via the internet poses the same risks/rewards as buying anything else on the internet. Just use common sense and do some background checking into who you are buying from.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 12:11PM
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"Buying flooring via the internet poses the same risks/rewards as buying anything else on the internet."

Nobody who really knows flooring would agree with the above statement. No, flooring is not just like anything else you might buy on the internet. It's not like a DVD or a set of bath towels.
Flooring has it's own unique set of characterstics and Idiosyncrasies that are often overlooked in the internet buying process.

The question of this thread is whether or not to buy flooring over the internet. It is my honest opinion that it is not the best way to buy flooring. Of course those who are involved in selling flooring products over the internet are going to tell you it's a great idea--is this a surprise?

It wasn't long ago that many folks thought that buying groceries on-line was going to be the wave of the future. Well as it turned out many folks, after experimenting with this way of buying, found that they prefer to shop for groceries the old fashion way, where they can squeeze the fruits, see all the variety, smell the aromas, etc.

This is the same reason that shopping for flooring on-line will always be a small percentage of the way people buy flooring. Folks want and need that tactile experience and to be able to see the actual products and compare. Many folks also enjoy being able to talk with a flooring expert face to face. This is just human nature.

This is why many internet only stores have failed and why others are opening traditional brick and mortar locations. I don't think that all of the on-line flooring companies are evil, they just have an inferior way of doing business.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 1:35PM
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Do you have a link to these do not buy our stuff off the internet pages? Or are you a copy, edit and paste type of guy.

Mannington, make seconds??? LOL!!! Have you ever been to Manningtons mill and see what they do with bad boards? They are not bundled and sold as seconds. They don't leave the mill. Now, if you were talking about seconds in the same breath as Bruce, I may agree.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Companies online reputations scrubbed cleanPosted: Tuesday, September 11 at 05:00 am CT by Bob Sullivan
Most savvy consumers would never do business with an unfamiliar company without first running a quick Internet background check. Ten seconds on Google can ward off months of irritation. Negative reviews and news stories about companies are easy to find, and can persuade a buyer to beware.

But that strategy might not always work. Companies are now hiring search engine optimization firms to fight back against their Google-given reputations. Recently, Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, was the target of one such "make the negative story disappear" campaign.

DONE! SEO (search engine optimization) is a Manhattan Beach, Calif., company that says it can improve any company's search engine results ranking. But on its "search engine reputation management" page, it promises quite a bit more, saying it can make negative stories and comments go away.

"Our Search Engine Reputation Management strategy is very simple: Displace -- push down -- the negative listings with favorable ones and ones that you can control or influence," it says. "DONE! SEO helps make sure that your company and key executives are being portrayed favorably online by burying the negatives and maintaining a positive online image."

The DONE! SEO Web site lists six particularly troublesome "problem sites." Among them is, the Internet arm of Consumers Union.

"Having a listing on that shows up on the first page of Google for a search for your company name can be devastating to your business," it says.

ConsumerWebWatch director Beau Brendler was not amused when he found the site.

"Trying to make a buck by burying legitimate information that consumers can use to make a decision, that's a problem," Brendler said. "If everybody games the system, then search engines will become not much more than yellow pages."

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:42AM
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I did tons of research on this topic 2 years ago when I had hardwood put in the downstairs of my home. In the end, no online retailer could beat the local price of the wood I chose.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 3:05PM
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I disagree - this has been our experience:
We started with local retailers - we narrowed our search to Cumaru, Brazilian Cherry, or Br. Mahogony. We didn't care about brand name at first. Our first shipment of 1200 sq ft from local retailer # 1 was of poor quality and was actually accepted back by the manufacturer at no cost or shipping to us or the retailer. We then tried retailer #2 for a Cumaru floor that was more like the sample we had. This time we only ordered 1 box. The box arrived and was better in quality but not expected color. Then we turned our focus to Br. Mahogany once we determined that was the correct color and look for our house/furniture. We found samples for Muskoka at our local stores - but the prices were very high. We looked online and found the same product for 35% less the local retail price. Plus no sales tax so the savings were substantial. We placed our order with Hosking Hardwood. I even called Muskoka directly to confirm availability. Turns out the 3 1/4" product was out of stock at the mill and wouldn;t be available for 6-8 weeks. But they did have 3 other width's of the same product at the mill in stock. I called back Hoskings and they confirmed the same thing the Mill told us - in fact we talked to the same person. So in the end we placed our order with Hoskings for the 3" Muskoka Br. Mahogany floor and will save a bundle. We also have our local independent installer lined up and he is the tops locally. TO be fair - My only concern is the shipping - so I will post a follow up to honestly show the outcome - but I am a finance guy - and to me buying 1200 sq ft of hardwood flooring was like buying furniture or jewelry - some of the highest retail mark-ups I have ever seen. This was the best way to cut through that - and if this works I have a hard time seeing how the existing hardwood floor industry model will not evolve over the next 5 to 10 years to reflect this. . . So far 2 thumbs up for both Muskoka and Hosking's - by the way Hoskings is listed as a registered retailer on Muskoka's website.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 12:35AM
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I did a search on "complaints on hardwood flooring internet purchases" and found a lot of complaints about many of the online suppliers mentioned on this board as being "great" to order from! Search in and you can find other places if you Google a search on dissatified customers online hardwood flooring. I'm now NOT going to order from the internet. So far most of the quotes I've researched online are not that much lower then local buying to risk the problems I've read about with the online ordering.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:41PM
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I just recently purchased 1500sq ft of unfinished Jatoba from The web site looks generic so I was very cautious. I sent an e-mail and got a call back from guy (Ben) in Houston and he sent me to a warehouse by the airport (IAH) to look at a sample. The samples looked nice but the warehouse is not even theirs so I asked to see the actual product I would be purchasing. They would not let me in the warehouse because because of some post-911 security regulation. I continued to talk to Ben and since I was not a business they would only accept a cashier's check made out to them and I was to drop it off with the clerk at the warehouse who is unaffiliated with thefloorwarehouse. Can you say RED FLAG! I talked to Ben again, told him his web site looked generic/suspicious and that he couldn't possibly expect me to drop off a cashier's check for $4000 without ever actually seeing anything more than a couple of strips of wood. I then called the warehouse clerk and explained that I felt the rip-off coming! She thought it was funny (but understood) and agreed to let me see the wood. To cut to the chase, I was allowed in the warehouse with an escort. I saw the wood, dropped off the check and had it delivered to Tulsa OK for pick up at the truck terminal there. It is now installed and is absolutely beautiful. So, I don't know about others' experiences with thefloorwarehouse but they did me right on some beautiful Jatoba. I bought some unfinished because installation prices are not bad in Oklahoma. The best deal seemed to be on their solid Jatoba pre-finished. I think the point is WHEREVER you buy your product, exercise due diligence. I felt like the fool who was soon to be seperated from my money but did internet research, made several points of contact, put my hand on the product, and ensured ALL paperwork was accurate.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 6:05PM
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I know the guy behind that company. It's really hit or miss. The website is kinda scary looking and I know he does not have that much flooring experience. Be careful, they have two types of prefinished Brazilian Cherry; the good stuff and the bad stuff. They even mention it on the site...

"Yes, it's the good stuff"

I'm pleased you had a very good experience!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 7:59AM
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"So in the end we placed our order with Hoskings for the 3" Muskoka Br. Mahogany floor and will save a bundle."

I just visited the site--Wow, I can't believe you paid that much for the Muskoka. I know a number of retail stores where you could have purchased the same for much less.

You seem a little bit overly enthused for someone who has already paid too much and hasn't even received his product yet.

Hopefully your wood will be what you expected (also not damaged)and you won't need to send it back like you did your first order--with the internet guys this will be much more of a hassle.

Your recommendation would be a little more credible if you hadn't paid so much for the wood and it would have been much more meaningful if you had waited until you actually had received your product.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 1:19PM
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That is actually a very good price,(You searched and searched a price match) since your not going to find dealer pricing like luvhaight, can.

luvhaight has an agenda. He is a flooring retailer, with their business being hurt, by on-line sales, or can't you tell!!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 7:35PM
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Hey, as long as you think you got a good price who am I to argue otherwise. People will do all kinds of crazy things to think they are saving money and if they think they are saving who am I to interfere with their perception of reality, since they may be happy paying more as long as they aren't aware that there was a better way.

The bottom line is that if buying your hardwood flooring online causes you to think you are saving money Go for it!
It truly is no skin off my nose.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2007 at 1:43PM
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This is a follow-up to my previous post. I can now say my online purchase from Hosking Hardwood was a success. I ordered 1200sq ft of 3" Br. Mahogany. Every thing went as planned. The order was shipped straight from the factory - not even a distributer on two pallets and was shrink wrapped. all boxes were unopened with and no shipping damage. The wood is gorgeous and will fit great in our existing home. Shipper was Yellow Freight company. They provided 1-800 number and tracking number just like UPS does. I did save a ton. My price was 5.53/sq ft + reasonable shipping. No sales tax. This compares to 8.98 and up locally at retailers (plus shipping and sales tax) You do the math - a substantial savings. I did order over the phone and even called Muskoka in Canada directly to confirm availability. I originally wanted 3.25" but they would take 6-8 weeks from factory. Hoskings only had 400sq feet in stock so I went with 3" and it looks great. There was a downside though. Residential deliveries are not the core business of Yellow and other big freight companies - having said that they did do a good job. The driver did help to unload the boxes (1 by 1) to me which I loaded onto a rolling cart and pushed into my garage - I then had to move all boxes inside to acclimate (60boxes x 80lbs each) yes a workout. But I am young/in shape and could do it. But definately not everyone. The other option would be to contract with a local delivery company for additional costs for inside delivery. I also took a risk on the look of the wood. Luckily it was perfect for our house - and yes it was darker and slightly different from the samples - but pretty close - nother like the problems we had with Cumaru from local retailers earlier. If the wood had to be returned for any reason other than shipping damage, for example - color, etc - there was a steep restocking fee - So there is a definate trade-off you take in order to save the money. However - I am not sure I wouldn't incur the same restocking fees even if ordered from local retailer - they still would have had to order from factory for this, etc. . . Sorry to rant - but I did want to document a success story. As you can see this was an option that had inherent risks - but I was well informed, completed my due diligence, and was willing to accept the risks in order to reep the substantial savings. I would also note that I too was not comfortable ordering from just any online store( I rulled out lumber liquidators and Ifloor, etc.) Hoskings, and there are others too were an actuall retailer, listed on Muskoka's own website, and were very professsional to work with. Anyways, that was my experience - Now I need to get my local installer in here to finish the job - :)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 7:54PM
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In the real world I can't imageine any mfctr of major distributor actually talking to a consumer inquiring about inventory etc etc. Distributors and mfctrs and not set up to discuss things with a consumer. I'm glad your experience was so nice but its not the norm. I know that in my years with Mohawk and Armstrong, many times consumers may have called to find out the Mohawk name for a home depot name etc or called to deal with a problem, but the dealer is our customer, and we just referred them back to a retailer.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 12:35AM
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"In the real world I can't imageine any mfctr of major distributor actually talking to a consumer inquiring about inventory etc etc."

If a customer knows the right things to say, some do. I've had it happen on several ocassions. People actually knowing more than I. Of course this will not happen with Gorillas such as Armstrong or Mohawk. More so with the smaller manufacturers that still have a grasp on customer service. I too am glad of a good story. Jeff is a good man to work with.

One downside to residential deliveries could also be the mood of the drivers. Some can be lazy while others very helpful. Not everyone lives a happy life.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 7:24AM
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fr33fall35, I don't want to burst your bubble but from my standpoint you paid way too much for this product online and you have had to do way too much extra effort.

Others who don't know better or who have a vested interest in seeing product sold over the internet may tell you otherwise. You can choose to listen to who you wish. The bottom line if you are happy and THINK you got a good deal then that's the most important thing.

Enjoy your new floor!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 2:01PM
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luvhaight - no your not bursting my bubble. I know I got a good deal, yes there was effort involved, but my other options were local retailers and my previous postings show their large mark-ups I was quoted for the same product. So how is it that I paid "too" much at 5.53/sq ft as a consumer??? Remember - I am not a retailer, installer, or wholesaler - just a consumer - so if a lower price is available - I doubt it was available to me. By my calculations I paid $7,021 (1200sq ft + 385 shipping) total compared to lowest of local retail quotes of $12,053 ($8.98 + $385 shipping + 8% tax) Also the 8.98 was the lowest local retail offer, on the high side was a price of 10.68 for the same product. So no - you didn't burst my bubble - and I am not trying to burst yours either - but I did want to make it known that there are less expensive ways for a consumer to purchase the exact same product as the local retailers offer for a substantial savings. Extra effort - yes. Potential risk - yes. Was it worth it to me - you bet - $5,000 savings and all I had to do extra was move the boxes into my house. If I didn't want to do any extra work - I could have hired some help to unload and move the boxes inside for lets say $200. I still would have saved a significant amount. So luvhaight - if lower prices exist - then my local retailers must really be trying to fleece their local customers . . . If the price was right, or if the price to added value was there - I would support my local retailer - but the problem is there is no value add. I already have contracted with the best local installer there is - installation is the most important part in my option.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 3:14PM
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fr33fall35-Hey you did the best you could and your happy so it is really not that big of a deal if you could have saved another $600.00 or so with less effort. Besides I don't have all the details..perhaps you live in Alaska.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 4:58PM
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Hey FR33FALL35, A couple of weeks ago I ordered 1400 SQ' of Kahrs flooring from Hosking hardwood and I am also an extremely satisfied customer. Customer service was 5 star, they didn't even carry the one I wanted but found it for me and had it shipped to me within 5 days of purchase and that was with a weekend in between. Yellow frieght did a great job, all the boxes were in good shape. I like you know that I got a GREAT price as I looked around the shops here and the price was about half as much so even with shipping I got a better deal. I would not hesitate to use them again for any of my flooring needs!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 4:09PM
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We bought a little over 1000 sq.ft. of Mannington hardwood from ifloor in the summer of 2005. Had great customer service over the phone and from the net. We started out to buy local but found the online source for what we wanted had such a great deal and were offering $89 shipping to our garage. Buying online saved us enough money to make it affordable to do much more of our house than initially planned. The wood was delivered the day the trucking company promised, the guy unloaded it where I wanted it, and I followed ifloor's instructions and opened each box right then to check contents. (see link for pictures)

I think buying local can be good, especially if you haven't done your research and need a lot of hand-holding and visual aids, plus, it's good for the merchants. But if you have what you want well in mind, have talked to the vendor over the phone and know their policies, you can really score on the price. As it happens, we had already checked out a dozen floor samples to try in our own home, before I ever even thought about looking online, so we had picked our floor. We did our own install, so knew the warranty issues involved, but felt that the install money we saved would offset our amount of risk.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Redbazel, I'm so confused? fr33fall3says:
"I would also note that I too was not comfortable ordering from just any online store( I rulled out lumber liquidators and Ifloor, etc.) Hoskings, and there are others too were an actuall retailer, listed on Muskoka's own website, and were very professsional to work with..."
You indicate that Ifloor is the place to go....? This thread is really not all that helpful.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Well, I'm sorry you're confused, luvhaight. But the differing opinions concerning online flooring retailers is pretty normal in today's world. I went to a new restaurant 2 weeks ago with my daughter. We had a short wait for a table, great and helpful service, and the food was pretty good for the type of restaurant. A friend ate there last week and liked it for much the same reasons we did. But a co-worker went there and gave it 2 thumbs down. Why? She had a long wait, she said the service was bad and the food was iffy. Did she just go at the wrong time of day, draw a tired server, and get the second string cook? Or is she just critical and hard to please? Time will tell. A good place may occasionally have bad service. A bad place may sometimes put out an outstanding product. That works with restaurants, car repair businesses, local flooring stores, and online establishments too.
So, read through the reviews, think about the answers, think about how much risk you are willing to take to save some money. Make sure that you ARE saving money. If the local retailer will stand behind the sale, he may be your best course of action. And don't feel bad about being confused. Making big decisions is hard. And there are no guarantees, whether you use "Rick" from ifloor, or "Harvey" from "Harvey's Floor Mart".


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 1:00AM
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Great advice--I don't know why I didn't think of those things myself--you should write a book. I especially liked this part of your advice, "think about how much risk you are willing to take to save some money," it adds a bit of suspense and intrigue to the whole buying process.

I'll try not feeling too bad about being confused. I just wish I had the confidence of "customer" like you who seeks out website threads to share with others less gifted your valuable advice.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 12:49PM
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What a sweet thing to say! Thank you.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 2:02AM
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Just thought I'd document my experiences for those still searching...

We're trying to stick to a very tight budget, and my past experiences buying online have been overwhelmingly positive (a few disappointments, but I always pay with a CC), so after extensive bricks and mortar and online shopping, I decided I was willing to take the risk to buy online. I read this thread and several others on GardenWeb, and searched for online complaints and compliments on other sites. Of course, I also researched a variety of different internet sellers and I found a fair number of mixed reviews. Based on those reviews, I crossed several internet sellers off my list of possibilities, and eventually narrowed it down to two online sellers and one bricks & mortar store: Hosking Hardwoods and BuildDirect online, and Floor & Decor Outlets (bricks & mortar). My personal opinions and experiences were:

- Lumber Liquidators - There's a store fairly close to us, so that was one of the first places we looked. They had a good variety of different woods, but the prices weren't as good as I thought they would be. They had some nice-looking wood in their own 'Bellawood' line, but below that, their quality seemed to drop off much more quickly than their prices. And their super-duper advertised prices - the ones that get your attention - all seem to be for 'odd lots', which are other company's 'rejects'. They also have a lot of the super-thin (5/16's") stuff that I just can't see using, even on a tight budget. As I got discouraged searching, I kept coming back here trying to make something work -- it just didn't. It appears you could have price or quality there - not both together. And their reviews aren't so hot...

- The Big Boxes - A decent selection of inexpensive, lower end stuff at HD, with some very attractive-looking (but suspect-quality) veneer on HDF click-lock boards. The Thomasville samples looked fabulous! From a distance... Lowes had a lot of big brands and fewer 'house brand' specials, but the prices didn't compare to the same things online - even with a 20% off sale plus a 10% off coupon.

- Hosking Hardwoods - Great website. Very informative, easy to navigate, with a comprehensive list of wood-flooring resources and a large selection of major manufacturers to choose from. One feature I found particularly useful was a grading scale that rated the different flooring lines in terms of quality. While I know it's just one person's not-unbiased opinion, I found the information very helpful in comparing the relative merits of "This manufacturer's That line" to "That manufacturer's This line" - a pretty overwhelming task. Their policies and prices were easy to find and understand, were in line with or more generous than most other online sites, and customer service, when I spoke with them, was helpful and knowledgeable.

- BuildDirect - Another very nice website and a reputable company out of Canada. A decent variety of flooring products, but not familiar American brands. I suspect they put their own brand names on most, if not all of their products, but the samples I got from them were very nice, and the prices were very, very competitive. I know they've been in business for a while, and their online reputation seems to be excellent for a seller with their kind of volume. Had I gone with an 'exotic' species, that's definitely where I'd have gone. The drawback? Large minimum order quantities.

- Floor & Decor Outlets - A bricks & mortar warehouse-type store with a good variety of mainly value-priced flooring products. If you're on a budget and there's one in your city, it's definitely worth the trip - particularly if you're not comfortable buying online. IMO, the quality is not the highest -- but the value at the price point is there. What I particularly liked is that they had a few open boxes of the flooring right there at ground level for the customer to inspect - a real plus when board length or color consistency is a concern.

After looking at everything from these three sellers as well as at a number of other places, we ended up choosing a 3/4" thick prefinished solid white oak from Hosking Hardwoods. Our ordering experience was very easy -- no surprise charges, reasonable freight costs, quick shipping and excellent communication -- essentially, the best kind of online buying experience. The brand is White Mountain, which I believe is their 'house brand'. I felt reasonably comfortable trying it only because of the positive reviews here. But now that I've received the wood, I have to say, the wood looks really, really nice -- much nicer than anything else I've seen in my budget -- (selects & better grade with long average board lengths, even coloration, tight grain, nicely milled) and the price was very, very reasonable ($3.21/SF on special, $3.99 regularly).

I'll update this post once we get it installed -- just wanted to add one person's 'preliminary positive' for buying online. My email is linked (but sometimes goes straight to Spam) if anyone wants to ask me a question directly.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 7:02PM
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You've gotta love the technical analysis of this last post. ie, "the wood looks really nice," "the prices didn't compare," "the quality is not the highest."

You'll notice there is no mention of the finish type or how many coats. There is no concern to where or how the product was manufactured or where the wood was harvested. There was also a complete trust put in whatever the internet seller told him/her about their unbranded product. Advice like this nobody needs.

Here is an excerpt from an article by industry expert Lew Migliore as pertains to buying hardwood flooring:

[The quality issue is one of which to be acutely aware. Wood is a tree cut into boards used on the floor so it will still behave as a tree--expanding and contracting, drying out, cracking, indenting, scratching and discoloring. What you should also understand is the reputable manufactureres that have been around for years and have provided quality products should still be the ones you trust the most. They can control their products and have the experience to provide you with the best materials. What you don't want to buy is wood that has been harvested in another part of the world that is being sawed and finished on a ship while en route to your store. In the zeal to buy at the lowest price you may be getting a deal that pulls you right inot a buzz saw--pun intended--with now recourse when problems arise.]

So it is almost comical when posters on this site tell you that the wood looks nice and they will report back after it is installed so they can let you know what a great product they purchased. I say, why don't you report back in five years and tell us about your hardwood floors massive gapping and cracking. Also you can let us know how your finish is holding up (What finish?). I doubt you'll have the same rosey outlook as you did when you told everyone how satisfied you were with your newly installed "unbranded" flooring and what a pleasant shopping experience you had.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:23PM
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I was all ready to buy my 3" wide quartersawn white oak from an internet supplier, when the mill (Taylor's in Ohio) gave me the name of a local guy (within 90 miles) who sells the same wood from the same mill. The local guy was able to match the price and he will deliver it here himself, so I won't need to be concerned about dealing with the trucking company if the wood arrived damaged.

I'll be installing it myself, and using a tung oil and waterlox finish on it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 12:29PM
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We already know how you feel about it Haight:

"However, even if you decide to buy a brand name product from an internet retailer you are asking for a lot of trouble."

To your specific comments: OK - I'll admit my "the prices didn't compare" statement wasn't very helpful. Of course the prices can be compared! After the 20% super special sale, Lowes' prices were still 20-30% more that the e-tailers. (Sorry I couldn't be more specific, but of course, it varied by product...)

"Don't be fooled, most of these positive comments are written by the internet sales companies themselves. They are very clever when it comes to PR."

- I'm not just 'very clever' -- I've got foresight! And patience! (Having registered here more than 3 years ago JUST to fool people into believing I'm not secretly an internet flooring retailer. But you've outed me...)

"including the way they try to suck you into buying their private label brands (usually cheap products from China). "

- I am certainly willing to believe that most 'house brand' floors may well be manufactured in China or Brazil or Paraguay (particularly the exotic woods), but I doubt my White Oak was harvested illegally from an endangered tropical rainforest and finished on a boat. And might I ask - Where do the 'reputable local dealers' get their exotic woods? (From reputable local tropical forests?)

- You see, the 'house brand' flooring I bought is actually milled in Canada and has a 9-coat finish and a 25-year warranty. This is not just according to the internet seller's site, but ALSO per the small-print insert and labelling on each box of wood. (Which I researched online back to the wholesale level to verify the seller's claims - which checked out to the tiniest detail.)

I'm not suggesting that buying online from the cheapest supplier is the best way to go or even that it's for everyone. There are a LOT of fly-by-night e-tailers out there -- probably far more of them than there are 'good guys'. But I do believe the good guys are out there, and that with due diligence on the part of the buyer, good deals can be found online.

However your question about how my floors will look in five years is valid. But I'm thinking the answer to that question may have more to do with DH's skill as an installer. And I'm betting on him.

But never fear -- I'll let you know ;-)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 3:16PM
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I have not checked the Garden Web on Flooring topics for a long while and surprise to see this thread has grown. I am still in the process of finding wood floor for my house. I do have the same fear of ordering from internet because I have 1200 sq. ft. However, I have gone to all the local retail flooring stores including HD and Lowes. I find out the stores mostly will stock up generic oak wood floors. The store only display sample for all carry brands. If I need a particular brand and species, I still need to put downpayment and they will order for us at RETAIL price and charge some delivery cost shipping from the store to my garage. Again, the store will not be able to show me the product at the time of my decision. The customer makes the order based on the sample plank. The return policy will not valid if you dislike the product and want to return. It is not much different from ordering from internet in terms of 100 percent sure of the product before commit the purchase.

My approach is trying to get samples from the internet company and research the products from internet before any decision on where to make purchase. One thing I am sure is that I will order a brand name floor with trusted quality from an internet flooring company with great research on the company.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:38PM
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I don't know about the 'unbranded' flooring sold online (or elsewhere) but my local retailer, the one I liked the best and who has been in business locally for over 20 years, did recommend the Mannington as a good brand, particularly at the price point we could afford at the time. So, when I finally discovered the online retailers and settled on ifloor, with their selection of the same engineered wood that we had found locally, I called them and asked if my order of Mannington would be the same product that I would get if I ordered from the shop down the street. They assured me that it is the very same thing. That was one of the things that convinced me to give this deal a try.

I just wanted to mention that my local guy, (who I have patronized for lots of other things) told me that once you do a self-install, a lot of your warranty is voided anyway. He also said that in his experience, Mannington is one of the best companies for holding up their end of the warranty business.

And we are right at 4 years on our engineered wood flooring. Probably due to my DH's careful install, aided by son in law and son, the seams are tight, the floors are solid, there is no sponginess or unevenness. The finish, which is protected by weekly sweeping or dustmopping, and a good cleaning with Bona Kemi about once a month, looks like it did the day it was installed. There are maybe 4 dings in my 1000+ square feet. Once is a gash under the bed caused by me trying to move an iron bed by myself. One is a slight dent from a falling ceramic mug. One is a 1" ding caused by DH dropping a ceiling fan box from 11' feet height right onto unprotected wood floor. And one is a little chip from a wrench falling off DH tool belt. That's it. At one point, while family were looking for a new home, we had 5 adults, two dachshunds, and two Golden Retrievers living in this house, all running rampant.

I'm really, really, happy with my wood. And I'm really glad we got a good deal over the net, since the savings tiled and revamped the hall bathroom. But I would also highly recommend the local guy where we finally settled on a Mannington floor. He sent us home with samples so we could check color in our own home. He's close, and he's been super helpful in many ways. I think I would have been very happy with a purchase from him too, but the final total had to be our bottom line this time around.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 1:27PM
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Let me get this straight. You went to your local retailer, picked his brains used his samples, got his recommendations then avoided him and bought online? Isn't that wonderful? In a few yrs when your only choice to pick someones brain is at Home Depot and you might reappraise this advice.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 3:19PM
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Boxers, If I had to give you a straight answer yes or no, I would be compelled to say, Yes. It worked out just like that. There's no getting around the reality of it.

I could tell you that I started out just wanting to do our Kitchen in hardwood. It had curling lino and we NEEDED to get the floor redone. We hadn't even considered the rest of the house, because the carpet was new and we had limited money.
I could tell you that I saw an ad for Lumber Liquidators and kept fussing at DH to take a trip to Sacramento, 3 hours away, to see if they would be cheap enough for us to be able to do this. I might mention that we went into Home Depot and took 30 minutes of the very helpful wood guy's time, talking about types and styles and bevels, finally checking out samples and taking them home to try. We went to Lowes and looked at what they had. We went a few weeks later to most all the hardwood dealers in town, getting info and samples and bringing them home. We finally made the trip to Sacto, and while we picked up some Bellawood samples there, we didn't like the lack of information or attitude of the sales guy there. The store, (small) was jammed with people and he appeared not to much care if he helped anyone. Somewhere over the weeks of thinking, looking, and bringing home little strips of wood samples.......we had been into the store I mentioned, the one we recommended to our friends. Mr. C sold quite a bit of high end Mirage to friends of ours because we told them that he had the best prices, the nicest selection, and the most willingness to help with flooring decisions. Some of my clients at my work found his store (across town from my work) and bought wood from him based on my recommendation. And we spent money in his store too, though, not at that time.

I might mention that we finally decided not to do wood in our kitchen after all. We went with ceramic tile and bought it at a local tile store that had been super helpful when we looked at their wood originally. Then, some months later, we started thinking about wood again, this time for just the master bedroom. We pulled all of our samples out of the closet and tried them out. Since we liked the Mannington, and already knew it fit our budget, I researched Mannington engineered on the net. I found a site that had blow by blow instructions for a DIY install. Then, I found the flooring at ifloor and called DH in to see the price. He went and measured the MBR. A few days later, he told me that he was thinking that, at that price, we might just be able to stretch our funds to do most of the rest of the house. He got measurements, I looked online some more, and finally researched ifloor to see what their customer service scores looked like. We went for it, as I outlined above. So, when we started out, the internet wasn't even involved. We had no idea of doing most of our house. We didn't pick anyone's brain just to see the dendrites scramble. But yes, months later, when we decided to put together the money to do this much bigger job, we bought online, rather than the local guy. And the only people who knew we bought online were the message board community people where I asked for info and floor laying advice. Why? Because most of my friends would think it was a tremendous risk. The only place I don't keep it to myself is here on the board.

I did not intend to pass over our local people when spending my money. My son, who was currently installing laminate for one of the flooring retailers locally, probably could have used the paid work if we had bought from the company he did work for. We also didn't pay our close friend for install, even though he and his guys are some of the best in the area.
He still insisted on coming over and gave us a couple of hours of his time and advice on leveling the slab and starting the lay. My son's best friend was doing wood install for a living and I would have loved to have paid him to do ours. But our money was tight and I couldn't do that either. Sometimes, you can't do what you'd like to do.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 11:04PM
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[However your question about how my floors will look in five years is valid. But I'm thinking the answer to that question may have more to do with DH's skill as an installer. And I'm betting on him.

But never fear -- I'll let you know ;-)]

Sweeby, your assertion that the quality of the installation will have more to do with how the wood looks in five years than the actual quality of the wood is absurd. Most installation problems will be immediately apparent or at least in a relatively short period of time. The quality of the wood and the finish along with your lifestyle will be 95% the determinant factor for how your floor looks in five years time.

Look out DH, sweeby's coming after you if her finish wears off in five years!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:23PM
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We had Mannington pre-engineered hardwood flooring installed in several rooms of our house over eight years ago. It was purchased through a local retailer and installed by hardwood flooring installation professionals. The retailer's cost was expensive, even with an employee discount that a friend of ours who worked for the retailer applied to the order. The flooring has been trampled on by our family of six, along with two inside terriers and a lab, and still looks as new as when it was installed in 2000.

This year we decided to continue the same wood flooring into our bedroom and office so the whole first floor level was all wood. We purchased the SAME Mannington pre-engineered hardwood from HoskingsHardwood on the Internet, at a price that was only a few pennies different than that we got "on discount" from the retailer eight years ago! We found that the HoskingsHardwood Internet site was very thorough and helpful in locating the same flooring, and our telephone calls to the company were handled professionally and quickly when we had questions. The freight cost was minimal, and delivery was made quickly with all boxes arriving in perfect condition. We used the same installation company as before, and when the owner of the company came to give us his bid for the new installation, he raved about how great the older floors looked. The new Internet purchased Mannington wood flooring has been installed, it matches the older wood perfectly, and we saved a considerable amount of money doing it this way, but still got the same quality that we would have if we worked through a local retailer, who, BTW, has this flooring currently selling for more than $2.00 more PSF. When you're buying over 500 SF, that can make a significant difference.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 3:08PM
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Beautiful floors, Nanny!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:08PM
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I've been lurking on this site the last couple weeks as I've been shopping for new floors. This is an interesting topic.

I haven't purchased yet. So far I haven't found anything really amazing online compared to what I see locally. Maybe its because I live in a decent sized city (Portland, OR) so there are plenty of stores to try. Also Oregon doesn't have sales tax so I don't save by buying out of state.

What I'm currently looking for is engineered wood and I'm leaning toward Brazilian Cherry or maybe Amendoim. Lowes has BR111's Brazilian Cherry for $5.99 as their regular price -- this is for the Triangulo series with the thicker wear layer. After reading this thread I checked Hosking Hardwood and they were $5.94 for the exact same product. However, if ordered from Hoskings Hardwood I'd have to pay freight, while I could pick it up with no freight from Lowes and save about $400 compared to Hoskings right off the bat. Lowes also runs 20 percent off sales just about every other week for special order flooring and they currently have it this week. That saves me about another $750 so I'm about $1000 cheaper ordering from Lowes compared to Hosking's site. I checked out FastFloors and they didn't list the price of this product online. Out of curiosity I tried a Bruce Laminate Park Avenue I previously was considering before looking at engineered wood and it was about $240 less after shipping than a local flooring store a mile away from my home. Not worth it considering the site seemed kind of sketchy with a "after rebate" price. I hate mail in rebates if that's what that is.

I'm not posting this because I'm anti-online shopping. Its true I'd rather support a local merchant over a box store or an online merchant even if I pay an extra hundred or two for a project this size. If I see savings more than that I'd probably go for it. So far I just haven't seen the savings from online stores (at least ones that look reputable) for the products I happen to have priced so far. I guess the bottom line is one person may have saved somewhere one place for what they wanted, but that doesn't mean that you will too. Options are nice so are their other good choices online?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 3:17AM
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Your floors look great in the pictures. Ifloor is running a pretty good sale right now and hubby and I are thinking about doing the whole house. I am calling the Houston Ifloor to see what all we need to do to order the flooring. With prices this low we can hire a professional also to install them. What type of underlayment did you use? Thanks

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 1:16AM
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Kathyjb...........My DH and son installed our Mannington hardwood over concrete slab. He did a lot of prep work on the slab first, since it had some cracks and needed leveling. They used the Mannington glue for most of the rooms, (We did DR, LR, Hallways, and MBR) which has it's own moisture barrier as it dries. In my bedroom we were out of Mannington glue so bought Bosticks. Two of our good friends are flooring contractors and do a lot of hardwood all over the state, so they gave us some good advice and guidelines to get this job done. 4 years later, we only have 3 dings in our floors, all from dropped heavy objects. There are very few scratches and the finish is beautiful. There are no soft spots either. We are so happy we did this. The only thing that really created any angst at all, was choosing the right trim for thresholds and around the fireplace brick.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:34PM
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nanny2A and redbazel, both of your Mannington floors are just gorgeous. Thank you for both for sharing. I was very impressed with the sample I had here of their wood.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:55PM
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Most urethane adhesives do have moisture barrier properties. The thing is it is applied with a notched trowel. The notching scrape the concrete so barely any film at all is in the combing of the adhesive. Only the ridges left have enough membrane build to be considered moisture vapor barrier. If you can build at least a 30 to 40 mil flat and consistent build coating with the adhesive, It would have a good perm rating. Trowel notching makes that high perm rating plummet to nothing. That is why most manufacturers of adhesive sell a moisture barrier coating, that goes under the adhesive bed, to build the thickness of the coating, to do any good. The adhesive alone and the way it is applied, is not a moisture barrier.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 10:03AM
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I bought #1 common R&Q red oak unfinished directly from the manufacturer in September 05. Planks were 3-7" wide and 1'-8' long. The price was great at $3.30/sf delivered ( by a national LTL carrier) and nothing was damaged in delivery. But...

The milling quality and moisture control was sloppy. Too many planks were off specified milling sizes by 1/32" up to a big 1/16" in width. Install a plank like this and you have a noticeble gap right off the bat. Too many planks had moisture contents above 10%, with some at 14% and a some at 6%. 8-10% was what I was looking for at my location. I checked with my Wagner moisture meter, but with experience you get a pretty good feel for density and moisture content just by picking up a board.

So why didn't I just return all the bad material to the supplier? Well, this was a DIY with a limited time frame and limited storage area. I didn't really have time to check all the boards for specs., send them back, and wait 3-4 days for replacements. Also, when you stack or rake the various widths you have a lot more complexity with installing a variable width floor and you don't find all the bad boards until you are putting them down. So I did the best I could and tried to use the bad boards in non-traffic locations and this did slow down the install. I do have a few 1/16" gaps in the floor that have been there since day 1.

While many posters have mentioned the need to flag materials damaged by a freight carrier, it is much more time consuming (and difficult) to find subtle manufacturing defects. There is some value in having a local and readily available source of material when problems arise, especially for the DIY install. Of course, with specialty woods or cuts, the local source may also be limited with today's JIT/inventory control/cost savings mantra.

If I do it again, I will have a written contract with whomever I purchase from that will specify what happens in the event of bad material. I will also look harder for manufacturers who have very tight quality control in width and moisture content. I will also pay more for a quality supplier.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Nany2A, which species of Mannington Hardwood Flooring did you choose and what is the stain on it? What size plank width is your beautiful floor?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Off the most recent topic but somebody asked who I was several months ago when I attempted to report the real deal with internet sales of hardwood. I'm a guy that was a regular contribuitor to this board in it's early days...back in '98 or so. I started my own site in 2002 that is now banned from here...why I dunno..spike says I'm a spammer, but it was an honest mistake when the site went from pure informational to web sales.

For those that may understand, some existing links that were shown here suddenly had ads on them to buy stuff. I suppose this was when I was declared a spammer. In any event that's who I am. And the site hint is hardwood __ __ I don't need the traffic just wanted a chance to tell my side of the story.

Incidentally the site is now informational only again. Thanks folks!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:22PM
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I know that we will be buying Bruce Park Ave laminate flooring in the next month or so. We went to a local flooring place (Abbey Total Floor and Rug) and spent time with the sales person and selected this flooring.

Now, thanks to Garden Web, I have discovered that I can order flooring over the internet. I am strongly considering Hoskings and True Hardwoods (thanks bradley). Their pricing is less than 50% less than the cost of my local flooring store!!! That difference is quite significant in my book.

So, I am wondering if I can ask the local flooring place if they can match or atleast come near to the internet price. Any thoughts on this? THe price savings is very hard to ignore since I am ordering a quantity that would give us a savings of a couple thousand dollars.

I will note that the local sales guy (a very long time sales person too) was not helpful when it came to telling us how to install this floor. In fact, he gave us completely wrong advice. My DH questioned his thinking and this guy continued to insist that he was right. So, I want to use a local guy, but he was very wrong in this area and he will be quite a bit more expensive.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:37PM
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ma-bookreader, I am wondering which Bruce Park Avenue are you choosing? I love the Prado the best but it is darker than my furniture. My second favorite is the Makore (which is African Cherry) but it is so close in color to my cherry furniture but is mostly brown in the sample I have and I wish it had a touch more red in it. I love the Exotic Walnut but it may be too wild for my home office and it does not go with my cherry furniture.

I am still going back and forth with either going with the Bruce Laminate due to having 4 little dogs or going with an Engineered Wood that I could like. All the species of wood I love seems to be too close of a match with my desk but not exactly so it may clash. I think I need to go lighter than my desk but I can't figure out what to do. Most of the laminates a re so fake looking to me but the Bruce Park Avenue looks so real. I love the gloss finish but I wish it was semi-gloss instead of high gloss. I still prefer a gloss over a Matt look. My part-time employee picked the Makore as her favorite out of several samples of Engineered wood and a few samples of Laminate and told me the two other company's laminates looked fake. She had no idea that it was not real wood so I felt that was good. Her second favorite was Landmax Doussie which I LOVE but it matches my desk so closely I fear it will look like my credenza and L-shape desk are on the floor with no contrast. I am trying to like oak but I seem to only like Oak when it is in a solid wood with a quartersawn cut that I can't have due to my cement floor and it is too costly for me to add a subfloor and may not be good anyway due to the moisture in my area.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 10:48PM
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I plan to buy the Makore. The Prado is just too dark for my kitchen. Also, on the kitchen forum, the topic of dark hardwood flooring was recently discussed and many noted that it requires more maintenance (sweeping - esp for those that have pet hair). I also wish it came in semi gloss or even matte. I am worried about the upkeep of a glossy floor, but from what I understand, laminate is the easiest floor to keep clean. I sure hope so!!

Also, everyone who has seen my sample thinks that it is wood. (and I don't always correct them. :-) )
I think that it has a bit or orange/red in it, but maybe that is just me. Or maybe the sample you have just show the brown tone and not the other tones. There is another post in the flooring section of GW where brutuses has posted his recently laid Makore floor. That my be helpful to you.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:02AM
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ma-bookreader, if the floor does have a bit of orange/red tint to it, I would be very happy since it does look nice in my home office two rooms and my family room and does not change color with the sun. I do love Brutuses floor. I am hoping one of he samples is another Makore to put next to mine to give me a better idea. I also like that it is easy to install or so it says.

The Exotic Wood finish would look wonderful in my family room but does not go in my home office. Yes, the Pradoo is beautiful and the color I love but too dark for my furniture.

My fear of the exotic engineered species I seem to fall in love with, is that they darken with sun exposure so that would mean the front of my office would get read dark while the back of the office behind the half a wall high that has no window will look like a lighter different color.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 12:30AM
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For all of you who scoffed at my warnings about buying flooring over the internet:

IFLOOR, INC. files for chapter 11 bankruptcy
On December 04, 2008, IFLOOR, INC. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing an estate with assets of $1MM - $100MM and liabilities of $1MM - $100MM. The filer is being represented by Mark D Northrup.

Access to every docket item and document filed in the bankruptcy of IFLOOR, INC. is available online with Below is a sampling of filings, for access to the entire docket, subscribe now:

Dec-04-2008, Schedules List of Creditors Holding 20 Largest Unsecured Claims. Filed by Mark D Northrup on behalf of iFLOOR, Inc.. (Northrup, Mark) (Entered: 12/04/2008)
Dec-04-2008, Receipt of filing fee for Chapter 11 Voluntary Petition (08-18376) [misc,1032] (1039.00). Receipt number 7784991. Fee amount $1039.00. (U.S. Treasury) (Entered: 12/04/2008)
Dec-04-2008, Chapter 11 Voluntary Petition. Schedule A due 12/19/2008. Schedule B due 12/19/2008. Schedule C due 12/19/2008. Schedule D due 12/19/2008. Schedule E due 12/19/2008. Schedule F due 12/19/2008. Schedule G due 12/19/2008. Schedule H due 12/19/2008. Schedule I due 12/19/2008. Schedule J due 12/19/2008. Statement of Financial Affairs due 12/19/2008. Schedules A-J due 12/19/2008. Schedules and Statements must be filed on Revised Forms. Due 12/19/2008. Chapter 11 Current Monthly Income Form 22B Due 12/19/2008. Summary of schedules due 12/19/2008.Incomplete Filings due by 12/19/2008, Filed by Mark D Northrup on behalf of iFLOOR, Inc. (Northrup, Mark) (Entered: 12/04/2008)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Before buying any flooring online read and listen to this story:

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 2:36PM
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It's the same old thing....let the buyer beware!!!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 6:14AM
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Like that couldn't have happened with a bricks & mortar store Haight?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 10:47PM
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Wow sweeby...I didn't know that a brick and mortar store could go bankrupt too, huh? (isn't ifloor also a B&M store) Get real....the point is that if you are buying your product from some company that you know very little about, which has only been in existance for relatively short time you take your chances. Compounding the issue is that for many online flooring buyers the company they are dealing with is in another state. Try getting your warranties serviced now, especially on private label brands created by ifloor.

The online flooring business is a very limited business model. There are only so many people who are willing to take all the risks inherant in a large flooring purchase over the internet.

There will always be those however where the only thing it takes to make them happy is thinking they have saved some money. I guess to them their perception is their reality.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 1:25PM
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iFloor is a Brick & Mortar company, now. They did not close all the stores. They did not close the on-line sales.

They are in reorganization, not going out of business... Yet.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 8:32PM
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Hello Everyone! Just wanted to comment on all of these warnings about buying from an internet company. Many people on here are right - buyer beware - but the buyer really needs to make sure that the internet company that they are thinking about buying from is a certified store, that they do not buy seconds and that the manufaturers will back the warranties on the products that they sell. I am a sales manager for an internet company and we have no problem answering any questions that a customer has. We will give references and make sure that the customer feels comfortable with their purchase with us. We do not hide anything, we treat our customers as we would want to be treated if it was us purchasing something online. Customer service is our number one priority. My staff goes through exstensive training to be able to provide this great customer service. You can save a lot of money buying online just make sure that you do your research on the company so that you are not buying flooring from someone sitting at their kitchen table in their pj's. Internet companies are the wave of the future and they are here to stay.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 4:03PM
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Wow floorwhiz! You're not selling in your pj's and you have a well trained staff....I'm convinced how can I order my Chinese express hardwood from you?

I guess the largest internet flooring company which just went bankrupt must not have been certified....I guess that was their problem or perhaps if they had only known that internet companies were the wave of the future that might of somehow helped them avoid chapter 11.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 8:33PM
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Seems to me that sentiments about always or never to shop the internet for flooring are both flawed.

The bankruptcy filing of iFloor really proves nothing. Circuit City just filed for bankruptcy as well. Is this proof that nobody should have purchased from them? The economy is really hurting so it should come as no surprise that people dealing in luxuries such as home upgrades are at risk.

I especially fail to see the logic in lovehaight's posts when you are talking not about indeterminate house brands but rather name-brand flooring. I can understand the argument about it being easier for a customer to address a problem with a local dealer but the fact remains that most dealers (local or otherwise) have product drop-shipped from the manufacturer rather than carry stock. In addition, I subscribe to the school of thought that manufacturers cannot stay in business if a large percentage of shipments prove problematic for the consumer or installer.

I recently purchased a relatively small amount of Alloc commercial laminate flooring from iFloor. I found the person I dealt with to be reasonably helpful. Before choosing the particular flooring I ended up buying, iFloor sent me several different samples-- including the make/style I ended up purchasing, which had to be specially requested from Alloc. The flooring arrived in good condition promptly after ordering and I installed it without a problem. I would recommend iFloor to others. Of course as with any internet or mail-order purchase, you should know the product you are ordering before you order it.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 3:03PM
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As a store which operates both a brick and mortar as well as online sales, you can get deals on the web on all types of floorcovering. However, taking addtional steps when purchasing over the web will save you some possible heartburn. Always have corespondence with the retailer whether the goods you are discussing are first quality, seconds, tavern/cabin grade etc. Ask if they will be shipping from their warehouse, the factory or a shipping hub. Get a sample first. Then the next safe step is to (especially if not a first grade) buy a box and have your installer look it over when it arrives to get his opinion. A reputable retailer should be willing to take the box back for credit if you aren't happy with it as long as it comes back in reasonable condition. As with anything on the web, check for things like BBB, years in operation, etc.

The real deals hiding out there on wood are on Tavern/ cabin grade. However, qualifying the quality of the product and the retailer is unfortunately a risk for the consumer. If purchasing Tavern/Cabin from anyone, anywhere, make sure you order extra (10-15%) for the installer to cull through as he is installing as there will be some pieces that you will not want to use.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:11PM
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Wow ronnyk! You got "reasonably helpful" service from a now bankrupt company...what's not to love. I can see why you are still recommending them--great advice!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 2:45PM
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Been following this thread. Looking for about a 1000sqft of Brazilian cherry. Trying to find any info on thefloorwarehouse. com but have been unable to locate anything. Has anyone here have any useful info on this vendor? Thanks

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 8:20PM
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No, I don't know anything about that site/company. I have read somewhere (probably on this thread) that hosking hardwood is a good one. Their web site is organized & has lots of info.
I have sent them a couple emails asking specific questions and I received fast and detailed responses. When we get ready to purchase flooring, they will be strongly considered. I will be interested to hear if this company you are looking at is a good one, as well.
It's a lot of money to spend and a company with a proven reputation is extremely important to me.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:06PM
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Some good info here. Thanks.
I would have enjoyed this a lot more if I hadn't
had to read some of the sarcastic comments from this person: luvhaight.
Reading his gibberish just made me want to buy wood off the internet.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:17PM
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I'd still use iFloor today for on-line purchases. Their brick & mortar stores are gone, that does not mean they went out of business. Chapter 11 is far from chapter 7.

Armstrong seems to be doing alright, after filing bankruptcy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 11:46PM
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I've been waiting to post about my experience until our floors were installed. We're about halfway through the installation and feel pretty confident with our review. Here goes... :)

Let me first say, I already had the exact product that I wanted picked out. I did my research, knew the specs, warranty, top layer thickness (we have engineered flooring), everything. I just needed to find the right palce to buy it.

My local flooring store sold my flooring for $12.49 sq. ft. retail, but was going to give it to me for $7.50 sq. ft. Pretty good deal for a brick and mortar place. But I knew I could do better. :)

(Please don't give me any flack for not buying local and how these people need to pay their mortgages. The thread is just about reviewing online flooring companies. Plus, I know the local guy and contracted with him for $25,000 worth of tiling and carpeting. Trust me, no guilt here.)

Anyhow, I had heard wonderful things about HoskingHardwood and intended on purchasing through them. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough of mine in stock. They were VERY helpful and knowledgeable, and answered my questions via e-mail within 24 hours.

My next search lead me to Talk about deal of the century... they had a double coupon deal (end of the year) and my flooring was listed for $4.72 sq. ft. This was a savings of $4000 for me. Needless to say, I was quite skeptical. I kept thinking, "there MUST be something wrong with it." I checked and rechecked the SKU numbers (matched it to my sample). Everything matched up. I had everything in my cart but ended up waiting until the next day to order. I read many posts on here as far as "buyer beware" of online flooring companies, and not knowing what you're getting. But for $4000, I was willing to take my chances, provided of course a knowledgeable English-speaking person answered the phone when I called.

I ended up speaking with Susan (I think they only have a handful of employees) who was very helpful and sweet. What I wanted to know was DO YOU HAVE MY PRODUCT IN STOCK and ARE YOU SELLING FACTORY FIRSTS (not damaged goods). She assured my that yes, these were factory firsts, same as I would buy from a local retailer, and that they did NOT have quite enough in stock. This was fine with me because I didn't wait until the last minute to order (still had a few weeks before flooring could go in). Susan told me they could get my flooring in by January 15 (this was about two weeks).

As the weeks went by I was getting nervous thinking they were going to call me any day and tell me they couldn't get it in or something. Never happened. January 16 my order was shipped to me. I received all 70 boxes, undamaged and beautiful. (I was even thinking they might send me plain "unmarked" product and I would never know what I actually got). I was happily mistaken!

We are about halfway through the installation and the flooring is gorgeous. The only thing negative I can say is that their website claimed that they would send a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours before they would process the order (something I needed to sign). I never did get the e-mail, but called the next day to make sure everything was kosher.

That's it. Talked with Susan a handful of times, tracking my order and probably irritating her to pieces (I was so worried something bad was going to happen).

So I guess the bottom line is:

*Do your research and know your product
*Order way ahead of time (just in case)
*Use your American Express card (or a similar card that will back you up should anything go awry)

I always knew my AmEx card would never let me down (i.e. credit me for any issues). I would only have to deal with paying more money and waiting another few weeks for the product to come in if someting had happened. There's a plug for American Express too. :)

Sorry for the long-winded response. Just hoping to help someone else out there who might be feeling like me. :)

I'm going to cross-post this in another thread as well. Many thanks to GardenWeb for my almost finished house!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 3:07AM
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"Posted by floorguy ( on Tue, Feb 17, 09 at 23:46

I'd still use iFloor today for on-line purchases. Their brick & mortar stores are gone, that does not mean they went out of business. Chapter 11 is far from chapter 7."

Maybe you could explain to everyone here how you can buy from iFloor since their website states that they are closed due to bad weather and has stated this for the last two months.....Just try and order something from them online and let us know how that works for you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 5:33PM
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You can still get in touch with them and you can still order on-line.

Besides that, I have had the owners cell phone number for 9 year, now! Which helps.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:30PM
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I'm not dogging you but please explain how you can still order on-line from these guys using their existing website. I have been there and the site says you must call to place an order and when you call the number it doesn't work anymore? How about sharing that cell number.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:00PM
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I will answer my own question....this bankrupt company's site is up and running again. I was told by a flooring rep that a Chinese company has invested in or now owns Ifloor. I don't know if that's true or not but it would certainly be logical since a lot of their products come from China.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:09PM
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I would never order my floors on-line again through Quailtyflooring4less.
Told me 4 days for delievery, then when I ordered it went to 2 weeks. Never a follow up call, only when I called. They gave me the wrong delievery date, wrong warehouse and a box of our floors were damaged when we finally picked them up. My floors ended up taking almost 5 weeks to get in. Then after putting me through all of this check out this email regarding my transition pieces.

Karen, you had went back and forth several times over a four day period as to which moldings you and your husband wanted. We were more than patient with this, but once you had found which ones you wanted and told us, you then called not even 2 ½ hours later demanding that invoice be sent over. If you want to demand service like this then you are going to have to pay for it.

Do not expect us to drop everything for your invoice without charging.

Otherwise you can be like every other customer and wait the standard 6 to 8 hours for invoicing.

Please either complete or cancel the transaction and stop calling.


Never did I demand an invoice I called 3.5 hours later because I never got an invoice then I called again 6 hours later because I still had no invoice. Never did anyone say hey it takes 6 to 8 hours, actually the lady the day before said if we called in the morning and was paid for it would be shipped that day. I actually never would be in this situation if they had gotten me the floors in time instead of being 3 weeks late. I sent an email to management 5 days ago asking for a call back about all the terrible service I received and they have yet to reply. I WOULD NEVER ORDER FROM QUALITYFLOORING4LESS AGAIN! P.S. they actually canceled my order for the reducer strips and T molding because I refused to pay an extra $15 dollars for calling 2 times asking for an invoice where I could pay. Yes you have to pay for customer service ! I felt like just a number once they got my almost 6,000 dollars they no longer cared what kind of service I got.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:01AM
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This is quite a long and interesting thread. For those of you who are satisfied with the internet flooring company that you did business with, I would be very interested in seeing pics of the finished product - what was the product and where did you purchase?


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 11:42PM
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I am doing my best to buy from an American mill, I have tried my local retailers- small stores, and they simply charge through the roof. Insane prices. I am going to buy without the middleman and I am going to make sure I visit the mill. And, I am shopping for the wood through the internet.

My local lumberyard sold my carpenters the worst pile of wormy mahogany for a deck two years ago and the fools had it half nailed down before I got to see it. I can't imagine what they were thinking as both usually do beautiful work. Countless holes had been filled with some sort of pinkish putty and it looked awful. While eventually, after much discussion, the lumberyard exchanged the wood, I had to pay for labor twice, plus removing the bad lumber.

So frankly, after having been burnt, I do not believe we consumers need rely on our local stores, because they are not necessarily looking out for us.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 8:52PM
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I just want to say after reading most of this thread that pretty much 100% of what "luvhaight" has to say is 100% outright falsehoods and BS.

Anyone can check my posts here over the years and see I am not involved with any flooring company, internet or bricks and mortar.

Luvhaight is repeating the same outright falsehoods people from other old business models have repeated for decades when their business were changing in favor of big box, and then internet.

Ironically the one really bad flooring experience I had was with a local bricks and mortar store. First they snuck in a $75 delivery fee on the day of pickup. That is delivery to the store with me picking it up from there, not delivery to the site! With sales tax that $75 was more than the $130 typcially charged by internet companies, for identical product that is 40% less on the base price. They then refused to approve return of a box clearly from a different lot that was essentially a very different color . I had to deal with the maker myself, and the maker took it back, sent me a new box at no cost, and the rep of the maker told me I would have gotten the same service from them if I bought from an intent discounter.

As far as a small number internet companies going out of business, I have to wonder how "luvhaight" balances that against a HIGHER number of local bricks and mortar kitchen remodel stores, tile stores, flooring stores going out of business? Are you really sure that local store is going to be there in three years to help you? It isn't just the intent dealers with average 40% lower prices killing them, it is the big boxes.
Lastly the internet companies are not selling seconds any more than bricks and mortar are. When they do so they are marked as seconds on their sites. Seconds are marked as such by the makers, you woudl see it and could charge back your credit card in a second if that were the case.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:21AM
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I purchased over 2000 Sq. Feet of Build Directs Vanier Cosmopolitan Santos Mahogany engineered hardwood flooring. It was acclimated per instructions, and installation by a professional installer was mostly complete when I began to notice cracks and some delamination where the top wood layer came unglued from the underlying plywood layers.

I called Build Direct, further installation was halted. It took many weeks before Build Direct finally had an inspector come to look at the flooring. All during this period of waiting, more and more of the flooring was delaminating and cracking. The inspector stayed for about 35 minutes, did not even look at one level of the house with flooring issues, did not even look at unused wood exhibiting the same issues, and then wrote a report stating no conclusions or determination for the delaminations. Build Direct however came up with their own conclusions of installer errors.

I hired my own independent certified flooring inspector who is also certified as an expert witness in my state to do an inspection. He did a 3 1/2hour inspection measuring moisture in multiple locations, looked at all flooring areas, and examined unused wood. His report stated that delamination WAS A MANUFACTURING ISSUE, and that the cracks (checking) WAS A MANUFACTURING ISSUE as well. Build direct has refused to support their defective product, only offering to sell me DIFFERENT wood at a discount (if there is nothing wrong with the wood; why would they not offer to sell me the same wood and instruct to have it installed with "proper" installation conditions?)

In conclusion, a certified wood flooring inspector has determined that Build Directs product has manufacturing issues related to the delamination and cracking in my newly purchased flooring. Build Direct's inspector issued no opinion and as it turns out is not even certified to do wood flooring inspections. Still Build Direct is not supporting their defective product. DO NOT BUY FROM THIS RETAILER. Do not make the same mistake that I made. The product is made in China, and Build Direct is based in Canada making it difficult to sue them. Build Direct will make excuses for not supporting defective products despite the expert opinion of a certified, expert witness certified, wood flooring inspector confirming that their product has manufacturing issues causing my flooring to delaminate and crack.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 11:17PM
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You really have to be careful buying flooring over the internet.

Many internet e-tailers are pushing cheap chinese flooring at unbelievably low prices. Not only wood flooring but others as well. Some of this chinese flooring may not have: tight manufacturing tolerances, gone through stringent and lengthy research, development, and testing, and/or adequate quality inspections prior to packaging and shipment.

I would suggest sticking with brand names you know best whos manufacturers have rock-solid reputations for the above, quality control, inspections, and good claim servicing reputation.

More often that not that unbranded inexpensive flooring is inexpensive for good cause. Its cheaper to manufacture because of the above, plus those nice low slave labor wages that have taken jobs away from our citizens by treasonous trade treaties.

ok I'll hop off the soapbox now.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:57AM
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