Avalon Flooring, Lumber Liquid. or HD / Lowes?

rdw829May 31, 2012

We are about to purchase our HW floors (kitchen and floor renovation) - and I am looking for opinions on where to purchase from.

We have decided on solid hardwood and not laminate or engineered.

Any reviews on Avalon Flooring and tile? They have a Homduran Mahogany that we like, which is sold under their own label.

Lumber Liquidators - we liked the strand bamboo, but I read AWFUL reviews - here and elsewhere - about formaldehyde issues. The Bellawood floor that we liked there is more $$ than we would like to spend.

Home Depot or Lowes - they seem to have nice choices in our price range - but I thought I had read posts (which of course I can't find now!) - not to buy from there - but WHY?

Any help would be appreciated. We seem to like the darker / stained colors, but I obviously want to choose something that will be durable and last a long time, and that can stand up to two small (and growing) children, as well as a cat (and 2 adults).

We were hoping to be around $4/square foot, but looks like we are tapping out at $5/square foot. (not including quarter round or baseboard - to be determined).

HD seemed to have some nice options around $3-$4/sq. foot, but if there is a reason not to use them, I would like to know that.

We need about 900 square feet. (800 square feet of flooring - contractor told me to order at least 900 square feet)

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The problem with Any big box store flooring is this. They get junk wood which they get cheap which allows them to sell it cheap. Every see lumber liquidators 99 cent hardwood. If you look closely thats utility wood. Which means its all scrap that couldnt be graded for sale.

I installed a friends floor they bought from HD and while the floor in every aspect was okay. The problem was each box contains roughly 20 sq ft. Out of each box about 5 sq ft was unuseable. The tongue was busted. Boards were scratched/dented or had visual defects. He had 400 ft to install and had to buy around 550 sq ft just to make up with all the junk wood.

The other problem i ran into was what to do with that left over wood? This particular HD would NOT take any wood back that was opened. So he was stuck with that.

If your big box store will take returns on open boxes then i say ok. But beware that you will probably need to buy more than 900 as your contractor suggested.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:41PM
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what about on-site finished wood? I was having the same issue when I decided to get a quote for site-finished. I saved thousands (including labor), and my floors look beautiful...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 4:01PM
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Site finished or raw wood is different. Even if tongues are damaged or dented you can still pound them in. Site finished allows for you to sand any visual dislikes out.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 4:45PM
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gregmills, Do you consider Lumber Liquidators quality no better than HD/Lowe's? Where are you recommending? Or are you recommending some brand that HD/Lowe's don't carry?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Im not saying anything bad about any particular brand flooring. All im saying is HD/lowes carries cheap wood because of the reasons i described above. The wood itsself is ok. Just to get a decent floor out it you need to buy a lot of extra due to the high % of waste in each box. Lumber Liq. Has good wood too and you might find a lower % of waste per box. BUT they also sell crap wood for 99 cents. Stay away from that. LL sells Bellawood which is nice its more expensive than the 99 cent wood but in flooring higher price tends to give you better quality all around.

But like i said every store you can think of has decent wood its just how much of that wood are you going to need to buy to make up for the high percentage of waste.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 7:12PM
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I see. At least LL marks the wood grade of everything, so I can see that Bella is "Select" and the 99 cent is not. I guess I can consider the % waste as a hidden mark-up on the wood, so you're saying the big box may not be cheaper in the end.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Correct. And even LL could cost more too it just depends if you get a shotty batch. And your odds go up with any big box or LL. If you want a good quality product with minimal waste find a local hardwood floor disturbitor. You may spend a little more but you will have peace of mind knowing you wont have 300 sq ft of junk wood that you cant return.

If you have problems finding a distrubtor call any local refinishing company and ask them where they go.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:58PM
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