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Cloudy Film/Dirty Engineered Hardwood Floors Installed By Lowe's
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MINNEOLA, FLORIDA -- We had these floors installed Nov 2007. I noticed the first day that some boards appeared dirty. I thought it would go away or that the glue was still wet on some boards. I called for some follow up - minor issues of a nail which kept coming up and a gap between the quarter-round and the trim, etc. and when the installer came I showed him the dirty looking boards and asked him if some glue got on top of some boards by accident. He said sometimes they come dirty in the box and I need to go to Lowe's and buy their special floor cleaner which he said was $15 a bottle. I don't mind cleaning my floors when I get them dirty but I thought this was ridiculous. He didn't name the product so even if I want to buy it now, I don't know what it is.

First I tried cleaning them with water. Could not get it off. I tried Method hard wood floor cleaner since it is very gentle and non-toxic (we have 2 babies). No dice. Afraid to put anything harsh on the floor, I called for a second follow-up visit and this time the installer did not return my call.

I followed up directly with Lowe's again by taking photographs to their store. It's hard to get a good picture because the flash washes out the filmy look but I think I took some pretty good ones, including one dated 6 days after the floor was installed! (I sent them to this site to have them attached to my complaint). Two reps visited (one a manager) and both agreed that certain boards sure did look cloudy-filmy-dirty while others were clean and shiny. I pointed out that the cloudy film is even in spots we don't walk such as under the couch and the carpet. They said this looks like a defect in the product (Mohawk) and an independent 'flooring specialist' would visit. He came the next day. He was in my home less than 3 minutes. He asked me no questions but took pictures.

I offered the information about the cleaners I had tried. By now the floors are 6 months old. I told him I have cleaned them 6 times: once with water and 5 times with Method; 3 times on my hands and knees with a cotton cloth and 3 times with a sponge mop. I even had a professional cleaning lady come and try to clean this up! Yesterday I got a letter from Lowes stating the flooring specialist decided that the problem with the floor is "buildup of cleaning products on certain spots on the floor". He stated he could see mop marks on the floor and that when he wiped the floor with a white cloth, some black came onto his cloth. Hello?! I mopped 10 minutes before he got there to get the babies' fingerprints off the floor. Of course he could see mop smudges. I am not complaining about mop smudges.

Of course he still got dirt on his cloth when he wiped the floor - does anyone with 2 kids not have dirt on their floor even after mopping? We live here - it is not pristine even after mopping. NO he did not move any furniture or the carpet to see the dirty boards where I have never mopped. NO he did not ask when the problem started - i.e. before I had ever mopped the floor with even water. How does he explain that the marks were there on day 6 when I had not even dry mopped it yet? He marked down incorrectly that we have no pets when we do (again, he asked no questions). If he guessed that incorrectly, I think we can safely assume he made up everything else he wrote too. I don't know if he's inept or just calling me a liar. I have many witnesses who saw the new floor, including my neighbor, who works at Lowe's.

I asked this neighbor if the floors looked normal and when he said no, that is what led me to call Lowe's back in the first place. What next? Do I just eat the $5500 we spent on this floor? I hate that it always looks dirty and I'm very angry. I advise never purchasing anything from Lowe's. We were considering some kitchen upgrades but we won't be going to Lowe's.

Update: 6/3/08 - I phoned Lowe's to follow up on the ridiculous report from the "3rd party floor specialist". I give them credit for calling back because they know I must have been angry after reading his report. They provided a bottle of their special cleaner, "Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner" and a special mop. The mop handle broke off with the first stroke, so I can't recommend that. The cleaner left the floor clean and shiny - no fingerprints. Unfortunately, the cloudy look remains on certain boards - absolutely no change in its condition. Their rep said he doesn't know what to do next but will research and will call me back.

Update 6/27/08 - A second independent flooring specialist was sent by Lowe's. This man seemed very informed and reasonable. He explained that they have mixed boards from two different lots into my floor, which has caused some to appear shiny, and some less shiny, which leads to the "clean" look on some boards and "dirty" look on others. He stated at a minimum he will recommend that Lowe's pull up one or the other and replace so that all boards match. He stated he will advise them it will be easier to pull up the entire floor because the dull boards are peppered everywhere - not like they opened and used one box & moved on to the next. SOOOO, since we will be pulling up the entire floor anyway... I asked him about a second problem with the floor (a commenting person also mentioned this), it shows every fingerprint and footprint. Once mopped, it looks clean until someone walks on it. I asked if I should pick something else. We were shown several kinds of floors by Lowes and picked this because it matched our cabinets. It also stood out because it was the one non-glossy sample. The other samples were much shinier - obviously a different finish. I asked if a glossy finish would hide the fingerprints/footprints better. He answered, "all laminate flooring pretty much does that." What? What Laminate Flooring? Did I hear him right? My husband asked if we should have it refinished and he answered, "you can't refinish this." We were told by Lowe's that there are 3 levels of floors, Laminate (fake wood, the linoleum of the wood family), Engineered hardwood (real wood which can be refinished up to 3 times, constructed in layers to allow for expansion) and solid hardwood (which you can't install in Florida because it doesn't allow for expansion with humidity and because there is no subfloor to nail the boards to). We checked our invoices/receipts and they say "engineered hardwood" all over them. So after he left my husband got on the phone with Lowe's, and we're now trying to find out if they even installed the right thing. $5500 for one room (laminate, no less) and look what I am dealing with, still. Have I said it enough? - - - WE HATE THESE FLOORS!

Update 7/18/08 - Lowe's is giving us a credit for the materials and allowing us to choose a different floor. We may have to pay the difference for the materials, but that is OK - we will do what it takes, within reason, to get rid of these awful floors. We are looking at a Bruce Hardwood glue-down floor. I'm off to read the My3Cents reviews of Bruce floors. Yay!

Update 8/14/08 - replacement floors backordered until 9/20/08.
Resolution Update 09/12/2008:
Lowe's has finally replaced this floor, at no extra charge for me. Yay! We are satisfied with the new floor, which is not manufactured wood - it is a glue-down real wood floor.
     
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Anonymous on 2008-05-14:
Just curious...did you ever try the cleaner that was initially recommended by Lowes? Given the expense of the floor and the lack of interest by Lowes, perhaps you could hire an independent flooring expert to look at the floor? It would be best if you could find a local Mohawk dealer who may be willing to take a peek at the problem and write his recommendations. If he disagrees with Lowes, get another opinion...to get two refutations to Lowe's expert. If your own expert agrees with Lowes, you are probably out of luck. Good luck with this.
dan gordon on 2008-05-14:
I'm a former district mgr for Bruce Hardwood so let me try. Is this a glue down floor? Are the smudged areas where two boards come together on the edges? Most likely they used a urethane glue which is required. Most installers wipe the excess glue off but they don't change rags often so they leave a haze over the new wood. This won't come off by using normal cleaner. If you have a handy local hardwood dealer see if they have some urethane glue cleaner and try it. Continuing to use water, murphy's or the gozillion non recommended cleaners out there will make the whole thing look worse and will only give ammunition to deny your claim.
jbarber8 on 2008-05-14:
Hi Dan, It is a floating floor and when I asked if the installer could have gotten glue on the boards, he told me they don't use any glue - they snap together he said. Do you think he is mistaken? The problem is located where the boards come together but not on all boards. I used the Method because it's gentle, non-toxic (important when little kids do things like drop food then eat it off the floor) and environment-friendly plus just $5 a bottle.
jbarber8 on 2008-05-14:
I forgot to mention, the floors do not feel sticky or tacky at all. They just look dirty.
dan gordon on 2008-06-10:
some floating floors are still glued at the tongue so even if its a snap together floor some installers will add glue.
mrsleprechaun on 2008-06-25:
I too have engineered "wood" floors from Mohawk. My builder put them in my house and three others in my neighborhood and all of us who have them are grossly dissatified. They never look clean. They always have smudge marks and footprints on them. Besides that, almost everyone thinks they are laminate because there are three boards together in each plank and the surface simply does not look like real wood. I was told by a Mohawk representative to use 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water, put in a spray bottle, and wipe immediately with a dry cloth. My neighbor uses the Mohawk wood floor cleaner. Another expert on wood floors told me to use windex, yes windex. All these things work for about 5 minutes. Literally, the floors look clean till someone walks on them. Barefeet, socks, shoes, it doesn't matter. They also told us when we moved in (when I insisted the floors must be laminate despite their advertising hardwood), that the floors could be sanded and stained 3 times. Now they are saying they can be sanded 1, but only by a very careful expert. I don't think they would even hold up to that. Mohawk should stand because these rotten floors! (They are floating, btw, so no glue marks going on.)
nowoodfloors on 2011-09-02:
I have had a similar problem with the hardwood that was installed by The Home Depot. They installed Bruce Hardwood in three rooms in my house about 4 years ago. After a while I started to notce footprints on my dining room floor when I reported this to The Home Depot they sent an independent company to check the floor. The result was that they said I have used something on the floor to cause this and they will give me some board to replace the ones that are defective but they can not guarantee they will match and I will have to have them installed myself at my own cost, I have only ever used a dry Swiffer cloth on the floor and no one seems to be able to tell me what I am supposed to have used on it, as you can imagine I ame not very happy with The Home Depot and will not be purchasing anything else from there. I suggest before you buy anything from The Home depot you find out about their warranty and get it in writing in advance because the idea they give you of 100% customer satisfaction is not true.

Thank you
pam welch on 2013-07-17:
mistakes happen, and the installer should have ni oticed. usually lowes uses recommended linstallers who would have stopped when they saw the different woods.
glad they are redoing it for you though. I think I will see about a store with experienced installers
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Lowe's Flooring Installation "Policies" Are Out of Control
Posted by on
MADISON, TENNESSEE -- I used to love Lowe's. It's cheaper than Home Depot and they have better deals than just about everyone on appliances. Lately, Lowe's is turning me into a bitter, angry person.

Two months ago...

It started simply enough. My husband and I decided to take advantage of a 0 interest no payment promo and have laminate and ceramic flooring installed. We picked what we wanted on a Saturday and got with an employee about arranging a measurement. The employee assured us that a subcontractor would be calling no later than Tuesday to set a day. So, Thursday...We called Lowes. The sub finally called Friday and came to measure Saturday. He measured quick, quick and said nothing about how big the space was. Not very, so it didn't occur to us to be concerned. The guy said he'd fax the measurements to Lowe's and we could pick up our estimate by 5pm.

So, about 5:30 we go to Lowe's to get our estimate. The kid who was working the flooring department didn't have a clue about anything. There was nothing on it in front of him and he said we'd have to wait until the department manager came back from his break. Which was at 6. We waited and the short of it is it wasn't there. And even if it was there it would take a few minutes to work up the estimate. The manager said he'd call when it was ready, which should be by Tuesday. So, Wednesday...We call. Not ready. Thursday, my husband stands in front of the guy with our unhappy baby and waits for an hour while he gets it together. We look it over and it seems pricey so we decide to do the laminate ourselves and let them do the ceramic. We do the contract on a Saturday and the Lowe's employee tells us that the sub will be calling us Monday and there's no reason why we can't get this done by Friday.

Right...So, Tuesday...We call. On Thursday we finally hear from the sub. We set the install for Monday morning. We spent the weekend pulling up carpets and moving furniture to save money. Apparently, that's extra labor. So, Monday the guys come and this part is good. They do a good job. I figured it would be a 2 day job even though no one mentioned that, so I wasn't upset when they said they'd be back Tuesday to finish up. So, Tuesday they finish and it looks great! And this part's our fault...We changed our mind. Shocking, I know. The tile looked so good we decided to have them tile part of what we were planning to put laminate on. So, the phone call runaround begins again. One week later and after many games of "so and so will call you back", we had our estimate. Ready? $2600 for our tiny little dining room. We thought it couldn't be more than 100 sqft!! So what's that all about? We get a look at the estimate and it says that we are being charged labor for 150 sqft plus other misc fees that no one could quite explain. That seemed like a ridiculous amount of space so we measured ourselves. We came up with approximately 102 sqft. ??

We contacted Lowe's about this discrepancy and they said they'd send someone out to measure again. But they felt like the installer was just padding the labor square footage to allow for waste. She said that like it was OK. Does that sound dishonest to anyone else? Anyway the second guy comes to measure and I took a more active roll this time. I stood over him asking questions and had him remeasure the part that had already been tiled. We had a feeling those measurements were incorrect also. He measured the dining area and came up with a very reasonable 102, but would estimate up to 105. He measured the kitchen and laundry area and came up with 74 sqft. We were charged labor on that for 100 sqft. He explained the waste issue as this; he charges us labor for the measured footage and then orders supplies for that plus 10%. Very reasonable. Except, Lowe's was saying they were charging labor for the square footage including the extra supplies. Meaning they would charge labor for 115 sqft instead of 105. The installer said if Lowe's was doing that, then they weren't getting the money. The subs had gotten in trouble for that before. The fax they send Lowe's clearly states what is chargeable as labor and what is ordered for supplies.

Now...

We've been in a 2 week runaround with the store manager trying to find out what their supposed to charge us for. He says it is store policy to charge the customers labor on square footage that doesn't exist. When I say that is dishonest, he says he has to talk to his area manager to find out if he can just charge for the actual area. He's supposedly been trying to do that for a week now. Today, I told him he should just make a decision so we could go over his head if we needed to. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of Lowe's and I'm tired of my plywood floor. His decision is that the estimate stands, with the extra square footage. He insists that's store policy. It's store policy to take advantage of your customers? He says that's what the estimate is for. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it. Where on the estimate does it state you are being charged labor on extra square footage? That's store policy he says, no one has ever complained before. You don't think it's misleading and dishonest? Store policy, he says. I don't see how it's not cheating the customer to charge labor on square footage that doesn't exist. It makes sense to order extra supplies, they can always be returned. But labor?? That's just wrong.

So, now we still have a plywood floor that Lowe's will be putting tile on when hell freezes and we've contacted the regional VP about a refund on the 74/100 issue.

The moral of the story is: Lowe's "store policy" on flooring installations is misleading and dishonest.
     
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you r stupid on 2005-11-18:
First off Home Depot is usually cheaper then Lowes on just about everything in my area, but even if it weren't you could have always had HD match the price and they give you another 10 percent off because lowes was cheaper.
kingmd75 on 2005-11-19:
This is more than a matter of not liking the estimate they gave us. Part of it is done now, so it's a little late for an HD price match. The issue is we didn't reallize they were overestimating the square footage. We know now, so we have to get them to give us our money back. I would also be willing to bet that anyone who's had flooring done by Lowe's installers has been cheated. We spoke to a guy at the regional office who said that the stores are supposed to give you your money back on the labor when you return the extra supplies. The manager of the store in Madison, TN didn't know that and the estimates do not make it clear that the shown square footage is at least 10% higher than your actual square footage. So, I bet Lowe's owes money to lots of people who don't even reallize it.
504lowes40 on 2006-03-30:
I am a flooring specialist. on carpet and vinyl installations you will be charged for labor on ALL materials handled including waste. Why? you cannot return scraps and trimmings. On Items like hardwood,laminate and tiles You are charged for labor according to room size and not waste because you can return whole boxes of wood and even single tiles.
Bodashustatas on 2006-07-14:
The problem as I see it is that you know everything. Or not, this is a retailer! They have only been doing installations for 10 years or so. There is a lot to learn by everyone involved. Lowe's is very good at being a retailer. They have been doing that for more than 50 years! Maybe you should hire an installer who also has 50 years of experience, not 10!
nina09 on 2008-03-16:
I totally agree. Their customer service is terrible. They charged me $35 to come and measure my flooring. It has been a month and no one called. I visited the store to ask for a refund as I didn't want to wait anymore. They said someone would call soon and that they cannot refund the money. They won't refund the money nor come to measure???? it has been 2 months now.
installer1974 on 2010-05-17:
I do not work for Lowe's, yet I have been an installer for many years. All I can say is, you WILL be charged for materials handled. if you have an 11x15 room to carpet, and you order a 12x15 roll, be prepared to pay for the extra yardage as materials handled. If you want to go to the store, cut off that extra foot, dispose of it, and not have to fondle it hoping it doesn't destroy your new wallpaper, then you won't be charged for it. If you order some laminate that comes in 20 square foot boxes and you have 102 square feet, prepare to pay for 6 boxes at 120 feet and ask for the extra boards to keep. A company will not sell you a half box and keep the rest. Imagine going to Walmart for some cupcakes for your kids birthday party and saying we only need 22! Tough cupcakes, you have to buy 24 in two 1 dozen boxes, and you eat the extras. While I'm sure the store could have explained that to you a little better, it's still not fair to blame the store for a little overage as these products come (and have to be handled) in units. The list goes on and on, if you need 5 spark plugs replaced, the mechanic will charge you for 6. If you only want a single Nike shoe because you have one leg, you're going to have to buy the pair etc.
Pastlady on 2012-07-30:
Lowes flooring installation...BEWARE

Our family decided to install tile flooringin the section of our house that is built on concrete slab. We went to our local Lowes store and looked at flooring. We really liked the Rialto White 12x12 tile. Not knowing how to install tile , we asked Lowes to send one of their contractors out to measure our floor and give us an estimate. There was a $35.00 non-refundable estimate fee, that would be rolled into the job if we signed with Lowes. We were told that for installation, Lowes charges $5.97 per square foot. On Tuesday July 24, the measurer and installer, Walt H. came to measure. He was friendly and told us he was second generation in his company. This gave us confidence in his expertise. The next Thursday, 7-26 we went to the store to collect some samples of the tile, and while there were handed the estimate.

The amount of tile indicated as needed on the form was 805 square feet for tile, amounting to $1,762.95 for the tile.. The amount for the installation was $5.97 x 805, or $4,805.85. There were incedentals, like thinset and grout. The total was $6,807.64.

This estimate puzzled me greatly. The reason was that my husband and son measured the amount of flooring that we had, and the total they came up with was 663 square feet (another company had measured our floor and reported it was 680 square feet, at least in the ballpark). This was supposed to be an experienced professional doing the measuring, but the numbers were greatly different. I know that there is a percentage added to the amount of tile you get for waste. But adding the 10% extra for waste would only bring the total of tile needed to 725 square feet. We would not expect to purchase more than that with experienced, professional installers on the job. So they expected us to purchase 80 square feet we did not need. I know we could return this, but it would be stupid, and inconvienient.

Then there is the issue that in the estimate we got it stated that we would be charged the installation on the 805 square feet on the form, not the actual 663 square feet being installed. We were expected to pay to install phantom flooring.

So Lowes wanted us to buy a large amount of product we did not need, and then pay an installation fee on it, whether or not we needed it. This seems to be a nice arrangement. For the business. We would have paid around $1,000.00 more for the job than needed.

Even adding in a few square feet if we measured poorly, this seems to be padding the charge excessivly. When we first called Lowes and spoke to Jeff in flooring, he said they figure the footage according to the measurements they are given. So their measurements must have been close to that. When I asked why we were being charged for 805 square feet of installation, he said the installers are paid for every square foot of product that goes out the door (not the amount of square footage to be installed) ! I then Called Walt H who did the measurement. I asked why the square footage was so high, and told him what our figures were. He said his measurements were close to ours, and that we should call Lowes again, perhaps have a remeasure and have someone else install it, and quickly ended the call. I called Lowes again, and was told I should call the central office. I spoke to a Olivia, who took my complaint. Someone from the central office said the manager of the store would call me.The manager of the Lowes, Kim called me, and I spoke to her and told her the situation. She said she would look into it. I said I felt cheated, like someone tried to take advantage of us. Later, Mike from flooring called to ask if we would be using their installation service. I explained the situation to him, said I had no longer any trust in the integrity of Lowes, and would also try to get the tile elsewhere. I stated that there was something wrong with this, and I would be putting this infromation into a review to warn others. I also called the FTC. I also let the BBB know.
I also want my $ 35.00 measurement and estimate fee returned. I have no problem paying a fee when I know about it, but I do not like paying someone to try to rip me off. I will pursue this. The final thought is that we feel so insulted that someone in this process considered us so stupid and gullible that they could blatantly inflate the charges on our job. Do we look that ignorant? Or do they just do this to all their customers? Makes you think.
miss g on 2012-11-17:
The 10% overage is to account for waste..meaning tiles that are cut, you loose approximately 10% to waste..the installer is handing it, cutting it..etc, therefore is paid for this..period. It is not phantom installation, or tile..it is waste from a tile that was cut.
Nelle on 2013-06-14:
Keep away from Lowes...what a rip off. They did the same to me. They over estimated my carpeted areas in my house by an extra 98 square feet. My laminate flooring in the other part of the house was over estimated by 127 extra square feet. I had a great experience with Empire...and I was given a reasonable price.
Nicki on 2013-08-03:
Yes, I can see your point. I understand paying for the extra 10 percent of material. Installation charges are based on the space they are covering. This should not include ten percent more space! That makes no sense.
Greg on 2013-08-12:
I went to Lowes here in Indy yesterday (Sunday) and scheduled for measurements. I was told about the fee for measurements. Iw as doing carpet upstairs and vinyl in the basement bar. This required two separate orders. Gentleman set up one order for the $35.00 and set up the other for .01 cent so I would not be charged for two orders. He also put in a request for the same company to do both measurements. That night I received a call from the lady that would be doing the measuring. We set up for the next day which was today at 3. I was told I would get a call about 20 ministers prior to,arrival which I did. She arrived at 3 and started the measurements. She used a laser measuring device which fed directly into her tablet. When complete she showed me the exact measurements that were recorded. She then showed me how the system arranged everything accordingly to maximize waste. It showed a 16% waste on the carpet portion. She told me that she would look closely at it tonight and get that down to about 12%. She measured the linoleum part of the job and there was 2% waste but only due to the linoleum choice I made was a 13' 2" width and my area was only 12' 6". I was told I would receive a call from my associate at Lowes within 24 hours. We will just have to wait and see how that goes. The associate at the store helped me pick out the two samples on Sunday and wrote on a card that I was not to be charged the deposit on the two samples. The cashier was not willing to do that so I asked her to call him. She did. I did not pay the deposit. Granted it was a refundable deposit but it was very nice of him to waive that fee. I chose a high end carpet with the highest grade pad. He said he would work to get the price down a bit. Again we will see how that goes. So far this has gone better than could be expected.
Kevin on 2013-08-16:
You should have gone to Carpet One Floor and Home. They are the best!
Sarah on 2013-08-26:
My family has owned a small mom and pop store since 1971, Lowes does over estimate on all of there jobs (at least everyone that I have seen), with that being said. Everyone should stop promoting the big box stores and shop local. You will get a better and honest deal.
lnvb on 2013-09-29:
lowes is no good
Patricia on 2013-10-24:
Tile is not that difficult to install. Yes it takes some planning and a tile saw, but no way would I pay $5.97/square foot PLUS materials. Take a class and start with a small room to get a feel for it. We just did our two bathrooms, dining, kitchen, laundry room and all closets. I'm betting we saved at least $3k in labor costs.
Wayne on 2013-10-28:
Here's my experience with Lowe's, (For the record I like Lowe's but will never get them to install anything again) Selected Lowe's for my carpet install of Stain-master carpet, my son was home when the estimator came so he didn't ask any questions like I would have (not his fault) the came back with the estimate which I thought was fair, then came installation day, The brain dead estimator decided to write the estimate up changing the color of the carpet in the middle of the hallway as opposed to under the bedroom door. I caught the installers before they went and did this but then that had to piece 3 pieces together to make it the right color. I called Lowes and they said they would fix it.Hah! They wound up ordering a new piece they found in the same die lot to come back and replace the hallway carpet. Sounds good right? Wrong. They have been back twice now to try to get the carpet to mend to each section correctly. Each time I call they don't want to hear it till I have to call the store manager and get him involved. I've pretty much given up on any hope that it will be fixed correctly. My advice to Lowes, hire your own people to do the measuring and installation, otherwise until then and until you stand behind what you sell, your useless as a carpet co.
tileman on 2013-11-01:
I'm sorry you have had a bad experience with your Lowes tile install. I have been in the tile and flooring trade for 20 years now. I install tile in all areas of the home as well as commercial. Your estimate concerns with job waste are understandable. I compete with many and some charge labor on exact sq.feet while others include the waste factor . I support the latter. Here's why.. if your room is 100 sq ft exactly (net) and you want a tile installed as let's say on a diagonal or an off set design maybe even jusy square set, you really need to figure for the proper waste ..this depends on that pattern and tile size also. Large format tile especially needs a larger waste allowance. I try to explain to clients that if the extra tile or materials needed weren't available on the job site, it would not get completed.. and since we are "cutting and fitting "these extra tiles we are actually working harder to install them as opposed to setting a full tile. I have worked for many retailers including Lowes. They all have the same policy.. It is not dishonest. Its common sense. And fair.My competition sometimes plays that "we only charge for exact dimension" policy, buy they always make up for it my jacking up the price or adding other "built in" charges. Hope that clarifies things. "Let's do this" lol.
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Lowes Flooring Install Ripoff Attempt
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN -- Lowes flooring installation...BEWARE

Our family decided to install tile flooring in the section of our house that is built on concrete slab. We went to our local Lowes store and looked at flooring. We really liked the Rialto White 12x12 tile. Not knowing how to install tile, we asked Lowes to send one of their contractors out to measure our floor and give us an estimate. There was a $35.00 non-refundable estimate fee, that would be rolled into the job if we signed with Lowes. We were told that for installation, Lowes charges $5.97 per square foot.

On Tuesday July 24, the measurer and installer, Walt H. came to measure. He was friendly and told us he was second generation in his company. This gave us confidence in his expertise. The next Thursday, 7-26 we went to the store to collect some samples of the tile, and while there were handed the estimate.

The amount of tile indicated as needed on the form was 805 square feet for tile, amounting to $1,762.95 for the tile.. The amount for the installation was $5.97 x 805, or $4,805.85. There were incedentals, like thinset and grout. The total was $6,807.64.

This estimate puzzled me greatly. The reason was that my husband and son measured the amount of flooring that we had, and the total they came up with was 663 square feet (another company had measured our floor and reported it was 680 square feet, at least in the ballpark). This was supposed to be an experienced professional doing the measuring, but the numbers were greatly different. I know that there is a percentage added to the amount of tile you get for waste. But adding the 10% extra for waste would only bring the total of tile needed to 725 square feet.

We would not expect to purchase more that that with experienced, professional installers on the job. So they expected us to purchase 80 square feet we did not need. I know we could return this, but it would be stupid, and inconvienient.

Then there is the issue that in the estimate we got it stated that we would be charged the installation on the 805 square feet on the form, not the actual 663 square feet being installed. We were expected to pay to install phantom flooring.

So Lowes wanted us to buy a large amount of product we did not need, and then pay an installation fee on it, whether or not we needed it. This seems to be a nice arrangement. For the business. We would have paid around $1,000.00 more for the job than needed.

Even adding in a few square feet if we measured poorly, this seems to be padding the charge excessivly. When we first called Lowes and spoke to Jeff in flooring, he said they figure the footage according to the measurements they are given. So their measurements must have been close to that. When I asked why we were being charged for 805 square feet of installation, he said the installers are paid for every square foot of product that goes out the door (not the amount of square footage to be installed)! I then Called Walt H who did the measurement. I asked why the square footage was so high, and told him what our figures were. He said his measurements were close to ours, and that we should call Lowes again, perhaps have a remeasure and have someone else install it, and quickly ended the call.

I called Lowes again, and was told I should call the central office. I spoke to a Olivia, who took my complaint. Someone from the central office said the manager of the store would call me. The manager of the Lowes, Kim called me, and I spoke to her and told her the situation. She said she would look into it. I said I felt cheated, like someone tried to take advantage of us. Later, Mike from flooring called to ask if we would be using their installation service. I explained the situation to him, said I had no longer any trust in the integrity of Lowes, and would also try to get the tile elsewhere. I stated that there was something wrong with this, and I would be putting this information into a review to warn others. I also called the FTC. I also let the BBB know.

I also want my $ 35.00 measurement and estimate fee returned. I have no problem paying a fee when I know about it, but I do not like paying someone to try to rip me off. I will pursue this. The final thought is that we feel so insulted that someone in this process considered us so stupid and gullible that they could blatantly inflate the charges on our job. Do we look that ignorant? Or do they just do this to all their customers? Makes you think. I have since read reviews where the same thing was tried on others.
     
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Pancakes! on 2012-07-30:

Thank You! I has no idea it worked this way.
trmn8r on 2012-07-30:
Interesting review. It brings up an interesting question, and that is should labor be charged on anticipated waste? To me the answer is "definitely not". You need to order extra material, but the install charge should be for the actual area installed.

The way I read this, the higher ups both passed you back down the chain without addressing the central issue (unless something is missing). And then Mike called and simply asked if you wanted to go ahead with the install.

I'm glad you reported this. Even if they are allowed to do this, I don't think they should. Sounds like a ripoff alright.
Tt on 2014-03-07:
I agree with the complaints listed.They advertise a no haggle return policy,but not true! They will not refund the35 estimate and the employees are rude to top it off!
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Plain and Simple - LOWE'S SUCKS
Posted by on
At the end of November, I visited the Lowe's in Rutherford NJ to purchase flooring for my new home - carpet and engineered hardwood.

Flash forward to December 14 and I'm told that a 2 day job is now a 3 day job because the installer booked a job in the middle of my job.

The installers arrived on time but the owner of the subcontracting company left shortly thereafter.

Day 1 - The carpet installers scratched and marked my walls with the rolls of carpet. The removed my stove to put flooring under it (even though I had told them otherwise) and left the oven in the middle of the kitchen.

Day 2 - they worked 1/2 a day

Day 3 - I had to take a day off of work to be there. The stove was still sitting in the middle of the floor, now covered in filth.

I received 3 calls from the installer pressuring me to sign off on the job. I refused until I was able to inspect it.

I went to inspect it and found a dented board that I asked to be replaced. My decorator found a number of other issues, including both nailing and gluing of the floor - which nullifies the manufacturers warranty.

My stove was still sitting in the middle of the floor, just outside my kitchen.

That night, I got a call from my painting contractor, telling me that the Lowe's crew had damaged one of his tarps, had shoveled garbage into one of the bathrooms, and damaged the bi-fold doors near my bedroom, had ripped out my phone wires, had removed a piece of base molding and had dripped coffee and left sugar packets on the freshly painted window sills.

I called Lowe's immediately and was assured that they stand by their installers and their work, and that on the following Saturday, they would send a representative to inspect the work.

A woman named Michelle came, took pictures and assured me that any fix up work could be done by my painting contractor, and that Lowe's would pay for the repainting, what ever repairs were needed, and a new oven if it had been damaged by the dirt. She also saw the garbage that they left on my front lawn, including chunks of wood and lunch packaging.

I also pointed out that personal items of mine that were stored in the garage had been tampered with.

I confirmed the discussion in an email to her and her boss.

Then I got the nastiest phone call I've ever had - from a man named Chad from their regional office, basically telling me that the problems are minor, and implying that since I didn't see his guys drip coffee on the window sills, that I have no proof that his guys did anything. The Lowe's team also damaged equipment owned by my painting contractors for no reason.

Using logic (why would a painter ruin his own work?) didn't seem to matter.

In addition, the painters had been there for almost a month and not a thing had been damaged, moved or tampered with. The problems arrived the same time the Lowe's flooring guys did.

In the meantime, I had my contractor move the stove back into place and hook it up, and imagine my surprise when I found a damaged piece of flooring that had been hidden by the stove when it was sitting just outside my kitchen.

Yet another inspection was scheduled, and who shows up, but the same rude, condescending guy (Chad) who tried to bully me and once again imply that my painters had ruined their own work.

When I mentioned the promises that Michelle had made to me, they told me that she told them she never said that.

As the left my home, I removed a heating vent so I could put on a new one and discovered about 2 inches of wood chips, wood chunks and other debris that the flooring installers had shoveled down there.

I called the "inspectors" back and watched their faces as their installer pulled out the garbage.

I called Michelle at Lowe's - she is no longer working in the flooring department. Imagine that! She tried to work with a customer and to make a customer happy and apparently they don't like that.

They told me that they have workmen who could fix all the issues, and didn't understand how I would be afraid to use any of their sub contractors after the incredible lack of care their "best" flooring guys showed me and my home.

I had been planning on using Lowe's to install a new kitchen. They lost any possibility of that when they treated me as though I was something that had to be scraped off the bottom of their shoes.

I will never again shop at Lowes.



     
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dan gordon on 2010-01-02:
Lowes isn't the problem as much as any box store is good at selling stuff but horrible at any installed products. I've been a flooring rep for 25 yrs and any one in the industry knows horror stories about lowes and HD.
Ytropious on 2010-01-02:
How did rolls of carpet scratch your wall?
madconsumer on 2010-01-02:
sounds like you should have hired your own contractors for this instalation.
Class Advocate on 2010-01-02:
I hope you took pictures.
bcd on 2010-01-02:
What a mess! You should post your story on other blogs. Good review.
Anonymous on 2010-01-02:
They subcontract everything out. I feel really bad for you. A store should be getting the best and most reputable to represent them. I'd like to have them lay some carpet in my basement. I'm rethinking that one.
madconsumer on 2010-01-02:
but of course we are only hearing one side of this story.
Alain on 2010-01-03:
Detailed review. I find it credible. Lowe's has numerous complaints about flooring installation posted on this site. I don't recall ever seeing an official response from them nor would I expect to as that might not be something their legal department would advise them to do. I personally wouldn't trust Lowe's to install flooring.
ljshaw on 2010-01-03:
Ytropious - when they carried the rolls of carpet and the underlayment for the wood floors, they made no effort to avoid scratching the walls.

madconsumer - If I knew then what I know now, I defintely would have hired a contractor on my own.

I will not allow Lowe's anywhere near a previously planned kitchen install and have hired a very reputable contractor.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by hearing only one side of the story. If you expect Lowe's to own up to their mistakes, my experience yesterday proved you and any other Lowe's aupporter wrong. They even demoted and moved the woman who came to my home and made promises that they refused to keep.

If that's not telling, then I don't know what is.

Thanks to you all for your responses. I look forward to hearing more of them.
Nohandle on 2010-01-03:
I don't doubt your experience for a moment and I've never done business with Lowes for floor covering. Yes, floor covering companies can ruin freshly painted walls and baseboards in a moment. Trust me on this one. Then it is your responsibility to have the painters back in to repair the damage often at your expense.

Don't sign off on anything until the job is complete. The subcontractors only want to be paid by Lowes who you in turn paid for the work. You'll never hear from them again once you sign on the dotted line.
ljshaw on 2010-01-06:
Nohandle - I knew there would be marks on the baseboards. But not near the ceiling. I also found gouges in a door frame (recently painted).

They came back to fix a portion of the floor on Monday and instead of walking on the tarp that was covering the stairs, they deliberately moved the tarp and rubbed dirt into the new carpet with their feet. At this time, I'm unable to remove the stain.

I was smart in that on Monday I brought a camera with me to document any new issues. I found flooring that was slipping (I could put a dime between the planks), big scratches on the walls and other issues.

I've already called The CEO's office and am now (supposedly) working with the District Manager to fix the remaining issues with the floor and he told me that my contractor could submit an invoice for the required repairs.

I've asked for written guarantees and was promised them by the end of this week. I doubt that I'll ever see it.

Just in case, I've already called my lawyer.
Nohandle on 2010-01-06:
I expect you would find marks near the ceiling if a crew dragged in a 12' roll of carpeting and didn't pay attention as to what was going on. Hit the ceilings, upper walls, middle walls and whatever else was around. As far as gouges in a door frame, yep I wouldn't doubt that either. I also wouldn't doubt anyone stating their furniture had been messed up as well. Face it, you had a terrible installation. No one took any respect at all as to your property.
6505 on 2010-02-02:
Let's build something together, sure, I think this place and like other's gets the contractors from the local liquor store. These people must have graduated "handyman's anonymous".
ok4now on 2010-04-14:
I like Lowe's and frequently shop there due to their excellent pricing and sales. I limit this to what I can physically leave the store with or what they will deliver for free. I would never trust ANY box store to do any type of installation or home improvement. They all use subcontractors who basically don't care, want to rush the job and get paid. Yes there are honest reputable guys out there but they are in the minority. I prefer to use local established businesses that have a proven track record with recourse if there is a problem.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Lowe's Doesn't Use BBB Installers - Beware
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WENTZVILLE, MISSOURI -- This is beautiful, and EXPENSIVE flooring. Lowe's promised us at the point of sale that they would guarantee installation. Just letting everyone know that Lowe's did not stand behind their flooring installation with us. We spent a lot of money on flooring that was incorrectly installed and are having to pay out of pocket to have it re-done. We are getting no response from them all the way up to the President of Lowe's. I won't go into details, just imagine 8 months of inspections, phone calls, not returned phone calls, passing around, etc.

Don't get flooring installed by them! Going on 8 months of really messed up flooring. Bad business Lowe's. We will never shop there again, and hope you heed our warning.
     
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John Nicholson on 2013-06-12:
You learned the hard way, but for the benefit of others: never, ever go to a big box store to buy and have them install flooring of any kind--vinyl, carpet, wood, etc. They use sub-contractors and you take a real chance on what you have experienced---shoddy work, no help from the store, etc. We have used small retailers in the local area for decades, one in particular who use installers they trust, do a great professional job and who stand behind any problems. You can save some money going through a big box retailer, but the odds of having problems is increased substantially. Caveat Emptor!
Unhappy in Bloomfield Hills on 2013-08-20:
I have had two bad experiences with Lowe's installers. One was for a hot water tank - took four visits to get it right. The other (and current) is for a carpet installer who put down wrong (much cheaper) padding. Hope this correction goes better than last.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Lack of Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS -- Have not been in a Lowes store in several years. Wife and I decided to look for tile for our condo to be installed the next week. 650 sq ft at a cost of over $1700.00. The funny thing is that we were unable to get any associate to assist us with our purchase. After a half an hour wasted in a store that had few customer we just left. How sad. Went to a competitor, several associates were eager to help. We picked out and purchased our tile in less than 20 minutes. Spoke to several friends they to have had similar experiences at the same Lowes location. Guess a store can't make money if they have no one there to take it from your hand.
     
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Most Incompetent Employees in Flooring--Including the Store Manager!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA -- Dealing with Lowe's in an attempt to have 4 rooms carpeted and 2 bathrooms covered with vinyl for almost 2 months! Unbelievable screw ups! From getting a contractor to finally come out and measure, then screwing up measurements, items not in stock, finally getting items after umpteen phone calls, screw ups with bill, failure to bring enough vinyl, then told needed a different flooring before vinyl could be installed. Calls never returned from the employee, finally many attempts to talk with manager--he too provided lousy customer service and could not help resolve problems-and offered no help other than adding to my frustration! It goes on and on. I will Never deal with Lowe's again and will be sure to share my worse experiences with all I know!
     
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Dynamo011 on 2012-02-04:
I used to work in flooring for Lowe's, and I remember installed sales never being a strong point of the business (Kitchen installs were absolute customer torture). The best installation service will generally be had from the mom and pop businesses. Because their clientele base is so much smaller, a customer is much more valuable to them than they are to a big box store. Lowe's makes money on quantity, the little guy makes money on quality.
streetwise on 2012-02-26:
Go online, look up the CEO and email him/her with your complaint/explanation, include dates, times, names. They hate being bothered and the store manager will wish he dealt with you better. Go to every review site you can and check out their reviews on the store and leave your own review. One CEO was so upset with a copy of a review from another shopper that I quoted that he handled the problem himself and the worker that had to fix the problem and apologize and walked up eight flights of stairs to do it, asked if I really emailed the CEO...
mjae on 2012-03-02:
Is is just going to get worse.. they getting ride of all the small installation companies that care about what their install turns out. Going to large 3 out installer that couldn't care less
mac on 2013-03-20:
stay away from Surface Source flooring and whomever sells it. they will blame the home or installer for it buckling, warping, lifting,All the majical things that this type of flooring will do in your home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Complement
Posted by on
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I would like to commend Lowe's floor installer. The installer and his crew did an excellent job in installing my new tile floor. I received very professional help from the flooring department salesman who informed me of the necessary things to do and the way the installation would be handled.
The installer showed up a couple of days later, took measurements and set to install my floor, going above and beyond. His crew was very courteous and professional. I love my new tile floor.

my only complaint was that though I was charged $85.00 dollars for delivery, the tiles were not delivered by Lowe's for installation, and the installer had to pick them up himself so he could install it.
     
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unhappy999 on 2011-01-08:
Maybe Lowes had to pay the installer for going to get the tiles. Though, it wouldn't hurt to ask them about the delivery charge.
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Can't Deliver on Time
Posted by on
SILVERDALE, WASHINGTON -- I love Lowe's products and have purchased several $$ items from them in the past few years. However, their customer service on delivered items gets a solid "F" from me. The store in Silverdale, Washington is beautiful, clean, and the staff are courteous, but getting an ordered item delivered in a timely manner is next to impossible. The date Lowe's says you'll have your item(s) is just a wild guess. My husband and I ordered a $999 kit to build a storage shed and it did not come on time. Then, it arrived and no one called us. When we went to the store to ask about the delay, it was found languishing in the store's warehouse. About $2500 of cork flooring we ordered last winter did not come on the date promised. We had ordered it well in advance of a party we planned at our house and tore up our old kitchen floor to get ready for installation. The flooring didn't come, and didn't come, and didn't come. We had a party with an ugly, torn-up kitchen floor. When we told guests our flooring from Lowe's was late, we heard many similar stories from them of Lowe's items ordered and not delivered on time. When the flooring order finally came, it arrived in fits and starts, a couple of boxes at a time. The matching moldings we ordered had to be re-ordered because "they appeared to fall off the original order," a store clerk told us. Hmmmm. How does part of an order "fall off?" We bought a high-end Maytag set washer/dryer several weeks ago. You guessed it--it came a few days later than promised. Worse, the sales clerk gave us an incorrect stock# to order a gas conversion kit for the dryer. When the installer finally came, the kit was the wrong one, installation was halted, and the part had to be re-ordered. We were told it would be expedited in overnight mail. But it wasn't. Here I sit five days later fuming. I called the store, was polite, and got passed around to several clerks, none of whom could tell me much. Worse, Lowe's has already processed the Credit Card account on the purchase and billed us for it. So they expect us to pay the bill on time when they can't deliver on time?? How unfair is that? I like Lowe's, but this may be the final straw. My husband came up with a good idea. The gov't uses this idea when contractors fail to deliver on time. They are assessed a fee for every day they are late with a product or service. I think it's time Lowe's did this. I've been driving 12 miles to a laundromat for several weeks, waiting for my new appliances to be installed. I think they owe me for the inconvenience and then some. I think I've had it with Lowe's.
     
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Alain on 2010-10-20:
Give Lowe's a call at 1-800-445-6937 and let them know they're losing business due to the problems you're having with store #2746 and/or go to lowes.com and send an e-complaint via 'contact us' at the bottom of their webpage.
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They Owe Me Money
Posted by on
I am very upset with Lowes because before getting approved for a Lowes Card I purchased 40 boxes of Armstrong Heritage Pine Laminate flooring Item # 205122 and these boxes were purchased for about @ 28.32/box well I had four boxes from the original purchase I had to return because when I opened them they were damaged with chips on the side. My contractor had me go out and purchase 6 additional boxes to replace the other four and 2 extra in which I found they had now been dropped to 10.14/box. I allowed the 4 boxes I needed to return to sit in the pile of things I needed to return to Lowe’s, which were not used, and was in excess which included a customer paint color, which didn’t match the original gallon, I purchased from Lowe’s. I have spent over 1500.00 in the last 2-week with Lowe's not including the original purchase in November of the 40 boxes of laminate and to be told I can only receive 10.14/box for the original flooring I purchased before because I didn't have the receipt floored me. I can produce receipts for everything I have purchased from Lowe’s except for the one receipt and even explained to the manager the original 40 boxes were purchased from a store in Pennsylvania and I had them ICD here to my local store.

A majority of my spending can be verified from my store account and the original purchase of the 40 boxes could not because they were purchased out of pocket and not on my credit card. I want to have this problem resolved. My boyfriend returned the items and if I had known they only gave him $10.14 I would of said not to do it. I don’t have an extra 70.00 to just throw away to Lowe’s and I want to have the amount I spent on these items refunded. When he called me I immediately called the store and spoke to a manager who I informed of the situation and advised him I would be contacting corporate because no one seemed to be willing or able to help me. I want to have my original purchase amount returned to me whether it is store credit or appear on my Lowes credit card as a credit. For the 4 boxes at 28.32 I should have received a credit of 113.28 and was only given 40.56 so I am still owed 72.72.

Until this point I was satisfied in the area of product availability, and even customer service, but I am angry because I was treated as if I was not a valued customer. IF this issue is not resolved to my satisfaction Lowe’s will lose a customer and although it may not seem like much just being one I am more than willing and able to express and tell my story to anyone who will listen. If you cannot help me please direct me to someone in upper management who can. I hope that we can continue to do business together and hopefully your store will be my choice when my contractor finishes the current project and starts on the additions to my home.

     
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you r stupid on 2007-12-11:
You're funny, you don't have a receipt and you want them to refund you money that you have no proof you even bought the stuff there. Honey if stores did this people everywhere would be coming out of the woodwork saying they bought stuff and now it's on sale give me my money or store credit.
Tc1073 on 2007-12-11:
No receipt = lowest selling price. You should have gotten even and bought new boxes at reduced rate and brought your recepit with the higher price tiles back. But you were wrong to get mad at your error for failing to have a receipt.
Anonymous on 2007-12-11:
Swing Lowes, sweet chariot, coming forth to carry me to Home Depot.
Shamecca on 2007-12-12:
I guess you don't understand while I did not have the original receipt I paid for it via a checking account which leaves a paper trail and I ordered the original 40 boxes from a store in Pa, paid at the store in De and had them ship the items to DE so again there is a paper trail somewhere proving I purchased the 40 boxes and at which price but no one in management knows how to find such paper trail? Maybe look in computer under ICD done from PA to De for 40 boxes of flooring can't be that heard to find? Thanks anyway I just feel like all the money I have spent in the last week with them and have all my receipts ecept for the one from back in Novemeber and you can't do your job and look in your system and find the purcahse, you looked and found my credit account without me being there to refund the 10.14?
Tc1073 on 2007-12-12:
It is YOUR responsibility to keep track of the receipt, not Lowe's. Its not in their financial interest to price adjust or refund the price discrepancy. I think it should be easy to show where you paid for them but sometimes the physical receipt has additional information that they need.
Anonymous on 2007-12-16:
I would agree that as the customer, it is always wise to hold on to your receipts, especially for large purchases. It makes issues like this one much easier to solve. You bring them a receipt, they immediately know that you purchased the product at the full price, and they refund you what you paid. Obviously, Lowe's can't give you the full price without proof because how do they know you didn't buy it at the clearance price and are requesting a full refund? Lesson learned...keep your receipt!
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