FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN -- Lowe's 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 Lowe's store and looked at flooring. We really liked the Rialto White 12x12 tile. Not knowing how to install tile, we asked Lowe's 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 Lowe's. We were told that for installation, Lowe's charges $5.97 per square foot.
On Tuesday July 24, the measurer and installer, ** 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 incidentals, 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 inconvenient. 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 Lowe's 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 excessively. When we first called Lowe's and spoke to ** 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 we're 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 ** 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 Lowe's again, perhaps have a remeasure and have someone else install it, and quickly ended the call.
I called Lowe's again and was told I should call the central office. I spoke to an **, who took my complaint. Someone from the central office said the manager of the store would call me. The manager of the Lowe's, ** 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, ** 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 Lowe's, 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.
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 Lowe's 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 Lowe's 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.
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.
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 Lowe's. 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 they're 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.
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 knows 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.
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 manufacturer's 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 ** 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 ** 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 (**) who tried to bully me and once again imply that my painters had ruined their own work. When I mentioned the promises that ** 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 ** 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 Lowe's.
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.
BURLINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- We contacted Lowe's the beginning of April to look at the carpet we had installed about 2.5 years ago. There is wrinkling in the stairs and severe wrinkles in the hallway and buckling in the rooms. Carpet installers said that an attempt to re-stretch the carpet would probably not fix the problem and recommended replacement of over 1300sf of carpet, per flooring manager, the year warranty for labor has expired and it would be our cost to replace.
I went to flooring department and received the report and they called me with the type of carpet that was installed. Phoenix carpet warranty specifically states it is only valid if the carpet is installed by the methods described by the carpet and rug institute. All warranties become null and void if carpets are not installed properly.
Also, failure to install properly carpets is subject to wrinkling and buckling. Also that carpets installed with use of a Stinger instead of a power-stretcher will void all warranties. To reiterate, in the standard for installation of residential carpet CRI 105 It specifically states in 7.5 that the use of a power stretcher is mandatory failure to power stretch a carpet may result in wrinkling and buckling over time.
We were present for the install and a power stretcher was not used, we were not privy to the industry standards and unaware of consequences of the slack of standards. We contracted with Lowe's and their certified professional installer trusting the carpet would be installed to the standards set by the industry and the warranty and Lowe's installers failed. We have called the store, customer care and corporate with no response. Carpet cost was over $3000 and now the store expects us to replace it after 2.5 years after their failure to follow standards?
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- We went to McCandless Lowe's and ordered flooring with installation. A few days later a contractor called and came to our home and performed an estimate. He said Lowe's will call today with the total estimate. They never called, after 3 days I called them. They said the estimate had been ready and they had "no idea" why someone hadn't called. I then made another trip to the store to sign the contract for installation and pay. No one called me for over a week.
I called the contractor and he said "Lowe's didn't call you?" I replied no. “They forgot to order pieces of flooring. I will call you when we are ready and the pieces are in and then you can go to the store and pick up your flooring, we will do the install Friday so you will want to move your furniture.” I went to the store and got the flooring, corner round and paid for the extra pieces that were still not in. I put the flooring where I could around the house and began moving furniture.
I then get a call from the contractor, "can't do it Friday, pieces are not in. I will call you if it rains we can do it then or maybe Sept 29 or 30th." I now have taken a day off work, am tripping over boxes of wood and have all furniture crammed in to my kitchen. Managers, customer service are no help and do not care. Avoid Lowe's Flooring Installation at McCandless twn near Pittsburgh. They have no idea at what they are doing but are happy to take your money.
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS -- Have not been in a Lowe's 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 Lowe's location. Guess a store can't make money if they have no one there to take it from your hand.
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!