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Flooring Advice from an Ex-Employee
Posted by ExLLemployee on 04/06/2011
I worked at Lumber Liquidators for 14 months and found out several things.

1.) Do not buy Bellawood as there are many milling issues.

2.) Any Virginia Millworks flooring is actually very good quality and affordable.

3.) SCHON engineered flooring is a decent value. Decent quality, good prices.

4.) Laminates- stay away from 6mm flooring not because of LL but because it is just too thin. St. James flooring still amazes me with quality and price.

5.) NEVER buy odd-lots you will never be happy(that also goes for anywhere).

6.) CHOOSE YOU'RE INSTALLER WISELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 99 Percent of the issues I had at my store were installation issues and pretty much the rest were damaged from forklift or milling issues with Bellawood. Choose an installer with a warranty and check with references.

7.) The top 3 issues with a bad floor are MOISTURE(have the installer check the readings and put the proper moisture protection down- needs to be sold from LL for the warranty). Installers failing to leave an expansion gaps(the floor needs 1/4" to 3/8" gap between it and the wall, which you can cover up with baseboard or quarter round). And scratching. DO NOT BUY A SOFT WOOD IF YOU ARE ROUGH ON THE FLOOR. If you are particularly rough on flooring go with their ST. James laminate. It holds up extremely well.\

8.) They had a huge changeover in 2010 that caused thousands of customer complaints but should be over by now and safe to buy.

9.) The average customer is very unreasonable. They have an installer blame LL so they believe it when generally it is the INSTALLER.

10.) They treat their employees like TOTAL HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. I will not go into detail but it is not important for customers unless you like to buy from places that treat their employees good.

11.) All in all I will buy flooring from them when needed as I tend to not hold grudges. Hard to beat their prices and quality on most things. Again steer clear of bellawood.

     
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Posted by saj80 on 2011-04-06:
Very good review; thanks.
Posted by dan gordon on 2011-04-06:
I'd love it if you'd repost on the flooring forum. I worked for a hdwd mfctr and read many complaints re: prefinished flooring when normally its maintenance or installation related. Please repost here:

http://ths.gardenweb.com//forums/flooring/
Posted by idontthinkso on 2011-04-06:
Seriously.. yer a Bellawood rep.. aintcha??
Posted by Ex Employee on 2012-02-07:
The classic thing is that much of the Bellawood is finished in the middle of thier warehouse in Toano Va 444 surrounded by dust covered boxes, forklifts driving by etc. What a joke they are!!
Posted by BEWARE on 2012-04-06:
EMPLOYEES THAT GREW THIS COMPANY BEFORE IT WENT PUBLIC ARE BEING SYSTEMATICALLY FIRED. THEY HAVED WORKED 15HR DAYS 7 DAYS A WEEK BY THEMSELVES(WHERE IS OSHA) VACATIONS CANCELLED DUE TO NO COVERAGE. THE COMPANY THEN FIGHTS YOU OVER UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WITH THE HELP OF AN OUTSIDE FIRM CALLED TALX WHO IS ALLOWED TO APPEAR BEFORE THE LABOR JUDGE BUT NOT YOU.EMPLOYEES ARE HURT ON THE JOB. ONE WAS FIRED AFTER SURGERY SO DONT GET SICK. THESE EMPLOYEES WERE SELLING 300K A MONTH FOR THIS COMPANY AND IT STILL WASNT GOOD ENOUGH. WHEN THEY WENT PUBLIC (IPO) THEY HIRED SO MANY VP SUCKING MONEY OFF THE TOP WITH NO FLOORING /SALES /OR BUILDING EXPERIENCE. THERE WAS NO MONEY LEFT TO HIRE WAREHOUSE OR SALES ASSOCIATES.THESE VPs (TO JUSTIFY THEIR POSITIONS CAME UP WITH MORE AND MORE FOR THE 1 SALES PERSON TO DO THERE WAS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED AND TO SATISFY THE CUSTOMERS. ORDERES WERE NEVER SENT TO STORE SO THERE WAS UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS AND THE BACKLOG INCREASES. 3 TRUCKES SHIPPED A WEEK THAT WASNT ORDERED MUST BE UNLOADED,FORFLIFTED INTO AN INCREASING STUFFED WAREHOUSE BY ONE PERSON. CUSTOMER SVC CUTIES WERE RUDE TO STORES TRYING TO EXPLAIN PROBLEMS. REGIONAL MGR THAT OPENED HALF THE EAST COAST STORES ,ON THE ROAD CONSTANTLY ( HAD HEART ATTACK) WAS FIRED AND REPLACED BY A GUY WHO WORKED AT GAME STOP. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE. I HOPE GRIFITHS DIDNT GET AN EXIT BONUS LIKE NARDELLI DID AT DEPOT. NOTICE ALL THE JOB OPENINGS . WORD IS OUT YOU WONT LAST LONG.
Posted by face it on 2012-05-26:
Net sales increased $28.4 million, or 17.8%, to $188.0 million in the first quarter of 2012 from $159.7 million in the first quarter of 2011. Comparable store net sales increased 7.5% for the quarter, driven by an 8.0% increase in the number of customers invoiced at these stores. Non-comparable store net sales increased $16.4 million. The Company opened four new stores during the first quarter of 2012.


The above statement was copied from the LL web site. For all who have been poorly treated (either by working for them or spending money with them) by lumber liquidators, this is proof positive that some action needs to be taken to prevent them from further profiting in the "dirty" manner that they are so well know for. Please people do not support this company. A COMPLETE BOYCOTT is needed to force these crooks to close there doors.
Posted by Stella on 2013-03-16:
I also got the name and titles of heads of this company. I plan on sending cards to them and also to ty penninton, hgtv, and bob villa.
We need a good, honest lawyer to launch a class action suit. Perhaps Erin will do this.
Posted by Rob Lynch on 2013-06-09:
Most of the people work there now are coming from Circuit City (From Division Manager, Regional Manager, and Sales Manager). Anyone remember what happen to Circuit City?
Posted by Rich on 2014-03-23:
Just had St. James laminate installed a month ago. The corners are creasing and the seams are bubbling-up. I've kept water off the floor, used a Swiffer like they told me to to clean it. Contractor is blaming the floor and LL is blaming contractor. NIGHTMARE.
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Lumber Liquidators Warranty is a TOTAL scam
Posted by AllenB on 11/23/2009
TOANO, VIRGINIA -- Spent almost 10,000 dollars on a prefinished floor by Lumber Liquidators. After only a week of normal use I noticed serious scratching. I took closer notice and marked over 100 scratches on these floors, many all the way through the finish! Three salesmen we spoke to before buying this product all answered the same questions we asked....will our dogs or children scratch this floor with their normal use? They assured we would have no problem, explained how these floors are ideal with pets and even gave us promotional material that showed a large dog on this floor.

After my complaints, LL demanded pictures and samples. I sent those and they quickly sent me a letter concluding that things were not their fault and that their warranty didn't protect against scratching. I demanded an inspector whose conclusion was 'that the scratches were caused by our dog and the problems were site related NOT product related'. The inspector didn't even test any of the wood!

We have had hard wood floors and Pergo floors that last many years without a single scratch.

I would strongly recommend against buying anything at Lumber liquidators. The salesmen lie. The warranty is a sham. The products are junk.
Don't waste your money! ! !
     
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Posted by dan gordon on 2009-11-24:
I'm sorry you learned a hard lesson. First of all I've spent 30 yrs as a wholesale flooring rep. NO MFCTR of any product warrants against scratching. Flooring warrantys are written to sound good but do little. LL has a horrible reputation but any prefinished floor would have suffered the same fate. Just google flooring forums or LL and you will see multiple posts dealing with flooring issues. The good news is that this type of flooring can easily be recoated down the road without resanding. Cost is pretty minimal. If you had damaged Pergo type laminates there is no ability to refinish. Buy a Dremel or dogg booties or you will have continued problems.
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-11-24:
Protip: clip the doggie nails. If you can hear them clip clop on the floor they are too long and need a trim.
Posted by Lifemates on 2010-10-11:
Sales people make many claims to sell the product, you should of asked if it was covered in the warranty.
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NEVER BUY prefinished floor from Lumber Liquidators
Posted by Grace001 on 03/19/2007
ARLIGTON HTS, ILLINOIS -- I had my Bellawood maple floor installed in my new kitchen after recommendation, from "specialists" at Lumber Liquidators in Arlington Hts IL. That floor should never be recommended for the kitchen! After a minor leak under the sink, water leaked to the floor. Finish has come off at the edges exposing raw wood. By the way: wood planks are beveled and are finished only on the top, making easy way for water to puddle between planks, seep under the finish and ruin it! I'm very
disappointed with a quality of Bellawood.

They claim that finish is guaranteed for 50 years! MAYBE JUST TO LOOK AT IT! My old oak floor in the rest of the house had much more use and abuse and old finish is still fine. There was no mention that it should not be installed in the kitchen (where there are occasional spills). After complaining, Lumber Liquidators has send somone to see the floor, but they refused any responsibility for the finish. NEVER BUY PREFINISHED FLOOR FROM LUMBER LIQUIDATORS!!! It cost me over $1200 just for the floor not counting instalation.
     
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Posted by poppapia on 2007-03-19:
Many houses have hardwood (including prefinished) in kitchens and dining rooms, where spills do happen. If these spills are cleaned up immediately, there shouldn't be any problems with the floor. With the exception of ceramic tile, any other type of flooring will have problems if exposed to moisture for a prolonged period. For myself, I would never purchase any type of flooring product online unless I could look at it somewhere in person.
Posted by shawnp80 on 2007-03-19:
This minor leak may have been leaking longer than you think. I just bought pre-finished Brazilian Redwood from Lumber Liquidators on Saturday. I hope it works out ok. I am having it installed in the living room though. I went with ceramic in the kitchen.
Posted by jtsjtsjts on 2008-02-26:
it didnt matter if the floor had bevel's or not ,all floors raw or prefinished only have finish on the surface.none should be subject to water this is a insurance claim
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STAY AWAY FROM LUMBER LIQUIDATORS
Posted by Antho1941 on 12/06/2012
S. HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY -- We had this floor installed last year upon their recommendation. We followed all instructions and used installer they suggested. Our floor is cupping, squeaking and coming up. The 30 yr. warranty and their customer service is a joke. They have done nothing and blame it on moisture even though they used moisture barrier. I have researched and found hundreds of complaints online. STAY AWAY from them. Be like us and use all possible outlets to warn consumers. Since they fail to respond to customers, warn others and maybe they will wake up to customer complaints.

     
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Posted by Old Timer on 2012-12-06:
Lumber Liquidators must seldom get a repeat customer. They remind me of a street seller we went past in Tijuana years ago, he said, "please let me try and rip you off just one time". It was so original we actually bought a bracelet from him. Lumber Liquidators will never get that chance with us after all the complaints I have seen. The street seller was honest and original, Lumber Liquidators seem to just be crooks with a license to steal.
Posted by yoke on 2012-12-07:
LL sells discount flooring. They make it clear it is not top of the line. LL are not crooks, far from it. They sell flooring at a low price, which is what the buyers are looking for.
Posted by Barbara on 2013-01-02:
I'm not sure where is it stated that LL makes it clear that they are not top of the line. There is no claim that their flooring is cheap b/c of poor quality. What marketing genius would ever say that? On the contrary, their claim is that they cut out the "middleman" to get quality product at a lesser price. They even have Bob Vila as a spokesman.
Posted by ok4now on 2013-01-10:
LL and Empire Carpets seem to have a lot in common. They both sell a cheap product, have many complaints and no repeat business. Stay away from these ripoff people!!
Posted by Ray on 2013-01-17:
I purchased and installed 900sf of click together antique strand bamboo, the floor looked great for the firs 3 months now the seams lengthwise have started to separate to the point they have come unlocked in many places, the entire floor needs to be taken up to replace the affected boards. I am by no means a professional however i have installed no less that 5 wood and laminate floors with no issues, my house also has a built in humidifier which allow me to keep the humidity in my house at 38%. Not only are the seams separating you can also now see and feel the grain texture, i feel the product was manufactured and shipped to early before the wood dried properly, then when they introduced the resins that hold the material together it made the material more susceptible to shrinkage. I have put a claim in with LL it is going on two weeks now, i complied with all of their requests to send photos, fill out forms etc... they still have not sent anyone to look at the problem, I am not very optimistic at this point.
Posted by Tammy on 2013-03-02:
We had lots of problems also, we tore it up and took our 500.00 loss . Never again !!!!!
Posted by Kat on 2013-12-26:
We had 1200 sq ft of click-lock carbonized bamboo from Lumber liquidators installed in October, 2011. As I keep reading from other consumers, the floor is complete trash now. The finish is completely dulled - even though we use their recommended cleaner faithfully. The gaps/splits are everywhere - we are constantly finding new places where it's coming apart. We run a humidifier to keep it around 40% and still the gaps appear. We went round and round w/LL trying to get them to make it right and they continually blamed the installer and our house for their terrible product. I give it maybe another year before we finally have it ripped up and something else installed. We may even just go with stained concrete. Lumber Liquidators sucks.
Posted by Dave Bowden on 2014-02-01:
I also did about 1000 sq ft of the click bamboo on a slab with the expensive underlayment. it is also cupping, and coming apart in many places... Sick to my stomach. i have not contacted them yet but not too hopeful.
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Defective Flooring
Posted by Badboise on 02/04/2010
BYRON, GEORGIA -- About four weeks ago we bought 13 boxes of African mahogany flooring. Not even 2 weeks after completion, we started seeing markings that resembled scuff marks or scratches. There are numerous of these markings. I immediately called LL and the sales man here in Macon, Ga said he could not help us. I then sent LL an e-mail. that was 2 weeks ago, and no answer till yet. Tried to call customer service and no luck here.

I highly do not recommend purchasing any kind of flooring from this company as their warranty is a scam and falsification and have been unwilling to help resolve our problem.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 02/05/2010:
Thank you for sharing this experience with us so we can help you. The situation you described is not a common customer experience and we would need more information to research where you called, and what email address you used for contact. Calls are generally answered within 30 seconds or less and emails returned within 24 hours (most often within 16 hours or less). If you have a product issue the store can help you, and Customer Care. We woudl like to know who you spoke with at the store becuase this is not how we handle our customer concerns. We stand behind all products we sell and we can help. Please contact LL Customer Care using the number on your invoice. You can also find us online through our website. It's unfortunate to hear you've had a problem and we're more than willing to help you. Please call us as soon as possible. I will alert the Call Center Agents, so we're looking for your call! Signed LL Customer Care Manager
     
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Posted by BEJ on 2010-02-04:
I do not know of any wood flooring that is Scratch/Scuff proof. Perhaps someone had a pebble or stone in the tread of their shoe and was walking across the flooring and it scratched. What is it you want them to do? A warranty if for defective material not wear and tear.
Posted by saj80 on 2010-02-04:
You probably need to contact the warranty provider, not LL, and their contact information will be on your warranty documents. As BEJ stated, if this is considered normal wear and tear, the warranty won't cover it. What is the warranty period for finish? Usually the shorter the warranty period means lower quality, but you also pay less.
Posted by Brandon on 2012-01-02:
I had the same issue with a similar vinyl product. Try using grade #0000 steel wool and rub the scuffs a bit. They will disappear. I know it sounds like steel wool would damage the floor but #0000 is the finest steel wool you can get and it won't harm the floor at all. The scuffs will be gone with a few rubs.
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Read warranty and understand it protects LL not you
Posted by Justdoright on 11/21/2012
I waited for years to have the money to buy wood flooring for my house. I feel completely stupid and duped. Lumber liquidators sells poorly manufactured floors and does not stand behind its products.

The floor began to split on the glue line within 6 months of installation. After months of rudely worded form letter rejections LL hired Inspect Solutions who could not find anything wrong in my home or environment and therefore concluded that the installers knew the floor was damaged and installed it anyway. I hired an inspector, who stated that it is a manufacturing issue and it is not floor checks as the Inspect Solutions claimed but glue line splits. He showed me a research article by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) to show what my floor is doing. LL will not even acknowledge the inspection or the NWFA article and continued a ridiculously flawed argument against the installers.

After filing with BBB, I was offered a store credit that on the face seems fair but when you consider that I don't have the money to pay 2500 dollars to pull up the floor and have it reinstalled with no guarantee that the new floor will be any better, it is meaningless. And if again, I happen to get a bad lot or poor quality floor, I can start the cycle again. BBB states that cannot compel anything beyond LL's limited warranty that states a store credit is the only remedy.

I thought I had asked all the right questions and wrongly thought that LL was a reputable company but the bottom line is that they are a big company that knows how to protect themselves so they can take the chance of selling substandard products because if it fails they don't have to accept responsibility of making it right.

The floor is so bad, I cannot walk in stocking feet. And I have to live with the constant reminder of how naive I was because it will be a long time before I can afford to replace it.

I recommend buying wood flooring from a reputable retailer who will stand by the product and treat customers with respect. Read the warranty, a store credit is great if the product is something you can simply take back but a floor should not fail in 6 months and if it does, you want a company that will make it right and at a minimum treat you with respect.

For me, I will have to see if the store credit is something I can sell so I can start to save for a replacement or determine if there is an implied warranty that will apply in my state and seek a remedy through litigation...sigh, I am so sad.
     
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Posted by justdoright on 2012-11-21:
I forgot to mention that this Morningstar floor that i purcashed is rated 51 out of 100 by consumer reports. I know I should have looked first.
Posted by bob932304 on 2012-11-22:
You might consider small claims court in your town or county.
Posted by leet60 on 2012-11-22:
This is why I don't ever purchase any item from a business that has terms in its name such as "liquidator", "discount" or "overstock". In my opinion, you only ask for poor quality or service from these businesses.
Posted by face it on 2012-11-25:
I am greatly saddened by your review Justdoitright,
Some other things you might not be aware of? Have formaldehyde and urea levels checked in the product, as these products are manufactured over seas and the requirements for manufacturing are significantly different in china than they are in the USA.
As I could best decipher from your review you have the vertical bamboo product? the most common types of bamboo are vertical grain horizontal grain and a grain pattern known as strand. As bamboo is actually a grass not a form of wood. The material has to be bonded/glued together (it is in this bonding agent that you will find the formaldehyde and urea) as bamboo is not significant enough in mass to mill into flooring planks, therefor it is essentially an engineered product. "Splitting along the glue line" I take it that you mean where the thin strips of bamboo are glued/pressed together is where you are seeing the issues of separation? Lumber Liquidators has never taken liability in regards to installation so they brought in a company called The Home Service Store to offer installation and to remove all liability in regards to installation from themselves. There warranty is set up in such a way that each and every time the liability is pushed of to the installer (either the DIY homeowner or a contracted installer) keeping them free and clear of any liabilities in regards to installation. If you used a credit card for your purchase you may want to contact that company as many of the credit providers offer assistance in situations such as yours. In regards to the store credit, I highly doubt that it could be sold. I honestly have no idea about that, I know I would not want to purchase someone else's store credit. The federal trade commission might be able to offer some assistance as well.

After installing product for Lumber Liquidators exclusively for about 10-12 years I personally witnessed a drastic decline in product quality in the past 5-6 years. I have installed countless feet of bamboo products from there, and never during this time did I see anything that would make me want to recommend bamboo flooring to any one. The main selling point for bamboo is that it's a sustainable product, "green" if you will. I have seen bamboo products that dent from dropping a writing pen on them to finish peeling away to so much bonding agent/glue used in the strand materials that the slightest dent or scratch will leave a hideously obvious "WHITE" spot due to the hardness of the underlying glue used in manufacturing.

I hope you find a satisfactory solution to your issue. Far to many times are customers put in a "Now what do we do" situation after spending their money at Lumber Liquidators.
Posted by Don Haley on 2013-01-02:
I purchased the exact same product and I am having similar issues. Mine is gapping between ends (shrinking? even though it acclimated to house for multiple weeks), there is finish coming off on ends, and some boards are higher than others (subfloor issue which was supposed to be resolved by the installer). In fact, we had the entire floor replaced one time by LL and now, a year later, are having issues again. Does anyone know at what point this could be a class action?
Posted by Barbara on 2013-01-02:
Similarly I purchased Morningstar Bamboo 3/8x3 1/14 flooring. I had significant gapping and shrinking. The product since purchase has been discontinued. When I went to two of their stores to try and obtain additional flooring to relay the floor, the asst. manager and other salesman out right told me that the floor was discontinued for this specific reason. I was then given a 1-800 number to call and complain. Of course, I went through the standard complaint route assuming that since they were aware of the problem, they would offer some remedy. To my surprise I received a letter that basically told me what gapping is, how to prevent and if interested, to pursue at my own cost an inspection (an inspection for something they are already aware of). Unfortunately when I searched on reviews for the product, it gave me the ones that were posted only on their site (which were great). I should have searched for complaints. Even the BBB has this company rated at A . I plan on submitting a complaint to the BBB next, which I sugguest all should too.
Posted by justaintright on 2013-07-03:
I've installed morning star wood in only like 6 house's. and outa 6 atleast 4 had shrinking problem. I pulled up the hole floor and reset it. Now the same floors have reopened gaps.when is enough enough I say?????????
Posted by Kam on 2014-03-14:
I did contact GE Capitol who is financing my flooring. They delayed my payment 1month and then I received a letter stating that they had "released the dispute in favor of LL". Who had sent them a reply stating they had notified HSS of this issue and they will be contacting me to resolve the "installation problems." What a crock! Won't be using that credit card company anymore!!!
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Laminate and Engineered flooring from Lumber Liquidators
Posted by Chevylover1988 on 07/07/2009
CLAYTON,, DELAWARE -- We purchased a laminate floor from Lumber Liquidators and had their installers come to install it. The installers came and said they were unable to install the flooring since it was defective and it had to be returned to the store. They recommended a more costly but in their opinion better one, a Schon engineered floor. We returned the first floor. When we picked up the Schon floor we noticed that the boxes looked beat. We asked the manager to come out and look. He looked quickly and said they were OK, they came from another store. When we got home we opened one box and found the flooring was very curved. We called the store. They said the floor had to acclimate. We waited 5 days and it never changed. The ends curl up about 3". We spoke to their installer who said that we should return it. He felt it was defective. When we called the store, they said that this Schon floor was not longer available and we would have to pick out another floor. If we returned it without choosing a 3rd floor, we would have to pay a 20% restocking fee.

How can a store restock defective flooring???? This is outrageous. They owe us an apology for selling us TWO defective floors!
     
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Posted by dan gordon on 2009-07-07:
Lumber liquidators have a horrible reputation for customer service. You should feel lucky they are still working with you to keep you happy. A simple google search would have alerted you how they operate.
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BUYER BEWARE
Posted by Leslir on 03/28/2012
AUBURN, MAINE -- DO NOT USE LUMBER LIQUIDATORS! I purchased strand bamboo flooring by Morning Star from the Auburn, Maine store. It was in stock. I went in intending to purchase another product and was steered to this particular bamboo by a salesman. I asked at the time of sale if there was anything I needed to know about the product, this is a standard question I ask about everything I purchase for the remodel. He said the only thing was the addition of an underlayment pad which my installer used. My installer started laying and discovered his nailer was causing dimpling. He called LL and Corporate stated dimpling has been an ongoing problem and to use a 50P nailer. The installer went out and got a 50P nailer and again there was pronounced dimpling though not quite as bad. This time I called Corporate and was transferred to Michelle. She had a well rehearsed attitude issue and told me we should have glued it down, but she would speak with her supervisor. I told her the website says nail or glue. I received a letter yesterday. after 5 days of trying to speak with someone higher up in customer service, that stated we should have pre drilled and then nailed. They also threw in we used more than 50% of the product which is completely false. Lumber Liquidator's letter stated they would not take any responsibility. Needless to say my installer, who has a stellar reputation that has been sullied by LL is furious. BTW he has laid 1600 sf of bamboo from another supplier in my house without issue. Lumber Liquidators is not a good company they have foisted a defective product on the public rather than dealing with their supplier as a reliable company with pride would do.

     
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Posted by BigAl on 2012-03-28:
How can you glue it down with an underlayment pad?
Posted by face it on 2012-04-02:
It greatly saddens me to see this kind of stuff is still going on. I truly wish that any and all customers thinking of making a major purchase with Lumber Liquidators could see these reviews. As an installer I can sympathize with our installer, as I have been put in that same position far too many times. Thanks for the review.
Posted by PFM0329 on 2013-01-08:
We just purchased Morningstar Bamboo from Lumber Liquidators. The floor is fine enough, it seems to take superficial scratches fairly easily that are only noticeable if I point them out directly so not great but nothing horrible. Here's my problem: We had a pro bid it out but he couldn't do it in our time frame so we had a friend who is a carpenter agree to do it. We put flooring in on the entire main floor with the exception of our living room. Well, we had two 'unlocks' develop in our click lock system about halfway from our front door to our back door. Well, NEVER did anyone inform us this flooring system could only go 27' without some sort of ugly divider so the back could contract/expand independent of the front. So guess what....not I have to put in this ugly divider in the middle of my floor. There's no entry way or archway or other spot that the transition would make sense, just the middle of my floor. It's a total design issue, not an install issue and NO ONE, ever told us this. Had the pro brought it up when he was bidding we most definitely would've gone with an alternative floor. Severely disappointed and LL just acts like we didn't read the directions (btw, I had to google the directions to actually find them, we never got them from LL).
Posted by Mark on 2013-07-17:
I just installed Morningstar Bamboo floors about three weeks ago...I honestly have had no problems with them so far. The day after they were installed, in one of the rooms there was a chemical smell, but the next morning it was gone. There is a "gassing off" period for sure.

The installer warned me that this flooring can dimple. We don't have a single dimple in our floor...so maybe it is the installer that's the problem, because he also said this is probably one of the most difficult floors on the market to install, it's "as hard as it gets."

As for underlayment, Lumber Liquidators sold me their premium Bellawood stuff, but the installer (who I made sure was NOT associated with LL) told me under no circumstances do you put this down under a bamboo floor unless it's floating, so I returned it and got a full refund.

Nail this stuff down, put a wax paper between it and the subfloor. That's it. Shouldn't have a problem.

It looks great and feels good on your feet too...smooth and surprisingly softer than our oak floors downstairs, even though it is apparantly considerably harder.

I would recommend this product, but I would really do your homework and pick a top rated installer because it is not an easy floor to install.
Posted by Mike on 2013-10-09:
I just installed a Morning Star bamboo floor i purchased from Lumber Liquidators. It went in a bedroom, I used a floating floor installation. The floor was super easy to install and it looks beautiful. No issues what so ever. TI didn't notice and smells or splitting. My only issue was next time I'll wear gloves as the edges are sharp when I made cuts. I didn't notice any type of odor when I was making cuts with a chop saw or when I had to sand an edge around some trim. I even dropped a hammer by accident on it and it didn't do any damage. The floor was manufactured in July according to the date on it. I did use the Bella underlayment and the floor doesn't have that hollow sound and lies flat as can be. I would buy this floor again as a floating floor. I might consider some thing thicker for a nail down though. This was good for my application and budget.
Posted by Ron on 2014-01-27:
We installed Morning star strand bamboo in our living room/dining room about 2 yrs ago. After letting it acclimate for the 5-7 days as was told to I started the install, Now mind you I am a licensed contractor in the state of Florida and have been in the field of building homes and remodeling for over 30 yrs. The floor did smell funny for about 2-3 days then all was fine. In the last 6 months my wife noticed that the floor was looking sort of weird. At a closer inspection I see that there is small bubbles and areas that the clear coat is coming off of. I took over 25 pictures and submitted them to Morning star warranty division. I received a letter telling me it would not be covered because of: Moisture (or lack of moisture): damages caused by moisture (such as leaking pipes, spills, wet mopping, pets, relative humidity, sub-floor moisture ect.) are excluded. Moisture (and dryness) can cause issues such as cupping, crowning, warping, buckling, peeling, twisting, delaminating, or gapping. So according to this reasoning I could not have pets or even have this product in the state of Florida as we have all the above climates. I called back and told them this was unacceptable as they NEVER even sent a rep out to look at this floor. I have an inspector that they are sending out tomorrow to check it out. We will see what happens. Now I installed this floor with exactly what they told me to use so there would be no warrantee issues. considering we have about $3500.00 into this floor without labor which would be around $1000.00 more. I will post as to what "their inspector" finds tomorrow.
Posted by Gary on 2014-01-31:
Installed over 5k of this snap together floating floor bamboo - let sit in home over 3 weeks before putting down. Now 4 months later I have gaps where joints have come apart in both hallways - 1 gap over 1/4 inch. I would not use this product again
Posted by mcdona26 on 2014-02-01:
Gary, who was the manufacturer of your floor? We're looking at purchasing Arcade bamboo, which is also a snap-together floating bamboo. We were also interested in Morningstar, but have read numerous bad reviews regarding the smell.
Posted by James R on 2014-02-06:
We installed 720 sf of the Morning Star Click bamboo flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators in June of 2013. The material scratches easy, however, the scratches are the least of our problems. The cupping started with the shorter pieces in the hallways. By December 2013, the entire installation was cupping and gaps appeared in random areas. After contacting Lumber Liquidators about the problem, We were told that since we did not hire someone to test the moisture of the subfloor and the humidity in the house prior to the installation of this material, the warranty was void. In addition, I was told that our method of cleaning resulted in the problems with the floor. It seems that if the cleaner is sprayed directly on the floor, the material absorbs the moisture along the edges and this was another reason for the damage to the bamboo flooring. We purchased a 32 oz. bottle of cleaner after the floor was installed. Most of the time, the cleaning involves sweeping and using a dust mop. About once a month we get on our hands and knees, spray a fine mist of cleaner directly onto the floor and use a cloth towel to clean the floor. Since the installation, we have used the liquid cleaner about five times and still have about half of the cleaner left in the bottle. I guess 16 oz. caused the damage to the entire 720 sf of the floor, including the material under the furniture and area rugs!! Seriously?!?!?!? In reading the various reviews for this product, it seems that there is a chronic problem with scratching, cupping and separations. It seems that Lumber Liquidators will use any excuse to avoid the liability for providing the customer with a very poor product. I understand that a product warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Perhaps LLI should condense thier warranty to simply "Warranty void if material is removed from factory packaging". We will have to replace our six month old floor and it sure as heck will not be with a product supplied by Lumber Liquidators. STAY AWAY!!!!!
Posted by jimbobreese on 2014-02-24:
We installed 720 sf of the Morning Star Click bamboo flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators in June of 2013. The material finish scratches easy, however, the scratches are the least of our problems. The cupping started with the shorter pieces in the hallways. By December 2013, the entire installation was cupping and gaps appeared in random areas. When LLI was contacted about the defects, we were informed that the condition was not covered under their warranty.
In reading the various reviews on independent sites for this product, it seems that there is a chronic problem with scratching, cupping and separations. Lumber Liquidators will use any excuse to avoid any liability for providing their customers with a very poor product.
Our first mistake in selecting our new floor was believing that the reviews on the LLI site were unbiased reviews. The product reviews on the LLI website are "selected" reviews. Gee....I wonder who selects them. Our second mistake was actually purchasing this product.
We will have to replace our six month old floor and it sure as heck will not be with a product supplied by Lumber Liquidators.
We learned a $5,000.00 lesson the hard way… don’t make the same mistake.
The LLI warranty should be condensed to read: “Warranty is void if material is removed from factory packaging”.
STAY AWAY FROM LUMBER LIQUIDATORS!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Kam on 2014-03-14:
I also purchased Morningstar strand bamboo floating floor from LL in April 2013. I researched but unfortunately didn't see this site! I asked several salesmen on several occasions about this flooring and inquired about moisture problems, etc. All denied issues with moisture and focused on its durability. I used their Home service referral for an installer. In Dec. I noticed some slight gapping. In Jan. I noticed larger gaps and then saw that the floors had completely pulled away from my walls in every room! I placed a complaint with LL. Waited 2 weeks then went to the store and complained. Finally Terrie phoned me and asked if I had sent the disclaimer and photos? How could I with no forms or response? Then I was referred to the Home Service who told me they would send an inspector. The inspector was my actual installer. See any conflict of interest? He said that this was caused by too low humidity due to the extremely cold winter. He also said the product was at fault but would replace some of the boards (from my leftover boards ). He would need to put T strips in every doorway as well. The home services phoned several days later and and told me not to let him replace the boards yet. She said I should increase the humidity in my home for some time in case the boards would expand and if they did that would cause the opposite problem. I then placed a complaint with HSS. I only have til June 14 to get this taken care of. No response from LL about the product. Now opposite responses from Home services and installer! I saved for years to have wood floors in my home! I've told everyone I know not to do business with LL. LL protect themselves at the cost of their installers and their customers. They are unethical. I am placing complaints with the BBB and the state of MIssouri and am considering legal action. Does anyone know if there is a class action lawsuit in the works! I'd like to see this company closed.
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Lumber Liquidators flooring cracking after 4 months
Posted by Dbelt on 02/01/2011
TOANA, VIRGINIA -- Lumber Liquidators refused any remedy for our claim, citing our cracked floor boards as an "environmental problem." This is a catch-all excuse that effectively makes any 25-year Warranty worthless. We have read the 11-page Flooring 101 pdf offered by Lumber Liquidators, and our site preparation, installation, and environment conform(ed) properly in every way.

We do not trust Lumber Liquidators to stand behind its product, therefore we will never deal with them again. We will never buy stock in Lumber Liquidators, either.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 02/07/2011:
LL warranty is clear in regards to what is, and what is not covered. The warranty is a finish warranty and cracks are not included as a covered item as written in the warranty and installation instructions. Installing the product as required does not mean the interior was properly regulated in regards to temperature and relative humidity. Regardless of where you buy flooring, this issue will surface if not properly maintained. These issues are out of our direct control and we regret to hear you have cracked boards. You can remedy the problem with board replacement and ongoing regulation.
     
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Posted by dan gordon on 2011-02-01:
you give no info so its impossible to comment. I was district mgr for Bruce Hardwood and many problems with hardwood are environmental vs mfctg. Its a problem with products that are god made vs man made.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-01:
I would not buy liquidated lumber.
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-02-01:
throwback - unless you have a bucket to pour it into then?
Posted by dan gordon on 2011-02-01:
btw 25 yr warrantys are for the wear layer not job site conditions out of the mfctrs control. Suggest you research a bit on NOFMA standards and issues with flooring.
Posted by dbelt on 2011-02-01:
thank you, dan gordon
we have checked out NOFMA site and located a CWFI in our area
we will arrange for his on-site evaluation of the problem
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-02-01:
dan, check your messages
Posted by face it on 2011-02-04:
The area of the flooring material referred to as the wear layer is from the top of the tongue to the surface of the material. Manufacturer warranties usually only cover the finish. Basically saying that in "x" amount of years ,under normal conditions, you will not "walk" through the finish.
Lumber Liquidators is the definition of dishonest and the absolute worst company in business to offer satisfaction to customers issues regardless of what the actual issues 100% of the time the problem is pushed off on the installer or the manufacturer. After 10 years of installing product for them, the only time I have ever seen liquidators step up and actually take care of a customer issue is when the customer took them to court and they where forced to correct the problem.
There are so many things that go on behind the scenes at lumber liquidators that the average public is unaware of. If this information where to ever make main stream, so that the public in general would have this information, there would be no way they could keep there doors open. So all employees must sign a "don't tell" form. I have seen black mail, blatant bigotry, theft, and lying on behalf of just 1 store manager and his boss the general manager. This activity has been exposed several times, but instead of taking disciplinary action Liquidators actually rewarded these actions! It is sad that in today's struggling economy that a company this dishonest who shows such lack of appreciation to there customers can stay in business.

I want to thank you Sir for taking the time to post your experience with them, in the hopes that at least one more potential customer will change there mind about doing business there.
What you can expect is: wood flooring is deemed acceptable for installation when the moisture levels in the product are with in a specific range (usually within 3-5% +/-) of the substrate it is applied to. What it sounds like is the material that you purchased was improperly cured. Or possible the "cracking/checking" is in the finish. either way, if all installation procedures where followed, the liability lies with the distributor. In this unfortunate case it's Lumber Liquidators yet again ripping someone off.
Posted by face it on 2011-02-04:
if you go to McDonalds and have a bad hamburger do you go to the farm where the beef was raised to file a complaint? I think not. this company must be made liable for there poor conduct. Please people do not waste your time or money!!!! Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY FROM lumber liquidators.
Posted by David S on 2012-12-06:
I have just had a similar experience with the Lumber Liquidators in Wilmington, DE. I bought a product that specified a 10% waste factor. The reality is that there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% or more defective boards. When I attempted to return defective boards I was told that once the boxes where opened and gone through that I could not return. Are you kidding me !!!! When installing in is recommended to work from several boxes at once to mix in color variations so how do you not open the boxes. I would never again buy anything from lumber liquidators, they offer the worst customer service I have every dealt with and they sell defective product to their customers. Amazing to me how a company that treats their customers this way can stay in business.
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Bad Wood and A Terrible Install
Posted by Bunja on 03/25/2010
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- I bought the wood from the LL store in Pensacola FL. I picked the wood up and put it out for seven days as instructed. The installers (hired through LL) showed up and said the wood was bad (warped and cut to differing widths). They delivered new boxes and assured me that this wood was good. After 7 more days, the installers showed up and began the install. I told them three times which way I wanted the wood to run. They still started putting it down the wrong way. I told them to change it and one of them went off the handle and argued that I told him to do it that way. I said no I didn't and told them to do it the right way. He got so mad that the other two guys had to take him home for the day. His home was over an hour's drive one way from my house. The other two returned and started putting down the wood. The wood they pulled up was thrown together in a box with glue all over it. It was ruined. The next day they returned with the hot head and put the rest of the floor down. They did a poor job. Some of the wood was cut wrong and was not covered by the quarter round. There are defects in the floor. One of the boxes suffered from the same problem as the first (warped and miss cut wood). The installers installed it anyway. You can see the bowed and miss cut wood in the floor. I bought enough T-Molding to do all the doors and they failed to do three of them. They did however take the extra T-Molding with them when they left. The worst thing of all is the glue they got all over the floor. It will take months to clean it all off. I notified the regional installer manager that I wanted my T-Molding back and she assured me she would have it returned. Never heard from her again. I also sent this message to the Lumber Liquidators Store Manager who assured me he would send the message on to his regional manager. I doubt if he ever did because I have not heard anything from them.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND LUMBER LIQUIDATORS TO ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THEIR FLOOR!!!!
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Company Response on 04/05/2010:
Boards will vary in width as you cannot measure each individual board since wood is a hydroscopic product, it will take in and release moisture changing the dimensions of the boards, so a more common and acceptable practice is to lay out (rack) one box to see if there are milling issues. If there's a problem, we'll take them back and hold the manufacturer accountable as we did in your case.

If you used the installation services through HSS and were not happy with their work, the installation comes with a warranty and you should call the number provided and file a complaint. There's always two sides to every story and we can appreciate you may not have had a good experience, and I'll use the points you made about the direction of the flooring as an example. Installation wise it may have made more sense to install the flooring a certain way considering doorways or long runs, so the rub here may have been the installers trying to protect your investment over a personal preference regarding direction.

Either way it sounds like this was not a good experience and store as well as Customer Care will always do what they can providing assistance to help your project go smoothly. If you're missing material - Call the store or Customer Care and we will expedite delivery for you. Always participate in the installation process so the final quality is exactly what you want and you'll have a better experience in the future.
     
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Posted by dan gordon on 2010-03-26:
I was a flooring rep for many yrs. LL often sells 2nd etc. I wasn't aware they offered installation services. Here is a site that often has issues with LL. Do a search and you will be in very good company.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/flooring/?649
Posted by face it on 2010-09-09:
Lumber Liquidators uses the home service store (hss) to offer installation services as they do not want the liability of offering installation of there product. Take that however you see fit, but essentially it means we sell crap and we know it! A popular trend is for a company to take over installation ( as well as other "services") for large companies ( home depot, Lowe's, lumber liquidators, etc.) and by doing so they dictate what the installers will be paid and how they are to operate. This action is single handedly corrupting the market and putting old world service of working with an individual as a thing of the past. Today's economy can not support these so called "we guarantee it" companies like HSS. There only reason for being there is to fatten there wallets while making the people actually doing the work suffer. There so called guarantee is actually offered by the contractor doing the work, there only place in all of this is to give customers a phone number to call. They actually do absolutely nothing in regards to correcting an issue. They just add another step for customers to go through to get there project completed.
the people at HSS have absolutely no product knowledge and have no reason or benefit to the customer other than reading the "script" they are given to address all issues. In short it is like going to a restaurant to eat and not being allowed to order what you want, but instead having someone standing there telling you that you must order something else instead!
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