WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN -- A few things you should know before purchasing a flooring.
All floors require acclimation. What this means is you need to have the boxes sit in your room that you are going to install the floor. It can not be a garage or basement as it will acclimate to that room and not where it's going to be installed. Laminate, Vinyl, and Hard Wood ( Solids & Engineered ) take 3 to 5 days to accomplish this and Bamboo takes 2-3 weeks. If you were to install as soon as you got the flooring, then in the summer it will buckle and bow as it will expand due to the natural moisture in the air and leaves gaps in the winter since the flooring will contract due to the cold atmosphere.
Failure to do this is your fault, do not blame the company for that.
You really do get what you pay for. Expecting something like a 6mm laminate or odd lot flooring to be pristine is asking a lot for it's value. Therefore, you should generally go with Bamboo, as it's price to hardness ratio is very hard to top at other competitors stores.
The warranty covers the finish. Exchanges are any time, returns are 30 days from the day of pick up ( 60 for bamboo ). If you feel there is something wrong with the floor, DO NOT INSTALL IT. This again places unnecessary risk to you. You must get an underlayment of any sort, whether that be their Bellawood platinum or normal tarp paper for your warranty to be valid.
If you have kids, dogs and the like, do not get anything lower than American Hickory for hardness. The two factors here will tear things up like Birch, American Walnut, American Cherry, Pine, Horizontal Bamboo - Carbonized, and Red Maple.
If you have a lot of moisture in your home, or placing in a basement, then you don't want things like Beech, White Oak, Birdseye Maple, Hard Maple, and Birch.
When purchasing, make sure they are from all the same lot. There is a three letter code, such as HAU, CBD and so on. Otherwise there will be issues in getting them to match up with each other.
15G for domestic woods, 18G for exotics and bamboo. 8in between each tongue in groove for installs.
Wood darkens with sunlight. It's due to the process of photosynthesis. Laminates, Vinyl and Bamboo do not darken with sunlight. However, bamboo does have the unique characteristic of being different shades due to how long it's baked in manufacturing. Thus it's best to check the box before taking it home.
Engineered has the same durability as solids, but can not be sanded as much. In fact, only once, or maybe twice. They also do not expand or contract as much as solids.
If smudges are a concern, go with a duller looking floor. Shiny ones show handprints easier and light floors show dirt much more.
Handscrapes cover dents and scratches far more than a flat surface. If you wanted to sand them though, you would lose some of the look.
I am available for questions, whether it be this site or e-mail. All in all, the company is pretty legit, at least from the West Allis, Wi location. The employees provided me with all of this information upon request.
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.
TINLEY PARK, ILLINOIS -- Well I put a laminate floor in on a continuous run in 3 rooms of my home. About 1 year later we had 3 boards that started to swell around the edges. One of the boards that swelled is adjacent to another that is still fine. We called LL customer service and filed a claim. Long story short it was an awful experience. They did not send any representative out to look at the floor. They basically asked us a million questions just looking for a way to not be responsible for the 3 boards.
So even though my floor was professionally installed, no water sources around, 1st floor with full basement underneath, The rest of the floor is cleaned in the same manner every time, I keep 30% humidity in that area all year round with humidity gauges present, no pets, no small kids, no water leaks anywhere as the rest of the floor is perfect......are you starting to see a pattern here? The problem is not the 3 boards, I have extra, its just that I have to pay the contractor to replace those 3 boards which will take some work. They basically sent me back a letter to inform me after waiting many months, that humidity in my home caused it, I can hire their inspector at my expense, use your own extra flooring for the repair...etc...etc. My contractor believes that because these floors are made under such high pressure that these boards somehow are defective form the beginning, and are now swelling up. As I said one board along a bad one is still perfect so it proves water did not get in there otherwise both sides would be bad. If normal humidity conditions were causing it to swell, then the product is not quality at all and should not be sold in humid climates.
The gal that was the customer service representative (Maria R) sounded like she was 13. She giggled during the entire interview and was clearly reading from a prepared question list and had to correct herself many times...with a giggle of course. There was not professional interaction at all. I knew more about flooring that she did by far. I will never buy another product for LL ever again. The least they could have done was to send me another box of product for my trouble. From now on I will use Lowes or Home Dept for my flooring as I know they stand behind their services from hearing others talk about it. LL is a disgrace, and couldn't even take the time or concern to help with with this matter. We love the floor so much and were devastated when this imperfection showed up. Its right in the middle of the kitchen to where is most visible.
OAKVILLE, CALIFORNIA -- 75% of installed product from Lumber Liquidators is Defective!
• July 31, 2014; we bought hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators in Mississauga (Ontario, Canada) the brand is ( Golden Teak Acacia Hardwood 3/4'”) , Order # 123718873, with 30-year warranty, we based our decision to purchase the hardwood on certain samples at retail store showroom, which we examined before committing ourselves to the purchase.
• After acclimated the product at our house for more than 5 months and used a moisture barrier, which they are selling to keep our warranty valid. We also followed all manufacturer regulations and recommendations.
Unfortunately, during installation and reached of 85% of the process, we noticed there were some defecates mostly at the ends of the boards, which is more than the expected 5% range that our invoice mentioned when we bout the flooring.
• Jan 2015; We informed LL about the flooring issue and filled disclosure forms, the store manager came out to the site to view the floor and he requested to get everything on hold, acknowledged there was a defect (in this patch) of product, and the arrangements were made to ship samples and box of unopened material to the head office in Virginia, USA for inspection.
• LL’s acts of fraudulent concealment, using improper warranty tactics and commissioning sham inspection from INSPECT SOLUTIONS to our flooring in response to complaints in order to "mislead consumers into believing that the defect could be traced to shoddy installation," and to exonerate Lumber Liquidators from any responsibility.
• LL markets and warrants that the Product is durable and further markets and warrants that the Product has a thirty (30) year warranty. LL provided a reasonable expectation to consumers and the industry that the Product would have a usable lifetime of at least thirty (30) years. The Product’s various modes of failure potentially cause damage to other building components and render the Product susceptible to premature failure.
• LL did not honor its warranty and denial our claim. It's amazing to us that a company is so adamant about taking no responsibility for such a poor product (75% defect) which is marketed to be "durable" with 30 years warranty, but it seems there is no quality control had been done at all for this product before wrapping and delivery.
• We had to hire 3rd party independent inspector licensed by National Wood and Flooring Association ( NWFA), he mentioned the mill actually attempted to fuse cracks with glue and then fill them with putty, the manufacturer did this intentionally.His conclusion is (Manufacturing Defects).
• LL has been notified of its breach of written warranties and has failed to adequately cure those breaches. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s breaches of its written warranties, engaged in unlawful business practices in that Defendant represented, through its advertising, warranties and other express representations that the Product had characteristics it did not actually have. We are requiring LL to compensation for financial losses associated with the purchase of the flooring. These losses include:
• Installation costs
• Removal costs
• Loss of use
• Diminished property value
• Remediation costs
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- What I originally thought was a great deal on a small lot special purchase became a huge liability when a home inspector determined that the naturally occurring defects in the wood were the result of a wood destroying insect infestation that can damage the flooring and the wood structure of the home. I spent $135.00 to hire in entomologist to determine that the infestation was inactive.
I contacted customer service to obtain a replacement for the defective product. Customer Service declared it an installation error and all warranties were thus void. They stated that the installer should not have installed any flooring with signs of infestation, this is ironic since neither the manager and assistant manager in the Lumber Liquidator store were unable to identify the WDI infestation and admitted that this was the first time they had seen a Powder Post Beetle infestation. We all assumed that this was typical in rustic looking “trendy” hard scraped wood flooring. Which brings me to my original assumption; this was an uncommon occurrence and this was a defective product.
You can get a great deal at Lumber Liquidators but let the buyer beware. I suggest you check each box on the dock at time of delivery.
CHEETOWAGA, NEW YORK -- Buyer Beware, biggest SCAM operation running from the Lumber Liquidator Store located at 3801 Harlem Rd. Cheektowaga NY
Bought our flooring from LL at 3801 Harlem Rd. Cheektowaga store and had it installed this past Feb 2013. When we initially went there, we were met by the store manager "Dave" (He was very sick at the time, remember!) and informed him we were looking for a floor that would not scratch as we had two small dogs. We stressed to Dave the manager and flooring expert that our main concern was not so much the flooring or cost, but that did not want to invest in something that would scratch. Dave showed us some floor samples and said to us "it will not scratch from your dogs, I have a dog and the same flooring in my house and mine has no scratches". We trusted you Dave and being you were the manager and a corporate representative for LL and a expert in flooring, we again gave you our trust and purchased approx. $5000.00 in flooring from you.
Well not more than two weeks after it was installed, we noticed scratches on the floor. Scratches that Dave, the purported expert, said would not happen. We immediately called our installer John Minor and upon his inspection he stated âIâve never seen a floor so badly scratched and so quickly in my 9 year career, this is bad". Folks this floor wasn't down 5 weeks. We were given some scratch removal product from LL, and let me tell you it is sh**, it did nothing to remove, fix or even hide the numerous scratches. We called LL and spoke with Dave who gave us the standard answer, âYou have a problem, call the 800 number, file a claim, it's out of our hands". Thanks Dave.
Well we did contact the 800 number and spoke with the so called "Customer Relation Specialist" John (No last name given). He informed us of the procedures to file a claim, it required us to take 10 pictures of the damaged floor, fill give a detail explanation of the damage and send it to him. We did everything required. I asked John "When will someone come out and look at the floor". John said "no one will come out and look", and we should hear something in about 10 days or so. So we waited, during which time we put booties on our dogs feet and again tried to rub out the scratches with the LL scratch removal solution. Well folks guess what we received 10 days later in the mail, you guessed it, we received a standard corporate form letter from John, (no last name on letter) and you might guess it basically said "Sorry not our problem" . Comments like "No additional action regarding this matter, as this is not a warrantable claim". Additional comments in the form letter were surprising such as " A thorough review has been undertaken by LL Inc. regarding your concerns of scratches and fading within your floor" ( Riiiiiight) and " it should be noted that while laminate finishes are scratch resistant, there are no claims of the finish being scratch or dent proof".
I guess Dave's claim to us as manager within LL Corporation that we would not experience scratches is not a claim of no scratches? A corporate employee is not held accountable for direct mis-representation. Oh, wait, just say anything (Lie), for a sale and screw the customer, John (No last name) will just send them a corp. form letter later, who cares. Well folks we are just simple people here in Western NY and trust those who give their word, particularly when they represent themselves as so called experts.
Here is my advice to my fellow consumers:
DO NOT GO TO LUMBER LIQUIDATOR AT 3801 HARLEM RD. in CHEEKTOWAGA or any LL store. THERE IS NO WARRANTY WITH THIS CORPORATION, don't believe a word out of the mouths of anyone who works there, anyone who represents LL, any written documents from LL, any advertising from LL, anyone who does contract work for them, anyone who provides or calls themselves a "Customer Relations Specialist". Should you do, you too will be writing a review like I am today, $5000.00 later, heartbroken, having been treated so badly and having a floor that is a piece of sh**. Don't do this to yourself, it is your home.
Finally, you got us Dave, hope you and your pathetic staff got a good laugh at our expense or at least you spent the commission paycheck well. I can only hope that the NY State Attorney Generalâs Office gets people like you who lie to the public, misrepresent product and falsely make statements, people like you who support scrams like Lumber liquidator Inc. does to the good folks of Western NY and takes the appropriate legal actions. You should be ashamed of yourself.
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.
NEW CUMBERLAND, PENNSYLVANIA -- I went to Lumber Liquidators on the recommenation of a colleague. During my first visit, I explained that I was going to floor two levels of my house. Due to budget constraints, I would buy enough flooring at the end of each month to complete one room. Any remaining flooring would be saved for the next room. Below are details of my experience with Lumber Liquidators (New Cumberland, PA) that have frustrated me to the point that I will no longer do or recommend business with this company.
June, 2011 - I opened up the first box of flooring to start the first room. The box was in rough shape and it appeared boards were missing. Since this was my first time installing wood flooring, I thought maybe Bellawood packed their boxes loose. Though, and with hindsight, this box was suspect since it was wrapped in plastic. As I opened other boxes, I realized the boxes are packed tight and indeed the first box was missing approximately 33% of the boards. I absorbed the loss and learned my lesson: check boxes carefully before they are loaded into my car.
July, 2011 - I unloaded flooring for the second room. I discovered one of the boxes labelled as 'Odd Lot' [mixed mills] with a reduced price. I had paid full price for all of the boxes so this caught my attention. I called and was informed that mixed mills means the differences between board could be up to 1/8 inch. I was further informed that these differences are typical with wood floor. Reading the companies website, I learned that installing 'Odd Lot' flooring voids their warranty. I had to return to the store to replace this box with the correct box. No apology, but a clear message that I was lucky that I was not being charged a restocking fee. Strike two! I was starting to feel that perhaps this was not an accident.
August, 2011 - I went to store to get flooring for third room. It was not in stock and had to be ordered. I was informed I would be called the following week when the shipment arrived. No phone call. I called two weeks later. I was informed I would be called when the shipment arrived. A month later I called. I was informed I would be called when the shipment arrived.
November, 2011 - I contacted customer care with the concerns I listed above. The next day an e-mail alerted me they were looking into my complaint, but they had contacted the store and my flooring was in. That evening, there was a message on my answering machine from the store that my flooring was in. When I arrived at the store to get the flooring, I learned that the floor was not in because what was sent did not match the correct mill code.
November 23, 2011 - After three months, I finally got my flooring. I explained my frustration to the store manager. I am halfway through my remodeling and stuck with a decision to finish the project with this product (feeling that the company does not treat customers with respect) or throwing in the towel and finding a different product that is a close match to finish the remaining rooms. The manager did not resolve any of my concerns and stated he called me last week to inform me that the flooring had arrived. I check my phone log for the entire month. He did not call my phone number last week. He either lied or misdialed. Based on my experiences to date, I doubt it was a misdial. I also have not yet heard back from their customer care.
It is my opinion that this company does not want my business or value - and respect - its customers. I will file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. Hindsight is 20/20. At least I know to avoid this company for any future building or remodeling projects.
NEW JERSEY -- Lumber Liquidators is the dollar store of retail flooring. I bought the Morning Star Bamboo and it's junk.
One of the reasons I bought this floor is because they advertise it being "green"....how can it be green if it has formaldehyde in it! So what are you saying? It's good for the enviorment but it may give you Cancer? Would you want your children playing or crawling on this floor? My husband and I have both experienced sore & dry throats and it has a very distinct smell. We were fine before this floor was installed. And another thing to keep in mind, there was no indication on the labeling or the box saying it was formaldehyde compliant. This is in gross violation of The Formaldehyde Standards Act for Composite Wood Products that was put into law by President Obama in 2010.
After 2 months when it was installed we started getting large gaps and separations that ran the whole perimeter of one wall. The installers came and repaired it and 3 months later it happened again. Called LL and they sent out one of "their " inspectors....what a joke this guy was. We went by all the guidelines, bought a humidifier, meter,....the works!
Literally baby sat this floor.....which is totally ridiculous but we did it and this guy still found fault. I have come to the conclusion it really doesn't matter what you do because they will find a reason to blame you or the installer. They have a nice little racket going on. And their 30 warranty......doesn't mean diddley squat!
That's even a bigger joke! All I can say is don't let their low prices fool you. If you buy from them and have a problem it will be the biggest headache of your life.
Just read the reviews because they are telling you the truth....I know, because I was one of their victims. If you are reading this and decide not to buy their products then you are one of the lucky ones!
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA -- I went to the Raleigh NC store to buy in-stock flooring. I asked about the return/refund terms before the purchase. I was told by a female employee I could return the flooring as long as it was unopened. I was surprised about the lengthy multi-page receipt which included a full page of fine print though. I signed in several places on several sheets of paper for the purchase, took the flooring, and left the store. About a week later I needed to return the flooring. I was told that I would be charged a 20% restocking fee. When I questioned the 20 % restocking fee, the manager, Jason, approached me and mocked me for not reading the fine print on one of the pages of the receipt document. I was very shocked at his outrageous behavior, but continued to question the fairness of the policy which had not been fully explained when I questioned the female employee who had completed my receipt the week before. I told the manager that she had not advised me about the restocking fee, but the manager insisted in a belligerent way that I was to blame for not listening. At one point he leaned across the counter and threatened me. He kept his hands on the counter but his face was only about 10 inches away from me. He insisted I sign the return agreement but refused to sign it himself. When I asked him to sign it he placed an "X" on the signature line and threw it under the counter. One thing I don't need to find in a retail environment is an angry, obnoxious, belligerent employee behind the counter who threatens me by saying, "I know your address." This manager acted in a way that would make a customer question his psychological stability. I don't know yet if he actually refunded my purchase price as he refused to sign to acknowledge my return.