Technical support can be an important consideration when you buy flooring. You might be installing a new material like prefinished bamboo, for example. Or you might have to deal with special situations such as thresholds of stairways. In cases like these, it’s useful to have technical support standing by.
After-sale support is the primary reason why do-it-yourselfers buy from specialized suppliers such as flooring stores. You’ll probably pay a little more, but you will be able to talk with an on-staff or contract flooring installer if and when you have questions. Professional installers who use these materials every day develop tips and tricks to make installation easier. This website includes hundreds of such tips gleaned from pro flooring installers. Even so, having someone to call with a question during your flooring project can be valuable.
The flooring material manufacturer can be an excellent resource for advice on installing your flooring. Some manufacturers stuff a sheet of simple instructions (in seven languages) inside the materials box and call it done. Others have a hot line where you can call with installation and maintenance questions on their products. How can you find out what instructions and technical support a manufacturer offers? By asking retailers and suppliers for installation literature on specific products they sell. Then call, write, or e-mail the manufacturers asking what after-sale support is offered.
Think you’ll need technical advice on your flooring? Ask questions of the customer service department before you buy to determine how helpful they are.
Most flooring retailers that have on-staff installers will let you ask installation questions before you buy materials. Suppliers that use independent installers can provide you with the contact information on one or two of their primary installers so you can ask questions. However, if you’re attempting to build a relationship with the retailer don’t undermine the retailer’s relationship with the independent installer. If treated as professionals, most installers will gladly share installation tips.