|Where to Buy Flooring|
Now that you know how much money you’ll need and figured out where it’s coming from, where are you going to buy your flooring materials. It matters. Not only will prices vary between sources, so will service and support. The same flooring material from a flooring store may cost more than from a building materials retailer, but you’ll probably get better service after the sale.
Where ever you plan to buy your flooring materials, start by visiting numerous flooring stores in your area. You’ll get ideas and advice. If the salespeople are on their toes they will explain to you why you should buy from them rather than from the discount store down the block. The greatest reasons are product knowledge and after-sale support. They install the flooring they sell so they typically aware of problems typically faced, especially by the do-it-yourselfer. They may steer you toward products that are easier to install. Flooring stores are a good place to start the floor buying process.
Large building material retailers and home centers can be your next stop. You’ll probably see some samples of other brands and maybe even a display or two of more popular flooring products. You can compare prices and quality. Some home centers will have clerks with flooring experience. If not, browsing this website first will help you figure out what’s what on your own.
You’ve been picking up brochures and catalogs at the various retail stores you’ve visited. Some literature will be for products the stores sell, but don’t stock. Or maybe you’ve found a list of flooring catalog retailers. Write or call them for additional information. Some will offer a list of various retailers that offer their products. That means if you find exactly what you want you can contact various dealers for the best price and service. In addition, product catalogs typically compare their products with those of major competitors, helping you determine what features and specifications you should be considering.
You also can buy flooring over the Internet. If you feel comfortable using it for purchases, consider the Internet for buying your flooring materials. Just don’t expect much service. Some will offer before-sale advice, but few will help you with installation problems. The advantage to Internet shopping is price comparison.
If funding for your flooring project comes from a first or second mortgage, make sure the estimated increase in your home’s value is included in the new valuation. That gives you a higher loan-to-value ratio, possibly cutting the interest rate or related costs. Shopping around can save hundreds of dollars in closing costs -- money that can be better spent on flooring materials.
What Can Go Wrong
Discount stores are in the business of offering low-margin bargains. Larger chains have the buying power to purchase a special run of lower grade flooring materials to meet a specific selling price point. So you may be getting inferior quality under a brand name. To determine if it’s a standard product, make sure you can buy the exact same product at another retailer. Or call the manufacturer. It may be a great value -- or it may not.
What Can Go Wrong
If your flooring is to be delivered by a trucking company, consider that many charge an extra fee for residential delivery because it takes more time to find and drop of at a house than at a business or loading dock. Also, if you’re buying a large quantity of materials, ask for it to be delivered on a wrapped pallet to reduce damage.