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Questions for your Hardwood Flooring Supplier

Questions to ask your installing laminate flooring in basement before Purchasing

1. Whom do I contact if there is a problem?
The majority of flooring shops will buy the flooring from a distributor who has purchased the flooring directly from the manufacturer. There may be multiple distributors involved, especially for products from overseas. If there are any issues with your flooring, you can complain to the retailer. They will call the distributor to report the complaint. The manufacturer will usually deny the complaint. Sometimes, if they are lucky, they will send a representative to your home to dispute your claim. Retailers will often correct manufacturing problems to make customers happy. However, they have no control over the outcome unless they want the flooring replaced. Because they are so far from their actual clients, the manufacturer knows it is better to deny claims and assume that they will not have to deal with them. Imagine someone sitting at a desk looking at a pile of hardwood flooring claims. The stamp on the desk says “denied”.

2. How durable is it?
Prefinished hardwood floors must be durable. For years of beautiful flooring, the finish is what you actually walk on. Most prefinished imported floors are not very durable. However, the finish can be removed using 150 gritsandpaper. You can test the hardwood by using 150 grit of sandpaper to rub it. Or, you could press a coin’s edge against it to check for damage. High quality finishes will not come off. The finish of high quality manufacturers will include aluminum oxide or, better still, titanium oxide hardeners. Many imported products claim they contain aluminum oxide but in reality, many of them are not. You can check if your hardwood floor has aluminum dioxide in its finish by placing it in your microwave. It will spark if it does. It may seem strange, but hardwood flooring can be a large investment. You want to ensure its durability.

3. What is the structure and surface warranty?
This is an essential part of choosing hardwood floors. You can give a 25-year, 30- or 40-year warranty on your product. But the real question here is: will they honor their warranty? Some hardwood flooring manufacturers offer warranties of up to ten pages. It can give the impression that there is no warranty when the warranty and all exclusions are read. Problem is that most people don’t spend the time to read through the warranty. They are surprised when they discover the flooring problem they are experiencing is covered by the exclusions. Most warranties will mention that there is a standard industry of 5% error. This means that the manufacturer is allowed to make 5% of your floor defective after it is finished. A 1000-square foot floor would allow for 100 boards that are defective.