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[Resolved] Empire Today / hardwood floor installation

1 Arlington, VA, United States Review updated:

In December 2008, I purchased engineered hardwood flooring from Empire for the living room and master bedroom of my condo. The installation occurred on January 21, 2009. The installation took two days and was very unprofessional. My problems fell into the following categories:

1. The installers got glue all over the place. They had glue on their hands when they moved my furniture. They got glue all over the living room walls. And, they left glue smudges over 80% of the living room and bedroom flooring. The adhesive used to apply engineered hardwood is very strong and must be cleaned immediately. If allowed to cure more than 24 hours, it is virtually impossible to remove. Consequently, I had to repaint my living room walls and had no means of removing the glue from my furniture. I also had a new floor that looked dull because of all the glue smudges.

2. The installers also did not screen the wood quality. The industry standard states that 5% of the wood in each box may be of lower quality. The installers are supposed to screen each piece of wood to remove the lower quality planks before installing. In the living room alone, they installed over 30 boards with blue stain, which is caused by a fungus that turns the wood a bluish gray. Most of these problems were so obvious that any amount of screening should have omitted that wood. I also question whether there was more than 5% bad wood in my boxes.

3. The wood in the master bedroom also had problems with knot holes beyond what is acceptable for grade A wood. The installers also installed some of the baseboard trim upside down (something I didn't know until another professional pointed it out).

To Empire's credit, when I complained about the problem, they quickly offered to replace the floor and to use another installer. I accepted the offer to replace the living room floor, which was by far the worst of the two rooms. The second installers did a much better job, but of course they knew about my complaints with the first installation. The removal of the first floor, however, was hell. They had to saw across the wood down to the concrete subfloor, pry it off, and chisel off the old glue. This required two days of constant pounding and generated a ton of dust. I am sure my condo neighbors despise me.

Because of the hell of replacing the living room floor, I elected not to replace the bedroom floor too. Instead, I asked Empire for a 15% credit on the entire installation price to cover the lower quality bedroom installation and to compensate me for the damage to my walls and furniture. They initially refused, until I sent them an extensive photo album of all the problems. Empire then agreed to the refund, if I would sign a release of any further claims against them associated with this job. I agreed. However, it took over two weeks of phone calls and constant badgering before Empire actually issued the credit to my credit card. But for this final hassle of getting the credit, I would at least have given Empire high marks for its customer service, despite the poor quality of the product and installation.

The lesson that I have taken from all of this is that the national flooring brands have much less quality control. Whether or not you get a good contractor to install your floor is a crap shoot. I would recommend that anyone considering any kind of floor installation use someone local.

Resolution statement

Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.

Empire Today Customer Care's Response, Sep 08, 2014

We’ve read your review, and we’re disappointed that the installation did not meet your expectations. We always want our customers to be completely satisfied with the work that’s done in their homes, and we regret that you are not yet satisfied. We would like to know more about this situation, but we are unable to locate your account with the information posted here. Please call us at 888-588-2315
x4195 or send your contact information to customersupport@empiretoday.com, and we will follow up with you as soon as possible. Thank you. Jeanette Ramey, National Customer Service Manager

Je
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Comments

Co
  16th of Apr, 2009
0 Votes

Thank you for bringing your experience to our attention. We apologize for any inconvenience, and our team would like to work with you to explore a resolution. Please contact us at webcustomerservice@empiretoday.com so that we may be able to assist. You can also visit our online customer center at http://www.empiretoday.com/Customer-Service.

Sincerely,
Consumer Advocate Team
Empire Today, LLC

Pa
  22nd of Apr, 2009
0 Votes

we also had Empire do work in our home installing laninate flooring in our dining room as well as the kitchen also vinyle flooring in our bathroon, we were told the company would call the night before and give us a time, this was not done, the 2 men that showed up came at 3:30 in the afternoon, only one of the installers spoke english, and he was hard to understand, we told them my husband was disabled and that we go to bed at 8 p.m. they told us they would be done by 6 p.m. they were still here at 10:30pm and had broken our stove, the pipe that hooks ito the wall, I had to try and get the 2 men to understand what I wanted, the men came back the next day today, 04-22-2008 and they came at 9:00 am they were still here at 2:30pm I had told them that I was not pleased with the work and pointed out the problems to their boss, who also had a problem with th english language, they had more men with them and they also did not speak english, I Told them I wanted clear caulk around the toilet and walls, but they used white, when I insisted on clear they told me they don;t make clear, I called Lowe"s the company that Empire today had hired and had them tell them they do make clear, caulk, I feel we have been cheated and lied to we were promised quility work from licenced labors, and we did not get what we ordered, I feel we should be given a partial refund for the inconvience we were caused.

Af
  4th of Sep, 2014
0 Votes

Back in July of 2014 we had booked to consultation appointments one with Empire and Another with a private contractor. The private contractor came out and quoted us $4600 to take up the carpet in the family room, dining room and he would GLUE down the engineered hard wood floors in the kitchen, breakfast area, family room, foyer, dining room and without the warranty. So now empire salesman comes while the private contractor is still here and we told him he would have a hard time beating the contractor price but we would hear him out (little did we know that this would be bad). He proceeded with sales pitch and went on about there warranty program and then said his price which was $5600. We immediately said nope sorry, he said "Well allow me to beat it", so I told him everything the contractor was doin and for $4600 he made a phone call and said "If I can beat that will you give us your business and keep in mind, mines come with a warranty". He came back and said "$4200 flat and one day installation". We said take it with, joy knowin we was getting a professional and warranty installation. Well they came to install 2 days later. About 4 days later we was having some work done by another Con tractor and he asked "Why do your floors feel like they are giving way and make such a badd noise? This should of been glued down" I said this glued down. He of course said no. We had some house guest and they all complained about the squeaking and annoying noise from the floors. So we can empire and they informed us that our floors weren't glued down and that it would be an eXtra $2350 to do something we thought we were paYing to have done originally. Lady also said that was it. She then transferred me to a manager who was non helpful and had poor customer service. We were lied to, robbed. duped, mislead. I just want to inform the world to stay away from empire.

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