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nightmare w floor install

Complaint Rating:  84 % with 74 votes
84% 74
Contact information:
United States
Why not to select lowe’s for flooring install…

… and why I hate lowe’s

After persistant nagging from my wife, I was forced to make a quick selection for my wooden floor install. I thought, if I went to a reputable, chain I should be fine.

First of all, the sales person never explained the difference between a glue down and lock in. The price for the hand-scrapped wood looked cheap. So, I paid $35.00 for the measurement. The measurer came for the measurement and took the measurements.
What bothered me was the measurer was holding the tape slanting instead of straight. But, I was busy during the time (And did I mention the pressure from my significant other!)

I wont get into the details, but during the installation, I was shocked to see the installers wasting wood. They used to cut a small piece of wood and through away a big chunk of the wood. Even after that, they were left with substantial boxes of wood!!!

After the installation, being the engineer that I am, I measured the flooring. With simple measurement, I came out with a difference of almost 25%. This was after lenient measurements. With the cost of installation and material cost, that was substantial.

What followed was nightmare! I called lowe’s thinking that they will rectify the fault and what followed was accusations and counter-accusations and stuff like & ldquo;why did you not call us when they were throwing away the wood…”, & ldquo;everybody does (Over) measurements like this”, etc. Etc. They reimbursed me about 10% of the cost and the cost of the remaining material.

Needless to say & ndash; I am responsible for any increased sales at home depot. J

If you want to do any flooring installation, here is my advise to you:
1) measure your floor yourself
Measuring is basically simple & ndash; multiply the length by the height. If the room is complexly shaped, break it down into components and then add up the areas. (Area of a square or rectangle is length x breadth, area triangle is & frac12; x base x height, etc)

The grand total of all the areas, is what your installation should be.

2) shop around
Do not rely on a single store. The smaller local stores offer better rates. Because they do not subcontract out the services.

3) do you research
Understand the difference between glue down, nail down and lock ins. The lock ins are usually cheaper though the glue ins add to the value of your home.

You could get an installer separately and then buy wood at a cheaper discount outlet. It works out much cheaper!!!

And if you are a handyman yourself, get the wood at a discount outlet or internet and install it yourself. Lock-ins are great for this purpose.

4) avoid lowes like a plague
You will be paying for their premium over subcontracted rates. People who have money to waste, should go there.
Complaint comments Comments (14)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Flooring Installation


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N  13th of Jul, 2009 by    +2 Votes
Keep in mind that with any flooring (especially wood based flooring) you MUST purchase overage. All joints must be staggered so there WILL be waste. A minimum of 10% overage is recommended. Having an extra box or two in storage is always a great idea. You never know when a manufacturer will decide to drop a style due to lack of sales. If you had damage or needed to add on to a space, you would be prepared with your overage and not have to replace an entire floor.
D  11th of Jan, 2010 by    +3 Votes
.The grand total of all the areas is NOT what is what your installation should be.
You have never done flooring. You must add for many different things. If you were an engineer you would know this. Say I have a room that’s 11” X 10 (110sq ft.) the wood is 4.5”X36”. They must be locked together on the ends so that is 4 pieces per row, which equal 12 ft., not 10 ft. same with the 11 ft way.4.5 will not divide evenly so you must get more wood. You must also figure how many pieces come per box. (No one sells partial boxes). Then you must add for bad cuts, (No one is perfect) the salesman has a percentage they must add. So you are wrong, the grand total of all the areas is NOT what is what your installation should be.
N  14th of Aug, 2010 by    +3 Votes

I do agree that 25% is excessive in an overage and I have to agree with the first comment about overages being necessary (typically I will try to leave about a full box (no more) for the customer). Keep in mind that if you order a product and it takes 2 weeks to get to you and there is a defect in a box of wood, you installation will A. no be completed until the replacement material arrives, B. may mean that the replacement material will be from a slightly different run so shading may be off.

another thing to keep in mind about getting your own installer is IF there is a issue with the floor you will be dealing with 2 different people/companies. Manufactures love to blame installers for things and are more likely to play this card if the installer doesn't purchase products directly. If you look through this board you will find some threads where the retailer stepped up and replaced floors when the manufacture wouldn't, (i would venture to say that manufacture's display found its way quickly to a dumpster).

Everyone should try to stay with there local companies, I say this because most times these companies offer comparable prices and better customer service. (Plus when you spend your money with a smaller local company the majority of you money stays in the local economy)
N  5th of Sep, 2010 by    +2 Votes
25% is way to much to add in for waste! Rule of thumb is 10% I have been in the flooring industry for 16 years now and I was once an installer for hard surfaces.

Every retail store that I installed for paid me per sq.ft. My buddies that we installers also got paid by the sq.ft.

Retail stores do not have hourly installers, I would say about 98% of all retail stores sub-contract the installation.

For installers to get paid on an hourly rate is almost unheard of. But I know for a fact that there is one company here in Houston that pays their installers like that and all I can say is bad installation and nothing but bad reviews online and on the BBB website!

There are too many things that can happen during the installation to slow down the process.

For example:
Let’s say that a company sold a hardwood flooring job for X amount of dollars to the customer less float "leveling". Let’s say it’s about 500 sq.ft. that I was installing. Depending on the subfloor conditions I could install the entire floor with moldings in one day “lets say 10 hours" but if the subfloor was in bad shape its going to add more time to the process since the subfloor has to be leveled off. In some cases all that you are able to do the first day of installation is go and do the demo. and level off the subfloor. The float does need time to dry and sometimes depending on the conditions of your subfloor and the weather it could take 30 minutes, 2 hours, 7 hours, 24 hours for the float to fully dry, every house is different. After the float it should be smooth sailing. But other things could go wrong once again slowing down the installation.

So my point is that the installation could take 10 hours, 18 hours, 23 hours...
Installers who get paid hourly will drag out the installation to put in more time "make more money". Installers who get paid per sq.ft. don’t get paid for 10 hours of work or 18 hours of work... the longer they take the less money they make.

A retail store will not tell you ... Well your installation took more time then what we figured so there is going to be some additional costs. If a retail store did that believe me that they would not keep their doors open for very long.

Now you maybe asking yourself what about the company that you know of that pays their installers hourly.

That company has a scale that they use for installers. The scale has different job sizes with time frames. If you have 200 sq.ft. of hardwood floors then they give the installers 6 hours to install the floors. anything over six hours if free. If you have a 600 sq.ft. job then they give the installers X amount of time to install the floors and again they make no extra money over the X amount of hours. That company also has a weekly scale for the installers that have been with them the longest. For example the installer is guaranteed to make X amount of dollars a week no matter how much they install or how little the install their check is always going to be the same. This type of paying scale almost always brings out the bad installers and they usually don’t last very long with that company. Any good installer who knows what their work is worth and takes pride in what he or she does would almost never take an hourly rate.
How often do you get floors put in your home? The average person will install new flooring maybe twice in their life time if that……. making it difficult for them to know if you got a good installation or a bad installation. It doesn’t take a genius to install a wood floor but it does take a craftsman to do it right.
Before you go out and purchase a new floor do your research “Google reviews, consumer reports, BBB the internet is a gateway of knowledge” on the product that you are buying, on the company that you are doing business with and always ask questions about the product and the installers, are they sub contractors, how long have they been with the company, are the bonded and insured, do you do background checks on the installers……………

I hope that this has helped someone out there, Good luck guys and thanks for reading!
N  13th of Apr, 2011 by    +1 Votes
I am so disappointed with the Lowes in Martinsburg. I tried calling flooring and it rang about 6 or 7 times with no answer. I finally was transferred to the Operator who kept transferring me back to flooring (I was transferred 4 times). I finally got to talk to an assistant (Marsha) to tell her how upset I was regarding my order on carpet. I was talking nice, I did not yell, but she hung up on me. I ordered carpet, not only did it take a long time to get there, when it was brought to my house, they sent the wrong color. But I was so upset because it took so long, I just said LAY IT. I will never buy anything from that store again, and will tell all my family and friends! Home Depot is looking better and better.
N  7th of Jun, 2011 by    0 Votes
Obviously lowes hater is an engineer, they are the worst customers to do work for simply because they are know it alls. I seriously doubt there was a "25%" waste. I also noticed that this obviously the only thing you could complain about so you must have been looking for something to complain about. I can only tell you to get a grip I doubt anything less than doing it for free would make you happy you cheapskate.
N  1st of Dec, 2013 by    +4 Votes
We have had a nightmare with Lowes. We purchased Australian Cypress flooring from them with installation. The floor sounds very cheap due to the installer using the wrong underlay (underlay was chosen by Lowes "flooring expert"), the floor scraped within days and several board are broken. They sent a warranty person out to look at the job. While in my home, he said that the installation was done improperly and the product was substandard. He said he would submit his report. When I called Lowes a week later they said that his report stated that there were no warranty issues. I asked the young lady to send me the report and she hung up on me. I will never darken the door of a Lowes again.
A  23rd of Feb, 2016 by    +1 Votes
We also had a disastrous experience trying to get Pergo laminate flooring installed in our basement by Lowes branch Walnut St, Cary, NC 27518. We paid the usual $35 fee for a written estimate. Lowes sent their rep to visit the site, take measurements and gave us a written quote of $1700 total. You would expect a paid written estimate to be fairly accurate. But NO! When their installer (who was Legacy Flooring) came by on the day of install, they found that the concrete sub floor required fine-leveling, and Lowes demanded a whopping $2300 extra to complete the job! We were left scrambling for options, found another installer in a hurry who did a mediocre job.

Our disappointment is that when we pay Lowes a fee for a written estimate, they should send a person who is knowledgeable about the installation requirements for the specific site and provide an estimate that is reasonably accurate. Instead they sent someone just to walk around with a tape measure and provided a grossly inaccurate estimate.

Cary, NC
N  24th of Feb, 2016 by    0 Votes
In fairness to the estimator who visited your home. He can only view what is noticeable. If an existing product is on the floor and the sub surface needed leveling, patching or grinding, then those issues should have been handled by the previous installer who opted to hide the fact and cover them up. Your sub surface must have needed significant preparation to require such a bump to the initial cost. Most contracts and Lowes and Home Depot for sure spell out that sight unseen issues may require additional costs.
N  17th of Mar, 2016 by     Best Advice +4 Votes
I have been a Flooring installer since 1996. Let me give you a brief history. At one time there used to be specialty stores. They hired not only competent people, but experts, they were generously compensated via wages and benefits. They would recommend the company or installer that would do the best work. In turn they were also compensated for their talent, expertise, and craftsmanship. You could call any one of these professionals and get clear consider answers about your project, they took pride in their work and their reputations meant something to them.
Fast forward: Box stores develop a business model that saves YOU the customer a boat load of money. Then they sponser a diy movement. You can do it. We can help.
Did anyone bother to think of the repercussions of buying cheap? Nope, the American public bought it hook line and sinker. The local specialty stores have been shut down or are struggling. Now you are left with box stores that pay very little to their incompetent employees who hate their jobs.
Do you really think that a guy that gets paid $35.00 to drive to your house in a truck or van that gets 10-12mpg is going to do a thorough job examining your property and get you the right measurements on top of it?
Long story short... YOU chased all the qualified people from their field so you could save a few bucks.
N  28th of May, 2016 by    +1 Votes
You could say that about almost any trade in the west. Self employed auto techs are being shut out by proprietary computer systems that require manufacturers codes for installed parts to work. Imagine if you installed a wood floor; but had to pay lowes to enter a code for it to be considered finished.
A  29th of Jun, 2016 by    +2 Votes
Lowes in union New Jersey has taken me through the ringer, I payed lowes to come out to measure my kitchen floor for lamanet flooring. I payed to have it installed and was told the installer would pick up the material 5days after it was payed, well it never happened. I called the store to find out when the installation would take place, then I was informed that I was to pick up the material myself, and that the sales guy should have told me this but he is new at the job, so the supervisor Karla gave me a date for 6-30 -16 and I would receive a call from the installer the day before, well that never happened, I call the store on the day befor I was to have it installed, and again I was told they could not come out no installer and they reschedule me for 7-1-16, well it happen I don't know this is very bad customer service, and if I get my flooring installed I will never again Use lowes for my flooring needs. Thank you SHRON MOORE
A  8th of Feb, 2017 by    +1 Votes
Lowes is the worst place to do any Business ..
They do not care about the customer..
they take your money and they RUN.. do not do Business with them...
N  10th of May, 2017 by    +1 Votes
I should have listened to these reviews as my experience was a complete nightmare with lowes flooring. The main problem was that they sub contracted it out and that contractor subbed it out to another who was a complete ###. Even I could have laid flooring better and he brought along others including his girlfriend to not only lay the floor but she cut the wood planks and cut some wrong at MY cost. People that came into our home via the sub contracted sub were not covered by Lowes liability if they are not "employees" of the contractor. Thank goodness no one got hurt or it would have been on us the home owner. From day one the sub contractor was clearly a idiot and the end result was a floor of expensive wood laid incorrectly. It took us three months going back and forth with Lowes to get it fixed. On top of that the sub contractor was taking the leftover wood and supplies(cement etc..) home with him. When I realized I said hold on.. I paid for that wood.. please put in the garage. But in prior days he took many boards and we did not realize it. What scammers..they probably laid a small floor in their own house with my products that I paid for. I could go on and on so that being said.. listen to others and use a local small flooring company with actual employees who are insured and experienced in laying floors. Good luck!

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