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Questions to ask your hardwood flooring supplier

Before you Buy Hardwood Flooring, Ask These Questions

1. Whom do you call when you have questions? read here
Many flooring shops purchase their flooring through a distributor. The distributor then buys the flooring directly from the manufacturer. You may find more than one distributor involved in product imports.

If you have any issues with your flooring and wish to complain, the retailer should contact the distributor. Most often, the manufacturer will not address your complaint. They might even send an agent, in rare cases. While retailers are likely to solve a manufacturing issue in order to make customers happy they do not have the final say. This is unless they are willing to pay for the flooring. The manufacturer is so far from their actual client that they can deny all claims. Their warranties cover them and they do not have to handle the matter. Imagine a person sitting at the desk with hardwood flooring claims, and a large stamp reading “denied”.

2. How durable will the finish last?
Prefinished hardwood floors last a lifetime. You want a floor that will last many years. It should have a durable finish. Most prefinished hardwood floors are not long-lasting. You can easily remove the finish with just a few swipes of 150 grit. You can test hardwood using 150grit Sandpaper. This will allow you to check for any finish. The edge can be further tested by pressing it against the finish. Finishes made from high quality materials won’t chip or deteriorate. Quality companies will use aluminum oxide or titanium dioxide hardeners to finish their products. Some offshore products may claim they contain aluminum oxide. Place the hardwood flooring in a microwave and check to see if it has aluminum oxide. If the microwave sparks it is likely to be aluminum oxide. Hardwood flooring can be a great investment. It’s worthwhile to understand the durability and long-term benefits of hardwood flooring.

3. What is the structure and surface warranty?
This is an important step before you buy hardwood flooring. Anybody can give a warranty for the product’s finish of either 25-30 or 40 years. The real question is how much they will stand behind the product. There are hardwood flooring manufacturers who offer warranties as high as ten pages. A client can believe there is no warranty, if they have read through all exclusions. Most consumers don’t spend the time to review all exclusions. This is why flooring problems often aren’t covered under warranties. Most warranties allow for a tolerance of 5% in manufacturing errors. This means that 5% of your floor can be damaged. 100 boards would be acceptable with any defect on a floor that measures 1000 square feet.

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