The largest direct retailer of hardwood floors in the USA offers a variety of product lines, mostly for the price conscious shopper. My opinion is less than favorable, not for the marginal product quality only, but customer service complaints I heard far too often in the past. In our early web days (2002) this site had a favorable review page about Lumber Liquidators. I worked with a few products and heard from installers. Product quality was good, but something happened.
I’ve held back on several aspects about this business over the years, but thought it was time to be more honest. Not just because of the formaldehyde issue that gave them national attention on the 60 Minutes program, but their arrogance in general. Simple things that make you think as well.
Higher Quality Engineered - Ideal For Wide Plank
One in particular was buying a $25.00 installation tool at their Fort Myers location in January 2015. Occasionally some of us do pay cash for things, but in no way or form would this company offer any kind of return unless they had my phone number. I did not expect any problems with the tool. It was the principal. The response was something along the lines of “welcome to the new world.”
You will rarely find me putting down a company in this manner...but... what do you think?
As far as how installers feel about the company. I’ve known three that did a lot of work for them in the past. One in New York, another in Nevada and one on Florida. They were always tight lipped about what went on, even into today. I did however, finally get one to finally spill the beans before the CBS program. It was shocking to say the least.
The Early Days
In the early days their products had good reviews, specifically the domestic products that Bob Vila had installed in one of his houses. I heard from installers that used their unfinished flooring; same experience. Exotic hardwoods on the other hand, that became a huge seller became troublesome with inferior finishes and material that was rushed into production causing installation problems.
Maybe The Company Grew Too Fast
Lumber Liquidators Fills A Void
There's no doubt they offer what many are looking for; price. Frankly I wish a favorable opinion could be offered because the company does offer a wide range of hardwood, unfinished and prefinished. Stair treads and risers could be ordered and brought in within days. Longer than usual trim moldings, extremely difficult to find, were part of the company's niche.
The company also offers a large selection of tools for sale in most of their stores. From testing moisture to hand and power tools. Naturally they’re all made overseas under the Norge brand name.
Use Their Installers?
I am on the fence with this one in so far as who Lumber Liquidators may suggest or recommend for handling your installation. Having some inside information on a few locations, it's more of a hit and miss. But I lean towards the latter when looking at the company in general. In some locations the company simply refers buying customers to The Home Services Store that takes care of everything after the sale. This is the same company that works with the big box stores with all their product installation services.
Everybody Has Problems
When it comes to problems related to new hardwood floors, it often has nothing to do with the product being used, but rather the lack of preparation (critical to any installation) and not following installation specifications. Lumber Liquidators has always struggled with this more so than a full service local dealer. Some reasons are clear as I've stood my distance in a half dozen of these stores over the years listening when advice is offered.
There will always be problem products which is common with some of the lower priced, larger mass produced manufacturers. Heading the list are bowed, crooked or twisted boards that are more difficult to install. Lumber Liquidators has them, Bruce has them and a number of others. Better installers will take the time to make it right.
Buy For Price And Forget About It?
My feeling with Lumber Liquidators is a large number buy for price alone. While this is sound in today's economy, those same people make the mistake of looking for low priced installers. This is where the problems always seem to start. Unlike the better installers, this group will not take the time to do the job right out of frustration or complete lack of understanding in what makes a good installation.
Realistically the company does offer some good products but like any company with a large presence, complaints are bound to occur. They do offer a lot of off brand non warranted products that consumers are eager to buy, but also quickly to complain about, full knowingly what they had purchased.
Added May 31, 2014
Uptown Floors (when we were hardwoodinstaller.com) visited a jobsite and reviewed the companys' Bellawood brand
Product Lines- Engineered, solid, cork & bamboo
3000 John Deere Road
Toano, Virginia 23168
Phone: (757) 566-7546