There is no guarantee when selecting a retailer that the process of purchasing and
installation will go perfectly smooth. However, with a bit of research and some
probing questions, you can reduce the likelihood of having a bad experience. Here
are some important questions to ask a retailer when making the decision of where to
buy your flooring. While most of these questions are geared towards independent
retailers, some are just as applicable to big box stores, and should be asked in all
1. How Long Have You Been in Business?
You want to be sure that the company you are considering is a well-established,
reliable company. One of the best indicators of that is the length of time they have
been in business. A company that has been in business for over five years is
considered stable and is likely to be around in the future. These companies rely
heavily on repeat business and are more likely to respond quickly to issues that may
arise. If the salesperson is hoping you will return in the future for another purchase,
he or she will do what it takes to be sure that you are satisfied with this one.
2. What Is Included in the Price?
Not all retailers price their products in the same way. First determine whether the
price shown is per square yard or per square foot. To calculate square yardage,
divide the total number of square feet by nine. Clarify what is included in your price.
Some retailers will show the price of the flooring only, with pad or installation being
extra. Others show a price, which includes a specific pad and typical
installation. Make certain that the pad you select is the pad pricing that is included,
and that there is not an upgrade or additional cost. Last, be certain that you are clear
on the items covered in your installation fee. Often package prices reflect only basic
installation rates, and additional charges may be added for items such as stairs,
disposal and removal of existing flooring, and moving furniture. Sales tax is typically
not included in most bundled pricing, or quotes.
3. Who Does your Installations?
If you are having your flooring installed by the retailer, this is an incredibly important
question. Ask how the company selects the installer for your job. Do they use
random sub-contractors, specific contractors, or employees? It is not necessarily a
problem if a company uses sub-contractors, provided the company itself oversees the
installations. Ideally, it’s best if you book everything through the store itself and
contact the store staff if you encounter any problems. Beware of a retailer that has
little to no control over the installation crew and process.
4. Do You Have References or Can I See Your Work?
Like hiring any new employee, references can provide valuable insight into the quality
of work and service provided by a retailer. With this question, you are not expecting
past customers of the company to let you tour their homes. Most retailers will have a
few photos, or a website where they showcase past work performed. Many sites now
feature a testimonial section from previous clients who are willing to be references,
and have provided their email address or phone number, so that you may ask them
specific questions. In today’s market, internet research can also be helpful.
Ultimately, you must use your judgment when selecting a flooring retailer. If you get a
bad feeling, walk away. Answers to the questions above will help give you the basic
details necessary to help make a more informed decision.