Why NOT to buy flooring from Home Depot or Lowes

I have to be careful with this…

With Presidents Weekend basically here there are specials that are being run, some of which I will partake in and others I will NOT

I don’t know how many times I hear about people going to Home Depot or Lowes picking up carpet and it makes me so sad…I’ve commented on a bunch of blogs about it since most of the blogs I stalk read are Home Renovation related. When we are in Lowes (which we frequent often) I’m constantly wanting to tell people to run and not buy flooring from them. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lowes, I think we spend more time in Lowes than any grocery store. That being said, my love doesn’t stretch to flooring.

You can almost always find a better price from a flooring store…

There are a few occasions when you can flooring from these places for less but it’s gotta be something that stocked and they’re trying to get rid of. (Rarely happens)

  1. Their terms are shady! Free installation or seriously discounted installation means they get you elsewhere (tack strips).
  2. Pads (not the feminine ones): a flooring store will offer you a good pad for $5-$6, Home Depot/Lowes will offer you the thinnest crappiest one for the same price
  3. Tack Strips, they’re little pieces of wood that have nails in them…my feet still loathe them! They expect that new tack strips are laid, if not done correctly they will gladly replace them charging an INSANE amount. It should be covered by the insane cost of carpet.
  4. Generally installation doesn’t cover the cost of removal of old carpet and pad (Lowes right now is doing it but it’s cuz their business is slowing down)
  5. The sales men on the floor are not trained about flooring…I can spew as much info as they do, enough to know not to use them and about StainMaster and Magic Fresh (they probably know nothing about Magic Fresh). In flooring stores the staff gets TRAINED on carpets, hardwoods, laminates and tiles.
  6. No real wiggle room! I’m not going to tell any flooring mark up, pretty sure I could get us in trouble but I will say that it’s HIGH. You can negotiate so much with a flooring store and if you even tell them that you’re looking at a Home Depot or Lowes good without cutting into their margin, the price they will offer will be a lower price (with the exception of a few shady stores…which I can help you with):)
  7. No negotiations…just like buying a car, there is plenty of room to negotiate!

Hope this is helpful! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have! I may not have the answers but I may know someone who does!;)

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Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Kimberly Gauthier Photography - I’ve always heard that when Lowes and Home Depot have a flooring sale, they’re just really shifting their prices to make it look like you’re getting a deal.

I didn’t really care, because I never got flooring from them. But then my boyfriend did before he sold his house. He got a great deal, they did EVERYTHING, and it was done well. What’s my point? He got an even better deal than the store was advertising (this is at HD), that did everything that they usually stick you for, for free (like the flooring stores do). All because he shops there a lot, he knows home building/remodeling. So they cut him a break.

Which means that I don’t get a good deal unless I have him tag along. Bummer! Thanks for sharing. People should be aware, it’ll help them ask the right questions even if they decide to use these stores.February 20, 2011 – 12:10 pm

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Jami Reply:

Thank you so much! Very true!!

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ManWifeDog - I can so agree with you on the ADD thing. SO AGREE! I can’t seem to finish anything. I’ll be shocked if we actually complete our living room makeover! LOL!February 22, 2011 – 9:28 pm

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Jami Reply:

Haha! We don’t have 1 complete room done and painted and I’m adding more to the list. It’s a serious problem.

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bagya - Hi,

We are getting carpets changed. WE have got quotes from Lowes and another flooring company. Their price for carpets are very similar.Its for the exact same type of carpets too. But the carpet dealers are not bringing their price down, even though they want to get rid of their inventory. is this normal.

THanks
BagyaMarch 29, 2012 – 12:21 pm

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Kim Reply:

watch out for lowes, when they came out to measure they almost doubled my sqft, find a little mom and pop carpet store ,thats what we did and are very happy, we also have a extra $1000.00 yea new countertops.good luck

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rene zambrano - So hows about sharing with us some of those shady deal flooring companies? I live in the Los Angeles and have been shopping for wood floor for over a year & no deals anywhere! I also don’t like the car dealer/hard sell that some flooring retailers hit you with and insist on coming out to your house for an estimate.
I’ll get the measurements, what I need is a good price, not a hard sell or limited time only. Price only good if I sign now. These are popular retailers that have recognizable commercials on TV that we see every day. WHERE ARE ALL THE FLOOR SALES ?!March 13, 2013 – 8:09 am

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Jami Reply:

Hello Rene!! I apologize, this was sent to spam! I will ask my husband about the So Cal area! My husband isn’t down there but his coworkers are!!

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Steve - Great post. Glad I found it.

We’re in the process of doing everything! Up and down stairs, laminate, tile & carpet. What are your thoughts on pitting Home Depot and Lowes against each other? HD said they’d beat anyone by 10%. Haven’t yet received an estimate from a local shop but what do you imagine I should expect?March 16, 2013 – 8:32 am

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Jami Reply:

I apologize Steve!!! This was sent to my spam folder! It really depends what area you’re in…usually local stores don’t provide written bids and Home Depot requires a hard copy of a bid and they title them as estimates so it’s a way that they get around the 10% clause!

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Margi - We are regretting we ever chose Lowe’s for our carpet. We are trying to sell our house and picked them to recarpet the entire house.

Our first sign there was going to be an issue was when we waited ….and waited….. and waited for someone to show up to measure the house. We called several times only to be told they went to the wrong address and rather than calling us to check in they just marked us off their list and went to the next house. The office reschedule for the next morning at 8AM. No problem there, but then the measuring person called and demanded to know who we talked to in the office about the appointment.

They did show up the next day on time and took all the measurements. We did not get an estimate for 3 days. No biggie there. We expected a delay. Once we got the estimate we went in and paid. Then we had to wait for the installers to call us to set up a date. Don’t understand why we couldn’t do that when we paid. Finally received a call. Picked a date (a couple weeks out) and then we waited.

The morning of the installation they were late getting to the house and the first thing they tell my husband is that we have to pay for more carpet because, even though they measured 1200 sq ft, they only charged us for 1100. So first off – the issue is theirs. Second the installers couldn’t explain where the “missing” footage was going to cover. Went rounds and rounds with the customer service person in flooring in the store. They were not nice. They didn’t apologize for their mistake….nothing at all. Just said come in and pay for it.

Trust me I will tell EVERYONE I can to never use Lowe’s for carpet. I feel like we are being scammed and plan on going higher up than the salesman! Wish us luck.April 15, 2013 – 9:23 am

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David Reply:

Gee, I wonder how that turned out? We have a leftover piece of carpet that is 12 x 12 after the install. we were not credited thus charged for 144 feet of padding we did not get and carpet we are still storing. lowes contractor did the measure and install. Btw the carpet was removed after 1 year due to uneven wear in a summer rental.

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Kim Reply:

Lowes almost doubled the sqft of my living room,we went to a little mom and pop carpet business, the price was half and they did not charge me to come out or install and i got a very nice pad for free.

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Chuck - This isn’t totally true. The tack strip works out to about $.15LF not that expensive and the carpets and pad are priced to match most competitors in the area. As an employee of Lowe’s I take offense to the statement about the lack of training In the 1 year that I’ve been in the flooring department (I’m a paint guy who worked for PPG until getting laid off) I’ve had several classes with Installers who worked flooring most of their lives. Lowe’s amazes me with what they will do to please a customer (I’ve had 2 complaints one we replaced the whole house even though they only bought 1 room, the other a better quality flooring we installed at no additional cost even though it was her pets fault for destroying the product). Maybe you’ve had bad luck but at my store we take a great deal of pride in what we do and in my experience this is the norm not the exception.January 4, 2014 – 8:40 am

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Mike - We had our bedrooms carpeted by lowes last yr. The installers were professional and on time. In a 10 ft by 10 ft room they brought a 12 foot by 10 foot carpet and used the trimmings for the closet. They seamed a larger rm and it is invisible. When the installer came out to measure this was discussed as a cost savings to buying a wider carpet. No surprises on the install day. Our floors look fantastic. There was very little waste. The total price was cheaper than local competitors. I would reccomend Lowes due to our positive experience.January 16, 2014 – 7:44 pm

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Jami Reply:

I’m glad that you had a positive experience with your install!! There are always exceptions to the rule and I’m super stoked that you had an excellent experience!!

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Mike - I should add that we did choose in stock carpeting. It came with a free pad and there were offering free or nearly free installation.

I removed the old carpeting and pad and only ruined a few of the old tack strips.

If the installers removed furniture and carpet it would have been considerably more expensive.January 16, 2014 – 7:49 pm

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Kim - Lowes Carpet Bad Experience.
I recently went to lowes to purchase carpet at the couer d alene Idaho store. What a joke ,besides spending $55.00 on there free estimate,my purchase price doubled.they said we have 639sqft to do in all actuality it is only 420sqft.I was crushed and canceled the order, I was really looking forward to new carpet after 10yrs.So my husband got on line and checked out some mom and pop stores, needless to say we got our new carpet from KEYSTONE CARPET. They were great came out here for free and saved me from over $1000.00.
Just beware of all the supposed free stuff I asked them 3 times if the padding was free they said yes, but it wasnt.So check out the little people too.March 27, 2014 – 11:55 am

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Me - I am in North Carolina & the biggest problem down here is getting anyone to show up. I have never seen anything like this. Every single laborer does this.

I think this is one of the reasons people select Lowe’s & HD.April 14, 2014 – 6:31 am

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Kate - I am in the lower part of hell trying to have tile installed by Lowe’s. The installer is kind, but the first time they laid the kitchen floor, with two distinct colors of tile, they put all of the same colors together, making the floor look like it had an inscribed but lopsided arrow. Yes, they did redo it, but the same tile that was to go in the bathroom had the same issues–two different colors. On the appointed day for the bathroom installation, the installers showed up only to find that sales and delivery had forgotten to send the material to my house after I called them and reminded them. This store is NOT a place you want to do your floors. I have dealt with Lowe’s for the last time thanks to this hell they have put me through. To add insult to injury, I began this process in June to be sure that this project would be complete before I went back on contract as a public school teacher. Now the completion will not be possible until I am working again. The installer was nice enough to offer to work on Saturday to accommodate the situation that Lowe’s caused. All I want is for this arduous ordeal to END already.July 31, 2014 – 5:02 pm

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Brittley - I will say that it sounds like you are an educated LOWES shopper, but that your information about Home Depot is false. I am a flooring specialist at Home Depot and tackstrip is free!! There is absolutely zero charge for us to replace it.

The only time this changes is if you have cracking concrete and the tackstrip must be glued to adhere properly. In that situation, you are paying for the adhesive and the labor per linear foot of tackstrip needed.August 21, 2014 – 6:57 pm

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