Are you looking to replace flooring in your home, or are you building a new home?
Whether you're interested in carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate, or vinyl flooring, the first step to any successful flooring project is to partner with the best local flooring dealer in your area. All floor stores will advertise the best service and flooring brands, but how can you be sure you're selecting the right flooring retailer? Follow these tips to find an exceptional local flooring store in your area.
- Look for flooring store that has longevity in the retail flooring industry. To get the most from your flooring retailer, they need to be around before, during, and after the sale. Approximately 50% of flooring stores fail in the first five years. While being new in the market doesn't always mean a floor dealer isn't reliable, being in business for awhile means they've earned the trust of flooring consumers in your area.
- Ask around. Many friends and neighbors have likely worked with a flooring dealer in your area. People are eager to tell others about both their good and bad experiences, and a positive referral can go a long way. Be wary of online testimonials about flooring stores, though. A disgruntled employee or unscrupulous competitor could post a negative review about a flooring shop posing as an unhappy customer. If you do go online, start with reviews and testimonials from the most credible sites, such as BBB Online, Customer Lobby, and Angie's List.
- Verify professional flooring certifications and associations. When a flooring dealer has a certification or association with a national organization, it means they're committed to knowing the latest flooring trends and flooring installation techniques. You can start your search for a local floor store on the sites of the World Floor Covering Association or the National Wood Flooring Association. Major national brands may also certify floor dealers in installation of their flooring products, another distinction to look for in a flooring shop.
- Check out flooring buying groups. Some independent flooring dealers will band together into a national flooring buying group in order to get bulk discounts from manufacturers and share in marketing expenses. Buying groups usually private label their products so it is more difficult to do comparative shopping which can sometimes lead to higher pricing for consumers, and it may also limit the flooring store's selection of flooring products. But if peace of mind and a quality installation is your biggest priority, a flooring buying group may be a good option for you. Each store is usually very professional because the reputation of the whole group is on the line.
- Let your fingers do the talking. No, we're not talking about the phone book anymore. Use your connections on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to ask about local flooring contractors. These social sites are word-of-mouth advertising on overdrive. Remember, though, to use what you learn on these sites as a starting point for doing your own research to find the best flooring store in your area.
- Ask for details about brands and products. If you're shopping for flooring, chances are good that you have some ideas about the types of flooring you want. An exceptional flooring dealer will be able to answer your questions about style, function, durability, and price. While you want a flooring shop that has a large variety of flooring brands and products, you also want someone who can help you select the best flooring option for your specific design goals and functional needs.
- Inquire about credit and financing. Many flooring retailers have relationships with financial institutions that allow them to offer credit and financing on your floor purchase. Taking advantage of these special deals can help you stretch your flooring budget further by paying for a portion of your purchase down the road.
- Find out about commercial offerings. Not all flooring dealers are able to handle a commercial flooring project. If your needs are for commercial flooring, be sure you're working with a full service flooring contractor that offers project management from planning to installation. Ask for details about how the flooring contractor will deal with permits and work with other contractors.
- Expect professional flooring installation. When it comes to flooring installation expertise, not all flooring stores are created equal. Ask specific questions about the experience of the installers, whether they work for the flooring shop or are contractors, how they're bonded and insured, and what kind of guarantees and support come with the installation. Flooring installation is just as important as the flooring option you choose, so make sure your flooring dealer can exceed your expectations.
- Consider the extra perks. When it comes to selecting the best flooring store, we've given you several areas to consider. Other benefits you should look for in a flooring dealer include the distance from your home, convenience of the location, shop at home service, free estimates, free padding for carpet, free removal of old carpet, customer service reputation, ownership either by a local owner or a family, factory direct pricing, expert advice, staffed showroom, fully licensed and insured, competitive or discounted prices, sales and rebates, price guarantee, on-time delivery promises, and availability of environmentally safe products.
The previous ten tips on how to find a good flooring store are sure to get you on the right track to finding the best floor store for your needs. Flooring is a significant investment in your home that you'll have to live with for a long time, so be sure you do your research and select a flooring dealer that's a perfect match for your flooring project.