Buying Flooring at Home Centers - Pros and Cons
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 9:58 AM
Home Center Flooring Pros and Cons
Home centers have stepped up their game in flooring and as a result, more people are buying flooring there than ever before. So what’s the draw?
The simple fact is that home centers spend a lot of money on advertising to draw you into their stores. And it works!
Think about it: When was the last time you saw an ad for flooring that wasn’t from one of the major players – the Home Depot and Lowe’s – with the possible exception of Lumber Liquidators or Empire Floors?
And who can resist the lure of special sales, low prices, discounts, selection, featured products these places offer?
Home centers have a reputation for the lowest prices. That’s’ not always true, but it’s true often enough that their reputation is well deserved. The lower prices do come with a downside though – a more limited selection that often is short on better quality goods.
Those lower prices are often the result of a product assortment that is skewed toward entry level products that may not be of the highest quality. They do sell better goods, but for the really good stuff you have to venture beyond home centers to the specialty stores.
Often financing makes the difference for cash-strapped consumers. Sure, the large home centers have their own proprietary credit programs, but what most consumers don’t know is that independent flooring stores also offer financing.
Home remodeling and renovation
Especially in the case of DIY, not only are you already going to a home center for the regular stuff you buy more frequently, but for any serious DIY project (no matter where you buy the actual flooring), chances are you’re going to a home center for all the tools you’ll need. Makes sense.
With increased buying power comes increased leverage and home centers use that leverage to get manufacturers to develop private label lines exclusively for them. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with private labels, but it won’t make an apple-to-apples comparison easy either. (And that is, after all, the whole point.)
Location, location, location
Home Depot has over 2,200 stores, Lowe’s has another almost 2,000 stores and there are plenty of other home center chains. Makes them easy to find.
One thing about home centers that’s for sure – they have great brand recognition and great reputations. At least you always know what you’re going to get from them (and also what you’re not going to get).
Here’s another case of where people think home centers offer better protection in the event something goes wrong. That is not always true, but it’s hard to quantify since it varies from store to store and from retailer to retailer.