What I’m referring to is a simple matter of obfuscation.
Even the mills seem to be in on the game by changing names of styles from store-to-store or big box, making it harder than heck to shop a product.
Well, I’m not going to accuse anyone in particular of doing anything wrong, but I am going to tell you how to spot, in the best case, a poorly-trained sales person, or in the worst case, an unscrupulous one.
First things first – get everything in writing.
You are entering into a contract and if you can’t get your understanding in writing, walk away.
Ask to see the warranty descriptions and know the difference between a “wear” warranty and a performance warranty (abrasive wear-through or texture retention).
If you don’t have at least a basic understanding of the protection you’re getting… think twice.
Second – make sure your pad (if you’re buying carpet) meets at least the mill’s minimum standard, or your warranty is worthless. Here’s an image of a very good piece of Karastan carpet totally ruined by inferior pad that didn’t meet the mill standard:
The pad above is a “builder-grade” (aka “crap”) 2.5-3 lb foam… and the mill minimum is 6 pound for cut pile, 8 pound for berber.
So, know what’s going under that fantastic floor as well.
Same goes for a floating floor where you may have expectations of sound-deadening, because all underlayments are not created equal.
I’ll be adding to this post, but you can add, too, by submitting your comments.