Have you ever purchased something online, and despite reading the reviews, scouring for product images, reading dimensions, size charts, and more, it just, well, isn’t what you were expecting? Sure. It’s happened to all of us, and for minor purchases (and with free shipping and returns), it’s no big deal; disappointing for sure, but all in all, not a significant disruption.
However, for larger, more important purchases such as a wedding dress, a car, furniture, or flooring, buying online can be nerve-wracking – you need to get it right the first time.
The good news is, with the surge of digital commerce, you can buy just about anything online, in your pajamas, at 3 AM from your computer without much of a hiccup. But to be safe, here are some tips for buying flooring online successfully.
Tip #1: Start with samples
One of the good things about buying your flooring online is that you’re not limited to a retailer just within your city limits. This opens the floor for other distributors outside your area, which gives you a lot more choices in terms of brands, styles, materials, and price–so you can get precisely what you’re looking for.
Any good online retailer will have an entire department devoted to sampling. Samples are the best way to get familiar with the products in the running and determine if you do love them. Just like when selecting paint, it is important to see the flooring in the room for which it is intended and in the correct lighting.
Most flooring distributors and retailers offer free samples, so get as many as you like. It is also a good idea to request multiple samples of the same product to see the natural variations of that flooring so you can choose the perfect one for your project.
Tip #2: Don’t forget to be mindful of your budget
As with anything, flooring differs in price. This can be determined by what kind of flooring (vinyl, hardwood, laminate, tile, etc.), the flooring brand, how much you need, and a variety of other features and accessories. Before you even get started, determine how much you’re willing to spend on this project. Will all your funds go directly to materials, or will you be looking to set some aside for professional installation?
It’s best to have a max budget in mind before you even begin shopping so that you’re not tempted to look at products outside your price range. Not only that, but knowing what type of flooring, where it will be going, how much you’ll need, and how you’ll be installing it are all factors that will affect your final pricing. Making a list of non-negotiables versus things you can bend on may also be helpful when you start to shop. Keep in mind that there may be additional delivery fees as well.
Tip #3: Narrow down your choices (know exactly what you’re looking for)
Before you start seriously shopping–we aren’t talking about window shopping or creating a ‘dream home’ or ‘dream space’ vision board with all your ideas and plans–but when you’re ready to click to cart, make sure you have worked out all your details before you browse.
Knowing exactly where the flooring is being used, how much you need, what style/look you’re trying to achieve, and most importantly, what features are needed is essential to the online (and honestly, in-store) shopping process. You wouldn’t put or rubber floor in the living room because the features of those flooring products do not align with the needs of the space.
Tip #4: Research the features of each flooring
Flooring materials like tile, vinyl, hardwood, laminate, and carpet can be used widely throughout different areas of the home; therefore, knowing what look and feeling you want to achieve before you shop is a helpful step in the process. For example, if you know you like the look of natural wood in your kitchen, you must determine if solid wood is the best choice for the use case, your budget, longevity, and exposure to possible moisture and spills–in the end, vinyl or a laminate floor that gives the appearance of natural wood may be the better choice overall for this space.
Do you have pets or children? Researching different flooring products built to stand up to pets, kids, normal wear and tear, and still give a look and feel you want is a critical part of the buying process to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
Tip #5: Get familiar with the return policy (just in case)
Lastly, the best advice we have is to plan, plan, plan to avoid disruption or any mishaps in your buying experience. However, things still happen, and it is important to know the fine print before making a significant investment such as purchasing new flooring. Know the ins and outs of the company’s return policy to ensure your purchase would even be eligible for a return in the event that you should need one.
Every company’s policy differs and even their policy could vary from product to product–especially if you find something marked down or a special value. Discontinued styles and products may have their own set of rules as well. It is important to keep in mind that the online return policy may differ from that in-store, so make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
Additionally, know your payment options. Is financing available? If so, what are the terms? Know if there is a warranty on your purchase or an additional protection plan you can purchase and the terms and conditions that apply for that policy as well. Doing your homework before a major purchase, such as new floors, is the ultimate tip and trick we can offer. Making sure that you are well-educated on the company’s policies and protection plans before you sign the dotted line—or click submit will save you any potential headaches down the line.
To Wrap Things Up…
The best advice we can offer is to be prepared. Whether you plan to buy online, or shop in the showroom, doing your due diligence to be planned and prepared beforehand will make for a much smoother experience.
We offer a wide selection of flooring options and have our team of experts on-hand to assist you with any questions throughout the process–regardless of whether you purchase online or in our showroom. Flowers is genuinely the one-stop shop for all your remodeling needs, from our free in-home estimates and consultations to professional installation services and cleaning and maintenance services. Contact us to learn more, or visit our website to begin your shopping process today!
About Flowers Flooring
Flowers Flooring is your family flooring specialist with two locations – Cornelius, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation, including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting, and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.