Apples to Apples: How to Compare Flooring Quotes and Products

Apples to Apples: How to Compare Flooring Quotes and Products

Blog written by Quality Red Tag Floors in Edmonton

Free estimates

We offer free onsite estimates to help you understand the full cost of the job. We will come out and measure your project and give suggestions and ideas to make your flooring dreams come true!

Our estimates are broken down line by line so there are NO HIDDEN COSTS! When we quote, we like to provide a detailed quote to help you make an informed decision and more easily compare quotes.

We encourage shoppers to get out and get a few quotes. Dig in the product specs, services offered, and potential additional labour costs. If you don’t know the specs of a product then it is hard to know if you are getting a fair price or not. If a quote is given as a lump sum rather than broken it is difficult to understand how to compare quotes from other companies.

Quality and Durability Of Product

Durability is usually one of the main selling features when a customer is looking for flooring. There are many different ways to determine the quality and durability of the product. We aim to educate our customers and help them feel that they understand the product they are purchasing.

Comparing Laminate

The main things to look for when shopping for laminate is thickness, density, AC rating, and water resistance.

Often many stores don’t recommend laminate as a good option for many areas in the house, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. The reality is not all laminate is created equal. There are some products made with lower density and higher density. The density affects how well the product holds together (denser core = stronger joints) and how soundproof it is. No one likes a hollow sounding floor. Higher density laminate also is more Some products have a wax infusion into the locking system and others don’t (a huge factor in water resistance) AC rating is the criteria by which laminate is rated for scratch resistance.

Comparing Vinyl

Vinyl has many different categories, with different install methods, thicknesses, and wear layers. It is important to really dig into the different products available and to understand what the advantages of each are. But for the purposes of this blog the key points would be:

Wear layer (measurement is in mils) How thick the wear layer is (the thin layer that protects the print) determines the longevity and wearability. Some wear layers can be as thin as 6mil, others 20+mil. When shopping it is important to know when comparing products what the wear layer is

Thickness (measurement is is mm) We recommend nothing thinner than 4mm thick for a click product, but Ideally 6.5mm thick provides more stability in the locking system and floating floor install. Thickness is definitely a good thing to keep an eye on when comparing the thickness

Locking system (should be a form of drop lock 2g or 5g for best ease of install)

Core material: perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle is core material. One should know what the core material is made of. This will help in comparing products and the overall durability of a product.

Comparing Hardwood

Key comparisons:

The species: Species should be compared to only other of exact species as each wood has different costs and benefits/ looks ect

The thickness: hardwood should be ¾” thick

The finish (does it have an aluminum oxide protective UV cured finish?)

The width

The Grade: This is the biggest comparison factor/ What grade of wood is it? Does it have a wide variety of acceptable colors and planks? Knots etc.

Comparing Engineered Hardwood

Veneer thickness: The thickness must be compared as this is the only layer between the hardwood layer and plywood/other core material

Core composition: what is the veneer built onto? Is it plywood or MDF? Plywood is much better quality-wise and will last longer, as well as much more water-resistant.

Thickness overall: what is the thickness of the product

The thickness of plywood: What is the thickness of the plywood, how many layers does it have

Method of plywood manufacturing: is it a cold press or hot press plywood? Cold press is more stable but is more costly

Origin of product: Is your product made from north American species, is it a known wood that has issues with humidity and dryness?

Detailed Estimates

When comparing quotes from different companies it is important to understand that not all companies will quote you the same way. Unfortunately, some companies may quote you just base rates and not actually include what might be required for a successful install. An example of this is when a project needs floor leveling or preparation, it can run up the cost of an estimate and make you look more expensive than someone who quotes their first quote without including any floor prep.

If someone doesn’t carefully understand what services are included, they can be sometimes hit with unexpected add ons or expenses. It is the flooring estimator’s job to include all the costs that are necessary and some of the costs that are not. This allows the customer to make an informed decision on what services they would like to take advantage of.

Be sure to always get an itemized quote with a clear indication of what the service does and does not include. It goes without saying, that Is better to have the company automatically quote in such a way, than having to ask for more details. Honesty is the best policy and even if it makes our quote look more expensive at first we would rather be upfront with all our costs.

In Stock Accessories

Does the flooring store offer you a quote on the product carry matching accessories in stock? If you have to order them in, what is the lead time and cost?

Sometimes people find an “amazing deal” on flooring from a big box store. Only to find out that after they have purchased a discontinued product with no nosing available in stock. The special order for nosing and transition pieces sometimes can cost just as much as the flooring. Always be sure to check if the necessary nosing is available in stock, and if not what the cost and timeline for ordering in would be.

Professional Advice

Some companies are more focused on the sale than they are on the customer and their needs. We do our utmost to not only help our customers buy flooring but to educate them as well. With completely free professional advice, we are always open to answering questions to help you buy the right flooring for the job. We offer low-pressure sales advice and don’t want you to feel pushed to buy from us, just because we are answering your questions.

Contact Quality Red Tag Floors!

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