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Hardwood Flooring Samples Vs. Boxed Products: What’s The Difference?

What differences should I expect between store samples and hardwoods that I order and come in the boxes? The question is a common one.
If you looked at a sample of wood flooring in the showroom and ordered according to what you saw, you may have been surprised when you opened the box.

Boxed Flooring That Goes Against Your Grain

Grains and other characteristics of wood vary from batch to batch. Lower grades of wood vary more than select or select and better. Still, that may not be the only difference you note between the sample and the boxed version.

Sample products should line up in areas such as the amount of grain and character they possess. All samples of natural wood has a tendency to sport rough traits. That’s part of the attraction some homeowners have for it. Higher grades should be consistent in representation too.

If the sample you looked at was a higher grade and thus had consistent coloring and uniform features, your delivered product should be the same. If your product arrived with unstained areas, cracks, holes, and delamination, there’s a problem.

What to Do About a Product Issue

If you feel you received the wrong grade of wood or a bad batch, be sure to contact the company right away. If you aren’t satisfied with the result of the first person you speak with, keep going up the chain of command. Remember to be courteous and keep your cool. Chances are, a person who has the authority to do so will make it right. If not, you can take it further.

There’s always the chance that you’ve dealt with a shady company and that you will have to eat your mistake. In that case, leaving a negative review is helpful so that others can be warned.

Steps to Take Prior to Purchase

It’s always a good idea to check out the company you are purchasing from. Do they have a trusted online presence? Do they have favorable third party reviews? Doing your homework usually pays off.

When you are show a sample, whether in person or otherwise, be sure and ask if that is a true sample of what you’ll be receiving. If you’re viewing an engineered sample and you’re intending to order a solid wood product, they will not be the same. Also note that no two pieces of wood are the same. Each has its own personality. Especially with higher grades though, samples should accurately reflect the product you’ll receive.

Find a Trustworthy Flooring Representative

Locating a representative or company you can trust to shoot you straight is worth the time and effort. Accredited businesses and representatives with integrity won’t rip you off. They have a reputation to maintain and are typically passionate about pleasing their customers.

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