floor covering and design...with a fuzzy side

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

7 easy steps to prevent a flooring installation nightmare


It may seem like a no-brainer but it happens more often than you think. The wrong flooring is installed in your home.  It could be the wrong color.  It could be the wrong style.  It could be the wrong product. (you ordered carpet and they installed hardwood) Perhaps you have flooring installed (most often the installation is supervised by someone other than the person who selected the floor) while you are out and when you get home you realize the flooring is not what you selected.


How could this happen?

For clarity's sake we are going to say the product selected was carpet (but it could happen with any product)

Real quickly; all flooring products have a style name and style number, a color name and color number.  Example: Woodside II (style name) 52Y17 (style number) Cadet (color name) 00402 (color number)

Let's say you want Woodside II, color Uniform #404 and they installed something else

What could go wrong:

1. The sample board was labeled wrong (The color Uniform was labeled with the color #402 which is Cadet)
2. The salesperson wrote down the wrong color/SKU #
  • They wrote Uniform, #402 (wrong #)
  • Cadet, #404 (wrong name)
  • or even Cadet, #402 (both wrong)
3. The mill sent the wrong color (Cadet #402) , yet labeled it with the correct information (Uniform #404)
4. The mill sent the wrong color (Cadet #402), labeled it correctly yet the receiving warehouse did not catch the wrong color and it was given to the installer.
5. The warehouse gave a completely different carpet (both style and color) to the installer.
6. The installer removed carpet for another job from their van and installed it in your house.
7. Your husband/wife told the installer to put the carpet in the wrong room.

Below is what a sample board usually looks like.  The style name is at the top (Woodside II) and the color information is typically written above, beneath or behind (if the sample is removable) each color.  Easy to confuse with color information all over the place, right?


I've put two examples of the same style but different colors below.  The colors are positioned one on top of the other on the board.  If the colors are labeled just above or just below, this mistake can happen quite easily.



Prevention tactics:

1. If the board you selected from was labeled incorrectly, there isn't anything you can do.  The carpet manufacturer should, without hesitation, replace your carpet.  Sometimes they will offer a financial incentive to keep the carpet but don't let them pressure you into accepting something you didn't want.

2. If the salesperson wrote down the wrong color or style#, there IS something you can do.  Confirm before you sign.  Any reputable flooring retailer will 'write up' your order and ask you to sign off on it.  This is the copy that goes to the purchasing department.  In other words, this the information they use to place your order.  Before you sign, make sure the information is correct.  Not only correct, make sure it is neat.  You can always blame it on your eyesight if you don't want to tell your salesperson your first-grader has better handwriting.  Sometimes a sloppily written order can result in the wrong product being purchased from the manufacturer. DO NOT SIGN until you confirm ALL the SKU/style/color numbers and names match the sample from which you selected.  If the sample is wrong, it's on the manufacturer.  If the order is wrong, it's on...you?  Maybe -especially if you signed off on it.

3. Number three seems like something you couldn't avoid because it is the manufacturer's fault.  There is, however, a way to keep this incorrect product from being installed.  Ask your salesperson for a sample of your product.  Keep it until the installation date.  When the installers arrive, check your sample against the material they are about to install.  If they don't match, stop the installation. It is ALWAYS easier to handle an issue BEFORE it is installed.

4. As a customer, you can't control what happens in the warehouse before the install.  Prevention tactic #3 will keep the product from being installed and enable the problem to be quickly solved.

5. See prevention tactic #4

6. Make sure you match up your sample to the product the installer is bringing into your home as soon as possible.  If possible, don't let them take it out of their van.  Walk your sample out and confirm it in your driveway if you can.  If it is a simple matter of grabbing the wrong product, this will be quickly remedied.

7. Give the sample you've gotten from your salesperson to whoever is overseeing the project and make sure they compare it to the product the installers bring into your home.  If they don't do this, shame on them.  This entitles you to at least six months of 'I told you sos', a shopping spree or even a vacation. 

  • Confirm what your salesperson has written on your order matches the sample.
  • Make sure it is neat.
  • Always get a sample of the product you've ordered to keep on hand for the installation.  If the salesperson says you can't have one, go somewhere else.  A reputable flooring retailer will be able to get you a sample if they don't want to part with the sample on their showroom floor.  It may take a few days but the mill will send samples of products for free if an order is on the line. 
Want more like this?

What's wrong with my carpet?  A little knowledge can avoid a lot of aggravation.

The secret to preventing your wood floors from failing.

7 ways to make your carpet last longer.