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Laminate Flooring Buying Guide Where To Buy

Laminate flooring material is distributed by online retailers and local floor covering stores. In this section we've outlined the advantages and disadvantages of online and local retailers when it comes to customer service, warranties, and store policies. Also included is a printable Buying Checklist complete with questions you should ask your flooring professional. Ensure that you've covered all topics before purchase by referencing our Buying Checklist and recommendations below.

Buying from Local Retailer


  • Personal service: You can visit or contact an individual directly.
  • See the product yourself: You can view different types of laminate flooring available in person; see and feel the different textures in person, and take various samples home to see how they fit in with your environment and furnishings. It is also important to see the quality of the product.
  • Easy follow–up: Any questions or concerns can be addressed in person.
  • Installation: Many retailers not only sell material but also offer installation services through in–house staff.
  • In–home measuring and estimating: This is one of the most important features that is offered by a retailer as they will send someone to your home to confirm the amount of material needed. This helps prevent over/under ordering and returns.


  • Selection: You may need to visit several locations to view different products as a local retailer may only offer a limited selection.
  • Time: If the retailer needs to order additional material from their supplier, it could increase the time for your project.
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Buying from an Online Retailer


  • Selection: There is a wide assortment of laminate flooring to choose from.
  • Consumer reviews: Read online reviews of different types of laminate floors from site users before you shop.
  • Price: You may be able to get a lower price from an online retailer than your local floor covering retailer.
  • Convenient: Purchase flooring material from the comfort of your own home.


  • Warranty issues: If you encounter warranty issues, the resolution process for an online purchase is more complicated than buying from your local flooring retailer. Instead of having a local flooring retailer resolve your warranty issue, you are dealing with phone calls and emails to the online retailer, a process that can be lengthy and cause delays and changes to your installation.
  • Overall costs: Though you may be getting a better price on the laminate product, when buying online this price often does not include extra fees for shipping, delivery, labor, installation, acclimation preparation, etc.
  • Restocking fee: If you receive the flooring and it just isn't what you thought it would be, sending it back often means incurring a restocking fee that could be up to 30% of the overall cost of your order plus return shipping.
  • Shipping costs: The heavier the laminate, the more expensive it is to ship, which could add significantly to the overall cost.
  • Out of stock/discontinued products: Many flooring websites keep an incomplete inventory, and you might find that the laminate floors you have your heart set on may not actually be available for purchase.
  • No in–person service: From the purchase itself to any follow–up questions you may have, all business will be conducted over email or the phone.
  • Shipping errors: If a mistake on either party's behalf is made during shipping this could cause delays to your project.
  • Accessories: Trims, moldings, underlayments, and adhesives may not be available through the same retailer. Not to mention additional charges to your order for shipping costs.
  • No affiliated installer: Chances are the online retailer will not have a qualified installer available for you. If you utilize an online source for purchasing your flooring and a local resource for installation, there may be more difficulty in getting quality customer service and assistance when dealing with two separate businesses.
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