Lumber Liquidators 60 Minutes Story: The Price Versus Quality Equation in Flooring

The Price Versus Quality Equation in Wood Flooring

There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing one of our potential Chicago clients tell us that they have a quotation for wood or laminate flooring that is half of our price. We’ll do our best to educate a prospect on the difference in quality, but if what they care most about is price, we walk away from the business. When we educate Chicagoans about laminate or wood flooring, we talk about the quality of the manufacturing and construction process, it’s finish, the number of layers used to make the core, and how sustainably the products are sourced. Our belief is that these factors alone more than justify the price our engineered wood and laminate flooring manufacturers charge us.

So, why can there be such a difference in the price between flooring sourced from our factories and that from retailers like Lumber Liquidators and others? It comes down to how, where and from what the flooring is manufactured.

Our flooring is manufactured especially for Mr. Floor, per our specifications, by select factories in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. We choose who we work with very carefully and visit our manufacturing partners regularly to ensure that the product they produce meets that standards of quality and safety.

There’s a number of ways that one can save money as a flooring manufacturer, but the two most obvious are the level of skilled labor and the quality of the materials used to produce the flooring. Although it would be less expensive to do so, we do not source any of our flooring from factories that employ substandard raw material sourcing, inferior construction or unfair labor practices. It simply does not meet the standards that are important to us and our customers.

Formaldehyde and Laminate Wood Flooring

If you’re reading this post, you likely have seen the 60 Minutes segment on Lumber Liquidators and their Chinese-made laminate flooring. The story suggests that a substantial portion of the laminated wood flooring made in China emits formaldehyde at a level that exceeds the California Environmental Protection Agency Standards. These standards, adopted by the EPA and going into effect this year, mandate a maximum level of formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can be found in many construction materials most notably composite wood products, where the adhesive used in the construction of the flooring contains formaldehyde. Such building materials can include MDF, plywood and in the past, UREA-based insulation. It’s a dangerous substance that can cause a number of symptoms as identified by the American Cancer Society.

All Mr. Floor Wood Flooring Products Meet or Exceed CARB 2 Standards

All of the laminated wood flooring that Mr. Floor sells or installs is certified as California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase 2 compliant.

Reuters News Service interviewed me and several other Chicago area flooring installation companies asking for both our opinion on Lumber Liquidator’s product and whether we install non-complieant Chinese wood flooring from Lumber Liquidators or other sources. I’ll let you read the story here for yourself, but I want to point out that we have never and would never install products sourced from any vendor that does not meet our strict sourcing standards.

Quite simply, we don’t install products that we cannot verify as both safe and of a high quality.  We believe in quality, safety and value over price.

If you have questions about the safety and quality of laminate flooring, please call or open a chat with us. We’ll be glad to offer our very best advice.