I need some flooring scraps and they won't give or sell them to me.
February 13, 2007 5:47 AM   Subscribe

How do I get a few planks of flooring from a company that says they don't sell material without also installing it?

First some context. Last year, I hired Empire Today to install an oak(-like) laminate floor on about half the floor area in the downstairs level of my small townhome (kitchen, dining, entry, hallway, and half bath). I'm happy with the work they did and the floor has improved our lives immensely.

In the meantime, I've decided that the vanity in the half bath should be replaced with a pedestal sink. Removing the vanity will unfortunately leave a 1.5'x2' rectangular hole in the flooring. (Yes, I realize I did things in the wrong order but we really could not have waited to do the floors.) I contacted Empire and asked if it would be possible to obtain a couple lengths of scrap flooring, which I would use to interleave with the existing planks to nicely cover the hole. The answer was a a firm negative. They'd be happy to come install it for me, but the least they charge for a job is $500.

I already tried going up the chain with my request. I got the same answer every time. We don't sell materials. Do I need to follow an Empire truck back to a warehouse or to a job site and bribe someone?
posted by pmbuko to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Ideally, you should have bribed the installer while he was at your house to give you some extra flooring. It comes in handy not only when remodeling, but also when you have damaged the floor in one spot.

Yeah, 20/20 foresight... This answer is mainly for anyone else reading this who may order a floor in the future. ;-)
posted by qvtqht at 6:02 AM on February 13, 2007

Any way to find out who the manufacturer is? Must be on your work order or something?
posted by jerseygirl at 6:06 AM on February 13, 2007

Some flooring stores allow you to take laminate samples home. Go to one and try to find a match to your flooring. If you are lucky you might be able to keep a sample that matches and install that.
posted by JJ86 at 6:25 AM on February 13, 2007

Site with free samples
posted by JJ86 at 6:26 AM on February 13, 2007

As far as I know there are not that many brands of laminate flooring -- if you have a sample of the flooring (or can tear one up from your existing floor) take it around to flooring shops and big box home improvement stores. They'll figure it out and hook you up. If you can't bring a sample around, there are many accommodating smaller flooring shops that will let you take their samples home for matching. You will probably have to buy a whole box but it's worth keeping extra around.
posted by kmel at 6:31 AM on February 13, 2007

Thanks for the tips. The closest match I've been able to find online is this. I found it by googling for "american red oak laminate". It won't be a problem for my to pull up a plank from the end of the half bath and shop around with it to find a close match.

Part of Empire's sales spiel includes a bit about how their supplier is one of the biggest names in laminate flooring, but they get the best stuff which uses a proprietary formulation for the core material. At this point, I believe I can safely ignore that as it's only the surface color, texture, and sheen I care about.
posted by pmbuko at 6:44 AM on February 13, 2007

Just for consideration, and I would take an example to a Menards or Lowes or whatever to compare. But, if you can't find a good match, redo the small area in something completely different, like tile. An intentional, dramatic mismatch often looks better than something close but not quite right.
posted by edgeways at 7:04 AM on February 13, 2007

edgeways, I had thought of that, but your answer clued me in to a gross oversight on my part. I have laminate in a closet that, until now, I hadn't thought of using. I can pull material from there to use in the bathroom for an exact match, then replace it with a 'good enough' match later.
posted by pmbuko at 8:08 AM on February 13, 2007

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