Home Remodel Nightmares
*This post was written by Daniel Roberts, the Retreat Director at Oklahoma Christian Summer Camp and Youth Retreat Center Shepherd’s Fold Ranch. It does not reflect the opinions if Shepherd’s Fold, just his personal experience and opinion.*
Ok, I want to provide a comprehensive review of this product and Home Depot’s customer service for any potential buyers. In August 2012 my wife and I finally a decided on a flooring material and company to upgrade our downstairs carpet. We shopped between HD, the Big Blue and a couple of local floor companies. Home Depot was running an incredible install promotion and we fell in love with the look of the strand woven bamboo that I am now reviewing.
I did the prep for the install and on installation day, we were hit with our first surprise….. We needed to have our floor leveled off within 1/16 of an inch over an 8ft spread. NO ONE EVER MENTIONED THAT while we were making decisions and researching into potential additional costs. Needless to say, we were extremely upset—especially when it was going to be an extra $1000 for the leveling and floor prep. If you do not want to have to deep clean your house multiple times, sleep in dust masks while the concrete grindings dissipate and are not prepared to cough up concrete for the next few days, then just forget about getting these kinds of floors installed. I was under the impression one of the benefits of these “floating floors” was that they did not require this type of floor prep. Again, this was something else that HD did not care to explain. It frustrates me in this process that I went to them as the subject matter expert and so many critical things were not communicated before hand.
After having the floors leveled and installed, they looked good. There were a couple of scuffs on a transition piece and a couple of them were loose when stepped on. I thought that they would settle and it would not be an issue, but months later the problem evolved. I called the Home Depot store where we had purchased the floors and reported the transition problems happy to discover that Home Depot would send a repairman over with in a couple weeks and replace the problem areas.
At this point, what I now know as “cupping” was occurring throughout the floor in a mild sense, but I thought it was the natural design of the flooring. After the transition pieces were replaced is when I started noticing the widening separation of the planks in the hall. It looked like the installers might have just left too much room under the trim, so I did not think much about it and would just “kick/ nudge” them back together. I did this for a few months, but decided the problem was growing and wanted to alert Home Depot.
I reported the issue July 16, 2013 and this was where this gets extremely frustrating. From this point I met Bob, the expediter at Home Depot SW Tulsa #3915 and Bob has been very kind to work with thus far. But, Bob has not been able to make anything happen…. Since July…. Bob came, took pictures and agreed that this was awful and he assured me that it would get fixed.
Next came the inspector for Cooper Installation Services who HD contracts their installs for in Tulsa. This gentleman came, took up some of the panels and informed me that it was most likely a moisture issue- that the concrete slab was not properly sealed and that was causing the cupping (which is happening on all the floor) and the board separation in the hallway.
I am not an expert in floor installs, but I did do enough research from http://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/articles/article.aspx?articleid=163&zoneid=2 and the NWFA to learn that the installers never provided me any moisture readings before they installed!
After the Cooper Install inspector came, I never heard back from them. I called their supervisor Chad multiple times, left multiple messages and never heard back. I honestly felt like he was ducking me. So—because I bought the floors from Home Depot, Cooper Installation was their contractor and there was either a manufacturer defect in the floors or an installation error I decided to start calling Bob again.
After multiple contacts with Bob and him assuring me that he was working on getting the manufacturer to send out their inspector and telling me he is going to get his district manager involved NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.
I have always had a great buying experience at Home Depot and have had hoped that this could get resolved. I am leaving the door open for Home Depot to rectify what has been the worst customer service experience I have ever had. So, if you are considering this floor (read all the reviews, apparently this floor material is awful) you might want to make sure ALL your ducks are in a row before considering using Home Depot—or be prepared for the worst.
Also, if you are reading this and want to help me, I am open to any advice. This has been extremely frustrating– feeling like I spent $3000 on a crappy product and there has been almost no true customer service.
Links to important review sites for Home Depot, Cooper Install and other information.