Six Questions You Should Ask Your Flooring Consultant
1. How long have you been in business?The longer a local flooring store has been in business, the greater the likelihood it has been ‘endorsed’ by the community. Notwithstanding the larger ‘Big Box’ stores (which benefit from greater buying power and marketing support than their less-known counterparts) smaller and privately owned flooring stores must rely on the quality of their craftsmanship, their overall knowledge and the service they provide their customers. Without mastering either of these components, a store might as well be out of business! Floor Town has been taking care of its customers’ flooring needs, from its location on Rte 17 South in Paramus, since 1957.
2. Are your laminate and engineered hardwood products CARB 2 compliant?Along with some common building materials and some every day household items, laminates and engineered hardwoods frequently contain various levels of formaldehyde as a bi-product of the adhesives used in the manufacturing process. Formaldehyde, an invisible, odorless toxic gas, can be dangerous if left unregulated.
In the flooring industry, California’s Air Resource Board (aka CARB – a division of the EPA) has set the standards for ‘admissible levels’ of formaldehyde in laminates and engineered hardwoods. CARB’s latest standards fall under the heading of ‘Phase 2’.
Because individual countries are subject to different standards, some manufacturers have taken to shipping their operations to the Far East (namely China) where regulations are far less stringent and manufacturing costs can be reduced. By asking your flooring consultant to show you proof of CARB 2 compliance for the laminate or engineered wood you are considering, you can rest assured that your air quality will remain clean and safe after installation. (That being said it’s always a good idea to keep your windows open for a short while whenever installing floors or shelving that requires assembly with glues containing formaldehyde.) You may rest assured that all laminates and engineered hardwoods in Floor Town’s showroom are CARB 2 certified as this has become a pre-requisite for all suppliers of such products, wanting to do business with Floor Town.
3. Is your store a NWFA member, and are your employees NWFA accredited members?The National Wood Flooring Association (aka ‘NWFA’) has set the Gold Standard for competence of wood flooring professionals in the United States. Any top quality flooring company will keep up to date with the NWFA standards regarding installation, floor prep, moisture and environmental issues that affect your hardwood investment, as well as the proper care and maintenance of hardwood floors, refinishing, etc.
Here’s a game you can play: when asking this question, see what kind of answer you get. If your flooring consultant has never heard of the NWFA, that will tell you something about his/her overall knowledge of the industry – or, lack thereof. If members of the store’s leadership team aren’t accredited, you might ask “why not? Floor Town is a NWFA accredited member. Its owner and head flooring consultants have been accredited for many years.