Buying Hardwood Flooring Online: Pros and Cons
Twenty years ago, where to purchase hardwood flooring was not even a question; homeowners went to a showroom to see the various kinds on offer. The internet, however, has changed all this. There is now a thriving online market for all kinds of flooring options. Does this mean that consumers should make their purchases online?
Advantages of Online Buying
Many online outlets offer pricing advantages. This primarily derives from two forces. First, online competition tends to drive prices down. Secondly, online retailers do not have to maintain and pay for the same level of brick-and-mortar infrastructure that is necessary for traditional hardwood floor sellers. They need no showroom except a web page, for example, and they may not employ nearly as many people.
Disadvantages of Online Buying
On the other hand, the lack of a showroom most likely means a lack of stock as well. Online retailers will typically operate on a “buy as needed” basis, meaning that they do not order floorboards until a customer has ordered and paid for them. This lets them operate on lower margins, but it can also mean delays and even disappointment at times. An online retailer may have his own sources dry up, even after a sale, and the beautiful teak you wanted may not be available for months to come. This will not happen when you order floorboards that are actually in stock at a physical retailer.
Regardless of how you buy, be sure to hire a floor sanding company from time to time to keep your hardwood floor free of scratches and blemishes.