Buying From Flooring Stores vs Home Improvement Stores

A new floor installation is a fairly big home improvement project, so your budget will likely influence many of your decisions. But the first thing you need to consider is the type of floor for the room where you want to install. Factors such as foot traffic, ease of cleaning, water damage, exposure to direct sunlight, and ease of installation will affect your choice of new floor.

Beyond that, you need to determine where to purchase your new flooring. The most common options are local flooring stores and big box home improvement stores. But which one should you choose?

Cost of your new flooring

In most cases, home improvement stores offer cheaper flooring materials than their local counterparts. This is partly because large stores enjoy economies of scale, so they can afford to lure homeowners with lower prices. Unfortunately, they rarely have experienced or qualified staff to help you make the best purchase for your needs. At best, they may have a sales specialist who’s familiar with the latest trends, but this is hardly enough information to make an informed decision. So they would be a good choice if you knew exactly what you wanted without needing any professional guidance.

Professional and qualified help

You’re likely to find highly experienced flooring experts at your local store. Their flooring products may cost a little more, but their customer service is exceptional, especially for homeowners who are still undecided about their replacement floor. Most local flooring stores have qualified flooring experts who are not only well-informed about the various flooring materials they stock, but also have a wealth of experience designing, installing, and maintaining different types of floors. They’re also likely to be updated with the latest trends, and can advice you on how to take advantage of new flooring materials in specific parts of your home.

Quality of flooring materials

Another reason why big box home improvement stores can provide cheaper flooring materials is because they usually don’t stock brand name products. Manufacturers of quality materials are unlikely to meet the retailer’s price point proposed by these stores and, therefore, either choose to either not supply them, or provide them with inferior substitute materials for the lower-end of the market. So, in terms of quality, a local flooring store would be your best pick.


With any home improvement project, it is important that you work within your budget. But compromising on the quality can be expensive in the long-term, since you will likely need to replace the floor sooner. Where cost is big concern, you can choose to install the new flooring in sections, rather than the entire house at once, or ask your local flooring expert for useful tips and occasional supervision to do-it-yourself.