Tips for buying new flooring

(KOMO file photo)

When it comes to new flooring, the choices are seemingly endless – solid wood, laminates, vinyl, linoleum and many more.

While price shopping is important for any major purchase like this, it's not always easy to compare the prices at the big chain stores with smaller stores.

Kevin Brasler, executive editor of, says that's because the big stores tend to sell private-label merchandise.

"They're still made by the same manufacturers that everybody else sells, they just put different names on them, so it makes it really hard to compare prices,” Brasler said. “But for the comparable items that we were able to look at, at the big chains and the independents, we found that those big chains actually did offer quite low prices.”

Even so, encourages visiting a few independent flooring stores.

“We also found low prices at several of the independents in the area,” Brasler told me.” Plus, the independents offer better advice and offer much better installation than the big guys do."

Heads Up: Brasler says some companies quote a low per-square footage charge for the flooring, then gouge customers for the installation. His advice is to get the price for the entire job in writing. is a non-profit, subscriber-based consumer rating service which takes no advertising and accepts no money from companies they rate. Their ratings of NW flooring installers will be accessible to KOMO listeners until May 9, 2018.

Checkbook also has information on flooring suppliers and installers available to everyone.

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