I ordered 1800 SF of Brazilian Teak manufactured by Bellwood for Lumber Liquidators. What a nightmare! Several boxes arrived damaged upon delivery. The delivery person noted on the paperwork boxes were ripped open, damaged and discolored from other boxes. After not hearing from the store about the damaged boxes delivered I called the store directly and spoke with store manager Mike. I expressed my concerns and he assured me the boxes would be fine and I should have no worries about the installation of those boxes. When my installers arrived for the install (after the boxes had acclimated for three weeks) they too pointed out that several boxes looked beat up and odd. I told them I already called the store and they would be fine. They opened those three boxes along with seven others and sorted them by color variation, size, and proceeded with the install. After laying many of the boxes they expressed they were having constant issues with gaps in the boards. They pointed out that the boards had two separate kinds of milling and it was causing major problems. The problem was the actual width of boards were very different and so were the tongues. They suggested I contact the store and let them know so I can return them and reorder new boxes all from the same milling. I called the store and spoke to Ricky. He told me to bring in some sample boards.
The next day I brought in several boards demonstrating the boards varying width and completely different tongues. I could tell Mike the manager did not want to admit that they were from different mills but it was impossible to deny. He would just make comments like " a good installer would know how to deal with something like this" and "They can be altered by your installer to work" I pointed out that would cause additional labor I would have to pay for and I should not have to pay more money to deal with milling issues. He then said that he could send out his own installer (Brian). He said he would be able to make them work just fine. As I had nothing to lose I agreed.
Later that day a woman called and said she spoke to Mike and her company would come by to look at the floors. Several hour later a knock at my door and its a woman "Sarah" She said she was there to look that the floors. I told her I thought a Brian was coming to look at them as he is the installer. She said she was his wife. I showed her the boards and how they were all different. She just seemed oddly quiet. She obviously knew they were messed up but didn't want to say anything other than "don't worry we can fix everything". I pointed out the many rows that would have to get ripped up. She said that the three boxes that were mixed up with the others could be dealt with by "sorting them back out and putting them in the same rows". That sounded fine but she said I would have to remove what was already laid down and also order replacement boxes. She also said they would only glue down the wood. I told her as long as the price was the same that would be fine. She said Mike the manager would probably replace the boxes that caused the issue. I told her I would speak to Mike and let her know. I showed her my current installer invoice (3.00 square foot) and told her as long as she matched that I would go with them. She said she would match my installers and email me the estimate.
The next day the email comes. Guess what? they wanted 2500 more than my current installers. Not only that the glue was an additional 1200 more. So they wanted 3700 more than my current installer!! She had the square footage at 3.00 but had the stairs priced out separately and also wanted 1,000 more to level the floors for glue down process. Obviously I was not going to go with them and she never said the glue material alone would cost so much! I called Mike and said Im just going to go with my installer and lm going to return the unopened boxes and reorder the same thing. I even agreed to upgrade the wood to 3/4 inch thick from 3/8 inch thick since they had the same teak in a smaller width but for a similar price. He said to bring them in and I would reorder them.
After renting a uhual and breaking my back getting the boxes back to the store the manager said that I had ten boxes missing. I told him that three boxes had milling issues which screwed up the other 7 laid down. I told him about how I called when they arrived and was assured they were o.k. I explained yet again that those three boxes installed with the other 7 were mixed and rendered useless and they had to now get ripped up. Mike said he would only credit me for the three boxes that had the wrong milling. He did not want to recognize that those boxes caused the others to be useless.
Trying not to loss my cool I told him I wanted to focus on getting the replacement material (2 1/4 teak) that is listed on the website because its a a similar price. Guess What. The replacement material was not available. The only option he said I had was to pay for an even more expensive (3.25 teak). I told him I didn't even want that as I have a 1915 craftsman and I was not comfortable going with such a large width. Additionally that the cost was more more expensive price per square foot (3500 more!). I already was in the hole 7 boxes he would not credit, installation costs that were wasted, renting a truck for the return, and cost to rip out the *** that was down. Now he was telling me my only option was to pay 3500 more!!! It was obvious I was getting nowhere with him. He had no compassion to the situation and just seemed to generally not get how I was put in a situation not of my choosing. Lets not forget this entire nightmare was brought about by having different milling mixed in with my order. Since they no longer had any replacement material at similar cost ( 2 1/4) . Even though the website says the do. I requested to just have the unopened boxes I just returned credited to my card. I said I would have to eat the 7 boxes and just order them somewhere else since the only option extended to me was to buy more expensive teak. This SOB had the nerve to tell me that he would "not give me my money back" . He said he "was not convinced it was a milling issue" Are you freaking kidding me!!!!! I was just speechless. To think I would have to take the hit on all of this. Its like I had a gun to my head. I told him I since I was left with no alternative I had no choice but to pay an additional 3500.00 and order the teak in 3.25.
I left the store feeling sick to my stomach. Like I had been mugged. Its just sad when you feel so completely taken advantage of and have absolutely no power to make the store take responsibility. All I can do is share my story and let others know of my horrible experience. Hopefully it will make you reconsider and purchase elsewhere. As a realtor I am constantly asked for referrals on everything from kitchen cabinets to floors. I used to always recommend Loews or Home Depot as they guarantee the work and generally my clients were very happy withe them. Looks like I should have taken my own advice. I only went with Lumber Liquidators because the teak they had looked so nice in the store. I will let every client know my experience at Lumber Liquidators. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.
I will let you guys know how the final install goes when the new material arrives.
Monetary Loss: $15.