Problem with Quality of Mannington Engineered Hardwood

Where do I begin???
We're building a new home and I fell in love with the photo of Mannington's Blue Ridge Hickory Plank Natural in their catalog. I went
to several local flooring stores to price shop and view the sample boards. I got catalogs and I requested wood samples from Mannington, which they sent right out. I thought I knew what I was ordering.
I called FastFloors.com and got a quote of $5.30 a square foot, which was $2.00 a foot less than the lowest local store was offering. They offered to put flooring on hold for me, because this particular style is popular and on backorder frequently. The next day, credit card in hand, I called FastFloors.com back to pay. I was told that the quote was no good and that I would have to pay $6.15 a square foot. Since the only available flooring was on hold with them, I would either have to risk losing that lot to someone else in the country and waiting for a backorder to arrive in a few weeks, or pay the higher price. I was angry, but I ordered the flooring.
It was delivered 3 weeks ago, and our installers told us to let it sit in the house for two weeks to acclimate. We opened two boxes, and admired the top board or two---couldn't wait to see it installed!
Installation day arrived 10 days ago. Several hours into the job, the owner of the installation company called me and told me that a lot of the wood was bad, and that I needed to leave work and take a look.
Bad? It is horrible wood. Nothing at all like Mannington's photos. I called them up and was told that hickory has lots of "character and color variation". I was fine with the colors--that is what I loved about what I had seen. I did not appreciate the worm holes, huge gray areas, black streaks, wood with defects which had been finished over, huge knots, etc. My installer told me it was "cabin grade" wood, which would be fine if we were building a cabin and not a $2 million contemporary home in Los Angeles.
Sadly, during the building of the home, we were victims of the deluges of rain all winter and our subfloors were soaked so often that they were not very smooth. Our installers sanded, and recommended gluing down the flooring to increase the integrity of the finished installation.
When I saw the wood that had been installed, I just about cried in front of the entire crew. The owner told me that the glue wouldn't be completely cured for at least 24 hours and that he could have the flooring pried up in the morning. I told him I'd call Mannington first.
When they told me that this was the wood I had ordered and that the photos on their website are not accurate depictions of the products but
merely "room scenes". I wonder what they call the sample boards? The
actual samples they mail...what are those??
I told my installer John (not his real name) to go ahead and remove the
approximately 300 square feet they'd installed. They had to pry it up with crowbars, tearing up the subfloor with it.
My subfloor is so damaged now that parts will have to be replaced, and the framers glued it to the joists, so we have a HUGE MESS on our hands!!!! I cannot even imagine the words our contractor must have uttered when he walked in last week and saw the destruction.
Mannington has a pre-installation warranty, whereby a consumer can hand-select all of the boards to be installed and return the rest for exchange.
So, what if you order flooring, schedule installers to spend a week at your home, and half the flooring turns out to look like crap, and there
is no more in stock because it's on backorder???? Does Mannington warn you? No. Does FastFloors.com? No. But do they both know that Mannington's hickory is like this? Yes! It would be so kind of one of
them to inform consumers that they should order twice as much wood as they determine they'll need, so they can hand-select their boards and send the rest back.
John is going to do his best to fix my subfloor. It looks like a bomb went off in the home we were supposed to move into in two weeks. Inspections have been postponed, because we won't pass any of them now.
I'm out another $10,000 in additional wood ordered so far, and will probably need another 25 boxes to fill my original quantity of decent wood ordered.
Will I be responsible for the extra $600-700 in shipping? Will Mannington really refund my $10,000-$13,000 in "rustic" wood? What will the State Attorney General have to say about all of this?
Stay tuned. I will post again, because no one should suffer the stress
that my husband and I, and John, are going through right now. I should
not be worrying and wondering if more wood will be showing up in the next day or two so that John's guys can finish.
What if I hadn't been able to pay for the extra wood so we could "hand-select" our boards? I was lucky enough to have enough credit available on my AMEX card....oh, and I've called them too. I hear they
are very good about dealing with disputed charges.
If I don't come out of this mess satisfied with the outcome, I will be putting up a website to accurately depict Mannington's Blue Ridge Hickory Plank Natural First Quality wood. Someone's got to and Mannington doesn't seem inclined to, at least not yet.
(The message above was originally posted last year.)
Update: FastFloors.com told American Express that I was trying to get something for nothing and AMEX denied my dispute. I have since re-opened the dispute, (explaining that all I want is the floor advertised at the price agreed upon), and it hasn't been resolved yet. I have contacted attorneys and I have one willing to work on this if AMEX doesn't come through for me. I have spent close to $10,000 in extra shipping, extra labor, repair of the sub-floor, bait-and-switch price gouging and misc. to get the floor represented in Mannington's materials.
I have recently heard from another consumer fighting the same type of issue with the appearance of their Mannington flooring. Buyer beware!!!
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yep. I'm afraid that the flooring business is, well, a bunch of rug merchants. Get a lawyer.
You say you are building a new home, and it looks like you don't have a general contractor. Watch the HVAC sub like a hawk. My experience, those guys are *worse* than the floor guys.
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BTW, not to beat this into the ground, but, the following is a direct quote from the Kahrs website. Apparently, Kahrs, for one, is in the habit of selling off-quality material as "economy grade". Unfortunately, I have had similar experience with other types of products, i.e. getting a good price over the internet only to receive second- quality merchandise.
Kahrs <http://www.kahrs.com/templates/KahrsExtranetStandardNews.aspx?id=12833&contentid=17167 says: "It is our intent to use the Internet as an information tool and to stimulate a visit to the local retailer. The showroom is the place where sales should be discussed and sealed due to the complexity and special prerequisites for floor installation, designs, and the Khrs quality policy to make sure the consumer ends up with a floor that is perfect for their needs.
We have received numerous calls from consumers who have had unpleasant experiences as a result of purchasing flooring over the Internet. The installation of a Khrs floor in your home is a substantial investment, therefore we offer the following warnings before considering a purchase over the Internet:
1) Warranty protection: Khrs will not review a claim without the selling retailer and selling distributor inspecting the floor and confirming that a problem exists in accordance with our stated warranty.
2) Poor installation is the number one cause of consumer dissatisfaction. Authorized dealers are required to follow the Khrs Professional Installation Guide and have access to all installation and product training programs offered by Kahrs and our distribution partners.
3) Khrs provides warranty coverage on first quality material only. Economy grade products are not covered. This can pose significant problems for Internet consumers if they are not able to visit their local retailer should they have any questions or concerns.
Beware of products offered at substantially discounted prices over the Internet. Hidden costs such as freight and installation are generally not reflected in those discounts. Your local authorized dealer offers the benefits of full warranty protection, superior customer service, and manufacturer-backed quality that are reflected in their prices.
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BTW, not to beat this into the ground, but, the following is a direct quote from the Kahrs website.
Kahrs <http://www.kahrs.com/templates/KahrsExtranetStandardNews.aspx?id 833&contentid167> says: "It is our intent to use the Internet as an information tool and to stimulate a visit to the local retailer. The showroom is the place where sales should be discussed and sealed due to the complexity and special prerequisites for floor installation, designs, and the Khrs quality policy to make sure the consumer ends up with a floor that is perfect for their needs.
. Yeah, but if I'm building a $700,000 house and can save 50 bucks on the flooring . . . . . . . . The Kahrs guys got it right.
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We do have a general contractor. Actually, the house is done now and we've become friends with him and his wife. My flooring is gorgeous and is exactly what is pictured in Mannington's catalogs. It's what it cost me to get it that way that has me upset. I feel that what comes out of the boxes should be what they show in their pictures. That's all I wanted. Unfortunately, that's not what Mannington sends out.
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Mine was exactly as pictured
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That's great for you, Edwin, but mine was not.
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How many more times are you gonna post this sad sack of crap? A simple google search shows you first started bitching with the same post in May 2005. Now you come back, not with something new, but the same old story, as if it just happened.
The vendor takes back product that you want to reject because of appearance before you install it. But you want them to pay not only for the material which is now ruined, but also for labor of installing it, removing it, replacing the sub floor, and God knows what else. Oh, and let's not forget that you also expect to be reimbursed for the fact that when you actually placed the order they gave you a higher price than they had previously quoted you, even though you clearly knew that when you placed the order.
Obviously your installer either didn;t think the flooring material was crap material or else he's an incompetent hack that you hired to save another couple bucks on your mansion, because he installed it didn't he?
If anyone should get a lawyer here, I think it's the companies that are involved.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Some installers don't find they generate repeat business by criticizing the customers' taste in building supplies.
--
If John McCain gets the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination,
my vote for President will be a write-in for Jiang Zemin.
  Click to see the full signature.
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