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
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
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
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
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.