What You Should Know About Lowe's Flooring Installation Services Before Investing

If you have ever walked into a brick-and-mortar Lowe's store, then you have probably seen its kiosks offering floor installations. The home improvement store offers everything from hardwood to laminate to tile to carpeting installations, taking the guesswork out of not only measuring the space to see how much product you need but also installing it afterward. No matter which flooring you're in the market for, it takes considerable skill and a collection of tools to get it done. Not everyone feels comfortable laying tile or cutting laminate planks to fit the perimeter of the room, which is why these services are so valuable. However, there are some things you should know before signing up for its installation services. 

The first is that Lowe's hires subcontractors to complete its jobs. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you're not working with a team of installers that Lowe's personally employs in its company. This could make you contemplate on why you don't just find a contractor on your own and possibly broker a better deal. The second thing you should know is that the "price per square foot" cost isn't the only charge you'll see on your invoice. By requesting an itemized list, you might be able to catch some hidden fees that you can remove from the invoice. Let's take a closer look at what you should know about Lowe's flooring installation services.

It hires subcontractors

Lowe's doesn't have its own crew of contractors at the ready. Instead, it bids out the project to vetted subcontractors, who then come to your house and install your chosen flooring for you. Lowe's acts somewhat like a middleman, so why should you use its service rather than find a trusted installer yourself? Some people still prefer to use this service because of the guarantees. According to the company, each contractor is evaluated, background-checked, and insured. They are able to vet these installers much more thoroughly than a regular layperson can when hiring a contractor. Lowe's also offers labor warranties, so if the job isn't up to snuff, you can have the crew come back to remedy the situation without much pushback, which might not be the case if you find your own contractor. 

However, since you're using an installer that Lowe's has hired, they are limited to following the company's rules. For example, a former Lowe's contractor shared with Consumer Reports that they were barred from making minor repairs to things they had to alter to get the job done. "Installers aren't allowed to paint, touch up, color, etc. anything," they shared with the publication. "If I have to take your trim off or get your front door installed we won't paint the new piece ... I can cut siding but cannot paint or seal the joints." If you hire your own installer, this wouldn't be the case.

There will be extra fees you can save on

If you decide to use Lowe's floor installation services, ask for an itemized invoice before making a down payment or paying it in full. This will allow you to see all the fees for the extra tasks needed to complete your project, some of which you might feel comfortable doing yourself. For example, Lowe's offers free furniture removal for common pieces such as bed frames, couches, dressers, bookshelves, and tables. But if you have furniture that requires three or more people to haul, such as a large china cabinet, piano, or treadmill, then you will receive an extra charge for that.

You will also receive a delivery fee if you want the flooring delivered to your house rather than picking them up yourself. If you don't mind hauling boxes of vinyl planks or rolls of carpeting to your home, then that can save you some money from your bottom line. Other things you can get dinged on include removing and reinstalling the shoe molding or quarter round from your baseboards, which is a simple enough task to tackle on your own. Other charges to look out for are detaching and moving appliances like fridges or standalone stoves, water features like toilets, and removing the old flooring. If you have the skill to do that yourself, you can save on the installation cost.