If you’re looking for flooring or home renovation supplies, it may feel like you’re playing “pandemic renovation bingo” right now.
Because although the construction industry is booming, there have been supply delays in various areas. Everything from wood, paint, and windows to flooring has seen some type of delay.
So what should you do if you need flooring?
We have a few tips to help you come out on top in the shortest time and at the best price.
First, an update on the flooring industry
By now, you’ve heard of how the pandemic affected deliveries of raw materials, construction supplies and even consumer products. Challenges in production, shipping, and labor have affected both availability dates and pricing.
At this time, we’re seeing delays ranging from a few weeks to 2 or 3 months for hardwood, wood-like flooring, and resilient rigid-core or luxury vinyl flooring. Tile is also experiencing some slight delays.
This timeframe varies by product and manufacturer, so you’ll need an estimate for your specific flooring. Contact us for a time estimate for your project.
These issues are affecting pricing as well.
While prices are increasing in small jumps, they’re happening more often. For example, a manufacturer will raise prices by 5% to 10% one month. Then we’ll see a shipping surcharge of $.20/sq. ft. the next month. A few months later, the manufacturer will raise prices slightly again. Obviously, these small increments add up over time.
So what can you do to get the best prices and availability?
Here’s our advice for buying flooring in fall and winter of 2021 and into 2022.
1. Order as early as possible for the best dates and prices
When we say early, we mean tomorrow isn’t too soon. Honestly, every week that passes could cost you time and money.
One client who ordered in September will have to wait until January 2022 for his shipment, because of the timeframe for his product. (Remember, it varies by product. See above.)
The sooner you order your flooring, the higher chance you have of locking in a better price and an earlier delivery date. Speak to us or your retailer for options.
2. Consider alternatives
If you can’t wait for shipments of wood-like flooring or vinyl, try to find existing inventory or adjust your renovation plans.
Although many stores have gone through their inventory at this point, there are flooring options that have more availability. Tile has a shorter lead time, for example, and carpet is more readily available.
Adjusting your plans might help too. Instead of using wood-like flooring or luxury vinyl in the entire home, think about using carpet in the bedrooms and getting a smaller order of wood-like flooring (or tile) for the common living areas.
3. Order from a flooring store that can warehouse your shipment
Not every flooring store has its own warehouse. In fact, most Austin floor stores don’t. We have a warehouse and can hold customer product orders for longer than 30 days, if needed.
This has been a benefit for customers who are seeing delays in getting installation scheduled with local contractors. If this happens, you won’t have to worry about extra costs or having to store the product in your home.
Speaking of contractors…
4. Hire contractors soon after you order flooring
As we mentioned earlier, construction is booming and contractors are in high demand. Hire your flooring installation team as soon as you order, even if it’s months in advance, because you may have to wait that long to get on their schedule.
Or work with us and we can schedule it for you with our installation team in Texas. 😉
The bottom line
We can’t stress enough that planning ahead is key. If you order as early as possible, you can get in before the next manufacturer’s price jump or shipping delay.
Costs and shipping have been in flux for the past year, and while we’re hoping it’ll improve, planning ahead is the best option for the foreseeable future. Contact us to check availability or price for flooring in Austin, TX.