What's in a warranty?

Warranties can be big selling factors and incentives.  If a manufacturer is willing to warranty the product, the customer can have a sense of comfort knowing that they should be protected.  Here are a couple points of caution, though, to use some common sense when analyzing warranties.

We would always recommend you buy product from a reputable company that is willing to stand behind their product and support it after the sale.  However, no warranty will cover the customer  if the product is not reasonably cared for.  For example, no matter how great the construction quality and how long the warranty, it doesn’t matter if an exterior door is put in an application destined to fail.  Such as, if there is direct, hot sun on the door and driving rain, this will accelerate the finish deterioration.  If the finish is not put on immediately upon receiving the door and maintained before it starts to deteriorate, then the door warranty is pointless.  Think of it like changing the oil in your car, or if there is no water in the radiator, kaboom!

Right now the rage is lifetime warranties on flooring.  We stop to think is that really even possible?  First will that importer or manufacturer really be around a lifetime?  A lot of products are made oversees; the warranty is only good if there is somebody still around for the life of the warranty.  Are you going to be able to enforce the warranty?  Also, do you really think that a finish can last a lifetime?  For example take a nail and try scraping it across the surface.  Sure it is a durable, well applied finish, but it is impossible to make a product that won’t get abused at some point in its lifetime.  Do you think that the only serious trial your floor will ever see is a stinky sock?  Read the fine print on the warranty and regardless of what it says consider the true replacement cost on the floor.  It probably only covers the cost of material of the specific damaged product under normal wear and tear.  Your product may not be made exactly the same later (trends and product lines change) to replace the section that is warrantied, so you may have to replace the whole floor years later.  You will have labor cost along with displacement of trim, cabinets, and appliances.  Also most of these lifetime finishes cannot be repaired or sanded because of a micro bevel put on the edge of prefinished floor. You can also learn more about flooring on our FAQ page

Our advice is instead to buy a quality product that can be refinished and repaired because something will go wrong in the lifetime of the floor; don’t get a false sense of security.

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