installation of laminate flooring

Flooring from Empire Today – A Review of Our Experiences

You’ve seen the Empire Today commercials where floors are replaced similar to fluffing a sheet on a bed, but how does Empire work? Is it expensive? How does everything turn out? We’ve had Empire install flooring twice – first for carpet, then for laminate. This review recounts our experiences with them.

It’s not apparent from their website or your appointment but Empire buys flooring products and sells them to you with the cost of installation. The flooring is not manufactured by them. If you research quality products and have the skill to install them, Empire is not for you. We didn’t care to learn how to install flooring, nor could we do it as professionally and efficiently as Empire does.

How Does Empire Work?

The first time we had a referral from a friend, so we called that number to set up an appointment. The second time we made one from Empire’s website. Either way, Empire sends a salesperson to your house to take measurements and go over options with you. While you can browse their product offerings online, the only way to get things rolling or to know any prices is to set up an appointment. Both salesmen we had were detailed, patient, and friendly. I ask a lot of questions. Sometimes twice to be sure that everything is clear.

First we told them what we wanted replaced. Then they took measurements and calculated the square footage of the area. Both gentlemen asked about price point, amount of use, and warranties we might be looking for. They pulled samples from their vehicles and walked us through the pros and cons of products we were interested in. The most expensive products are shown first (they are salesmen after all). Both times we went with products that were a step below top of the line. We felt we got a better value that way and the warranties were similar.

When we narrowed it down to a few products we were interested in, we had them calculate the cost for the area we wanted and then went from there. Both times we ended up moving forward to the install. However, we didn’t feel any pressure and could have easily sent them on their way if we weren’t ready to purchase. Decisions, calculations, and finalizing orders take awhile. Both appointments lasted around 2 hours.

What is Empire’s Installation Like?

For the carpet, we hadn’t yet moved in so there wasn’t furniture to move. When we got the laminate done, we moved all of the furniture the night before installation. Empire will have their guys move furniture for you. I have some custom bookcases that are bolted together and take some finagling to relocate, so we did everything ourselves.

Both times I was home for the installation. The second one we scheduled for a Saturday so that no one had to take off work. For the carpet there were 3 guys, and the laminate took 2. Both crews were efficient, polite, and cleaned up after working. Each project was completed on the scheduled installation day.

How Much Does Empire Cost?

Empire won’t give out any pricing information over the phone or online, so it’s difficult to know what to expect. For our ~600 sq ft upstairs + the stairs, the carpet, padding, and installation the total came to ~ $3400. We did get a few discounts, like the referral and installing mid week. For the laminate we took advantage of their buy one room get one for $50 (product only discount). We had a few other discounts, like quick installation. For ~350 sq ft, laminate, padding, quarter round trim, and installation the total came to ~$3500. Pricing will depend on your specific installation, but this gives a ballpark to set your expectations around.

Empire works with Wells Fargo to provide financing options. They offer a 12 month 0% interest option that we used both times to spread out the cost. The Wells Fargo account was still open when we had the laminate installed, so we didn’t have to go through the application process again. Empire also has a 48 month 9.99% interest option, but no interest is significantly better than paying an additional 10%.

The Carpet

When we moved in our house the carpet upstairs was hideous. Bright teal in the bedrooms and tan in the hallway. The colors changed in the doorway. It was awful. I painted the whole upstairs and didn’t have to worry about getting paint on the carpet. After, we had Empire put in new carpet in both bedrooms, closets, the hallway, and stairs. After 2 years it isn’t showing signs of wear and still looks great!

The Laminate

On our main level we have hardwood at the front in the living room and down the hallway. The dining room was tan carpet, the kitchen had ancient linoleum, and the room off the kitchen was also tan carpet. I hated being able to see so many flooring transitions. I wanted matching flooring to run all throughout the first floor. Excuse the messy before picture. We had just bought the house and were in the middle of painting and tearing down columns.

We ended up going with Main Gate Ebony Oak (a Mohawk product). Laminate costs more than carpet so we decided not to do the entire main floor, and instead did the 2 carpet and 1 linoleum sections. We’ve been very happy with our floors so far. They echoed a bit after they were first installed, but we don’t notice now that furniture is back in place.

The Bottom Line

There are folks out there that have had bad experiences with Empire Today, but they do have an A+ rating from the BBB. Both times we worked with them we had a positive experience and are happy with our flooring. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone who is not interested in replacing their flooring themselves.

This is not a sponsored post (oh hey Empire…let’s chat) but I wanted to provide some information that would be helpful to folks if you are looking at Empire for your flooring.


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