What Should Customers Choose in 2022?
Installing new floors or replacing old ones is no small decision—flooring installation can cost thousands of dollars, so homeowners want a carpeting company, vinyl floor contractor, or hardwood flooring installer that can do a reliable job without breaking the bank. Empire Today and The Home Depot are considered among the best flooring companies, but how do their prices compare? It’s time to evaluate Empire Today prices vs. Home Depot to determine which company delivers the best value to customers.
To compare these companies, we’ve considered:
- Material prices
- Labor costs
- Financing options
- Extended warranties and service plans
- Additional fees
1. The Home Depot’s material prices sit below the national average, while customers need an in-home estimate to see Empire Today’s prices.
Customers can easily view the prices of materials at The Home Depot in store or online. The material options readily available in store may be somewhat limited depending on the customer’s location, but all flooring that The Home Depot sells can be viewed on its website. Prices for materials at The Home Depot typically fall well under the national averages for flooring materials. The Home Depot laminate flooring prices was the only category to fall higher than the national average price for laminate flooring.
- Indoor carpet
- The Home Depot: $0.50 to $1.74 per square foot
- National average: $2 to $7 per square foot
- The Home Depot: $1.10 to $18.42 per square foot
- National average: $0.50 to $35 per square foot
- Wood laminate
- The Home Depot: $0.94 to $4.09 per square foot
- National average: $1.50 to $3 per square foot
- Vinyl plank
- The Home Depot: $1.59 to $7.79 per square foot
- National average: $1 to $6 per square foot
- Solid hardwood
- The Home Depot: $3.99 to $6.78 per square foot
- National average: $6 to $12 per square foot
- Engineered hardwood
- The Home Depot: $3.57 to $9.99 per square foot
- National average: $10 to $13 per square foot
- The Home Depot: $3.59 to $8.62 per square foot
- National average: $2 to $11 per square foot
So is Empire flooring overpriced? One factor that might be frustrating to customers is that Empire Today doesn’t list any of its prices online. If customers are interested in finding out Empire Today laminate flooring prices, they’ll have to schedule an in-home estimate. It’s also unclear if the price per square foot includes labor or is just the material cost, so it may be difficult for customers to determine if the flooring they’re buying is priced fairly.
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2. Both Empire Today and The Home Depot use subcontracted labor.
Both Empire Today and The Home Depot use subcontractors to complete the work. Subcontracted work is often less expensive for companies than keeping full-time employees on staff, as the companies aren’t responsible for certain benefits that employees receive. However, the savings the companies experience don’t always translate into savings the customer experiences. Paying for subcontracted labor from Empire Today, The Home Depot, or other local flooring companies won’t necessarily be cheaper than paying for labor from a company that has employees.
The cost of labor will ultimately depend on the type of flooring and the size of the area that’s having flooring installed. Empire Today and The Home Depot may charge labor by the square foot or by the hour. Tile and hardwood flooring are the most labor-intensive flooring options and often cost the most to install. Tile costs an average of $4 to $30 per square foot to install, and hardwood costs $6 to $12 per square foot to install. Empire Today and The Home Depot carpet installation costs will be toward the lower end of the price spectrum—around $0.50 to $1 per square foot. And if labor is charged by the hour, a customer will pay more for a whole-home job that takes several days than a one-room job that’s done in less than a day.
3. The Home Depot and Empire Today both offer financing options.
Customers who are unable or unwilling to pay the lump sum of a flooring installation up front may want to consider financing. They can obtain a loan or line of credit from their personal banks, or they can turn to the flooring or carpet sales and installation company for in-house financing.
The Home Depot has two financing options available for consumers: a consumer credit card and a project loan. The consumer credit card is much like any other store credit card, with added benefits like 6 months of financing on purchases costing $299 and more (and up to 24 months of financing during special promotions). The project loan gives customers 6 months to purchase everything for their project with loans up to $55,000. Monthly payments are fixed and start at $20, and there are no annual fees.
Empire Today has 12-month and 48-month financing plans. The 12-month plan accrues no interest if the project balance is paid off within 12 months, while the 48-month plan has an 11.99 percent APR.
4. Empire Today has a service plan that covers damage beyond the warranty.
Product and labor warranties often only cover defects in the materials or mistakes made during installation. Empire Today offers a relatively limited 1-year warranty compared to The Home Depot’s limited lifetime labor warranty. However, Empire Today also offers a service plan that protects against damages not covered by the warranty or past the warranty’s expiration. These damages include scratches, gouges, warping, stains, and carpet snags. Service plan customers are also eligible for cleaning benefits like annual supplies of cleaning solution and microfiber mops or $100 to put toward professional carpet cleaning (depending on the flooring material). There’s no service plan pricing information online, and customers will have to inquire by phone or during an in-home estimate.
5. Surprise fees may apply at both Empire Today and The Home Depot.
Customers will want to be aware that labor and materials are not the only costs they could incur when paying for flooring services with Empire Today or The Home Depot. The Home Depot doesn’t offer in-home shopping, meaning customers will have to choose a flooring option in store or order samples. Samples cost a few dollars each (closer to $1 for carpet and laminate; more for pricier materials like tile). The Home Depot also charges $50 for in-home flooring measurements. However, this cost goes toward the total flooring installation price if the customer opts to go through with hiring The Home Depot. Some Home Depot customers have also reported that they were required to pay for the project in full before installation began.
Empire Today doesn’t advertise any fees on its site; however, many customer reviews note surprise fees. One Empire carpeting review noted that a customer had to pay an additional $650 for flooring removal during a carpet replacement job. Customers have also mentioned charges of $150 to $200 for any service calls to inspect damage covered under the warranty or service plan.
Sources: The Home Depot, Empire Today