We purchased laminate flooring in September 2008. The salesman, Alan Peele, knew that it would be installed in our kitchen and den. He assured us that it was even more user friendly for our purposes than hardwoods would be. $2,451.00 later, we had our new floor. We liked its appearance, though the boards were not laid exactly as had been described. What we did not like was that a year later, the laminate was "bubbly" in places. My first contact (Nov 2009) was Rhonda Coleman, who was slow to return my calls. She did send two people who I thought were to repair the affected boards. It seems they were there to assess the damage and report to Empire, who might or might not pay for this. They were unable to answer any of my questions. As they were leaving, I pointed out that they had further damaged the floor and it looked even worse; they put some blue duct tape along the more noticeable places. After repeated calls to Rhonda, she said it was our fault the floor was bad and that Empire wasn't responsible for moisture damage. When I became upset, another assessor came to view our floor. Eventually Rhonda told me Empire would not stand by the promises made by the salesman.
She referred me to Renatta Odum, who essentially said "tough luck." Ms. Odum said we could pay for another opinion ourselves. She too had no explanation for why Empire would install a kitchen floor that couldn't be damp mopped. She was curt, but I did get the name of the next higher up, Tim Sherwin.
My husband and I both explained we weren't out to profit from this; all we wanted was a simple repair. Tim Sherwin too essentially said "tough", although he did say the floor we had was supposed to be durable and highly resistant to moisture. My husband pointed out that the worst damage was not even in an area exposed to any wetness. He also asked how one can clean a floor or even walk on it without some contact with moisture. He told Mr. Sherwin that we had been very careful and had not abused the floor at all. He asked about the assurances we got before we paid for this fiasco. We got no answer for this and no apology. Mr. Sherwin did send us their report; we have given it to our attorney.
My advice is to avoid Empire at all costs. Whatever you're walking on is better than the poor service we've experienced.
Salesman Alan Peele:314 374 3299
Rhonda Coleman: 770 441 8077
Corporate Renatta Odum (?) 847 583 3000
Regional Tim Sherwin 888 588 2315 ext 7813
Product or Service Mentioned: Empire Today Flooring.