In Spring, 2013 Empire installed a defective and inferior hardwood floor that was later found to be OVERPRICED. Within the first year cracks appeared on the boards and continued to worsen.
An inspection was completed and determined that "the particular lot of floor boards was defective". I was told other customers with the same flooring had experienced "worse results" than mine. Empire replaced the floor with an "upgraded" product in Spring, 2014. To my surprise and dismay in Feb, 2015 (less than a yr) cracks appeared in the new "upgraded" floor.
Another inspection was done in February. Humidity readings were not an issues both times. My thermostat is regulated between 68-74 degrees. I am careful to clean the floor with a dry Swiffer and to wipe up spills right away.
It was interesting to hear one of the inspectors mention "possibly too thin of a veneer, your home has settled so no concern there, and no moisture issues." They even noticed a board that led them to question the installation and stated they would check with the installers to see what type of equipment they used. They said they would get back to me and did not. I called and was told that the cracked boards would be replaced (12-16 at that time). However after 2 CANCELLED appt by Empire to replace boards, 12-16 boards became 40-45, along with boards that now wave, sink and split (I have pics).
Empire had an independent inspector come out April, 2015 (very unprofessional, rude and 4-5 calls to sched a time that worked for HIM). Of course, no one called me back after the inspection and I followed up with Empire, beginning of May 2015. I was told that the boards were sched to be replaced. I inquired about the inspection and was not given the results.
I then stated "so, you are going to replace 40-45 boards now in a dining/living room, hallway, and 2 bedrooms?" (This has the beginning of a total replacement!) I was then transferred to the General Manager. He scheduled an appt to inspect the floor himself. He was timely and stated he would do what he can. He genuinely seemed concerned.
It was FINALLY decided the floor would be replaced AGAIN (3rd time) and that the only thing they ask is that I do not chose the same product. That was no problem! Install was sched for 6/24-6/26/2015 (3-4 weeks ahead of time to avoid any problems with product not being here and getting the right installers). The product was delivered to my home on 6/19 to acclimate (this had not been done the other 2x) and the installers stated they would see me on the 24th between 7:30-8:30 am.
I arranged to take time off from work (3 days). This is on top of the previous time taken off to "replace boards" that was twice scheduled. To my dismay I was called around 7:30am on the day of installation stating the installers would NOT BE AVAILABLE! My house is prepped for a floor to be installed (furniture moved downstairs, etc).
No reason was given except that the installer is unable to make it. This is UNACCEPTABLE! I was told I would be reimbursed for my work loss for the day but will not hold my breath. I asked for a refund of my original purchase and was told this is NOT possible.
I left messages with the General Manager on 6/24 as to what would be acceptable to me for install and FINALLY a message was left on my voice mail at 5:44 pm stating he "was out of the office all day but working on finding installers to install my floor on 6/25 but that it didn't look good and most likely will need to be resched" and that he "will call me as soon as he finds something out." On 6/27, I am still waiting for a phone call! I didn't realize they cancelled ALL 3 days! The bridge is now burned! At this point the only resolution is a full refund so I can go to a reputable company that provides a quality product and quality service.
Today I brought the EMPIRE product sample to a local flooring expert and was AMAZED at the poor quality of Empire's floor! PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING FROM EMPIRE
Reason of review: Inferior Product and same day cancelled installs causing loss of work time.