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Versastrip is a TERRIBLE product April 4, 2006

Posted by nickmalik in Uncategorized.
My wife and I have been planning to put wood flooring into our house since we moved in, about three years ago.  The house was brand new, and the builder wanted a fortune to put in hardwood, so we got Berber carpet in the hallway and family room, linoleum in the kitchen, and a nice tight carpet in the formal living room/dining room area.  Now, a couple of years on, and our golden retriever had chewed up a bit of the Berber in the hallway and my wife hated the linoleum.  So, wood we go.
We are careful shoppers and we spent a good bit of time online getting information about flooring.  We didn’t want the most expensive wood, but we wanted something that looked good and felt good and raised the value of the house.  We decided on engineered hardwood because it was simple to install, had a real wood surface, and was not terribly expensive.
We shopped around at some different stores locally and found that Home Depot had some good prices, as long as the wood you wanted was in stock.  If you have to order it, it is not the best price in town.  On the other hand, if you have a home depot card, you could get the floor, and the installation, all in a single charge.  Most of the other flooring places would finance the floor, but not the installation.  The deal seemed pretty good.
Unfortunately, there’s some pretty slim pickings when it comes to engineered wood flooring at Home Depot.  We ended up picking a product called Versastrip.  It is more expensive than the Pergo stuff (which isn’t real wood) but not as expensive as the solid wood floor.  Plus, it was available in the lighter colors that we liked. 
So we plopped down $3500 for the floor and another $2000 for installation and we had a new floor.
Problem is, one month on, the floor is massively scratched up.  We are NOT moving furniture around on it.  We are NOT wearing shoes on it.  It is simply scratched to high heaven.  Is it bad floor?  Yes.  On the other hand, if we had known that this product is the SOFTEST wood surface that Home Depot sells, we would never have purchased it.
I hold three parties responsible: myself for not installing the floor in a controlled area first and for believing the hype that Home Depot dishes out about being "customer oriented," Home Depot for spending over an hour with my wife and I while taking the order for the floor without ONCE either asking about our needs or explaining that the floor surface was very very easy to scratch, and Universal Flooring, for making an extremely shoddy product.
Don’t believe me?  If I can figure out how, I’ll embed photos of a small fraction of the scratches.  Note: in the first month of ownership, there are over 1,000 distinct visible scratches on this floor in the approximately 650 square feet that we covered with it.  The photos here are representative.  I did not seek out the worst scratches. 
I took the photos with a Canon digital camera.  The only modification I made to the photos was to crop to the area of the light reflection, since it is very difficult to photograph scratches.  You can see the deformities best near the point where a light source is reflecting against the floor.
Update: Home Depot is staying true to their corporate values.  They have agreed to remove the Vesastrip floor and replace it with a floor that I special order from them.  The cost has doubled (and because of the Versastrip mistake, I cannot shop around).  That said, Home Depot is no longer on my "hit" list.  They have proven themselves to be a worthy and honest corporate citizen and have earned my business for a VERY long time.
Thank you Home Depot for fixing this mistake.


1. Rog - April 10, 2006

We also just put 1200 sq ft on our main floor of VersaStrip, I\’ve had it in 3 months and the scratches are horrible. I have carpets, no shoes in the house , felt pads under all furniture, all together this floor cost $8000.00. I sweep & swiff every day. Did you get any help from the Manufacturer?
Shauna P

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