When shopping for flooring—especially for discount flooring—one name always seems to come up: Lumber Liquidators, also known as LL Flooring.
You may even have driven past one of its unassuming brick-and-mortar locations, with its familiar yellow and black signage. Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring is actually one of the busiest retailers of low-cost floor coverings and floor-related products. It's not just solid hardwood flooring anymore. Now, Lumber Liquidators carries laminate flooring, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl flooring, and a wide range of flooring accessories and tools.
What Is Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring?
Lumber Liquidators is a publicly-traded retailer of hard-surface flooring, with 413 locations and over 2,200 employees spread across 46 states. Lumber Liquidators sells seven major types of flooring, plus flooring accessories.
Lumber Liquidators added the name LL Flooring in April 2020 to help reflect the company's wide range of products. The company still uses the two names concurrently, though favors LL Flooring.
Lumber Liquidators Background
Lumber Liquidators was founded in 1993 by contractor Tom Sullivan. Sullivan would purchase excess lumber from bankruptcies, auctions, overstock inventories, and other liquidators, then Sullivan would liquidate it to the public from a trucking yard in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Early on, Lumber Liquidators focused on heavy-duty building lumber such as framing, pickets, fencing, and six-by-sixes.
Three years later, moving to its first dedicated store in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Lumber Liquidators shifted toward selling solid hardwood flooring as its flagship product, heavily advertising oak flooring for the deeply discounted price of $0.99 per square foot throughout the Boston area.
As Lumber Liquidators increased its reach, it expanded its product offerings to other types of flooring. Its tagline "Hardwood Floors For Less!" was changed to "Flooring Company" to reflect its more inclusive product lines. Sullivan left the company in 2017 to pursue other business interests. Charles E. Tyson is the current President and CEO.
Emphasis on Discount Flooring
Shopping for floor coverings often begins with a visit to a full-service flooring showroom. The prospective customer looks at flooring samples, arranges a home visit with an estimator, and, later, signs a contract. Flooring installers come to your home and install the product. A day or two later, on average, you have a beautiful new floor. This purchase-install cycle has long characterized the flooring industry.
Moving home remodeling to the hands of do-it-yourselfers began after World War II and picked up the pace with large retailers like Lowe's Home Improvement and Home Depot. While self-install flooring was not new with Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring, the company has introduced several innovations that bring the flooring into the hands of homeowners.
Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring still concentrates heavily on solid wood and other wood-derivative floor coverings. Its no-nonsense brick-and-mortar locations, as well as its streamlined product chain, shrinks overhead and allows the company to discount its flooring.
Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring also places its stores front-and-center to homeowners in familiar, well-traveled locations such as strip-mall centers and small shopping centers rather than in remote industrial areas where lumberyards tend to be located.
Another factor that Lumber Liquidators asserts contributes to its low pricing is that it sources its products from overseas: Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America. About half of Lumber Liquidators' products are manufactured in China.
Lumber Liquidators Products and Services
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood flooring is still the mainstay of Lumber Liquidators. House brands of solid hardwood include Bellawood, Builder's Pride, Virginia Mill Works, and Mayflower. Prices range from $3 to $10 per square foot. Solid hardwood is available in both pre-finished and unfinished versions, as well as inexpensive unfinished utility-grade wood floor.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Lumber Liquidators offers a wide range of engineered wood floors, ranging from $2 to $7 per square foot.
Lumber Liquidators offers laminate flooring, including thick 12 to 14 mm laminate, for just below $1 per square foot to almost $3 per square foot.
The company offers bamboo flooring from $2 to $4 per square foot, including hard, durable strand-woven bamboo.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring
Lumber Liquidators sells a wide range of luxury vinyl plank flooring, as well as a rigid core plank often called engineered vinyl plank (EVP) flooring. Prices run from around $1 to $4 per square foot. The company does not sell sheet vinyl flooring.
Porcelain and Ceramic Tile
Lumber Liquidators sells ceramic tile, chiefly wood-look and stone-look ceramic tile. Tile prices range from around $1 to around $5 per square foot.
Lumber Liquidators sells 21 types of cork flooring, ranging from around $1 to $4 per square foot.
Butcher Block Countertops
One of the newest additions to Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring's roster: countertops. True to its wood-based origin, the company sells wood butcher block countertops.
Flooring Installation Materials and Flooring Peripherals
Also found at Lumber Liquidators is a wide range of trim, moldings, cleaners, stair treads and risers, vents, grilles, adhesives, and underlayments. Nearly all of the basic materials, tools, and peripheral items for flooring can be purchased here.
Other Services and Details
Lumber Liquidators/LL Flooring does not install flooring, though it does maintain a network of independent contractors that can install the flooring for you.