| Bargain Outlet
Expert Contributor

You can find some amazing bargains when shopping the close-outs or clearance section for discount flooring. However, you need to do your homework beforehand to make sure the flooring will suit your needs and not involve any expensive installation costs.

1. Non-Returnable?

When buying discount flooring, especially close-outs or clearance, make sure the flooring is returnable. Most of my clients agree that sometimes a flooring choice looks different in their home than it did in the store and this prompts them to change their minds. Also, save all receipts in order to return any broken or damaged pieces.


2. Total Costs Involved for Installation

Will you need professional help? If you require a contractor for any part of the installation, be sure to include that cost in your project estimate. Ask questions before you purchase to verify exactly how much installation will cost. The estimate can vary depending on variables such as the type of flooring to be installed, the condition of the subfloor, and the need for any special prep work.  


3. Check the Batch Numbers

When shopping close-outs, pay close attention to the dye-lot or batch numbers listed on the boxes of tile or laminate flooring. The colors of each batch may vary according to the manufacturing process, and this could affect the overall look of your floor. Sometimes this color variation is slight and not noticeable, but other times it can make a big difference in the appearance of the floor. Always try to buy flooring with the same batch numbers, or if this is not possible, check each box of the product to make sure the variation of coloring is acceptable.

When dealing with different batch numbers, it is also possible that the individual pieces of tile or laminate flooring may vary slightly in size, making installation more difficult.


4. Most Important — Buy More Than Enough Flooring

Items on clearance are usually available in limited quantities. If you buy discount flooring from close-outs or clearance sales and have miscalculated the amount you need, you will run short during installation, and you may not be able to buy more. Carefully calculate the exact amount of flooring you will need before the purchase. Don’t use guesswork or your bargain purchase may turn into an expensive mistake. Take care to measure the area correctly and use a calculator to check your estimates. Do research online or ask a professional if you have any questions.

Another good rule is to buy at least 30 percent more flooring to cover any breakage or damage that may occur during installation. Buying extra will also serve as replacement flooring for any damage that may happen at a future date. If your discount flooring has a large pattern, as seen in some tile or vinyl, you will also need to purchase extra.

If you run short during your installation, call the store immediately to see if they have more of your flooring in stock. You can locate the brand name and any product numbers on the boxes for reference.


5. Open Boxes Before You Buy

Before purchasing clearance tile, open the boxes and inspect the contents for broken or chipped tile. The boxes may have been dropped, causing the tiles inside to crack or shatter.


Elizabeth D. has worked as a contractor in the construction of new homes and renovation of older homes for 25 years. She has written DIY articles in the field of home construction and repair for eHow. She has been involved in many DIY projects over the years. Elizabeth is the 'go-to' person in her circle to help improve the design of projects and solve problems with home construction.