The world of flooring is fairly complex these days. Long gone is the era when it was almost certainly going to be carpet you were choosing, and you chose it from your local store, just like you did most of your shopping.
Nowadays, the range of flooring options is just huge, indeed, almost overwhelming at times. And on top of that, the sourcing options are becoming ever more numerous too. One of the possibilities is Empire Today, a flooring company with an interesting spin on the usual sales method.
We’ll go into exactly what they do, as well as examine the range of flooring products they offer. We’ll also assess Empire flooring reviews to see how they’ve gone down with people who have used their services.
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How Does Empire Today Work?
So, as mentioned, Empire Today isn’t like a traditional store. It’s a web-based concept that combines the personal touch of traditional shopping with the convenience of allowing the purchaser to remain at home. This is great for people with mobility issues, of course, or who need to stay at home to care for somebody.
The process starts with a request to book an appointment. Empire Today tries to maintain a good supply of appointments, with same-day slots often available. The client will be asked what kind of flooring they’re most interested in – be it vinyl, carpet, or engineered wood, for instance – and the number of rooms involved.
A company agent then comes out to the client with a range of samples. These will generally be from product ranges made by reputable manufacturers such as Mohawk. They then discuss the merits of each for the client’s home. The agent will then measure up and give an estimate.
When it comes time for the installation to take place, professional fitters will move the furniture, remove the old flooring and install the new. They’ll then tidy up after themselves.
OK, so that’s the idea. More details can be found Empire Today’s YouTube channel. Let’s now turn our attention to the products.
Never underestimate the appeal of carpet. OK, there might have been some pretty awesome developments in the laminate and luxury vinyl world, but for some people, a cozy home depends on a carpet. Empire Today has a good range of different options here, which we’ll go through now.
There are seven different types of carpets that Empire Today stocks. Firstly, there’s Plush, which
is your classic cut-pile carpet, with thick fibers packed together to form a dense feel underfoot. Secondly, there’s Home Fresh, the hypoallergenic option, with the added benefit of being an odor absorber, keeping the house smelling fresh.
Then we have Frieze, with a shaggier look, ideal for an informal space. Fourthly, there’s Pattern, which achieves a novel effect with the use of both loops and cuts. Indoor/Outdoor is a weather-resistant carpet that can be put down anywhere you want it, outside or in. Berber offers a closed loop-style carpet that mimics fibers like seagrass and jute. Finally, there’s Tile, which comes in squares that fit together to form a relatively seamless whole.
With most of the above types, a wide range of colors is available so that your decor will be complemented. With Plush, for instance, you have a palette of very nearly 250 colors to choose from. The exceptions to this color option flurry are the Berber style, which is fairly neutral in tone (in keeping with its natural profile), and Indoor/Outdoor, which is available in only four colors.
Lots of the carpets feature 90% post-consumer recycled materials (Indoor/Outdoor are made from 100% plastic bottles) and are 100% recyclable. This is an eco-performance that rates better than a lot of the competition.
Some of the carpet styles can be especially hardwearing, particularly Indoor-Outdoor, Berber, and Tile. These three all have varying degrees of waterproofing too, with Indoor/Outdoor the best. In general, Empire’s carpet choices appear to compare well to other manufacturers’ carpeting in terms of ability to withstand wear and tear.
- Available in hundreds of different colors
- Various Types of Carpets Available
- Stainguarding is Available
- Suitable for Commercial Use (Tile)
- Fairly Durable
- Comfortable Underfoot
- Acoustically Ideal
- Flooring Name: Empire Today Carpet
- Warranty: Huge Variety of Warranties Apply to Different Carpet Choices.
- Commercial or Residential Use: Both (Tile only for Commercial)
- Underlayment Required: Yes
- Material: Nylon, Acrylic, Polyester, Wool, Sisal
Easy to keep clean and usually highly durable, Stone-Look is a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms in particular.
Firstly, there’s the natural route of Ceramic and Porcelain, a very hardwearing and waterproof flooring option. Sheet Vinyl is a tough and extremely economical flooring solution. Finally, there’s Vinyl Tile, also known as luxury vinyl, which is an increasingly popular choice, being durable and waterproof.
Lots of different stone looks are available across the three varieties of Stone-Look: over 50, in fact. We were particularly keen on the vinyl tile Pisa Bella Pietra, an elegant marble look. Also of interest for us was the Stone Summit, a suitably rugged and robust-looking ceramic tile.
Ceramic tiles and luxury vinyl are both famously durable, and Empire Today’s ranges are no exception. The former is relatively thick (8mm) and comes with an anti-slip surface, which is reassuring considering the wet locations they’re often installed in. The latter is a little thinner (5mm – OK for vinyl thickness) and, crucially, has a wear layer of 20 mils, which means it holds its own against the competition. The sheet vinyl is made from ultra-tough PVC and is highly scratch-resistant.
Warranties for the vinyl products are good: lifetime cover against wear, fading, and staining, which is difficult to argue with and compares very well with vinyl flooring from other sources. For the ceramic options, this is not so impressive – you just get a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
- Available in Over 50 Stone Looks
- Ceramic and Vinyl
- Suitable for Residential Use. Difficult to Tell from Website if Good for Commercial.
- Highly Durable
- Ceramic is VOC-free, Vinyl Low VOC
- Vinyl is Comfortable Underfoot
- Flooring Name: Empire Today Ceramic, Sheet Vinyl, Vinyl Tile
- Warranty: Great Warranties for Vinyl, not so Great for Ceramic.
- Commercial or Residential Use: Residential
- Underlayment Required: Recommended for Vinyl Tiles
- Material: Ceramic, PVC, and Aluminum Oxide
The Empire Wood-Look range includes both synthetic and real wood flooring products. Starting with solid hardwood, there are 11 different shades of oak. Engineered hardwood, i.e., wood with a structured core and base layer to help with strength and stability, comes in over 50 different woods,
Laminate, constructed around an HDF core, is available in 48 different wood effects; Vinyl plank is the same structure we saw in the Stone-Look vinyl tile, just in a plank shape. You’ll find over 60 luxury vinyl woods in the Empire Today range.
Some of our favorites were the Natural Cumberland hardwood, the arresting Everest Overland in the engineered hardwood, and the atmospheric Aldgate East End in the vinyl plank.
There are also wood-style options in sheet vinyl and ceramic tile, making a total of 176 different wood effects. Not a bad range at all.
Empire Today’s Wood-Look ranges offer quite good strength – they all benefit from an aluminum oxide coating – and solid warranties. Solid hardwood carries a 50-year structural and wear warranty, while engineered wood gives lifetime cover. Laminate is classed as AC4 and gives lifetime structural, wear, fade and stain warranties. Vinyl plank durability differs across the varieties, with 12 mils and 20 mils both in evidence. Warranties for vinyl go from 25 years to a lifetime.
All warranty lengths are for residential use only and compare pretty well to other products out there. However, no information was readily identifiable regarding commercial performance.
- Available in 176 Wood Looks
- Range Covers Hardwood, Engineered Wood, Laminate, Vinyl, and Ceramic
- Suitable for Residential Use. Difficult to Tell from Website if Good for Commercial.
- Good Durability from Aluminum Oxide Layer
- Ceramic and Hardwood are VOC-free, Vinyl, and Laminate are Low VOC
- Hardwood and Engineered Wood Have Great Foot Feel
- Vinyl is Waterproof
- Flooring Name: Empire Today Solid Hardwood, Engineered Wood, Laminate Wood, Ceramic, Sheet Vinyl, Vinyl Tile
- Warranty: 25 Years Up
- Commercial or Residential Use: Residential
- Underlayment Required: Recommended for Most of the Products Here
- Material: Hardwood, HDF Core, PVC, Aluminum Oxide, and Ceramic
The Empire Today site gives no information regarding price – you have to go down the route of asking for an estimate before you can find out how much a particular flooring option is going to be. However, the company does advertise a low-price guarantee, whereby it will match the price of a comparable product.
Additionally worth looking out for are the $99 installation special deals that they do from time to time, which help considerably with the overall cost.
In looking at the Empire Today flooring reviews, we were especially interested in the quality of the product being installed rather than so much about the installation service itself.
The website Shopper Approved gives the firm an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5, with plenty of delighted responses:
The sales person was helpful in deciding the right wood floors for me. I couldn’t be happier with the end result.
This one is similarly pleased:
Empire had the best range of products, the best guarantee… There was no pressure from the sales person and he suggested a product that would work particularly well in our house…. Five stars for sales and installation! And it looks great. I wish I had done the whole house–next time!
However, it’s not all fab. On Trustpilot, for instance, Empire Today scores a below-par 1.4 aggregate, with its products are taken apart by the Trustpilot posse. Like this one:
Just the worst. I could talk about what was wrong with every aspect of this company so far… We purchased the extended warranty… they always have an excuse for why it isn’t covered. The problem is faulty carpet and/or installation that is fraying literally everywhere after only a year!
So, mixed, to say the least! In trying to find a middle route between these two extremes, we turned to Houzz.com, where we found some measured responses such as this one:
Although I think things could have gone better with the planning and communication, the job was good enough, and we are happy with the product.
As well as more critical:
After having your carpet for about a little over a year, we noticed that it was starting to mat up and ripple up.
Other reviews on Houzz.com are a mix of the scathing and the sublime, giving an overall average of 2.2. It should be noted though, that these are mostly about installation issues (e.g., one of the installers smelled strongly of cigarettes) rather than the products themselves.
The Pros & Cons Of Choosing Empire Today
- Great Range – Across all the options, there’s more than enough choice to suit most interior styles.
- Convenient – Selection and purchase all take place in the comfort of your home.
- Fast – Often, same-day appointments and installation tends to follow soon after.
- Guidance – You get advice from a professional.
- Transparent and All-Inclusive – The estimate you’re quoted is what you’ll be charged all-in.
- Eco-Options – Some good environmentally friendly products are available.
- Quality – Most of the products are made by manufacturers with decent reputations.
- Reviews Aren’t Great – OK, they’re mostly about issues with contracted installers, but this reflects badly on the company.
- No Price Info Online – Nothing to go on for the humble reviewer.
- You Have to Have Materials and Installation – You can’t opt for one or the other.
- Very Little Commercial Information – However, it’s fair to say that Empire Today is aimed at residential buyers.
- No Showrooms – You can’t casually drop in to see some products – you have to have a scheduled home visit.
Style – 8 out of 10
Some really nice options there and an impressive range of different looks. We were especially impressed by the carpet and the luxury vinyl selections. If we were being picky, we might highlight the lack of any hardwood option other than oak. A maple or hickory would have been nice to see.
Durability – 7 out of 10
The usual tough performers – luxury vinyl and laminate – do their customary thing, earning decent warranties in the process. The other options that aren’t necessarily primarily known for their ability to withstand wear – such as hardwood and carpet – also acquit themselves well, so, overall, a good performance on the durability front.
Affordability – 5 out of 10
This is problematic, as we had very little information to go on, aside from the company’s Lowest Price Guarantee. There are finance options, including a 48-month deal, which helps with affordability. However, it really would have been helpful to have some kind of example figure there on the website.
Reviews – 4 out of 10
Really not great. Empire Today gets a real drubbing from a lot of their customers, mostly about installation, but some issues pop up over the products’ ability to withstand damage.
Overall Score – 6 out of 10
It’s a two-sided tale. Empire Today has, on the face of it, a good offer. If you want to re-floor, but you need guidance over what’s available and what might suit your home, its in-home consultation is clearly a great option. Moreover, what the rep can show is, in general, pretty good gear.
However, the Empire has a dark side. If you’re unsure about whether you can afford their services, you won’t be any wiser until you go to the trouble of having them over to display their wares. And then, when it comes to installation, you may well experience some difficulties if reviews are anything to go by.
We hope this piece has helped you in your flooring deliberations, and whichever route you take, we wish you all the best with it. If you have any experiences with Empire Today you’d like to relate; please use the comments field below.
Is Empire Today all-inclusive?
Empire Today is all-inclusive, ie, you have to commit to both materials and installation.
Does Empire Today have showrooms?
Empire Today doesn’t have showrooms – all physical encounters are in the client’s home.
Is Empire Today good value for money?
Difficult to say as there’s no pricing information on the website.