This Is the Best Time to Buy Flooring (and the 2 Times When You Absolutely Should Not)

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The Best Time to Buy Flooring

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Our methodology: To determine the popularity of flooring projects, we reviewed how our readers have engaged with our flooring content over the past two years (all of 2022 and 2023 so far). We defined “popularity” by focusing on topics with a higher-than-average number of readers, clicks out to our vetted and recommended professionals, and even direct bookings made through our links.

Q: We’ve lived in our home for almost 15 years, and while the floors were in great condition when we moved in, the years have taken their toll and almost every floor really needs to be replaced. Because we need to replace so much, new flooring cost is a real consideration, and we’ll need to stretch the budget as much as possible. When is the best time to buy flooring

A: New flooring is certainly expensive, but when you consider how much wear and tear flooring goes through day after day, year after year, it’s inevitable that your floors will need replacement. A new floor will certainly change and define the style of a room or a whole home, so it’s a big choice! There are many considerations when choosing a new floor, and while budget is a key point for most homeowners, it’s also not ideal to just look for the cheapest place to buy flooring. Balancing quality materials, quality installation, and cost will ensure that customers find the best price and end up with a beautiful product that lasts.

The best time to buy flooring will ultimately depend on a few factors within your control such as financial considerations as well as schedules and responsibilities. Ultimately, you’ll want to buy flooring you can afford when you have the ability to dedicate time to the project. However, it’s also important to consider the seasonality of the flooring industry. There is such a thing as an “off-season,” and flooring stores have sales cycles like most other businesses. Some periods in the year are busier than others, and some periods see more customer demand for materials. During those times prices tend to be higher, and because of increased demand the flooring installation cost will also be higher. There might be a temptation during that busy season to simply search for “cheap hardwood flooring for sale,” but if it’s possible to wait just a few months, prices will likely come down in the late fall and early winter. But keep in mind that the timing of sales and discounts may or may not line up with the best time to perform the installation.

It’s best for homeowners to factor in the material desired when determining the best time to buy flooring. Unfortunately, some flooring materials are finicky about the air quality when they’re being installed. Hardwood, sheet vinyl, luxury plank vinyl (LVP), laminate, and even carpeting are surprisingly sensitive to temperature and humidity before, during, and immediately following installation. The air quality and humidity can also affect the installers’ experience on the job. Tile installations are a little less reliant on the air quality, but the mortar and grout still need to dry.

All the ideal conditions for buying flooring won’t necessarily always line up, but when choosing a flooring installation company, it’s important to balance between cost, convenience, and quality.

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Carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring.

Bob Vila has partnered with Empire Today® to help you easily get beautiful new floors at a great price.
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The Best Time to Buy Flooring vs. When Homeowners Actually Buy Flooring

The Best Time to Buy Flooring

Photo: istockphoto.com

Buying flooring is best done when a home needs new flooring—in the end, a damaged or sagging floor needs repair and replacement immediately, regardless of whether or not it’s an ideal time in terms of cost or installation requirements. There’s no single answer when considering the “best time of year to buy flooring,” because often the demands of need, budget, and timing must be balanced against one another. Based on the factors that are most important for each individual project, the “right time” may be different.

The best time to buy flooring will depend on a number of factors such as a home’s geographic location and weather conditions, finances, the obligations and responsibilities of the home’s residents, and more. However, ideal conditions for new flooring tend to come together in two periods: late December to February and mid-May to June.

There are many factors for homeowners to consider when deciding when to buy flooring. Prioritizing the most important factors will help shoppers determine when the best time is for their specific project. Unfortunately, the cheapest time to buy flooring and the best time to install the flooring are not necessarily the same. As a result, shoppers need to consider their priorities to decide when the best time is to begin their project. However, while there is no one single best time to buy flooring, there are different windows in a year that may present ideal conditions: late December to February, and then again around mid-May to June.

  • Geographic location and weather: Weather plays a surprisingly large role in flooring installation. Humidity directly affects many types of flooring products, including hardwood and laminate, and excess humidity can result in buckling or failure of the flooring once it’s installed. In temperate areas, consistently ideal weather can occur any time of year, while in locations with extreme temperatures this restriction could limit ideal installation times to just a few months each year during the spring and fall. Typically, more flooring products are best installed in 50- to 75-degree weather with low humidity.
  • Budget: If the cost and one’s budget are the chief considerations, the best time to buy flooring may be from late December through February; this is when stores clear out their stock after the holidays and offer deals and discounts. Another time to take advantage of the best price on flooring April to May; this is when there tends to be clearance sales on flooring before stores stock up on new styles. There’s a lot of competition for installers in the spring, however, so while the material may be less expensive, the installation might cost a bit more than at other times of the year. Regardless of budget, it’s important to properly vet flooring installation companies to find a trustworthy installer, therefore making sure that purchasing and installing at a less expensive time won’t compromise the quality of the product or installation.
  • Flexibility: Sometimes the right time is quite simply when it’s most convenient for the customer. Households may feel that the best time to buy flooring is when there’s no need to schedule installation around work or family obligations, holidays, vacations, the back-to-school season, or other commitments. So the best time for flooring installation is when those obstacles aren’t a factor.
  • Material availability: The winter months of December and January are typically when flooring stores try to empty out their stock to make room for the new styles and pattern options. To facilitate this, many stores offer deep clearance sales or bulk deals to move the “old” products out before the new season begins. Often, there’s less competition from other shoppers as it’s considered the off-season. Watching for advertisements offering vinyl plank flooring clearance or discount LVP flooring, end-of-year carpeting clearance, or tile blowout clearance around this time can lead to some great deals, and it may allow budget-conscious buyers to choose a higher-grade flooring product for a lower cost.
  • Health considerations: Some types of flooring need to rest in the home before installation to acclimate to the home’s conditions so the flooring will fit together properly. As the flooring relaxes, some products may release VOCs or off-gassing fumes, which may irritate some residents, so choosing a warmer time of year when windows can be left open may be ideal.
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Carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring.

Bob Vila has partnered with Empire Today® to help you easily get beautiful new floors at a great price.
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Data suggests that most homeowners tend to take on flooring projects in fall, particularly in October, as many hope to spruce up their homes before the holidays. However, this may make it harder to complete a project in a timely way. 

Although there are times that are considered ‘ideal’ for flooring installation, those times don’t necessarily correlate with reality. Traffic to flooring articles on BobVila.com saw a 43 percent increase from September 2022 to October 2022, indicating that readers’ interest in flooring piqued during that period. Similarly, BobVila.com readers spent nearly double on flooring products in November 2022 compared with September 2022. These numbers suggest that readers started the research phase in early fall, leading to many completing their flooring projects before the start of the winter holiday season. Late fall and early winter are prime gathering times for families as the holidays approach, and wanting new floors just ahead of those gatherings is a key driver. So those investigating new flooring in advance of the holiday season are not alone! This glut of project-seekers, however, can make it difficult to find a contractor to complete the installation before the holidays arrive, especially if the homeowner’s timeline isn’t flexible or materials are out of stock.

March and April tend to be a popular time frame for flooring projects, since many homeowners tend to take on larger-scale projects in the spring. Homeowners may need to expect delays and higher prices if this is the best time for them to buy flooring. 

Spring is considered to be a great season for remodels and renovations in general, making it quite a busy season for flooring companies. In fact, BobVila.com flooring articles saw a 9 percent increase in reader engagement from February 2023 to March 2023. This correlates with spending habits: Those readers spent 20 percent more on flooring in March than they did in February the same year. New flooring, whether as a stand-alone project or as part of a larger home improvement project, is in high demand in early spring.

And it’s not a bad time to install flooring: Many experts indicate that months that have cooler weather are a great time for flooring installation so that the flooring materials have time to acclimate to the temperature and humidity in the home. It is, however, not necessarily an ideal time to actually purchase and pay to install flooring. Because everyone else is also looking and planning for improvements, supplies and installers may be in high demand, so the costs for both labor and materials can likely jump up, and customers may have to get in line behind others waiting for supply delivery and an open slot with quality installers.

The Best Time to Buy Flooring

Photo: istockphoto.com

How to Determine the Best Time to Buy Flooring 

Given these considerations, how is a homeowner to choose the best time to install new flooring? Again, the choice depends largely on the priorities of the purchaser, but once the priority is clear, the best timing becomes more obvious.

It’s typically best to install new flooring when the weather is mild, depending on the type of flooring purchased. 

With an eye to health and stability, the best time of year to buy flooring is when the weather is mild—not too hot or cold, and not too humid. This kind of weather will allow customers the freedom to leave doors and windows open to let any chemical odors disperse, and it will give plank, hardwood, and laminate flooring time to breathe and acclimate to the conditions in the home prior to installation, ensuring a tight fit with little danger of buckling or warping. This also makes it less of a hassle to move furniture into a storage unit or garage if all the flooring is being replaced at once. Deep cold, high heat, and extremely arid or humid conditions can damage the flooring before it’s installed or result in a poor fit, and it can trap homeowners indoors with unpleasant or unhealthy chemical odors. Seasons when the weather is mild are usually the best time to buy hardwood flooring and the best time of year to buy laminate flooring, as wood and laminate need a little longer to adjust to the home’s atmosphere for a good installation.

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Carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring.

Bob Vila has partnered with Empire Today® to help you easily get beautiful new floors at a great price.
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Flooring companies typically offer deals and sales around major holidays such as Thanksgiving or Black Friday as well as Memorial Day; sales can greatly lower the overall cost, which may make these periods the best time to buy new flooring for those who want to prioritize finding a bargain. 

When cost is the most important issue, the best time to purchase flooring tends to be during traditional holiday sales. Black Friday flooring sales, Memorial Day flooring sales, and Labor Day flooring sales are great opportunities to save at traditional flooring stores, and because of the timing, Black Friday and Labor Day sales might also be great time to save on flooring installation costs, especially if the material is purchased ahead of a projected installation date a month or two out.

Companies tend to lower the cost of flooring installation in the less-busy off-season, which occurs after the holidays typically from December to February. This is also the period before the spring, when homeowners frequently take on planned remodels and renovations.

It’s wise to consider taking advantage of flooring stores’ clearance sales and discounts in late December to early February, just after the holiday rush, as stores move inventory out of their warehouses in preparation for the new product lines that will be released in the spring. Some customers may be waiting for the latest and greatest trendy designs, but for customers who are looking for traditional flooring or a great deal on last year’s avant-garde look, these sales can provide significant savings on the materials and the installation costs, as most people aren’t looking to jump into renovations immediately after the holiday season.

It’s usually best to avoid purchasing new flooring during busy times such as the back-to-school season and the end-of-year holiday season, since a home project can be disruptive. 

Flooring installation is disruptive even when it’s done very efficiently: Furniture has to be moved out, alternate routes around the house need to be taken to avoid stepping on new subfloors or drying polyurethane, windows need to stay open, and if a large swath of flooring is being replaced, the home’s residents may even need to temporarily move out. Choosing to take on this project when other routines and habits are in flux, such as the beginning of a new school year, during a job change, or during the winter holiday season, might be enough to push even the most patient homeowners to their limits—especially if there are delays or problems. It’s typically better to choose a season when routines are well-established and easier to plan around.

It’s best to avoid the summertime when purchasing new floors: Not only can a project be disruptive to summer plans, but the weather may also be disagreeable and prices are typically higher. 

Heat and extreme humidity or extreme dryness are not conducive to a great flooring project. Vinyl flooring, either plank (sometimes called luxury vinyl plank or LVP) or sheet, cannot be left out in hot sunlight or in a hot truck during the installation process or the heat may cause it to soften and stretch or bend. Laminate can separate or release from its glue if it’s left on a hot driveway while other components are being installed. Hardwood floors can swell or shrink depending on heat and humidity. And if air conditioners are running full blast, the windows will be closed, keeping the interior of the home unusually dry and limiting the ventilation of odors from chemical treatments and glues and stains. Despite these factors, summer is a very convenient time for floor installations (a long summer break can be a great time to take on a home improvement project). Those who choose the summertime to take on flooring can expect higher prices, too.

The Best Time to Buy Flooring

Photo: istockphoto.com

Although the fall is generally not considered to be a great time for purchasing or installing new flooring, October can be a great time for some. This is because the weather tends to be more mild and families are likely settled into a routine. 

For busy families, as well as those who live in more extreme temperatures, October may be the answer to the question “what is the best month to buy flooring?” While it’s still a busy season for contractors, many families have adjusted to the new school year’s routines of pickup, drop-off, lessons, and practices, which makes it easier to plan around a home project. Also, October weather tends to be more moderate and predictable with fewer extremes of heat, cold, and humidity, so flooring material has time to settle and adjust prior to installation, and windows can be left open for ventilation. And October allows for new flooring installation prior to the holidays without being caught up in the immediate pre-holiday rush.

Because the busy summer season has ended, installers may be willing to offer some of the best flooring deals on cost, and the patterns and styles that were fresh in the spring are still in style. Some flooring stores offer pre-holiday specials or sales; in fact, Empire Today offers an annual special that guarantees certain in-stock flooring ordered and financed between early September and mid-October will be installed before Thanksgiving—or it’s free. This is a great option for homeowners who want to freshen up their flooring before holiday gatherings but find the threat of a delay resulting in unfinished flooring too stressful. Empire’s guarantee makes new flooring for family gatherings a stress-free possibility.

Empire Today Flooring

Carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring.

Bob Vila has partnered with Empire Today® to help you easily get beautiful new floors at a great price.
Free In-Home Estimates

Regardless of when you purchase and install new flooring, you’re bound to get a great deal and quality floors when you work with a top flooring company. 

As with any other home project, it’s important for customers to research the companies they’re considering for the job. Looking at criteria such as licensing and association memberships, rankings with the Better Business Bureau, and recommendations and reviews from previous customers can help make difficult decisions easier, and once a customer has identified a company they feel they can trust, they should plan to visit or meet with representatives and installers to make sure they feel comfortable with them. Once that due diligence is completed, the company that has been selected has a wealth of experience and information to share.

Customers should be able to ask their selected flooring company about the pros, cons, and cost differences of all the different flooring types they’re considering. While most consumers do internet research on their own, only someone who has installed countless floors can look at a customer’s individual situation and fully explain the benefits and drawbacks of laminate versus vinyl flooring for that particular situation. A trustworthy representative should be able to run through the pluses and minuses of each type and grade of hardwood, carpet, tile, and other flooring options—as the experts, the company’s reps should have or be able to find the answers to every question posed before a contract is signed.

Among the best flooring companies, there are many in operation nationally that specialize in different materials such as hardwood, carpeting, and more. Empire Today, a top choice with a national footprint, is a company with decades of experience installing a large variety of types of flooring. The company offers carpet, laminate, vinyl, hardwood, and tile flooring, so there’s no need to seek out a variety of specialty stores to find products or experienced installers. In addition, Empire has a proprietary product called WhisperHOME wood flooring that the company claims reduces sound and increases temperature stability in the home. In-home shopping and in-home estimates are a hallmark of Empire’s business model, as is transparent pricing, customer service, and quick (sometimes next-day) installation. Also helpful is the extremely effective room visualizer found on Empire’s website: New flooring has a huge impact on the light and style of a room, and sometimes it’s intimidating to try to make a decision about a big change just using one’s imagination. The visualizer helps customers really see how the new flooring will look in their home. Plus, Empire Today clients can take advantage of coupons readily available to reduce hardwood flooring cost, laminate flooring cost, carpet installation cost, vinyl plank flooring cost, tile installation cost, and more.

Choosing a company that is well regarded, has great customer service and clear pricing, and has the inventory the customer desires will make it much more likely that there’s a great deal to be found and a beautiful, professional installation to make the new floors the showpiece of the home.

Empire Today Flooring

Carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring.

Bob Vila has partnered with Empire Today® to help you easily get beautiful new floors at a great price.
Free In-Home Estimates