Expect Longer Lead Times for Unfinished Flooring

New Unfinished Ordering Policy Effective Immediately:

  1. For most unfinished flooring orders, a minimum of 14 days lead time should be expected.
  2. Unfinished flooring will be priced at the time of pickup/delivery.
  3. We can only hold an order 3 days after the pickup/delivery date.

Keep reading for why we are making these decisions…

Why Flooring is so Hard to Get Right Now

We know many of you have experienced long lead times and challenges with availability of unfinished flooring and certain other items.

We want to explain why this is happening in the industry, and what decisions we’re making to keep you supplied with everything you need for your business.

In short, you should expect a minimum of 14 days lead time for most unfinished flooring orders.

The reasons for these delays and so many of these stock outs and other issues is directly related to supply and demand.

After last year’s abrupt shutdowns due to COVID-19, the entire lumber and wood flooring supply chain was affected. The demand for new orders fell sharply in late March, April and May. This caused many logging operations, saw mills, flooring mills, and distributors to delay or cancel orders, and prices dropped below profitability for most companies. When demand quickly spiked last summer most manufacturers and distributors quickly ran out of flooring causing prices to rise, but few could respond quickly enough to start harvesting more timber, sawing it into lumber, and milling it into flooring.

This has led us to where we are today: all widths and grades of White Oak, and 2-1/4” Red Oak are extremely difficult to find right now, and many distributors have completely run out of flooring, quoting lead of 8 weeks or longer.

We must ask you to start expecting to wait 14 days to pickup most of your unfinished flooring (some products could be stocked out longer), and understand that our costs and prices for wood flooring are literally increasing daily as demand continues to rise and supply struggles to catch up.

All pricing for new orders will be priced at the time of delivery/pickup, and we will only be able to hold your order for 3 days past the delivery/pickup date.

These are unprecedented times, and we realize the pressure this puts on your business. It’s something we all are struggling with.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Business?

We believe that smart, forward thinking flooring businesses will look for opportunities in the midst of these struggles. We are committed to helping you do work you are proud of, and have a few ways you can consider using this supply crisis as an opportunity to pivot into other types of products:

  1. The companies that will be most affected and at risk by this crisis are those that only use one type of product for most of their jobs. Diversification will be key. If you have focused primarily on White Oak, or find yourself only using 2-1/4” wide flooring, now is the time to push people to wider widths of Red Oak which will have better availability.
  2. Consider pivoting your customers to a different species or grade all-together: Hickory, Walnut, Birch, Maple, Exotic species; all are poised to be good opportunities to switch to from White and Red Oak. As prices rise, higher and/or lower grades of flooring than you typically use can either be more affordable or offer better value.
  3. Consider using Unfinished Engineered flooring. While all parts of the flooring supply chain are affected right now, you may be able to find value in a pre-sanded 5/8” or 1/2” unfinished engineered floor that may even save you some labor time.

Eventually, supply will catch up with demand and we will see some stabilization in prices and availability. These measures will be temporary, and we have a team of people dedicated to buying flooring to keep your business supplied. We very much value your business with us, and we will get through this together!

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

The Master’s Craft Leadership Team

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.