Lumber Liquidators’ products are safe and meet the highest quality and environmental standards. That’s why we sell these products, why we use them in our own homes and why we are a market leader. As consumers ourselves, we are committed to delivering safe and long-lasting products to our customers.Our commitment begins with meeting the most stringent environmental and quality standards. These standards ensure that our products are safe, meet all government requirements, and are approved by government-approved third-party validators.
This commitment to quality and safety extends to everywhere we do business. We require that all of our suppliers comply with California’s advanced environmental requirements, even for products sold outside California.
Lumber Liquidators offers many types of flooring. Like other flooring retailers, some of these options may utilize glues containing formaldehyde which can also be found in other fabricated household items such as paneling, cabinetry, and furniture. Formaldehyde, which exists naturally in the environment, is also found in permanent press fabrics, bath oils, bubble bath, and an array of cosmetics, deodorants, fingernail polishes and shampoos. Our commitment to the health and safety of our customers includes meeting or exceeding industry standards on formaldehyde emissions through compliance with applicable regulations such as those established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
What products do the CARB standards apply to?
The CARB emission standards apply to certain components of most laminate and engineered flooring and accessories. The CARB regulation does not apply to the Lumber Liquidators manufacturing process or to the finish applied to solid hardwood flooring (including Bellawood), solid bamboo, or vinyl flooring.
1. Supplier Agreements: All of our suppliers must sign agreements that they comply with all applicable regulations, including the CARB regulations, and Lumber Liquidators’ Supplier Reference Manual;
2. Supplier Due Diligence: We perform extensive research on each supplier and create a unique supplier profile for each that contains detailed information about their operations such as raw material sourcing, adhesive types used, and quality control procedures;
3. Verification of Supplier Certifications: We obtain Third-Party Certifier certificates, as noted earlier, to verify supplier claims, and classify suppliers as manufacturers or fabricators, each requiring specific reviews for their respective types of operations;
4. Initial Product Testing: We perform preliminary tests on supplier samples and will not qualify a supplier if CARB regulations or Lumber Liquidators’ own requirements are not met;
5. Supplier Audit: We audit a supplier’s ability to comply with applicable laws, which often includes an on-site factory audit and/or a desk audit of a supplier’s operations and capability to meet regulatory requirements;
6. Initial Purchase Qualification: We conduct a formal “preliminary purchase decision” step in which we review all audit results and other materials collected to-date and then decide whether to move forward with a purchase on a preliminary basis only;
7. Initial Shipment Inspection/Test: We test the initial shipment or first lot sent and confirm that the products comply with all requirements. Lumber Liquidators also sends samples from initial shipments to independent third-party testing labs to monitor compliance;
8. Quarterly Reviews: We conduct a quarterly review of each supplier and product group to monitor compliance with all legal requirements and Lumber Liquidators’ own stringent quality control standards, which includes third-party lab testing;
9. Periodic/Random Audits: We conduct periodic, random audits of suppliers that include reviews of certificates, invoices, and operational records.
As part of our robust Quality Assurance program, Lumber Liquidators maintains lab facilities in the U.S. and Asia capable of performing full-scale product evaluations and testing. To support our ongoing commitment to product quality and compliance, we built a new 1,500 square foot technical facility as part of our East Coast Distribution Center construction effort. The new facility allows us to expand our technical capabilities to include ASTM D6007 formaldehyde emission chambers correlated directly with a CARB-approved Third Party Certifier – a first in the retail flooring industry.
Lumber Liquidators also conducts vendor training to help ensure that our suppliers fully understand all requirements. This training is conducted onsite at international locations, via online courses and through our vendor seminars. In August 2013 and 2014 approximately 40 companies attended our training sessions in China each year. To our knowledge, none of Lumber Liquidators’ peer wood flooring or home improvement companies, nor any furniture companies, has a similar CARB training program for their suppliers.
What else is Lumber Liquidators doing to ensure health & safety?
Though CARB applies only to products sold in California, Lumber Liquidators requires all suppliers delivering products containing composite wood components to comply with CARB requirements regardless of whether we intend to sell the products in California or any other state or country. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has drafted national standards for composite wood products that are similar to the CARB standard, those standards have not yet been enacted. Until that time, Lumber Liquidators believes that applying the rigorous California standard throughout North America is the right thing to do.
Lumber Liquidators is committed to being a positive force in the communities in which we, and our suppliers, operate. To that end, we support the eradication of child labor, the elimination of human trafficking and the adherence to applicable laws governing the employment of workers. We believe that implementing high standards for worker health and safety leads to higher-quality products and reduced costs both for us and our customers.