Local businesses adjust to flooring material tariffs

Local businesses adjust to flooring material tariffs

Talk of tariffs is about to hit you where it hurts — in your pocketbook. That’s especially true if you’re doing some remodeling.

Flooring prices are about to rise even more, after a ten-percent tariff is added to those materials. One local business owner says if you wait to buy, it could get even more expensive. Andy Yank with Brothers Flooring in Spokane told KXLY4 his shop has seen prices rise over the last six quarters and while he’s doing everything it can to keep those prices low, it’s proven to be difficult.

“It kind of, you know, stinks for the customer,” Yank said. “Stinks for us too, yeah. It does stink. Stinks all the way around.”

Yank said the tariff is being passed from the manufacturers in China to local shops around the country. He said Brothers Flooring isn’t able to avoid or absorb the cost, so it’s passed on to customers like Paul Scheller, who was caught off guard by the tariffs.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” Scheller said. “I didn’t realize flooring materials were a foreign product and I’m not convinced that tariffs are the best way to handle foreign competition.”

Yank said the tariffs are targeting luxury vinyl plank, the shop’s best-selling material. He estimated about 80 percent of luxury vinyl plank is made in China.

“We should be able to buy flooring, we should be able to buy things and have it be affordable,” Yank said. “You know, at some point, it’s going to blown up beyond what anybody can afford.”

He expects the tariff on flooring materials to rise to 25 percent by the end of the year.

“I think really the only thing is, is just roll with the increases as they come,” Yank said. “I don’t want to lose jobs, because if I lose jobs to this 10 percent, my installers don’t have jobs.”