- Lowe’s is one of the most popular home improvement retailers in the US.
- We spoke with experts in home improvement and organisation to find some of the best and worst items to buy at Lowe’s.
- Here are 23 items you should buy at Lowe’s and 10 more you should avoid every time.
People are turning more and more to online retailers for their home improvement needs, and sometimes, shopping at a store like Lowe’s can feel like an obsolete experience.
But there are still a number of items worth trekking to your local Lowe’s for – especially for those working on home design projects who need to see, touch, and feel items before they buy.
To find out exactly what’s worth getting at the popular home improvement chain, which also stocks many, many products online, we turned to leading home and organizational experts.
They provided us with 23 items to buy at Lowe’s, from paint to patio furniture, as well as 10 you’d be better off skipping or buying somewhere else.
Here’s their advice for what you should buy and what you should skip at Lowe’s.
Buy: Progress Lighting briarwood flush mount light
“This flush mount ceiling light is not only on trend with its two-tone modern farmhouse style, but it’s also available in multiple finishes and happens to be a great price,” Blanche Garcia, interior designer and founder of B. Garcia Designs, told Business Insider.
Buy: LG counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator
“I love that this refrigerator is counter depth to get a cleaner fit within the overall kitchen,” Garcia said. “The glass door-in-door feature provides easy access to refreshments and is designed to keep food fresh. It also comes with SmartThinQ that sends alerts on your smartphone when the door is open or your water filter needs replaced. You can also control the temperature remotely, and it works with Google Assistant.”
Skip: GE self-cleaning electric range
“Although the price is great, the glass top doesn’t hold up well to general wear and tear,” Garcia said. “Also the signalling can be confusing to consumers.”
Buy: Aquasana shower head filter
“While the water flowing through our homes may look crystal clear and clean, it can contain many unwanted substances like chlorine and pesticides,” Ashleigh Frager, founder of Back to Basics, a curated online shop for safe, non-toxic products, told Business Insider. “This highly rated, peer-reviewed shower filter uses coconut shell carbon to effectively reduce or remove a wide variety of water contaminants.”
Buy: Safavieh Lewis multi-light pendant
“I love how modern this light is, and the price is amazing,” Garcia said. “Plus, it’s very on trend.”
Lowe’s sells this light for $US131.99.
Skip: Style Selections 18-gallon storage bin with snap lid
“Bins like this are not great because they violate some of main tenets of good storage: things should be visible, easy to get, and easy to put away,” Karin Socci, founder of The Serene Home, told Business Insider.
“People buy bins like this, toss in all sorts of random items, close the lid and call it a day. These bins should only be used if they will contain items that are the same or similar and used only once in a while. Holiday decorations would be an example.”
Buy: Brewster solstice wallpaper
Brewster’s Solstice wallpaper selection will give you high design at a reasonable price, Garcia said.
“This pattern is a take on a very old-school glam designer wall covering that’s sure to step up any room. It also works great as an accent wall or for those looking for something bold, they can use it for a whole room.”
Skip: Safavieh Bowen white wicker coastal end table
“The price is on the steep side for the size of this piece, and wicker is not as stylistically desirable as it used to be,” Garcia said.
Buy: Pro-Lab mould test kit
“With more and more studies being released on the adverse health effects that exposure to mould can cause, it’s good to have a reliable way to test if it’s growing in your home,” Frager said. “The Pro-Lab mould test kit will capture mould spores and show if you need to take action to eliminate mould.
Skip: Whirlpool top-freezer refrigerator
“The biscuit colour of this Whirlpool fridge isn’t the most desirable of colours right now, and the feedback on the handles sealer on the doors has not been good,” Garcia said.
Buy: Vinegar all-purpose cleaner
“White vinegar is a very cost-effective, efficient way to naturally clean your home,” Frager said. “Vinegar all-purpose cleaner can be used to make DIY natural cleaners or it can be run through your washing machine or dishwasher to clean and reduce mildew or bacterial buildup.”
She highlighted the cleaner from Lowe’s house brand Style Selections, which is available for $US1.79 for 64 fluid ounces.
Buy: Honeywell True HEPA air purifier
“For anyone concerned with indoor air pollution, Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier is a great solution to improve the quality of the air you breathe,” Frager said. “This model is capable of purifying air for large spaces and will remove airborne pathogens such as VOCs, germs, and microscopic allergens.”
Skip: Small appliances
Stay away from the small appliances at Lowe’s, says Brian Garcia, owner of D & G Interiors + Design.
“Chances are you’re going to be paying a bit more for things like air fryers than if you were purchasing them at a Costco or Bed Bath and Beyond,” Garcia told Business Insider. “Unlike Lowe’s larger appliances, their assortment of small appliances seem to be not as well priced. More impulsive-driven in nature, these items will come at a higher pricing margin.”
Lowe’s stocks a pretty impressive selection of tiles, Brian Garcia said.
“From ceramic to porcelain, Lowe’s offers a fashion-forward assortment that is both budget-friendly and readily available,” he said. “They also offer a ‘decide before you buy’ service that allows the customer to order a sample of the tile they’re considering. This is a huge help for those clients that might be on the fence and need to see the physical material in their actual space.”
Buy: HGTV paint by Sherwin Williams
“For all our DIY clients shopping the big-box stores for paint, we recommend Lowe’s, hands down,” Brian Garcia said. “Their exclusive paint line HGTV by Sherwin Williams is extremely well curated and offers a solid spectrum of paint colours and great finish options. Lowe’s also offers a great selection of paint supply. Whether you need brushes or tarps, their shelves are always stocked and at very competitive prices.”
A big no-no at Lowe’s in Brian Garcia’s book is flooring.
“Whether you look at their hardwood or engineered flooring products, they fall short in the quality and overall consistency departments,” he said. “Floors are such a big investment that I always recommend visiting a reputable dealer. Make sure to take the time and ask questions. Where is the product manufactured? What is the warranty? What chemicals are used in the fabrication?”
“I really like the Rev-A-Shelf line,” Socci said. “They make a wide variety of cabinet inserts that can totally transform a cabinet into much more custom space. It’s like getting custom-built, but at much less expense. Just be sure to measure carefully.”
Buy: Glad Contractor 42-gallon black outdoor plastic construction trash bags
Socci called these trash bags “the best thing you can buy at Lowes.”
“Use these to sort and edit out all the things you are no longer using – all the ‘maybe someday’ items, all the clothes that no longer fit or suit you – and donate them so that someone else can make use of them,” she said. “Getting rid of unneeded items will immediately take care of a lot of your storage issues.”
Skip: Style Selections grommet black fabric bin
“These types of bins are not good because of the tapered bottoms,” Socci said. “You lose a lot of storage space in the bottom of the bin, and things won’t stack as nicely inside. Plus they’re deep, so things will get lost. They also don’t hold up very well and look shabby over time.”
Buy: Outdoor furniture
This is a category that Lowe’s really shines in, in comparison to other big-box stores, according to Brian Garcia.
“From selection to pricing Lowe’s offers something for all your outdoor furniture needs. They have several collections, from modern lines to more traditional styles, so they really have everyone covered.”
Buy: RGI Home natural fibre bin
“These are some of my favourite bins: They aren’t too deep, so things can be seen inside, and the material is very nice,” Socci said. “These are great for storing all sorts of things on open shelves, whether in the closet or pantry.”
Skip: Round hampers
“This is not a space maximizer,” Lisa Jacobs, professional organiser and founder of Imagine it Done, told Business Insider. “They are an insufficient use of space and don’t easily fit into corners of rooms, with clothing always ending up behind the basket.”
She suggested instead to opt for a rectangular-shaped hamper.
Buy: Dyson cyclone V10 motorhead cordless stick vacuum
“Every home needs a good vacuum, and this model is the perfect blend of function and design,” Jacobs said. “What I love is that it has dual capabilities to work as a standard vacuum and then transform into a wireless handheld vacuum for those hard-to-reach places and even blinds.”
Buy: Metal retractable clothes line
“This item is often overlooked, but it’s really extremely functional because it’s a wonderful solution for space saving, since you can use it outdoors and mount it to any wall,” Jacobs said.
Skip: Velvet hangers
These types of velvet hangers might look nice, but they’re expensive and not practical.
“They don’t hold heavy clothing well, usually break, and are magnets for dust,” Jacobs said. “It’s better to get plastic thin hanger with grippy sides or splurge on acrylic options.”
Buy: Home Basic food storage container
“I highly recommend these food storage containers because they allow you to clearly see what you have in stock and when you’re running low on an item,” Jacobs said. “They go well with most kitchen designs and come in a variety of sizes. This type of containers are decorative and functional.”
Buy: Simply Put two-tier pull-out metal cabinet organiser
Metal Draws are a great way to easily access your heavy pots, according to Jacobs.
“This drawer system installs in a very simple way and will help make sure your pots get put away and don’t end up sitting on valuable counter space.”
Skip: Large shoe racks
Jacobs noted that these shoe racks are not as stable as they appear and never seem to fit the proper amount of shoes.
“Plus, they don’t hold shoes well and are quite unattractive and industrial looking,” she said.
Buy: Beverage centres and wine chillers
“Beverage centres and wine chillers are great for basement bars and kitchen islands,” Diana Weinstein, interior designer and founder of Diana Weinstein Design, told Business Insider. “Lowe’s always has a good assortment and fair prices, so it’s easy to pick them up anytime you need them.”
Buy: Krylon Fushion all-in-one spray paint
“I often buy Krylon Fushion all-in-one spray paint,” Weinstein said. “It’s a great, inexpensive way to change a look of furniture, especially in kids’ rooms, and this one in particular can cover particle board or hard-to-paint surfaces from places like IKEA.”
Skip: Home decor
“While Lowe’s has tons of supplies to help with home improvement, home decor does not make up the bulk of their inventory,” Sara Skirboll, an expert on shopping and trends at RetailMeNot, told Business Insider.
“While they offer some items, the selection is limited, and you’re better off browsing the options at retailers with a focus on decorative items and home goods. You’re bound to find a better price on what you need, as more brands and options are available.”
Buy: Power tools
“If you’re in need of power tools, the beginning of June is a great time to stock up at Lowe’s, you can usually score up to 50% off as items are discounted for Father’s Day,” Skirboll said.
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