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The 10 Worst Things to Buy at Home Depot

You can take these off the shopping list, experts say.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

If you're in the process of remodeling or have discovered a new passion for DIY projects, then you'll probably be making a trip or two to Home Depot. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro, the store has aisles of supplies for all kinds of ventures. And even though the chain may be the go-to destination for appliances and paint, retail experts suggest shopping elsewhere for certain items. Keep reading to find out the worst things to buy at Home Depot.

RELATED: 10 Secrets Home Depot Doesn't Want You to Know.

Home decor

Woman decorating her apartment

Home Depot is a hot spot for many aspects of home renovation, but redecorating might not be its strong suit. Maria Juvakka, a home design expert and founder of Chic Pursuit, says that if you're on the hunt for home decor, you should steer clear of this retailer.

"The selection is weak and the products are overpriced," she explains. "Plus, it's a load of mass-produced products that you can find at cheaper prices at Target, Ikea, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, or HomeGoods."

Basic power tools

power tools
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

While Home Depot may have a large selection of power tools, some of them aren't worth the money. With that in mind, Sebastian Jania, owner of Ontario Property Buyers, suggests comparing other stores' prices to be sure that you're getting the best deals.

"You can find the same power tools at Target or Walmart for a lot less, as there are not a ton of different power tool suppliers," says Jania.

He notes that a Makita 18-volt lithium-ion cordless jigsaw is $199 at Home Depot while the same tool is $120 at Walmart.

RELATED: There's a Secret Way to Get 11 Percent Off Your Home Depot Purchase.

Plants and flowers

woman, taking care of her houseplants

Adding greenery to your space is an easy way to make it feel more homey, but if you're on the hunt for this, don't head to the home improvement store.

"It might be surprising, but you should avoid buying plants and flowers from Home Depot," says Andrew Griffith, a household expert and owner of Garden Furniture.

According to Griffith, many shoppers end up purchasing plants that are more likely to die from this retailer, unless they shop within the first couple of days of the floral department's opening around spring.

"Many of the plants they receive come in bulk and some of them are not even meant for our American climate. They are also often treated the same, which leads to overwatering, root rot, and are more exposed to pests," he explains. "It is best to buy your plants from actual plant shops as there are experts [there] who can help you make the right choice for your lifestyle."


ronstik / Shutterstock

When it comes to buying mulch, it's best to avoid big-name retailers like Home Depot. Instead, Gene Caballero, landscaper and co-founder of GreenPal, recommends finding local landscaping suppliers or garden centers.

"These local businesses often have a broader and higher quality selection of mulch. They can provide expert advice and products that are better suited to your specific gardening needs," he says, adding that they're also usually cheaper.

"Some municipalities even offer free, recycled yard waste mulch, which is an excellent choice for environmentally conscious gardeners," he notes.

RELATED: 8 Secrets About Home Depot's Garden Department.

Cleaning supplies

Cleaning countertop

It might be tempting to stock up on household cleaning supplies at Home Depot if you're already there buying other products for your home, but experts advise against this.

Kyle Richards, a residential and commercial contractor and co-founder of Best Overland Park Painters, says there are two major issues with the cleaning materials sold at Home Depot: cost and selection.

"In general, you will find better deals on these products in big-box retailers like Walmart and Target. It's even better to buy them from local grocery stores," he says. "And all these stores have something that Home Depot doesn't—a better selection, especially when it comes to environment-friendly cleaners. The ones available at Home Depot tend to be the toxic chemical-laden products of 20 years ago."


Male hand choosing cabinet panel materials or countertops for built-in furniture design.

If you're going countertop shopping, experts recommend skipping Home Depot on your search. But this isn't because the retailer sells bad quality versions of this product. Instead, Aviad Faruz, a retail expert and CEO of e-commerce company Faruzo, says that Home Depot tends to sell countertops at a much higher price than what you can find elsewhere.

"Home Depot doesn't have as many competitors when it comes to warehouse stores dealing in home improvement. As such, they can price their products higher than the market," he explains. "You can find countertops for much cheaper at a stone yard or a fabricator."

RELATED: 8 Things You Should Never Buy at Lowe's, Retail Experts Warn.

Certain hardwood flooring

Man installing wood flooring in home.

Exotic hardwood flooring is a draw for many customers looking to add something unique to their home. But David Floyd, a home services expert and owner of The Pest Informer, says that many exotic woods and softwoods are more prone to termites—and the likelihood of you buying material that has been jeopardized by this pest is higher when you buy from certain stores.

"The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars on new flooring only to find out that it's been compromised by termite damage or even has a current termite infestation," Floyd says. "Now oftentimes this won't be an issue, but large box stores such as Home Depot aren't going to be as diligent as a hardwood-specific retailer in checking for termite activity."

Specialty lumber

woman shopping for timber/lumber

If you're looking for high-quality, specialty lumber, it's best to explore other options aside from Home Depot.

"The selection is limited, and the quality of the stock just isn't there to justify the price per board foot," explains Korey Gregory, the superintendent at ASAP Restoration. Instead, he suggests heading to a lumber yard or specialty wood vendor because "you can almost always find a better selection and cuts."

Lumber quality and consistency also might be an issue. In a video, TikTok user @logancampbell101 shows a two-by-four from Home Depot that is warped.

Similarly, TikToker Nate Kinnison, a woodworker, posted a video comparing two Home Depot two-by-fours, one which he called "quality" and the other "lightweight trash." He said, "One has a lot tighter grain and is a lot heavier."

RELATED: The 31 Worst Things to Buy at Target.

Kitchen cabinet hardware

Woman looking in kitchen cabinet

If you're renovating your kitchen, you might want to get pulls for your cabinets elsewhere. According to Daniel Cabrera, the owner and founder of Sell My House Fast SA TX, Home Depot doesn't have a lot of options.

"I have found that their selection is limited and overpriced drastically, especially if you're looking for a wow factor for your cabinet hardware," he says.

For example, a 10-pack of brass cabinet pulls is $50 from Home Depot, whereas a similar set is nearly half the price on Amazon.


brass doorknob, signs your home is falling apart

Similar to cabinet hardware, the options for doorknobs are limited and pricey at Home Depot. Cabrera once again advises looking at Amazon before purchasing.

"Amazon offers a wider range of styles, from modern to vintage. You will find better deals and superior styles," he says. For example, a black matte bathroom handle is $41.47 from Home Depot while Amazon has a similar one for only $27.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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