Flooring is an important choice we make in our homes and investment properties that add style and overall appeal. The flooring options available today provide functionality and beauty and are one of the larger home improvement investments we make when updating our homes. Colors and trends are important as well as quality and durability when making our selections. We spend hours browsing, selecting and evaluating what will eventually be our flooring of choice.
With the time and money, we spend on flooring, the one area that seems to be brushed aside is the actual installation of the product. No matter how durable the floor is or the exceptional quality of the warranty, an improper installation will not only ruin the floor, it can also void the warranty. Whether you are having 75 square feet of tile installed in a small bathroom or 3,500 square feet of hardwood, tile and carpet installed across you entire home, choosing the right installer for your flooring installation will save you thousands of dollars while providing total peace of mind. Below is what you need to know when choosing a flooring installer.
Make sure they are consistently working and can provide references
- Hey, we all have to start somewhere, but don't let a first timer or a weekend warrior come at the expense of your project.
- Ask for at least five references in the last three months. This proves that they are a pro that does quality installations on an ongoing basis. If they cannot provide this look elsewhere. Jeopardizing your finances is absolutely not worth it.
Get a line item invoice with all labor and supplies listed
- You would not purchase items at a store with just a total price listed, would you? Of course not, you want to know the price of each item and installation is no different. Supplies, materials, and labor, should all be noted on the project quote and final invoice.
Just because the installer knows one type of flooring, doesn't mean they can install everything
- It is very common for the top flooring installers to specialize in one type of flooring. Tile, hardwood, and carpet are all very different and unique types of installation that require specific knowledge and experience to install correctly.
An improper installation will not only ruin the floor, it can also void the warranty.
Make sure they have the right tools
- Many types of flooring need specific tools to do the job correctly. Ask your installer what tools they are using and why. If they cannot or will not explain how the flooring is installed this is a red flag.
- All Types of Floors – Moisture meter, not only for the flooring but the slab as well
- Carpet – Requires a power stretcher with specific settings for carpet type
- Glue Down Vinyl Flooring – Requires a 100 lb. roller to set the floor correctly
- Solid Hardwood Floors – Flooring Stapler, sanding, and finishing equipment
They must use the proper adhesive
- Not only can using the wrong adhesive cause your floors to fail, in some cases, but it will also void the warranty if a particular type or brand is not used.
Use the right pad
- While carpet, laminate, and floating vinyl plank all use different types of pad, using the proper pad for the product is important. Regardless of what type of floor you are installing, the same rule applies on all of it; you get what you pay for on the pad.
Acclimate the floor
- Not all type of flooring needs to be acclimated, but products like hardwood (solid and engineered), laminate and vinyl plank MUST be acclimated. Do not let your installer show up and start the project without proper acclimation.
Give yourself plenty of time for the project
- Some items might need to be special ordered, give yourself ample time to get the materials and coordinate with your installers to schedule.
- Be smart on planning the project, make sure someone is available to let the installer in and so forth.
Prep your house
- Move furniture and get your house prepared for the install. Many installers charge extra for moving furniture so ask before installation to save some money if you can do it yourself.
- Also, keep in mind the area where the work will be performed might be inhabitable for a period. For example, if you are doing a complete bathroom remodel, make sure you have the items you need out of project area.
Ask as many questions as necessary
- It is your investment, and they are working for you! Experienced and knowledgeable installers love to talk about their work as well as explaining the process. After all, it is how they make their living. An installer that cannot answer your questions or will not take the time to explain the process more often than not is not qualified to do the install.
The beauty of new flooring provides comfort and satisfaction when it is installed properly. Take the time to choose the proper installer at the beginning of the project and enjoy your investment for years to come with total satisfaction and peace of mind.
Have additional tips not covered? Post in the comments below!
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