Wood flooring transforms your home, improves property value and cuts down on maintenance. Investing in quality wood floors makes sense, but consumers must also protect that investment by hiring a good wood flooring installer. Hire an installer with these top six characteristics to achieve the beautiful, timeless look of wood floors.
# 1 – Experience
Look for a wood flooring installer that has been in business for several years, with a long list of satisfied customers to provide as referrals. Experience helps the installer to develop troubleshooting skills and product knowledge not available in any training program.
By working in various homes and with a wide range of wood flooring products, an experienced installer offers you a wealth of expertise and competence. New installers may have the skills to do the job, but experienced installers have even more to offer.
# 2 – License and Certification
Find out if your state or county issues licenses to flooring installers? If so, find a company that holds a license in good standing. Some areas of the country may not require licensed installers, but homeowners can still use certifications to vet potential installers.
Nationwide organizations within the flooring industry offer certification, often based on installers completing a certain level of training. Individual manufacturers also offer certification based on the specifications of their own product. Ask your flooring retailer if the product or brand purchased certifies installers.
At the very least, be sure to hire a company that is registered in your state and fully insured under worker’s compensation. This protects you and your home, should an accident occur.
# 3 – Good Communication Skills
A good contractor works hard at building communication and trust with their client base. They are available by phone or email and can be counted on to respond within a short time period. Courtesy and honesty mark their conversations with customers, suppliers and employees.
The initial contact offers a good prospective on communication skills. If you need to wait days for an answer to your initial inquiry or if the answers are vague and misleading, the installer still has a lot to learn about customer communication.
Hire an installer that answers your phone calls promptly with accurate and helpful information. Look for a company that allows you to ask questions and provides you with written estimates in a timely manner.
# 4 – Connections Within the Industry
Installers that have established connections within the flooring industry have proved themselves reliable and professional. Retailers and flooring manufacturers want to work with experienced installers that will service their clientele with expert work and reasonable prices.
Ask your retailer or manufacturer for recommendations. Word of mouth referrals are often backed up by an established relationship that consumers can trust.
# 5 – Solid Warranty
Warranty covers more than just the wood flooring products. The installation warranty should protect your investment and cover the workmanship and handling on site. Find an installer that provides a good warranty in writing; this peace of mind is often worth a slightly higher price.
# 6 – Flexibility
Good installers need to be flexible, in terms of scheduling and worksite conditions. You want to find a wood flooring installer that will work within the timeframe required, with enough flexibility to incorporate your own schedule, as well as the delivery schedule of your wood floor retailer.
Conditions may change at your home, especially if the flooring installation is part of a larger home renovation. Talk to your flooring contractor about possible alterations along the way, but look for a company that can roll with unforeseeable changes that may crop up.
A good wood flooring installer will have all of these characteristics, including experience, certification, good communication, connections, warranty coverage and flexibility. Wood flooring is an investment in your home and lifestyle—protect that investment by choosing the best installer in your area.