Need an installer? These 7 tips will make it easier.
1. Ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors
Someone you know has had wood flooring installed within the last 5 years. Ask neighbors, friends, family and coworkers if they were happy with their wood floor installer and if so get their name. Anyone that can read our installation instructions can install our floors, they just have to make sure they have the right tools.
Furthermore, contractors appreciate word-of-mouth referrals and some may even offer a "neighborhood" discount. Yelp is also a great website to find highly rated installers; look for those with a minimum of 3-5 reviews.
2. Get at least 3 estimates
Most installers will give you a free estimate over the phone or charge a small fee (from $20-$50) to do an in-home estimate. Try to cover all bases and ask as many questions as possible to get a good sense of their experience and knowledge.
3. Pay a fair wage
Doing price comparisons is vital for you as a consumer, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The vast majority of floor installers are honest, hard-working men and women that charge a fair wage and are working to support their families. If they go above and beyond it doesn't hurt to give them a tip at the end of the project.
4. Request a warranty
The best installers are confident in their installation skills and will offer a warranty to back up their workmanship.
5. Do your homework
If a contractor disparages a certain product and tries to up-sell you a different product, be wary. If they bad-mouth a product it's most likely because they had a bad experience with a low quality brand, but sometimes it's to earn an extra commission from their product distributor. The best way to review a product or brand is to research the specific brand online.
6. Plan ahead
You'll want to assume that most installers are booked up with jobs for the ensuing 2-3 weeks, so the earlier you start getting estimates the better off you'll be. Also remember that all hardwood and bamboo floors require a few days to be shipped, another 2-8 days in transit, and at least a 3 day acclimation period, so you'll need to factor that into your plans as well.
7. Still can't find an installer? Check the NWFA certified installer website
The National Wood Flooring Association's certification process validates wood flooring experience and holds their members to high standards of service. You can find NWFA-Certified Installers here.