Hardwoods floors are a popular choice for projects all across the globe. This article will discuss how to find the best contractor who specializes in installing hardwood flooring.
Nowadays, homeowners are turning to hardwood flooring contractors to make their homes beautiful.
Hardwood floors will add elegance and charm to any room, but they can be tricky to install.
It is necessary to find a contractor who has experience with hardwood installations because mistakes could damage your floors, walls, or both.
That being said, here below are the top 10 tips to look for when hiring a hardwood flooring contractor.
10 Actionable Steps for Hiring a Superior Hardwood Flooring Contractor
1. Create a Competitive Situation
Don’t be afraid to contact more than one flooring contractor and get estimates from several.
You are making a substantial investment so do not allow yourself to be pressured. Be disciplined, organized and be sure to engage in a competitive broad search.
Choose the hardwood flooring contractor you like the best and that gives you the best value for the job.
2. Compare Estimates
Get estimates from at least three different hardwood floors companies.
And here is a little extra tip for you, some installers may throw out high estimates because they know there is a certain percentage of homeowners who are prone to immediately sign a contract.
So, by getting more estimates, you weed out the outliers.
3. Check the Contractor’s References
One of the most important ways to ensure the quality of a contractor’s work is by getting input from other customers.
Always ask a contractor to provide references and make sure they give you a good sampling of them.
A mix of recent and older customers will give you a better overview of the contractor’s quality of work.
4. Check the Business Structure
Get familiar with the structure of the businesses that will install your hardwood floors.
Does the business use its employees or subcontractors? Does each one of them have sufficient insurance? Do they have a proper business license?
Better Business Bureau (BBB) can also offer good input in terms of complaints received and how they were handled.
5. Check for Warranty
A good contractor should be willing to back up the quality of their work by providing a warranty.
They know that hardwood floors are a costly investment for you and should be willing to offer you this common safeguard.
They generally offer a written one-year warranty but if you can negotiate for two years or more, all the better.
6. Clarify Terms
When you’ve chosen a contractor for the job, you’ll want to clarify the terms and details and get everything in writing.
If time is important to you, get a schedule in writing as well as the payment terms.
Good hardwood floor contractors have plenty of work so you will have to determine if you are willing to wait for the installer you prefer.
7.Draw up a Contract
Do not let the contractor get too far ahead of the work. Pay as you go and insist upon a walk-through inspection before the final payment is released.
8. Split Your Payments
Paying a contractor the full amount upfront could lead to a costly mistake. It is far better to split your payments.
This payment structure will help prevent the hardwood flooring contractor from leaving behind any of their responsibilities.
9. Delivery and Acclimation
After you’ve chosen your contractor, they will deliver the flooring to your home.
This should happen at least seven to ten days before the actual installation because the wood will need to acclimate to the temperature and humidity levels of your home.
Temperature and humidity should remain steady throughout acclimation and installation.
10. Hardwood Flooring Installation
Once the wood has acclimated properly, it’s finally time to install.
Usually, the installers will arrive early in the morning, and depending on the number and size of the rooms you are having done, the work could be finished in a day or up to a week.
10 Questions You Should Ask Your Hardwood Flooring Contractor
1. What certifications, if any, does the contractor have?
Before signing the contract, be sure to also ask if the contractor has had any professional training, relevant education, or any hardwood flooring certifications.
This will give you an idea of their technical skill set as it relates to the job at hand.
2. Is the contractor an NWFA member?
The NWFA is dedicated to training and educating wood floor professionals.
A professional hardwood floor contractor will be able to give professional results and offer advice in case any questions arise after work completion.
The NWFA has various certifications. If providers are members, ask about their experience and if they have any NWFA certifications.
These certifications should carry weight in your decision-making.
3. Can I see a portfolio of your previous work?
A portfolio can tell you a lot about a contractor, including their experience with residential versus commercial projects, what types of flooring materials they’ve worked with, and what to expect from the finished appearance.
Word-of-mouth references, from friends and co-workers, are also a great source. However, ask all prospective providers for their references and contact information.
Be sure to check the references. If the provider has a project workbook, ask to see samples of their work.
4. Can you order hardwood floors for me?
In many cases, installation companies have working relationships with top manufacturers, which is convenient and often cost-effective for customers.
So, if a contractor can order your hardwood flooring materials for you that’s an extra point
5. Will you need to visit my home before getting started?
Reputable hardwood flooring contractors should visit your home before getting started.
Because it is crucial to see your space, take measurements, and check your subfloor, before ordering the materials and beginning installation.
6. Who will move the furniture and is it included in the price?
Find out if you need to move all your furniture yourself or if the installer handles this for free or with an extra cost.
7. Do you handle demolition and is it included in the price?
Your hardwood flooring project might require some demolition.
In many instances, demolition is an essential part of flooring installation. It involves prepping the space for new floors and safely removing any hazardous materials.
Be sure to find out if your contractor can handle demolition and whether it comes with the service or for an added cost.
8. How long will the job take to complete?
Installing hardwood floors can be a time-consuming job and you’ll want to know going in exactly how long it’s going to take.
Such items as delivery of materials and acclimation can add to the overall length of the job.
Also, you’ll want to know if the contractor intends to skip any days during the project, whether to allow for drying time or just because they don’t work on certain days.
9. Will you take care of dust control and clean up?
Some contractors do all the cutting outside to minimize dust, while others bring the equipment inside and some even have dust containment systems.
Other contractors, like Woody’s Hardwood Flooring, uses dust-free sanding to virtually eliminate dust during the sanding and refinishing stages.
Know what to expect and where they will be setting up tools and equipment. Ask if they seal off rooms with plastic sheeting, too.
10. What’s your payment schedule look like?
Generally, you’ll be expected to make a down payment to schedule the work, another payment when the materials are delivered and final payment after the work is complete.
Find out the exact policies of your contractors, you’ll also want to check and make sure that your contractor offers workers comp to all employees.
That way if something happens during the project, you won’t be on the hook for their injuries or missed work time.
Hardwood Flooring Contractors – Takeaway
In conclusion, hardwood flooring can be a great addition to any home. It is easy to maintain and looks wonderful when it is in good condition.
Hardwood flooring contractors are experienced with this type of flooring, so they are the best way to go for ensuring all the right measures are taken.
If you want to protect your investment and are selective, know what to expect, ask the right questions and get everything in writing, you have a winning formula to choose the right hardwood floor contractor.
We have the highest quality for a competitive price, where the only top-of-the-line materials and equipment are used to ensure the most value out of your investment.