5 Ways to Know you have a Good Floor Installer!
We’ve all heard it before – the horror stories of a floor tile project mid-stream coming to an abrupt halt – left sadly unfinished – because the tile installer hired to do the work has disappeared – with money in hand! So, your budget has been spent and the floor is a wreck! Believe it or not, it’s stories like these that prevent people from undergoing home renovations… they fear the horror stories of renovations gone wrong. We can give you 5 solid tips for knowing if you’re hiring a good flooring tile installer (or just a good contractor in general). With the right people doing the job, any renovation should be a smooth process that produces beautiful results!
Tip #1: References! Does the person that you’re considering hiring have references? This is really important because in many scenarios, the hired contractor will be in and out of your home – quite possibly at times when you’re not there (because some of us have to work during the day instead of beautifying our homes!). Don’t be afraid to ask for references. And when you get them, call them! Ask questions that will give you the full story about the person you’re considering. It’s really important. It’s okay to ask for references that can speak about having a negative experience too. Those are the people that can tell you how the tile installer or contractor treated any mishaps and sought (hopefully!) resolution.
Tip #2: Pictures! Ask to see photos of jobs that he or she has completed. This will give you an idea of what kind of work the contractor or tile installer does. Pay attention to the surrounding environment in the photos. Is there a lot of debris and trash that is unnecessary? That could be an indicator of sloppy work. And, those references in tip #1 that you called?? à Ask those people for pictures of the handiwork done.
Tip #3: Materials! Does your installer have a good knowledge of the installation materials that will be used? For example, if installing floor tile, what is the thinset that is going to be used? There are a variety of types of tile thinset, underlayments, tile sealer, membranes, grout, etc. It’s worthwhile asking your contractor what materials will be used, and to explain quality differences. If the tile installer can’t explain his choices of materials, keep shopping. It doesn’t do any good buy great flooring if it’s not installed with quality materials.
Tip #4: Payments! How does your tile installer want to be paid? Is it cash up front? Keep shopping! That type of arrangement almost always leads to horror stories. Most reputable installers will have some schedule of payments (i.e. Deposit up front and a couple of payments upon reaching certain points in the installation). It’s reasonable to withhold a final small portion of payment to be completed after the job is finished to your satisfaction (and in compliance with any contract signed).
Tip #5: Clean up! Going back to tip #1 about references (see… I told you it’s important!), ask about how clean the tile installer was during and after the job? A good installer is someone who is organized, efficient and cleanly. Any completed job is not complete until the installer’s trash and debris or waste has been hauled off (unless otherwise specified in a contract). To take it a step further, we value tile installers who don’t leave personal trash from snacks or lunches behind. And if they do, it should be in a trashcan, not just casually discarded. Manners are okay!
There is so much more that goes into finding the right contractors and tile installers for jobs – especially tile floor installations. It’s backbreaking work and worth every penny charged by a quality tile installer. If you just don’t get a good vibe, then keep shopping!