Imagine you have it all planned – your newly remodeled home with everything in place and the hardwood floor so rocksolid that you wouldn’t have to worry about it getting damaged. Sounds good? Great! However, achieving such perfection on your own without any professional help might be an impossible task. Hence, hiring the services of a hardwood flooring contractor might be the best option.
Flooring contractors know floors and their materials in and out. They can recommend the best suited flooring for your house, such that it matches the overall decor as well. But before you hire the first contractor that shows at the top of a Google search, understand that you might perhaps end up making a bad decision without the adequate amount of research and access to the right information. So, to ensure that you are hiring the best hardwood flooring contractor, ask the ones you have shortlisted the following questions:
1. Are you licensed and insured to do this job?
This is one of the most important questions to ask. Because let’s say something goes wrong during the job and your contractor gets injured. If he isn’t insured, you might be liable to pay for his treatment.
Moreover, ensure that your contractor is licensed and be sure to check online if the license number they’ve mentioned is new and not expired. A licensed contractor is legally permitted to do the job.
2. Are you a member of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)?
The members of the NWFA are regarded as being the best in the flooring industry. Such flooring installers are masters in the installation process and are always keen to participate in ongoing education to add on to their skills.
3. What could go wrong or what could lead to an increase in the total cost of installation?
You never know what could be cooking underneath your floor. There could be mold growth or broken tiles, which will ultimately cause the price to rise. Getting clarity from the installer about the percentage of increase in the cost is important to ensure that at the last moment, your contractor does not end up overcharging.
4. What kind of warranty do you offer for your work?
What if you notice scratches and cracks in your hardwood floor just a week after your contractor has finished installing it? Would you like to have to deal with all that expense again? To be on the safe side, it’s best to ask for the warranty period that they offer for their work. This will also keep them on their toes and prevent them from doing a shoddy job.
5. Can you present a list of your previous customers and their reviews?
Reviews speak volumes about a hardwood flooring contractor’s work. However, you can’t just go letting a contractor down just because they have a few bad reviews. Look at the percentage. Good reviews should always be 70% or higher. You could also check online reviews of your contractor at Angie’sList, Yelp, and Google reviews. These will give you a clear insight on the contractor’s work ethic and the usual quality of their work.
6. How long will it take to do the entire job?
This will help you get an estimate of the duration for which you will need to vacate your house. Also, you could prep the house up for floor installation. This will make the job a tad bit easier and quicker. Also, ask your installer about how the process will progress. Meaning, if they will be working every day or taking a few days’ break in between. The planning for you would be easier this way.
7. How will you contain dust and handle clean-up?
Prepping the floor for installation can be messy and cause damage to precious objects in the house. In such cases, it is important that your contractor understands the need to protect your living space and furnishings from dust and clutter. See if your contractor agrees to drape the chandeliers, vases, and appliances to protect them from getting damaged and seal the areas that don’t need floor installation. Also, make sure that they agree to clean the place up after the job is done.
8. How will you ensure that the floor is properly acclimated?
Acclimatization should not be underestimated. Proper acclimatization prevents gapping, buckling, and other flooring related problems in the long run. While your contractor might bend over backwards to give you the exact floor plan you proposed in the desired time, the process of acclimatization must not be rushed.
Floor remodeling is messy and difficult. We recommend that you do not do it alone and hire an expert. And with this set of questions, we sincerely hope that you will find the best installer for your hardwood flooring. Getting clear answers to these questions will help you plan better and set the right expectations from the very beginning. All the best!