For many homeowners, the ideal flooring is hardwood; you simply can’t beat the beautiful planks that never go out of style. But the truth is that if you’re going to invest in hardwood flooring, it makes sense to also invest in a professional and experienced flooring contractor to install them for you. Skilled flooring contractors make quick work of installing your hardwood flooring, but not all flooring contractors are equal.
So, how do you go about finding a good flooring installer? Read on and we’ll dive into everything you need to know about finding the perfect contractor for your flooring needs.
General Contractor vs. Flooring Contractor
Before you begin researching contractors, the first thing to note is the difference between general contractors and flooring contractors. Here’s what you should know:
- General Contractor: A general contractor is a home improvement specialist that can manage a large project or team, help lay floors, hook up plumbing, fix your electrical, or move walls in your house. They are qualified to install floors and can be a great choice if they’re already renovating your house.
- Flooring Contractor: A flooring contractor is a certified specialist who can remove, install, refinish, and repair your floors. Flooring contractors should be your first choice to lay hardwood flooring, as it’s their specialty.
A flooring contractor will have more experience installing hardwood floors than a general contractor, which can help you avoid problems with your flooring down the line.
The Top Things to Look for in a Hardwood Flooring Contractor
Don’t just default to the same flooring installer your neighbour used; you want to research the flooring contractor before hiring them for the job. After all, you’re not just looking for anyone to lay your expensive hardwood floorboards. You’re seeking professional help to do the job correctly. With this distinction in mind, you must weed out the not-so-professional contractors.
Credentials, Experience & References
While researching different flooring contractors, you want to pay close attention to their credentials: do they have WSIB to protect their employees from job site injuries, are they insured, and do they have any relevant professional qualifications or certifications?
Experience is everything, especially when you’re entrusting someone to install hardwood flooring in your house. So, when you’re researching prospective flooring contractors, these are some questions you want to answer:
- What is their rating and review on HomeStars and Houzz?
- Do they have testimonials or ratings on Google?
- Read all the reviews. Are they predominantly positive?
- How many years have they been in business?
- Do they offer free consultations so that you can address any questions or concerns before choosing them?
- Do they have a social media presence?
- In regards to ratings, what’s the ratio of good to bad?
- If there is a customer complaint, how does the company handle it?
- Do they have any before and after photos so you can see their work?
- Have any friends or family members used them before and recommended them?
By checking out a flooring contractor’s social media presence, you can assess whether they leave positive, lasting impressions with former clients. If they don’t have a social media presence, you’ll have to base your decision on your first impression of the flooring contractor or word-of-mouth references. It’s preferable if they have a strong online presence, as you can get a sense of their business practices and make a more informed choice.
Flooring contractors, in theory, should all offer removal, installation, and repair/refinishing of flooring, but that isn’t always the case. Therefore, you should always verify that the company’s services align with your needs. Moreover, you can also check to see if the flooring contractor installs the flooring material you want to use, like hardwood or tiles.
A quick way to assess the credibility of a flooring contractor is whether they offer free quotes or estimates and when payment is due. Renovations can be similar to Pandora’s box; you never know when an unseen expense might crop up, and so if the flooring contractor requests full payment upfront, that’s a red flag. Reputable flooring contractors should only ask for a down payment upfront, with the guarantee that you’ll pay the remaining balance when the job is complete.
Another mark of a good contractor is transparency; they should have no issue discussing the cost of labour, materials, etc. After all, you deserve to know what you’re paying for!
Good flooring contractors care about their clients and one of the ways they show this is by offering warranties or satisfaction guarantees on their work. This is especially important if you install costly floorings, like hardwood or natural stone tiles.
If the flooring contractor does offer a warranty, ask questions so you’re clear on what the warranty entails; you don’t want to make assumptions that can cost you in the long run.
Questions to Ask Prospective Flooring Contractors
When you’re “interviewing” prospective flooring contractors for the job, try asking a few of these questions to determine whether they’ll be right for your renovation.
- Do you specialize in all flooring materials, including hardwood?
- How do you calculate your prices?
- Do I need to move the furniture, or will you?
- Does your price include material costs?
Writing down your questions in advance of the consultation or call can help ensure you get the answers you need without becoming overwhelmed or distracted.
Final Thoughts on Finding a Flooring Contractor
Finding a good flooring contractor isn’t as simple as making a quick call. You want to ensure that you trust them and that they have your best interests at heart. If some research into the flooring contractor reveals five-star reviews and you feel confident after speaking with them, trust your instincts that this flooring contractor is the real deal and may be the right fit for you.
The Brothers Flooring is HomeStars verified with a rating of 99%, and we’re also the recipient of the “Best of Award” Winner at HomeStars from 2019 to present.
We also offer free consultations, and with 20+ years of experience, we’re confident that we can help you with all your flooring needs! So, if you’re in the market for a flooring contractor, don’t hesitate to call us for a free quote or consultation.