Proper installation is essential to creating a flawless floor that will stand the test of time, so finding a quality hardwood flooring contractor is important.
Before speaking with potential contractors, take the time to educate yourself about the types of hardwood flooring and the installation process. Arming yourself with some basic knowledge will help you discuss your options with the contractor and ask relevant questions that will help you make a smart hiring decision. Topics to research include the different types of hardwood floors, subflooring, underlayment, and the four installation methods: nail down, staple down, glue down and floating.
Finding A Contractor
Big Box stores often have a list of recommended installers, but be aware that these contractors may not be skilled in all types of flooring or specialty work. Local carpet and flooring stores may also be able to handle the installation, but they probably will not guarantee their work on materials that are not purchased from them. Another way to find a reputable flooring contractor is to check out our list of quality floor covering installers.
Now that you have a list of potential contractors you can begin the interview process. Some important questions to ask and areas to cover:
- Are you insured?
- Do you have pictures of your work?
- If you would like inlays, patterns or other specialty work, ask the contractor about his experience with this type of work.
- Do they have the proper tools? A moisture meter is a must-have; if they don't own one then find a different contractor.
- Ask for references and check them.
- Have the contractor measure the room or rooms where you are installing hardwood and provide a quote. Get at least three quotes and make sure you understand exactly what it includes.
- How will they handle cleanup?
Scope of Work
There are a few items that you should be aware of before work begins. Trim, baseboards and moldings may need to be removed during installation, which can cause damage. In most cases you will be responsible for any touch up painting or repair required.
It is possible that your closet or room doors will not clear the newly installed floors. As with trim and baseboards, correcting any problems will be your responsibility. Inquire about the installer's policy — some will shave down doors for clearance but may charge an additional fee. If the contractor does not perform this type of work you will need to hire a carpenter to make any adjustments.