Flooring Contractors - Consumer Reports
Photo of a flooring professional working on a job.

Flooring Contractors

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Installing a floor is not usually a project for a novice DIYer. Materials are costly, preparation is exacting, and precise measurements are crucial. Add to that the special tools and physical requirements needed for just about any flooring job, and trust us, hiring a reputable flooring contractor is usually a wise decision. Here are a few tips on hiring the best pro for the job, whether it calls for hardwood, laminate, or linoleum.

1

Search for an installation pro based on the type of flooring you like. Some contractors may be able to skillfully install a variety of flooring types, including hardwood and laminate. Others specialize in specific materials. Ask whether they are certified by a specific flooring manufacturer. You can also ask about trade certifications they may have.

2

Buy flooring material that will be appropriate for the room where it will be installed. Ask for recommendations about what will work best in, say, a kitchen. There are new flooring products entering the market all the time, so thorough and careful research is important.

3

Ask friends, neighbors, and contractors for referrals. If possible, ask to see the work that was performed. How long a company has been in business is an indicator of expertise, but check the Better Business Bureau, social media, and other online outlets. And check licensing requirements in your state. Contractors should provide proof of insurance and be bonded.

4

Interview at least three flooring experts and get bids in writing. Make sure all bids break out specific costs of material and labor, as well as how trash will be disposed, how and when payments will be made, and how your belongings will be safeguarded during the project. A complete contract should include what is and is not included in the job. Avoid making a large down payment, and withhold the final payment, usually 10 to 15 percent, until you are satisfied with the job.

5

Qualified contractors will walk you through the process from start to finish, including removing any old flooring (if necessary), explaining which subfloor is appropriate, and how the new flooring will be installed. They will also consult with you about curing times, if necessary, and give you tips on caring for your new floors once they are installed.

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