Floor installation is a big job and should be handled by the best you can find.
The floor, foundation, and roof are the three structural things you should never skimp on.
If you hire the wrong contractor and it’s done in a shoddy manner, you’ll be paying a fortune, in the long run, to repair the work and then have it done the right way.
How Much To Tip A Floor Installer?
You can tip a floor installer between $10 and $30 per day if you decide that they’ve done an exceptional job.
Tipping a floor installer is not customary.
It’s a service, yes, but not a service industry profession like the wait staff at a restaurant.
They don’t expect to be tipped and there’s no universal standard amount to tip a floor installer even if you wanted to.
We can, however, go according to what customers and installers have reported, and that’s the aforementioned amount.
There are some points that could affect your decision to tip a floor installer.
First, it’s perfectly normal and acceptable for you to ask the company about their tipping policy.
They do differ from company to company.
It may also depend on whether or not it’s a chain company or private and the size of the company.
Some companies use different independent contractors and won’t have any control over the tipping process.
You don’t want to contribute to a worker getting reprimanded or fired, so asking the foreman, manager, or company owner is suggested.
What you should know about floor installers is they are skilled workers.
The training they receive is most often formal vocational training and should be treated with the same respect.
Training is not the most important aspect when it comes to tipping.
If they did an exceptional job, cleaned up afterward beyond what is expected, then go for it and tip them.
From our research, 10% for the group of installers is a good figure.
However, do the math and recognize that, if it’s a large job, 10% can really put a dent in your pocket.
How To Hire A Good Floor Installer
It’s only logical that if you’re going to hire a good floor installer, you want one that’s worth tipping in the first place.
Let’s look at what it takes to hire the best floor installation professional that you can.
Only you know your budget, but it doesn’t have to cost three times what you can afford to get it done correctly.
Yes, you get what you pay for, but there’s also a lot of myth around paying high prices guaranteeing the best.
It’s just not true.
Research, that’s what gets you the best, and today, the internet allows you no excuse.
- Start at the store: Where did you buy your flooring? If they have an installation crew, then you may want to check their reviews and hire them. If they don’t, they surely have a recommendation list. We think this is a safe enough list since they are who you’ll come back to if the installer is no good.
- Neighborhood apps and word of mouth: There are neighborhood apps where the neighbors you do or don’t know will recommend installers who worked for them. Otherwise, word of mouth around town with friends and family will work just fine. In fact, some people post images of the work done on the app, and you can see the work done in real time with friends and neighbors. Do a walkthrough and ask them questions. Maybe the company will give you a break if they know the customer who referred you.
- Beware of Lead Services: There are websites like HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List (now known as Angi) that will recommend a floor installation service to you free of any fees. The companies pay for that, and that’s why you need to be careful. These lead companies don’t screen the workers. There’s no guarantee of quality, and they are absolved of any responsibility should something go wrong.
What’s Included In the Installation Quote?
The installation quote is important.
It’s the document that most people get a real surprise with after the work is done.
Most don’t understand what needs to be outlined.
A floor installation quote is much more than a round price for materials and labor.
Here are some of the details you should be looking for before making the final agreement.
- The Former Floor: What will they do with that? Will they remove it and include the disposal? Find out what type of material they dispose of that may suddenly cost extra. You don’t want anyone telling you they didn’t know your floor or underfloor was a material that costs more to dump.
- Condition of Subflooring: The subflooring, or underfloor/underlay as it may be called, is the integrity of your floor. Ask them the process for the removal, repair, or replacement of the subflooring. If it’s not a good subfloor, the new floor will not last, costing you bundles in the future.
- Floor Trim and Moldings: Each floor is different and will have moldings or some kind of trim. They were put in after the original flooring and will have to be removed in order for the floor to be installed correctly most of the time.
The trim or moldings are not included in the regular price unless the installers specify such in the quote.
You don’t want to find out later that there’s extra money added to the final amount because they had to replace or fix the old molding.
Have a decent discussion about that.
- Supply Surplus Charge: Understand the supplies you are paying for. Find out how they calculate the charge. Are you paying for the surplus from the job so they can take it to another job or sell it? This is not your responsibility, and you shouldn’t be paying for it. Make sure you understand if they are calculating square footage or by the room.
Get it via square footage and know the exact measurements of your home.
This knowledge will help you save money for many future projects.
- Installation Extras: One thing that may become an extra is something that most people think is included. The floor is finished as an extra service in some cases. Yes, carpet, tile, or whatever floor covering you prefer is not always included, so make sure that your great deal doesn’t mean you ordered an unfinished floor. Some people want an unfinished, raw wood floor for various reasons, but if that’s not what you intended, then be sure to get it in writing.
What Licenses Does A Floor Installer Need?
Why should you worry about their licensing and education?
If they don’t have the right licensure for your state, you could have a serious expense pending in the future.
Would you hire your neighbor that’s a handy person to install a floor?
We hope not, but that’s the same as hiring an unlicensed floor installer.
The difference is you know where your neighbor lives and can handle a bad mess-up.
You don’t, however, know how to find a rogue floor installer who has no business and trade license.
Here’s what you need to be looking for.
- Incorporation: The number one thing that most don’t look for is a business license. It’s assumed, maybe for a large company or chain, but also for independent contractors with private companies that must have a business license. More specifically, you want them to have an incorporation, not a sole proprietorship nor an LLC, which is limited liability, and you don’t want that.
- Insurance: The proper insurance should also be secured by the company, including all the liability and workman’s compensation insurance for each worker. You need to see that before anyone comes onto your property to work. If someone staples themselves to your floor or falls and hurts themselves, you may be stuck paying for it.
- Check Your State Requirements: Each state and even each county may have different licensing requirements. As the property owner, you also need to check with what you need to be posted on your door while any work is taking place. If you belong to a condominium or your house is in an HOA (homeowners’ association) or deed restricted property, you may have certain days and hours when you can have the work done.
What Questions Should I Ask The Floor Installers?
There are questions that should be answered prior to any work taking place.
There are different questions for each phase of the work.
Communication starts from the moment you call them for the estimate and doesn’t end until work ends—not begins.
Each phase should be communicated to you at the beginning, and if there are any changes during the work, you need to know and approve changes prior to any new movements being executed.
Remember, you are the one who will have to pay for extra work.
It’s hard to fight it afterward because, after all, are you going to remove the floor?
Phase One Questions
Phase one is the phone call for the appointment.
- Do you give a free written estimate?
- Are you licensed for the state, county, etc.?
- Do you provide insurance for your workers including workman’s comp?
- Do you use contractors, or are they employees?
- Do you charge per square foot or per room?
Phase Two Questions
Phase two questions are what you ask while the work is taking place.
- Is there a foreman on site that I’ll have access to?
- How many days will this take?
- What time of day will you work?
- When do you expect to be done?
- Who will alert me of any changes that may be made during the process?
- Do you need to remove or replace any molding or fixtures prior to working?
Other questions may come up since everyone’s floor installation process is different.
Make sure you get your answers in writing.
If the foreman is off-site some of the time, don’t ask a worker.
Ask if you can text the foreman.
This way, you have a record.
When Not To Tip A Flooring Installer
Finally, you need to know when to not tip a flooring installer.
There are many reasons you would opt to not tip an installer.
Some companies don’t allow it, and it may be way too much for you to afford even 10% of a job that’s too expensive.
Some companies will include the upcharge which isn’t good because, after all, you don’t know how well the job will be done.
You have the right to contest that if they want your business.
The bottom line on tipping is this: Do it if it feels right—period.
What Else Can You Do Instead Of Tipping A Floor Installer?
There are things you can do apart from tipping a floor installer that actually has more value or just as much.
Today, the internet can make or break a company.
Just ask them where to leave a sparkling review!
That will give them more money via more clients in no time.