When you invest in quality hardwood flooring, it can enhance your home for years to come. With this type of long-term investment, you want to make sure you have it properly installed. When you know what to look for and what to expect from a hardwood installer, you’re on the right track to selecting the right contractor for your floors. Here’s everything you need to know about finding a hardwood flooring installer for your home.
Purchasing Hardwood Flooring
The first step is to find and purchase your hardwood flooring. High quality, beautiful hardwood floors can add charm and character to any home. The fine craftsmanship and lasting durability of hardwood flooring provide an unparalleled beauty that’s one of a kind. You can choose from many different types of wood and styles of flooring for your home.
Once you’ve chosen your ideal flooring, you will need to find a qualified installer. Many flooring manufacturers do not provide their own installation. Installing flooring may seem easy enough to do yourself, but an experienced flooring installer has specialized tools and the knowledge to give you the seamless look you want.
What to Know Before Searching for a Flooring Installer
Before you search for flooring installers, it’s important to understand the process of flooring installation. Hardwood flooring installation has four stages:
- Size estimate: In this first stage, a representative will come to your house and measure the floors using special tools like a rolling wheel measuring device. With these measurements, the representative will come up with square footage for the home or the rooms getting the new flooring. The representative’s measurements may be a little larger than your own measurements because they take into account the extra wood needed after cutting the exact sizes for the floor pieces.
- Price estimate: Next, you’ll get an estimate for the cost to install. This could happen at that first visit or during a phone call later. You may be asked to sign a contract if you accept the price estimate.
- Delivery and acclimation: After you’ve accepted an installer, they will deliver the flooring to your home. This should happen at least seven to ten days before the actual installation because the wood will need to acclimate to the temperature and humidity levels of your home. Temperature and humidity should remain steady throughout acclimation and installation.
- Installation: Once the wood has acclimated properly, it’s finally time to install. Usually, the installers will arrive early in the morning, set up all their equipment and install your new flooring. The work should be quick and efficient. Depending on the number and size of the rooms you are having done, the work could be finished by the end of the day. Or it could take multiple days to complete.
Each installer may handle the details of installation a bit differently. Accordingly, as you’re searching for the right flooring installer, you’ll want to keep these factors in mind:
- Furniture: Find out if you need to move all your furnishings yourself or if the installer handles this.
- Dust and debris: Some installers do all the cutting outside to minimize dust, while others bring the equipment inside and some even have dust containment systems. Know what to expect and where they will be setting up tools and equipment. Ask if they seal off rooms with plastic sheeting, too.
- Baseboards: There are a few different ways installers handle baseboards, and you’ll want to know if you have options and what to expect. Baseboards could be removed and then re-installed, flooring may be installed underneath existing baseboards or a new trim could be installed where the flooring and baseboards meet.
- Certifications: Find out what certifications your contractor holds. Many hardwood flooring manufacturers prefer or require installation from a professional certified by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). Are they bonded and insured, and do they have a business license? Do they provide warranties on their work?
- Payment schedule: Generally, you’ll be expected to make a down payment to schedule the work, another payment when the materials are delivered and a final payment after the work is complete. Find out the exact policies of your contractors.
Choosing a Hardwood Floor Installer
Hardwood floor installers are often small businesses, and they might be hard to find depending on your area. Try the following resources to find a good flooring installer:
- Neighbors and friends: If any of your neighbors or friends in the area have recently had hardwood flooring installed, ask who their installer was. Make sure they were satisfied with the work.
- Online: Look for online listings of local contractors. Check for certifications on their website and good reviews on online platforms.
- Store or flooring manufacturer: The place where you bought your flooring likely has a contact list of preferred contractors they can share with you.
Don’t be afraid to contact more than one flooring installer and get estimates from several. When you meet with each contractor, ask for their references and sample photos of previous work they’ve done. You can also ask for proof of insurance and business certifications. Also ask what kind of sealer and finish will be uses as you will want the best quality for durability. If you get several estimates, you may be able to create a competitive situation to your benefit. Choose the hardwood flooring installer you like the best and that gives you the best value for the job.
When you’ve chosen an installer for the job, you’ll want to clarify the terms and details and get everything in writing. Make sure you understand and approve of the details for the job and agree on the cost and payment schedule. Find out what the contractor’s schedule is like and how long you may have to wait to get your work done. Make sure you do a walkthrough inspection, and you are satisfied with the completed installation before handing over the final payment for the job.
Hardwood Flooring From Superior Hardwoods of Montana
Superior Hardwoods of Montana is proud to offer some of the highest quality hardwood floors that are expertly crafted and beautifully finished. Choose from a wide variety of woods, styles and finishes to match the style and decor of your home.
The experts at Superior Hardwoods of Montana can help you find the perfect flooring for your home or business, ideally matched to your style. We maintain a list of preferred, trusted flooring installers local to the Montana area, so if you are nearby, we can help you find a great hardwood flooring installer. Contact us with any questions or to get started finding the right flooring today.