floor covering and design...with a fuzzy side

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Flooring nightmares and how to avoid them

flooring installers, flooring installations, flooring

Prevention is the best medicine

Tips to avoid losing time and money

1. Purchase your flooring from a reputable dealer.  As tempting as it may be to buy that amazing hardwood floor from your sister’s boyfriend’s neighbor, Jed, chances are, if an issue comes up with the flooring, good ol’ Jed isn’t going to stand by his product.  A reputable dealer will have a system in place in the event a manufacturing or installation problem comes up.

2. Avoid the Big Box store bait and switch.  Let’s face it.  Many of the Big Box stores haven’t been around as long as your local floor covering businesses. (Bob Wagner's has been in business in our local community for 39 years)  Most of these multi-generational local businesses have had the same installation crews for years (sometimes decades). Big Box stores also have a tendency to have high turnover among their installation crews.  Many Big Box stores sell the product, ‘recommend’ an installation crew and wipe their hands as they leave you at the mercy of their installers. It doesn’t hurt to ask your salesperson who they, among their installation crews, would have in their home.

3. Background check, please! As a consumer, you have every right to ask that anyone entering your home undergo a criminal background check.  Tip: Make sure that not only the lead installer is background checked but all of his helpers as well.  You want to be certain that every person who steps foot in your house undergoes the same level of  scrutiny when it comes to criminal background checks.

A nice looking outside corner baseboard joint.
4. If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.  Most of us like to keep an eye on projects as they progress -especially when we’re talking about projects in our own home.  If you spot something a little off. For example, the carpet doesn’t look the same color as the sample you selected. Tell the installers to stop immediately and get it checked out.  It is much easier to fix a problem BEFORE it is installed in your home and all of your valuables have been put back into that room. Keep an eye out for corner-cutting as well.  Speak up! Poor workmanship should never be accepted.  You should never be able to see the edge of your hardwood flooring peeking out from beneath your baseboard.  All your doors should easily close.  The inside and outside corners where the baseboards come together should be clean and sharp. 

5. OVER communicate.  Know the process.  Ask your salesperson how it will go down.  How long it will take, how many people it will take, what you need to do in your home to prepare.  If it is a dusty job, make sure the installers will put up plastic to avoid covering the entire house with dust.  When the installers get there, go over it again.  Make sure their process matches what the salesperson described.  Verify no steps are missing.  If you're buying hardwood, ask what you should expect with seasonal temperature changes with regard to expansion and contraction.  If anything doesn't seem right, contact your salesperson immediately.