So, you’ve found the perfect hardwood flooring for your home. Once you’ve got your budget in mind, it’s time to start hunting for the workers who will turn your ideas into reality.
But, like with anything, flooring contractors come in categories; mostly Good or Bad. Bad contractors will lure you win with cheap prices and promises of experience but could leave you with a treasure trove of other expensive problems.
For that reason, it’s important to make sure you have the right company for the job. Here are 4 things you should look for in your next flooring contractor.
Their quote is detailed and put in writing
You never want to miss a spot, especially with pricing. Good contractors will always make sure you’re aware of what they’ll be doing and how much it’s going to cost you. Keeping things kosher is a great sign for any contractor, especially ones who will be working on your house. Unexpected problems can always arise in construction, so a good contractor will also walk you through any and all externalities.
Details you should ask for include:
- The cost of preparation;
- Information about the flooring;
- Overall impact on your home;
- Each step in the installation process;
- A legally-binding contract.
They take the time to prepare your hardwood
Hardwood can have a few things to watch out for if you’re not careful, especially swelling and moisture. Good contractors will always gauge your flooring to make sure it isn’t swollen or brittle prior to installation. In addition, they’ll make sure the wood has acclimated to your home before the first plank hits the ground.
Wood that isn’t acclimated to your home before it’s installed could create huge problems later down the road, such as loose planks or cracking. Doing this right usually requires keeping the wood in your home for a good amount of time, or keeping it in a warehouse with identical conditions. For this reason, it’s better to begin your flooring after the rest of the home is mostly built and all the doors and windows are installed.
They make sure the subfloor is intact
Your sub-floor can be just as important as what goes over it. Before even the first plank is nailed down, the surface beneath it must be perfectly clean and dry. Your contractor should also make sure it’s even and content with the smooth and sturdiness of it.
If the sub-floor isn’t professionally cleaned and prepared, unexpected moisture or debris could hinder installation. In fact, excess moisture will become trapped between your floor and the sub-floor, creating ideal environments for moss or fungus. This is something to look out for, especially in areas with high humidity.
They lay everything out first
Not just the planning, but also the physical wood planks. Your contractor should place all the planks in place before a single nail goes into your home. If they arrive on the day of installation and simply start nailing things in within the first five minutes, that’s a problem.
Good installers are prepared, meaning they lay out the whole floor to make sure that everything will fit as intended. The fact is that not every room in every house is perfect in its dimensions, and not every wood plank is identical. That doesn’t even account for all the not-square areas in your home.
A good contractor will take their time making sure all the dimensions are correct and scrutinize over the most minute details. Anything less could result in half the floor getting installed before realizing that the other half won’t fit right.