Top Tips for Hiring a Flooring Professional
By Mark Bouquet Jr.,
The flooring industry is a large industry nation-wide and even internationally. Most brands (like Shaw Flooring, Armstrong Flooring, etc) serve people all over the world while working with local showrooms to deliver products to homeowners.
Not all flooring businesses or home improvement stores are created equal. Brands often offer products with different levels of quality under one product name. On top of that, you can buy flooring from different vendors with different levels of knowledge and professional services.
I grew up (literally) in the carpet and flooring business. My family owns Creative Carpet & Flooring the Mokena, IL, and Highland, IN area. I started installing carpet and now I head up business operations. You can read more about my family on our team page. We've seen plenty of changes in the industry over the years and have a sense of responsibility to help people get the flooring that is right for them.
We recommend finding a flooring professional that focuses on quality products and is good for you to work with in order to bring the right product into your home. When you’re thinking about investing in new flooring, I encourage you to follow these four steps:
Step #1—Commit to Finding a Quality Carpet Store
Quality is the key word here! Trying to find a carpet store can be difficult. Hunting through the yellow pages or the internet can be very problematic for two reasons. First, you could wind up with a dishonest dealer. Second, it’s almost impossible for the average consumer to keep abreast of the industry.
In order for you to make the best floor covering decision, you need to find someone with quality products that you trust. Look for someone with positive reviews and strong brand vendor relationships. In other words, a dealer with whom you feel completely comfortable sharing your decorating goals and information. Plus, they have to have access to the type of products you are interested in.
Partner with a high-quality carpet store and let them help you find the right floor covering. Most carpet stores sell carpet, plus luxury vinyl tile, laminate, hardwood, and tile.
Despite advertising, you may have seen to the contrary, buying and installing floor covering is somewhat complicated. A competent flooring professional will invest in learning and studying the market, researching new floor covering technologies, and expanding their education.
A knowledgeable, experienced flooring professional will know the right questions to ask you so they can help you get the right product in your home. Plus, they will know how to find the best possible carpet and flooring for your unique situation. For example, they will help you consider installation and maintenance.
Step #2—List your objectives
Are you merely looking for “cheap” dealers, or “discount,” “Mega-Depot,” “Bargain Corral” stores, something you can find on the internet or in the yellow pages? Or do you want competent, experienced, and professional advice from the dealer you work with? Do you want to work with an honest and reputable company? Or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers the “low” price—knowing that the company might not be in business tomorrow, or may not honor their warranties?
List out the objectives that are the most important to you. So a little internet research or even stop in a showroom or two. If you get the sense that the carpet store is right for you, it's time to ask a few questions and dig deeper.
Step #3—Ask questions
The way to learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are five questions to ask any dealer before you agree to anything:
5 Questions to Ask a Carpet Store Before You Agree to ANYTHING
- Do you offer a No Regrets guarantee? If I’m not happy with the flooring will you replace it free in the first 30 days?
- Do you have a lifetime warranty on all your installations? And can I see it in writing?
- Are your installers insured? And can I see their references?
- Do you offer “Stain Proof” carpet? (Remember: there are no warranties that guarantee carpets to be “stain proof.” If the dealer says yes, they are either incompetent or dishonest. Find another dealer.)
- Can I see a list of references? (This is probably the most crucial question. Recommendations are the ONLY way you can tell ahead of time if you are working with an honest, competent dealer. If they balk or refuse, find another dealer.)
And above all, get all of these in writing.
STEP #4—Invite them into your home for an exact quotation in writing
Once you’re satisfied that you’re working with an honest, competent professional, invite him or her into your home and ask for a specific quote in writing. A written quote assures you that you know exactly what your job will cost—no surprises.
By following these four steps, you’ll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you want “cheap” price quotes—that may not be reliable—many companies in the phone book or on the internet can help you.
But if you want competent advice from an honest floor covering professional, then I invite you to call one of my very knowledgeable flooring consultants or me today! I’ll be happy to answer your questions without cost or obligation of any kind.