Most tile installers are talented, honest, hard-working, and financially responsible. However, home improvement is a major source of consumer complaints nationwide. Remember that you are the boss and your goal is to find the best match for your remodeling project. Hiring a professional installer is a great idea, but locating the right installer may not be as easy as it seems.
Here are a few things to avoid if you want to find a quality tile installer. We have also included pictures of common errors that occurred when installing tiles.
Beware of the big stores
Large home centers work with clients like you all day long, and generally don’t put their finger on the pulse of current and educated installation methods. Alternatively, go to a tile store that works with contractors, installers, architects and designers regularly as Tiles Unlimited – we have more experience working directly with qualified installers.
Do not assume that your installer is licensed and insured
Always verify that your potential installer is licensed and has current insurance. You can check if the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) licenses a home improvement contractor by clicking here. Any contractor doing home improvement work that costs more than $200 must have a DCA license to operate legally in New York City.
Make sure the company you’re considering carries general liability insurance. This is the insurance that protects is yours the home from damage or negligence of the contractor, his employees or any sub-contractors used by them. You should request a copy of their insurance certificate. Be sure to check the expiration date. It is a good idea to contact the issuing company to verify that their insurance is valid.
Make sure they have workers compensation insurance. It protects you from liability in the event that a worker is injured while on your property. Know that if a contractor does not pay for workers compensation coverage, you will be liable for any injuries to the contractor or any of its employees on your property.
Don’t forget to ask important questions
You know what they say about inquiring minds. A few good questions can help you learn a lot about potential installers. Don’t forget to ask the main questions:
- How long will the project take?
• How much tiles are needed?
• How many people will work on the project?
• Have you worked on projects like this before (oversized tiles, wooden look, intricate mosaics, etc.)
Don’t forget to learn from others
Put your ear to the ground when checking for a potential installer. Ask for testimonials and references, and find reviews online at Facebook or Yelp. Pay special attention to photo reviews so you can check out their work. Follow up with references. We also recommend that you use their business name on Google to see what information you can find before hiring them.
Do not move forward without seeing the action of the stabilizer
A picture is worth a thousand words, so ask to see pictures of work done with consideration for quality. Look closely at the clipboard and you will be able to tell the work of a good installer from a great installer.
There should be spaces between tiles and perfectly straight grout lines. Look to see that the layout is balanced and that any cut tiles are the same size even if they are on opposite sides of the room. Pay attention to windows, doors, and corners. These are the most difficult places to beat and should be a good indication of the skill level of the tile installer. Stay away if you see large gaps, a lot of grout, or any unsuitable tiles.
Don’t forget to write it
Once you have found a tile installer that meets your expectations, request a written warranty. A good installer is not afraid to guarantee their work. You wouldn’t buy a car without a warranty, would you? Never accept a verbal guarantee of “If something happens, don’t worry, I’ll fix it.” Always insist on warranty in writing. The warranty should clearly state what is covered, what is not, and the duration of the warranty. One year warranty is the minimum you should expect.
Don’t underestimate the value of professionalism
Even in this increasingly informal world of doing it yourself, professionalism is still a hallmark of excellent work. It is important that a potential installer submits this bid on time. Something as simple as sharing the installer in the community can say a lot about how your project is handled. The way they appear, talk and interact with each other all hints at the next experience for you and your project.
Avoid the tile disaster and call the specialists. With some careful study, you can find an excellent tile installer that will complement your project masterfully. At Tiles Unlimited, voted Best of LI Tile Store in the 2016 Best of LI competition, we work with tile installers and contractors every day. We know who specializes in what and are happy to make recommendations. Before entering, be sure to grab your tile discount voucher by clicking here.