7 Very Important Things To Know Before You Hire Anyone
If you’re looking for a hardwood flooring contractor in Dallas whether it’s for installation or refinishing, then perhaps I can help you.
If you would like to check out my portfolio of some of the hardwood flooring projects I have done throughout DFW over the past 15 years, go here.
Before you even think about starting your project, here are 7 things to be aware of when you’re looking for a wood flooring pro in Dallas:
Unfortunately Dallas as big as it is, is also home to a lot of scammers and shady fly by night folks whose only objective is to steal your money and run. A lot of Dallas flooring companies aren’t quite in the loop since they don’t deal with them very much but as someone who has both extensive retail and contractor experience, I know how they work. To protect yourself from these characters, use some common sense and intuition. If your gut feeling says no – don’t do it.
If they have no website, social media presence, portfolio, testimonials or any sort of proof they’ve been around for a while and know their thing; find someone who does. If they look like they’re on something, reek of alcohol or just give you a bad vibe – never transact with them.
Hardwood flooring is not something anyone can do. The contractor should have a sound understanding between different types of wood – like solid and engineered; how they are installed, how different species of wood react to temperature and humidity changes; the importance of levelling your slab and testing for moisture and a whole host of items only a pro with extensive experience should know.
They should also be able to advise you based on your home and lifestyle, the best kind of wood for you.
For example, hand scraped hardwood floors are extremely popular in Dallas so if it’s suitable for our home, then it would be recommended over smooth finish.
A legitimate hardwood flooring contractor will not take shortcuts on the wood adhesive (or anything else for that matter) because doing so will instantly void your product warranty. A lot of guys out there offering “too good to be true” deals take shortcuts with the glue and buy some cheap glue from a hardware store. That’s how they can give you such cheap installation. Manufacturer recommended and approved adhesive is significantly more expensive because of the high urethane content and if you skip this step, you’re going to have a very expensive problem sooner or later.
That, I promise you.
Don’t just look at price.
Understand what you are comparing. If you get one guy offering to do the project for $5,000.00 and the next guy says $6,500.00; don’t just go with the cheaper one. Let me explain to you why. All of us get the materials from the same suppliers so it’s not as if there’s a substantial money saving there.
Make sure it’s the same product and that it includes everything the other contractor is including. Often, they will just put “labor only” or “doesn’t include float” or any other number of items that can quickly add up as the job goes on. So if you see such a discrepancy or an alluring discount on hardwood flooring then be sure to compare apples to apples.
If anyone has been serving DFW for any number of years, they will have plenty of references for you. Ask for 10. No, you’re not going to call all 10, but if you suspect they aren’t who they say they are, then this will weed them out. Scammers may have 2-3 of their buddies in on it but they won’t be able to furnish 10.
6. Solid Vs Engineered
If you’re undecided between engineered and solid wood, have them explain to you the differences so you’re clear on what would work best for you. If they can’t, they have no business being in flooring.
Make sure you check with them what’s included in a job and what isn’t. Generally speaking, a contractor can include pretty much everything into a wood flooring project except the float/levelling as this is something that’s determined once the concrete slab is exposed. As a guide, budget between $200.00 – $600.00 for float.
This is a concrete compound used to eliminate low spots so you don’t get any unnecessary movement or noise after the installation. Having said that, I’ve done projects where float ran over $1,500.00 but this is an exception rather than the rule.
This is the most important aspect of your project which is why I’ve left it for last so it can really sink in!
There are a lot of installers out there who install wood incorrectly. For example, they don’t test the slab for moisture. They don’t acclimate the wood as specified or perhaps use incorrect trowels.
All of these elements may be undetected by you, the homeowner but problems arise later down the road because of these simple measures that a professional installer will take. A casual installer will learn how to install wood through his colleagues or perhaps they may install all types of flooring.
Specialist installers tend to focus on 1-2 floors and be really good at it. They frequently go to training classes and courses run by the largest flooring companies to keep their skills ahead of the curve.
So for example, trickier installations on certain types of steps, or around circular walls or installing it over plywood on order to level one room with another or multiple board repairs all require advanced knowledge and skills.
Be sure to find an installer that not only does all of the above well, but can effectively communicate with you so you get precisely what you’re looking for.
Finally, selecting the color of your hardwood flooring is something your contractor should be able to help you with. For example since I have done so many of these projects it’s easy to tell which colors will work in which home.
If you’re doing engineered wood flooring, then be sure to see samples of the floor in your home because showroom lighting is different than home lighting so different hues of color come through. In case you “want to see what it looks like at night” let me save you the trouble. When you’re asleep at night, all floors are black. 🙂
Look at it in the daylight a few times and understand certain products will look different from multiple angles.
Now if you’re doing custom, solid wood where you stain the floor on site, do sample stains and let them dry before looking at them. That way, it will give you a realistic representation of what you’re getting.
As for me, not only have I been in the industry for over 15 years in DFW, I frequently write product reviews and buying guides to help folks in their flooring search.
So yeah, it’s like a real passion of mine.
I hope this brief overview has been helpful to you in your wood flooring contractor search.
If you would like an in-home consultation, call, text or email me.