Tips For Selecting An Installer
The creation of a new or renovated bathroom, kitchen, living, alfresco or any other area with tiles, laminates or hybrid flooring is a very satisfying experience. To ensure that your project runs smoothly and to your satisfaction, it will often require the skills and experience of a professional tradesperson.
As registration, accreditation or endorsement of tilers and flooring contractors is not compulsory in all states in Australia, it is important that you understand the process and choose your installer carefully.
The following steps should be of assistance:
Ask For A Written Quotation
It is very important for you to know the scope of the work and the cost involved. A written quotation demonstrates that both parties understand what needs to be done to achieve an excellent job. The more detail in the quote, the better, as it assists avoid disputes at a later date.
You should agree on the price prior to any work starting. Ask the installer for their references, whether they are qualified and their trade experience.
Obtain 2 or 3 quotations. This will give a realistic idea of how much the installation should cost. Remember that price is not the only criteria and that you may only get what you pay for.
A reputable tradesperson will always allow you to make contact with 2 or 3 of their recent customers so that you can make enquires about the quality of their work and their conduct on the job.
Ask Yourself These Questions
- Was the tradesperson easily contactable?
- Did they arrive on time?
- Do they appear content to do the job?
- Do they appear to have time to do the job?
- Was the quotation delivered on time, fairly priced and did it cover all work required?
- Have they returned my calls?
- Am I comfortable with this person to handle my project?
If Your Project Includes Tiling, Ask These Questions
- Ask the tiler if they have previously installed the size or type of tiles that you are considering as different products require different installation techniques and skills.
- Discuss with them the size of the grout join and the pattern of the install, particularly if you have rectified tiles. Refer to What you need to know about large format, rectified and non-rectified tiles where we discuss grout joins and installation patterns.
- For large format tile installations, your substrate will most likely require some sort of re-levelling. This can be prior to the install with a levelling compound, or sand and cement screed. Alternatively, for moderate undulation, the levelling can be achieved as-you-go by applying more glue at the lower points, back buttering the tiles and using leveling clips.
- Discuss clean-up process post-installation and refer to How do I care for my tiles.
If Your Project Includes Laminates or Hybrid Flooring, Ask These Questions
- Ask the installer if they have previously installed laminate flooring or hybrid flooring as these products require different installation techniques.
- Ask your installer if your floor requires any special preparation or re-levelling.
- Will they install the skirting or beading to cover the gap between the wall and the flooring.
- If they are installing the skirting or beading is this included in the installation cost or charged as an additional service.
- Ask if there are any additional floor or expansion trims that are required.
Look At The Complete Picture
Price is not everything. The lowest price could mean poor workmanship, but the most expensive price does not necessarily guarantee the best workmanship either. Remember that workmanship includes presentation, minimal amount of inconvenience, cleanliness and overall professionalism.
If the quotation is fair, the references are good, the timing is suitable and you feel comfortable that the tradesperson understands what you are trying to achieve, then choosing the right qualified installer for your project should be well achievable.
Once you have selected your trades for your project you might find our tips for managing your tiling and flooring projects helpful.