Installing flooring is a specialised job. In New Zealand we have a low DIY market when it comes to flooring. When you purchase flooring, in the majority of instances, it will be installed for you.
Most flooring retail shops will arrange for your flooring to be installed as part of their contract with you. They will either have their own waged installing staff or use the services of a sub-contractor to provide this service for you. You can ask your retailer about who will install your job.
What questions should you ask when choosing an Flooring installer?
How long have they been in the industry?
While not a true indicator of skill, it will provide the you evidence of a reasonable record of performance over a period of time by the installer you are going to use.
What have other customers said about their work?
Ask for references. Talk to friends, neighbours and family about flooring jobs they have had done. Who did they get to do the job? What was the experience like and were they happy with their dealings with the retailer? Were they satisfied with the how the product was installed?
What experience do they have with the type of flooring product you have chosen?
With so many new products coming onto the market you need to find out how much experience your installer has with your chosen product. You could ask for evidence of jobs they have completed in this product in the past.
Do they know and understand the Industry Standards that relate to installing your flooring?
If your installer can’t provide you with verbal evidence that they know what the current NZ/AUS standards are that they should be installing your product to, how confident can you be in their abilities? If no Industry Standard applies, do they know and understand the manufacturer’s instructions for the installation of your product?
Do they attend industry training opportunities and manufacturers’ training days to up-skill themselves?
The industry provides many opportunities for installers to develop themselves professionally. Has the installer you have chosen taken advantage of these opportunities?
Are they qualified?
Qualifications in flooring installation have always existed in New Zealand. Before 1999 the qualification that existed was Trade Certificate – Linoleum & Carpet Planning. Since then it has been the National Certificate in Flooring. Contrary to popular belief, apprenticeships in the flooring industry have always existed. Also since 1999 anyone who hasn’t done a formal apprenticeship but is installing flooring in New Zealand has had the opportunity to gain their qualification if they want to. Having a qualification shows that the person has met the minimum industry standard and they should be able to prove that they understand the requirements and standards that apply to installing flooring products in NZ. But just having a qualification is not the only indicator of their level of skill. All the above factors need to be taken into consideration.