Installing carpet involves some intricate procedures, including accurate measurement of floor area, precise trimming of padding and carpet, use of delicate cutting and nailing tools, and application of flooring adhesive that may be toxic. While wrong calculations will only cost you buying more rolls of carpet, mishandling of tools and adhesives has serious health implications. Cuts and lacerations account for 30 percent of injuries resulting from equipment mishandling, 70 percent of these injuries involve amputation and other forms of disabilities to the hand or finger. While exposure to harmful substances like adhesives may result in skin burns or respiratory irritations. Also carpet installation frequently results in serious knee injuries. Considering the risk of these hazards and the associated financial implications, it is a smart choice to leave your carpet installation to a professional near you.
When looking to hire a near-me professional installer for your home carpet installation, be careful not to hire an unqualified person by asking the following questions:
Are You a Licensed Carpet Installer?
Depending on the state, your carpet layer may be holding a state or local general contractor or home improvement license. States like New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania do not provide state-level licenses. In states like California and Virginia, your carpet layer may be holding the specialty flooring contractor license. To confirm the licensure requirements for carpet installers in your area, contact the local licensing authority or consumer protection agency office near you. Therefore, request to see a copy of your carpet installation contractor license. You can verify the status of the license by contacting the licensing board.
Are You Bonded and Insured?
Before you hire a carpet installer, make sure to request proof of a surety bond and business liability insurance. In 2018, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that carpet installers suffered 940 non-fatal occupational injuries. Similarly, the Bureau recorded 780 of such injuries in 2019. This trend informs the need for contractors to have a financial cover against unforeseen occupational accidents.
On the other hand, the carpet installation project may fail or remain uncompleted for several reasons including contractor's bankruptcy. In such an event, the bonding firm steps in to remedy the situation by paying for the completion of the job or reimbursing you for the liability. If the installer you hired does not hold a surety bond, you will bear the financial burden to complete the installation, when they fail.
Never assume that a carpet installer is bonded and insured by mere papers. Endeavor to contact the insurance and surety bond companies to confirm that they are valid.
What Kind of Carpet Installation Work Are You Specialized In?
It is not enough to hire any professional carpet installer near you for a carpet laying job. Make sure to inquire about specialization, especially regarding the kinds of carpets they are familiar with, and install with ease. Typically, each type of carpet fiber comes with varying features. These include:
- Wool - It is durable and an eco-friendly carpet. Wool carpets are equally resistant to stains.
- Acrylic - It is common and mostly used as a low-priced alternative to wool.
- Nylon - Nylon carpets are deficient at resisting stains but are widely used.
- Olefin - It is the best option for outdoor and basement installations because it can resist mold, moisture, and mildew.
Carpets have different installation methods. Probe your prospective installer to ascertain that they have previously worked with the type of carpet you intend to lay in your home before hiring them. Generally, carpets are installed in one of three ways, including stretch in, glue down, and cut to fit.
Stretch in carpet installation is done by nailing tackless strips (strips of wood) to the part of the floor around the corners of the home that requires carpet flooring. Once done, the carpet is pinned to the tackless strips and then stretched across other parts of the apartment that need flooring. In the glue-down carpet installation method, the carpet can be glued to a pad that is itself glued to the floor. It can also be directly glued to the floor that requires flooring. For cut-to-fit carpet installation, the carpet is cut to fit into the apartment floor. It is then laid loosely on either a pad or directly on the floor. Ensure your carpet installer has a good understanding of the installation method you want before you hire them.
Who Will Do the Work?
Before you hire a carpet installation contractor nearby, it is good to ask questions about who will do the installation. There are instances where a carpet installer will get an installation contract but will not be physically present on site. A project manager other than the person you have been talking to may be deployed or a subcontractor. It is vital to know the details of the workers that will be involved in the installation and ascertain their insurance status.
Also, inquire about the number of persons that will be on the site and possibly get to know each person's role during installation. Obtain proof that each worker is covered by the contractor's bond and insurance before signing off on the paperwork. If they are not, consider hiring another carpet installer near you who will meet this condition.
Do You Offer Warranty?
Hire a carpet installer who is experienced, understands industry standards, and willing to extend a warranty. A warranty is a covenant issued by a service provider assuring a client of quality work. It also states their readiness to fix any issue that may arise during the warranty period. In carpet flooring, an installation warranty typically covers all errors during the original installation and defects discovered during the warranty period. Although most installers will orally guarantee their jobs, you should insist on getting a written warranty. Read through and ensure to understand all its terms and conditions. Typically, a warranty will be voided if the product is misused. Note that a professional carpet installer near you who will execute a quality job will not hesitate to offer an installation warranty.
Will This Job Require a Permit?
A permit ensures that a building project, regardless of scope, complies with the safety protocol stipulated by the state, county, or municipality. Permits are required for remodeling and some types of home renovations. Carpet installation is a home improvement project that generally does not require a permit. However, make sure to find out from your local building authority if you are confused about whether or not your state requires a permit for carpet installation.
Will You Provide References?
Getting reviews from your prospective carpet installer's previous clients is a foolproof way of knowing whether they are competent or not. It is acceptable to request your contractor to provide you with a list of their previous carpet installation projects. You can equally ask to see photos from their past projects. A reference list must contain the names of the clients, addresses, and phone numbers. You may request references living near you. When provided, call each of them and ask if they have complaints about the carpet installations done by your prospective installer. However, note that you cannot be sure if the references provided are truly past clients. Doing an independent evaluation might help out. Search for customers' reviews on the internet about the service provided by your carpet installer from websites such as Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and Houzz.
Do You Have a Business License?
You should hire a carpet installer with a valid business license. Carpet installation belongs to a category of the 31.7 million registered small businesses in the United States in 2020. Almost every vocation requires a specific type of business license to operate legitimately in the state where they conduct business. Some states have a mandatory business license for all types of business, while most require local business licenses issued at the counties and cities.
The requirement for obtaining a business license differs by state, but generally, business licenses require renewals after a while. The validity period is determined by the type of business and the issuing authority. You should always hire a carpet installer with a valid business license, as it is proof of the government's permission to operate in your locality. You can verify the validity of your carpet installer by contacting your local licensing department office near you.
What are Common Carpet Installation Problems?
You can avoid common carpet installation problems by hiring a professional carpet installer. Some carpet installation problems manifest days or weeks after installation, while most emerge months or years after. The following are some common carpet installation problems:
- Carpet Shedding - The shedding of carpets is normal during installations and maybe a few weeks after fittings. It, however, becomes abnormal if after two months you still experience it. You can avoid this by telling your carpet installer to purchase a non-shedding carpet for your home installations.
- Carpet Buckling - Buckling wrecks carpets more quickly. It is usually a result of wrong padding or inadequate pads laid on the ground. It could also be caused by moisture under the floor. Using the right padding the appropriate way at installation can check this problem.
- Carpet Matting - Matting happens when a carpet that was once fluffy flattens and loses its shape. It is usually a consequence of wrong vacuuming and a high level of foot stamping. It may be prevented by hiring a professional to wash and vacuum your carpet whenever the need arises. Installing high quality will fix this problem if buckling was a result of high foot traffic.
- Carpet Raveling - If the cut edges of a carpet are not sealed during installation, it can lead to an edge ravel and spread to other parts of the carpet.
- Carpet Bubbling - Bubbling is common with carpet floorings that are not well stretched before installation.
How Much Does Carpet Installation Cost?
Carpet installation cost largely depends on the cost of the materials. Generally, the average cost of carpet materials ranges between $2 to $7 per square foot with a wide range of $1 to $20 per square foot. The cost of a carpet material depends on its grade and material type. Labor cost for carpet installation ranges between $0.50 and $1 per square foot.
The cost of a low-grade carpet material is between $1 to $3 per square foot, while mid-grade is between $3 to $7. High-grade carpet materials sell for between $5 to $20 per square foot. The following is a list of carpet cost by materials per square foot:
The following is the cost per square foot by carpet types:
What are the Factors that Affect the Cost of Carpet Installation?
Besides the prices of carpet materials, the following are some of the factors that affect the cost of carpet Installation:
- Room shape - Irregular-shaped edges on the floor require extra effort when installing a carpet, thereby increasing labor cost.
- Type of Pad - The prices of pads push up the entire carpet installation costs. Some pad types are quite expensive but last longer than the cheaper ones.
- The number of rooms - Typically, the number of rooms you intend to lay carpets will increase the number per square foot of materials, and of course, labor cost.
- Stairways - If your apartment carpet installation includes the stairs, you will pay more for labor. Stairs generally require accurate cutting during carpet installation.
- Floor Preparation - This adds to the total cost of carpet installation. However, this cost varies and depends on the project size.
What Qualifications Should a Carpet Installer Have?
There is no mandatory formal degree qualification for carpet installers, but a high school diploma is generally recommended. Chief of a carpet installer's training is acquired on the job through an apprenticeship. A carpet installer must be physically strong to lift heavy carpet rolls and possess the stamina to kneel for long periods. A professional carpet installer should equally have a good knowledge of basic mathematics for taking measurements during installations. Taking a safety course provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also a good idea. A carpet installer who desires to improve their knowledge can obtain certification from the Certified Flooring Installers (CFI).
Do I Need a Handyman or a Carpet Installer?
Handymen have no specific specialization. They do all kinds of jobs that come their way but will not handle your carpet installation nicely as would a professional carpet installer. Professional carpet installers have been thoroughly trained on carpet laying and can use all carpet installation tools better than handymen. A carpet installer near you can advise you on the best carpet material to install in your home and still provide you with carpet management tips after installation. A handyman will not do this since they are not trained for a carpet installation job. Additionally, a professional carpet installer knows how to take the necessary safety precautions during installations.
What are the Common Carpet Installation Repair Expenses?
Common problems requiring repairs after carpet installation include the following:
You can avoid most repair expenses after your carpet installation by taking proper care of the carpet. If your carpet becomes excessively damaged by any of these, spending money on repairs might be worthless. It is better to replace it in this instance using the service of a professional carpet installer nearby.
Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Carpet Installation Problems?
Your carpet damages may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Typically, your purchased insurance policy is what determines if homeowners insurance covers an event of carpet damage. When there is carpet damage, your insurance company will review and decide whether your policy covers the damage or not. Between 2014 and 2018, 5.6% of insured homes had a claim. Generally, homeowners insurance does not cover carpet damage resulting from seepage. Similarly, homeowners insurance does not cover carpet damage as a result of a flood, but flood insurance does. The approach of insurance companies in remedying carpets damages depends on many factors, including the damage extent. They either decide to wash or replace your carpet where necessary.
Can I Use Digital Payment to Pay For Carpet Installation Services?
Yes. Many carpet installers now accept digital payments such as credit card, Square Cash, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Venmo for their services. However, make sure to obtain your carpet installer's consent and reach an agreement on this before initiating a digital payment transaction.