Low maintenance and affordability continue to drive vinyl floor popularity today. Nonetheless, you cannot leave the installation of your vinyl floor to non-professionals. as temperature and humidity play a vital role in a successful installation. Generally, vinyl floor is known to be safe but it is made with some toxic chemicals that may contaminate indoor air quality at a certain temperature -10oC. Professional vinyl floorers nearby are trained to complete your installation according to industry standards to forestall such contamination. Also these contractors are skilled to help you pick contemporary vinyl material from manufacturers who have eliminated these toxins in their products.
Note, an amateur installation will leave your vinyl floor in a short time with curling, cupping, dimensional instabilities and lifting off the floor as moisture changes. This will allow mold and mildew to grow in such crevices. A certified contractor knows the right vinyl floorings that are reactive to heat and cold, expanding and contracting according to the external temperature. Hence, hiring a vinyl flooring installer near you is as much a matter of your family safety as well as saving money. To avoid giving your vinyl flooring job to an unqualified person, ensure they understand your safety concerns and make sure to ask the following questions:
Never assume any vinyl flooring contractor near you is competent without querying their licensure. Generally, flooring contractors do not require a specialized license to operate in most states in the US except for California. In California, a vinyl floor contractor is required to pass two exams, the California Law and Business Exam, and the Flooring and Floor Covering C-15 exam to obtain a license. In states, counties and cities where a license is not required to practice as a flooring contractor, a general or home improvement contractor license may be mandatory to handle a job of a minimum amount. For example, a floorer needs a state license to handle a $30,000 vinyl flooring contract in North Carolina. Make sure to verify the licensing status of a vinyl flooring contractor from your state license board or municipal licensing authority before allowing them to work on your property.
Vinyl flooring contractors suffer occupational injuries due to kneeling for long periods, exposure to dust from subfloor preparations and fumes from primers and adhesives, and skin contact with hazardous substances. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, recorded that floor layers suffered 270 and 340 nonfatal occupational injuries from these work hazards in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
As such, it is vital to ensure that a contractor is bonded and insured when giving out a vinyl flooring job. Bonds establish the trust that a contractor will complete a given job as agreed. If the contractor fails to complete the job, the bonding company will step in to pay for the finishing of the flooring. Insurance is proof that the contractor will pay for damages if held liable for property damage or bodily injury arising during their work or from a defective job. Should a vinyl flooring contractor without insurance become injured while working on your property, you could end up paying for medical treatment. You may even have to pay from your savings if your homeowner's policy cannot cover the extent of the damage.
Always request to see your vinyl flooring contractor's current certificates of general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance before hiring one. Once provided, make sure to contact the insurance company to verify its validity and confirm that its coverage is sufficient for the contract. If you are doing a repair or a major vinyl flooring project and your contractor does not have a surety bond or insurance, find another professional near you who does.
You should ascertain that the flooring contractor you are hiring is a specialist in the type of vinyl flooring project for which you are hiring them. Typically, there are various types of vinyl flooring. These include the luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), vinyl plank, vinyl sheet, woven vinyl, and vinyl tile. Each has a special installation procedure, and as such, you should hire a floorer who is familiar with working with your chosen vinyl material. Most vinyl flooring products manufacturers produce them with specific characteristics and for different applications.
If you intend to install a vinyl floor in a part of your home that is subject to moisture, the vinyl sheet is recommended. It is resistant to stains and spills. Vinyl sheets are produced as flexible, multi-layered large sheets and are mostly used in the kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. LVT is available as either flexible or rigid planks or vinyl tiles. It is usually soft to touch, easy to install, remove, and maintain. The use of LVT is widespread in offices and deluxe homes, and as such, installation should be done by floorers who specialize in LVT flooring. Be sure that your contractor is skilled in working with your choice vinyl product and is capable of handling the level of the project. Hiring a vinyl flooring contractor near you who has experience with only small apartment flooring for a massive residential building may end up poorly.
Hiring a vinyl flooring contractor does not imply the contractor you are talking to will be the one to directly execute your job. Sometimes, they assign one of their experienced floorers in the company’s service to handle the task. Probe your contractor about the number of workmen who will be working on the project. The knowledge of this can be beneficial in negotiating the contract cost. Additionally, ensure you confirm that everyone who is going to be working on the project is a specialist in vinyl flooring. Most importantly is to verify that such persons are sufficiently insured to avoid undue financial exposure in events of work-related injuries.
Request a warranty from your vinyl flooring contractor without fail and ensure they put it in writing. It is a vital part of any contract. A warranty is a binding commitment extended by a service provider or a salesperson to a client, assuring them of a fault-free service or product. Any vinyl flooring contractor near you who will execute a lasting flooring job will feel confident to give you a warranty for a specific period. Ensure to read through a warranty document to know what it covers and how long it applies to the flooring job.
A permit is an official approval issued by a government agency that authorizes the remodeling or construction of a property. Generally, in the United States, a permit is required for any project that will change the physical structure of a property. It helps to ensure the structural stability of such properties and the safety of people occupying such properties. A vinyl flooring job cannot be considered a remodeling project, and as such, typically does not require any permit. However, consult with the local building department office near you to verify your vinyl flooring project will not contravene any code.
Any vinyl flooring contractor who delivers quality jobs will be more than willing to provide references from previous projects if asked. Before hiring one, make sure to ask them to give you a list of a minimum of three references, especially from recent projects and the ones that live near you. Such references should contain the names and contact phone numbers of their previous clients. They should also provide information about the location and size of the projects. If possible, request to see photos from such projects.
You are allowed to call the previous clients to find out if they were satisfied with the type of vinyl flooring done by the contractor. However, it is natural for a contractor to provide a list of references that will speak in their favor. You can dig a little bit deeper by considering customer reviews of these contractors on local websites like Yelp or Google Reviews.
Anyone doing business in the United States is expected to obtain a business license in the location where they operate. As of 2020, there were 31.7 million registered small businesses, including vinyl flooring, in the United States. A business license is an official document that attests to your contractor having the government’s permission to practice in your locality.
Be sure that the vinyl flooring contractor you are hiring has a business license for the county, city, or state where they operate. Most businesses get their operating license from a Business Agency, Secretary of State's Office, or local government authority. However, note that some business licenses expire after a while. To clear all doubts, contact the licensing agency to confirm the validity of your vinyl flooring contractor’s business license.
Although installing vinyl flooring in your home is economical and makes your space pretty attractive, it has some common issues. Most of them are a result of improper installation. While some of the problems occur during installations, others arise after installations. During installations, the moisture level of the subfloor, if not moderated, could lead to cupping, curling, floor lifting, and dimensional stabilities. Also, vinyl products react to heat and cold, which usually pose a significant challenge during installations. You can avoid these problems by hiring a competent vinyl flooring contractor near you and ensuring regular maintenance after installations. The following are some of the prevalent vinyl flooring post-installation problems:
- Joints going apart
- Surface scratches at the time of installation or from indecent usage
- Stains and discoloration usually caused by spills
- Cracking of the subfloor and peeling of vinyl floors
- Emission of toxins
- Chipped corners on vinyl materials
The cost of vinyl flooring installation varies depending on the type of materials used, the project scope, and the contractor employed. However, the cost of labor usually outweighs the material costs. The cost of a vinyl floor material per square foot ranges from $1 to $12. Installation cost per square foot is between $2 to $14. The commonly used vinyl materials and their average prices per square foot are:
The cost of installing a vinyl floor is not limited to the materials and direct labor alone. Various other factors also impact the overall cost of the installation process. These factors must be considered when planning a vinyl flooring project, and they include:
- Vinyl material thickness - Thicker vinyl flooring materials are usually more expensive
- Removal of the previous flooring - Although it is possible to install vinyl flooring on an old floor, a professional flooring contractor will prefer to remove it, and this comes at a cost
- Removal of furniture - You will pay additional money to anyone hired to remove furniture to create a space before vinyl flooring installation. The cost depends on the weight of each piece of furniture
- Floor leveling - A level floor is needed for the best vinyl flooring installation, and you will pay additional money for this if required by your project
- Floor size - Typically, a larger space requires more labor, vinyl flooring materials, and more time for installation. All of these will impact the total installation cost
- Distance to the project site - A vinyl flooring contractor will factor in the cost of conveying vinyl flooring materials and installation tools to the job site. Hiring a contractor near you may help reduce this cost.
Although no formal education is required to become a vinyl flooring contractor, having a high school diploma is beneficial to anyone in the flooring profession. Typically, working as an apprentice and learning on the job is enough for anyone who wants to become a vinyl flooring professional. Such a person may equally undergo a formal training program at a vocational institute to acquire some technical skills. It takes between two to four years to complete most vinyl flooring apprenticeship programs. Obtaining a certification from associations such as the National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors (NICFI) and the Certified Flooring Installers (CFI) will make a vinyl flooring professional a better contractor.
If you want lasting vinyl flooring on your property, hire a professional vinyl flooring contractor. Handymen are only jacks-of-all-trades with no set skills for any job, including vinyl flooring installations. Although hiring one for your flooring project may save you some money in the immediate, expect to get a compromised quality of work. A vinyl flooring contractor has the required expertise and possibly insurance to cover any injury sustained during and after installations. A handyman can even cause severe damages to your property during a vinyl flooring installation.
Generally, vinyl is one of the easiest floors to clean and most damages to vinyl flooring are fixed by replacing the affected section. Vinyl flooring made with high-quality materials is highly durable, while those with low-quality materials often require frequent repairs. Vinyl flooring damages include scratches, cracking, and discoloration as a result of perpetual stains. The common post vinyl flooring expenses include the cost of new materials (to replace cracked ones), glues, and labor.
Yes, but this depends on the type of homeowners insurance purchased and the coverage it provides. The HO-3 and HO-5 are the most common types of homeowners policies insuring a property, including the floor from perils. Both policies do not cover damages caused by certain natural disasters such as rising water and floods. The HO-5 policy includes damages from any cause, save those particularly listed in the policy. An insurance payout only compensates the original cost of a vinyl floor less deductible and depreciation for an actual cash value policy in the case of a damaged vinyl floor. The homeowner gets a meager fund as an insurance payout in such a situation. Make sure to notify your insurance company if you install vinyl flooring in your home after you have purchased a policy. Doing this will earn you a better payout in the event of damages or problems.
You can pay for your vinyl flooring installation and repairs using digital payment. Many small businesses in the US today, including vinyl flooring contractors near you, are embracing digital payments because they are easy, faster and convenient ways to transact. Ensure to inform your contractor beforehand if you intend to pay for a vinyl flooring service using digital payments.