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What to Expect from Flooring Installers

By Alan Fletcher - 30-year Carpet and flooring Expert



Timely Installer Arrival


Carpet and Flooring installers should not arrive too early in the morning unless prior arrangements have been made as the amount  flooring installers would typically arrive and be allowed to begin working in the unit.



The flooring installers should notify the manager upon arrival and request the keys to the unit.


Installers should only park their vehicles in a non-reserved visitor’s space, unless the manager has provided the installers with a special place to park their vehicles.


If the unit is occupied, the tenants may have a preference as to when the installers should arrive. Sufficient time should be allowed for the tenants to finish with breakfast and morning showers prior to the arrival of the flooring 

of noise generated by installers is enough to potentially disturb neighboring tenants who may still be sleeping. The manager of each property should designate a general starting-time. 


In most cases, 9 am is the time when most managers and leasing agents open the rental or leasing office and that is the time when the installers...







Installer Behavior

  • There should be no smoking, eating or drinking in the unit other than water.

  • Any radio or other music should be kept at a minimum level to not disturb any tenants.

  • The installers should not engage in horseplay or any other activities that could endanger the safety of the tenants.

  • The installers must at all times keep sidewalks and walkways free of cords, debris, flooring materials or any thing else that could become a trip hazard to tenants.

  • There shall be no throwing or dropping of any materials from balconies or stairwells.



Maintain Open Communications with Flooring Installers


The installers should be given specific instructions regarding the proper person they are to communicate with in the event of a problem or change of procedure associated with the job. It should be specified in advance that any changes in the work order must be approved by the owner, manager, or other authorized person available onsite or by phone. 



Cost for Removing and Replacing Appliances and Toilets


The average price for removing and replacing appliances is $10.00 - $25.00 per appliance. If the flooring installers are paid to remove and replace the toilets and/or appliances, you should expect that they would put something down to protect the carpet from spills and stains when they are set on the carpet. When replacing appliances they must also be sure to double check all water supply links to be sure there are no leaks. 


You should expect them to communicate with you if there is a problem that should be addressed, (for instance, if the dryer hose is damaged, or the washer hose is leaking) so you can deal with the problem.


If, for instance, the dryer hose is damaged, you would expect that the installer would not re-use the old damaged hose, rather they should communicate with you so that you would be able to supply a new dryer vent hose to install before replacing the dryer back into place. You should have dryer vent hoses and clamps, and washing machine hoses and hose-washers on hand at all times.






Cost for Removing and Replacing Toilets


The average price for removing and replacing a toilet is $20.00-$35.00. Installers should always supply and use a new wax ring with a flange when replacing the toilets. They should be expected to caulk around the toilet base, but I suggest that you have them leave a small area at the back of the toilet left un-caulked. 


Installers should notify the onsite property manager if the toilet has any cracks, internal mechanical problems or if it requires a new water-supply hose.





You cannot expect flooring installers to provide the following supplies:


  • Washing machine hoses or hose-washers,

  • Dryer vent hoses or clamps,

  • Toilet water-supply lines

  • Toilet internal workings or seals




You can expect installers to provide the following supplies:

  • New toilet wax ring

  • New toilet bowl floor flange mounting bolts



Unexpected Cost of Floor Preparation


You should expect typical floor preparation charges to prevail, unless there is more floor preparation needed than usual due to dry-rot or other unforeseen issues. Floor preparation charges are typically $25-$35 per hour per person. You should expect to pay about one hour of floor preparation for every ten yards of vinyl installed on a typical install without any unforeseen issues.


You should also expect to pay for floor preparation based on one-half hour increments. (If you have 15 yards of vinyl installed expect to pay for 1 ½ hours of floor prep) The property manager should be asked to approve for any additional floor prep costs in advance and signed off on the installers work order.






Proper Floor Preparation Procedures


You should expect that only Portland cement based floor patching compounds should be used to patch the floors. White-colored patching compounds are not acceptable and should never be used. Some installers use white patching compounds because they dry quicker, but are not designed for this purpose.




Installing Over Existing Vinyl Flooring:


Floor patch should be applied to all areas of Vinyl with embossing in order to prevent the old vinyl pattern from "telegraphing" through to the new layer of vinyl. No more than three layers of vinyl should be installed on the floor. If there are three layers of vinyl already installed, all three layers should be removed prior to installing the new layer of vinyl and/or a new sub floor may need to be installed.




Preparation for Concrete Floors:

  • All cracks and holes in new and existing concrete floors must be filled and leveled.



Preparation for Gypsum-based floors:

  • All cracks and voids in new and existing floors must be filled and leveled.



Unforeseen Floor Repairs


Upon the discovery of any unforeseen floor damage, installer should notify the manager at once. You should specify that the manager must approve any additional charges for floor repairs in writing.




Installing New Underlayment


All nails screws and staples are to be counter-sunk. All seams and hammer indentations, screw holes and voids are to be filled and leveled with a floor-patching compound.




Approved Underlayment


You may want to specify which type of underlayment that you wish to be used. There are several choices. Particle board, Plywood, Luan, Structure wood or specialty wood products.




Underlayment thickness

You may want to specify the desired thickness that you wish to be used. If you are removing a damaged ½ inch thick board, then by all means replace it with a new board at least the same thickness. I recommend that if you use particleboard or plywood, that it be no less than 3/8" thick to insure stability.




Fasteners, minimum size and length requirements:

  • ¼ inch crown 1-3/8 inch staples or Ring shank nails 1-½" or

  • Grabber wood screws 1-¼" (drywall screws are not acceptable)



Replacing Flooring Transitions


It is not expected that vinyl installers replace carpet transition metals, but you should expect that carpet installers will install all new metal transitions. You can specify silver or gold colors. There are two basic types of transition metals, flat-bar and clampdown. 


Flat-bar is a flat piece of colored metal with nail holes every few inches. There are matching silver and gold nails that are to be used with this type of transition. 


Clampdown transition is affixed to the floor and the carpet is stretched over it and tucked under a metal hood that is then hammered down to hold the carpet in place.


You can specify that flat-bar transition metals to be either gold or silver and in 1 inch or 1-½ inch widths. The 1-inch wide flat-bar is most common. (there may be an additional charge for installing new metal, usually $1 to $2 per lineal foot.)






Carpet Seam Placement


You should expect that carpet seams should not be too obvious. A well-done carpet seam should be hard to notice. It should not stick out like a sore thumb. 


If a carpet seam looks bad it should be brought to the attention of the installer as soon as possible, hopefully before he leaves. Proper seam placement is important. The worst place for seams is in heavy traffic areas, under tables and chairs, and in major traffic lanes. Every attempt should be made to place seams in low-traffic locations.




Vinyl Seam Placement


All vinyl seams must be properly sealed with the manufacturers recommended seam sealer. Best location for vinyl seams are underneath appliances. Never allow a vinyl seam to be placed under a table or where dining room chairs are located.



Carpet and Flooring Timely Job Completion


You should expect that all carpet and vinyl installation jobs would be completed in one day,

Unless other arrangements have previously been made. The manager must be notified as soon as possible if the job cannot be completed on time.




After The Job is Completed


All new carpet should be vacuumed (not all installers will vacuum but they should!) and all smaller carpet and pad scraps should be cleaned up and hauled away. All large carpet and vinyl scraps should be rolled up and given to you for use in the future should you have need to do any carpet or vinyl repairs.


When the carpet has been installed, the carpet should all be nicely tucked along the floor level. All seams should be nearly invisible and not have any loose strings or loose tufts. 


The carpet should be stretched in tight and there should not be any loose areas. All new metal should be installed. (In some areas, there is an additional charge for new metal, usually $1 per foot.)


Upon completion all vinyl areas must be free of any excess glue on the floor or walls and all areas should be swept clean. All excess vinyl materials and installation debris should be removed from the unit. 


All lights and heaters should  be turned off. All appliances should be replaced and toilets re-installed with new wax rings. All keys must be returned to the manager and all windows and doors must be locked upon departure.



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