Selecting a flooring contractor
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Selecting a flooring contractor

    We have decided to replace the carpet in our basement with something more dog friendly. I paid Home Depot $35 to come measure our basement and the guy no showed yesterday after calling me at 8:00 am to tell me that he would be at my house between 1-3. This project isn't starting off on the right foot if I can even pay someone to show up to give me an estimate.

    Any advice on where to look for flooring installation? So far we have been looking at laminate flooring in the $3.00/sf range for 800-900 square feet.
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    Flooring stores will usually have a list of installers if you don't want to go with the box stores.
    I'm guessing you don't want to tackle it yourself?

    I did see you say "basement" and "dog friendly". I would HIGHLY suggest vinyl plank/vinyl tile.
    We did this in our basement and it is AMAZING.
    While not water"proof", it can be submerged for short periods without damage.
    It is amazingly resilient, we dropped a LOT of stuff on it while finishing the basement (Hammers, snips, pliers, screwdrivers, ceiling rails, etc) and never left a mark!
    I even cut it with my knife accidently when cutting the ceiling tiles, quick rub over the cut and you can't see it.
    The plank "clicks" together just like laminate, and has the backer already attached. I think it's easier than laminate as it's flexible so easier to handle and get together, as well as easier to cut.
    The tile I used is self adhesive. Pull the backing of and place it, but word of caution, it is VERY sticky so make sure you get it right! You may not get a second chance or be able to adjust at all!
    Cost is a bit more, I was right around $4/sq/ft for it in 17, but worth it IMO.
    Some in progress pics, and a kind of close up. The bathroom is tile, the wood look is the plank.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bathroom Floor.jpeg   Play area floor.jpeg   Entry floor.jpeg   Resized_20171013_170418_1083.jpeg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutty72 View Post
    Flooring stores will usually have a list of installers if you don't want to go with the box stores.
    I'm guessing you don't want to tackle it yourself?

    I did see you say "basement" and "dog friendly". I would HIGHLY suggest vinyl plank/vinyl tile.
    We did this in our basement and it is AMAZING.
    While not water"proof", it can be submerged for short periods without damage.
    It is amazingly resilient, we dropped a LOT of stuff on it while finishing the basement (Hammers, snips, pliers, screwdrivers, ceiling rails, etc) and never left a mark!
    I even cut it with my knife accidently when cutting the ceiling tiles, quick rub over the cut and you can't see it.
    The plank "clicks" together just like laminate, and has the backer already attached. I think it's easier than laminate as it's flexible so easier to handle and get together, as well as easier to cut.
    The tile I used is self adhesive. Pull the backing of and place it, but word of caution, it is VERY sticky so make sure you get it right! You may not get a second chance or be able to adjust at all!
    Cost is a bit more, I was right around $4/sq/ft for it in 17, but worth it IMO.
    Some in progress pics, and a kind of close up. The bathroom is tile, the wood look is the plank.
    I have that vinyl tile in my utility room. It is very durable and very nice. When we were doing our floor selections for our house a couple of years ago, that type of tile seemed to be growing in popularity. I almost wish we did our entire kitchen/dining area in that. It would be excellent for a basement/rec room area that has high traffic or is well used by your 4 legged buddy.

    I would go to a flooring store and do everything through them if you are not interested in becoming a floor installer. If there are a lot of housing starts in your area, you may have to wait because good installers tend to have enduring relationships with general contractors and keep a steady work load. You may want to check your local CL for handy man installers and then see who shows up. Sometimes getting small business flooring companies to show up for a one off job is a challenge. I had a friend who did a big remodel on a rental property he decided to move back into and it was very hard to get his sub's to show up on time or even do the job in a timely manner. He was serving as his own general contractor so he wasn't a priority to his subs since he didn't off the allure of repeat business.
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    Personally, we work with an independent, local carpet, flooring company and they have their own installers. Being able to deal with the store owner, who has the relationships with the installers, makes you more of a customer and less of a number. They don't offer all the same advantages of the store card like Lowe's, Home Depot or Menards, but they are still pretty competitive. I would say within 10% of the big box stores special offers.

    Perhaps try this approach as the private owned stores have enough business to keep their installers busy and the service to you is better in my experience. We hear of one horror story after another with the big stores because the customers are just another number to them. No one is accountable, no one seems to be in charge and its just like cattle in the pen chutes at the self check out lines at the big stores........

    Small independents are getting harder to find, but they also tend to be the choice of higher end customers because they want the good service and are less concerned about the lowest possible price. I would try some locally owned flooring stores and see if you don't get the attention you deserve. Plus the store owners are usually much more knowledgeable about products than those who work in various departments.

    A handy man is also a good idea. Our former local fire chief is a handy man now and he is so busy, he is refusing work and carefully selecting the jobs he wants to do and doesn't want to do. Basically, I have found the really good handy men / handy women (don't want to be sexist here.....) don't advertise and its all word of mouth. Their work usually spreads on Wastebook like a hot rumor.......so if you know anyone active on Wastebook, have them keep an eye out for mentions of local handy PEOPLE..........
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    A no show without a call - I would be done with them and move on.

    As was suggested - seek out an independent flooring place. Usually get much better service from a Mom & Pop type outfit.
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    As a long time contractor and now a building official I would always recommend a local vendor.Customer satisfaction thru a big box is very difficult when issues arise and frequently they are not vetted properly. Locals are getting squeezed by the change and will work hard to please you and encourage word of mouth advertising. I think that frequently the bottom line is cost comparable as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    A no show without a call - I would be done with them and move on.

    As was suggested - seek out an independent flooring place. Usually get much better service from a Mom & Pop type outfit.
    This and refuse the charge on your CC for non performance of the agreed upon service.
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    I laid flooring when I was younger. I hired my basement carpet done a few years ago. Guy came by himself to do it. He couldn't even get the big carpet roll down there himself. I helped him get it down there and helped lay it all. He was the installer from a small local store. I think the owner knew I was going to be there and it was a setup.
    My son and I did the wood laminate ourselves, it's very easy. All you need is a saw, a tape measure and a couple blocks of wood. We put wood laminate around the bar and in the office. I tiled the restroom myself.
    Wood laminate is surprisingly easy to install. I figured I'd replace it with tile. I haven't, it still looks like new.
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    Good advice already given on contractors....if it were mine as you described it I would DIY with a snap lock good quality vinyl plank floating floor over a very good underlayment...it just isn't that hard
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    Good thread....I'll especially be watching for installation updates and pics if you DIY. The spousal unit has been indicating a new kitchen floor is on the horizon by silently leaving laminate samples on the counter. I hope I can put it right over the vinyl thats there but I am wondering how I will make that work without putting the new flooring under all the base cabinets?
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