Does my installer know what they are doing?

Blog header featuring installer nailing down hardwood floor

Does my installer know what they are doing?

Author: Holiday Van Erem

If you are a homeowner looking to have new flooring installed, you’ve probably spent hours on Pinterest. You’ve been all over the internet researching what type of floor you need. You’ve picked a local retailer to purchase your floor from – but now it’s time to figure out who is going to install it. Are you super handy and wanting to go the DIY direction? Or would you rather let a professional handle the install? As much as many of us would like to try the DIY route, most of us don’t have the time to make that happen. So, we turn to the professionals and assume it will be done the right way. Or at least, that’s the hope. So how do you make sure you are selecting an installer that is a professional? Great question… 

If you are a retail sales associate at a flooring store or a flooring installer just getting into the business, this information could be helpful to you too – so keep reading!

Worker installing wooden flooring boards on applied adhesive

Are flooring installers required to be licensed, certified, or trained?

No, they do not need to be licensed, certified, or trained. If the flooring installer owns their own (legit) installation business, then they will need a business license through the state they operate in. However, certifications from trade organizations or specific training on how to install certain types of flooring is not required. The upside to this is that anyone can install flooring. This creates a do-it-yourself market and allows the pool of possible installers to be large. 

The downside of this is that anyone can install flooring. That large pool is a mix of novices and fully trained and certified installers. You have a large gambit of skill sets to sort through, and it can be hard to figure out who is going to be the best choice for your job.

Because certifications and training are not required, training is left up to the individual installer to either pursue or not. If you would like to hire someone who truly knows what they are doing, here are 5 suggested things to look for:

  1. The local flooring retailer you are working with recommends the installer or the installer works for that store.
  2. Resume of work with positive references – preferably recent ones.
  3. Installer promotes certifications they have earned on their website, business card or other marketing materials.
  4. Trade organizations (like the ones listed below) list the installer as having the certifications they claim they have, in online directories.
  5. Installer can provide dates of completed training courses for the types of flooring you are having installed.

It can’t be guaranteed that every installer who is certified and trained by official trade organizations will do a good job. It also can’t be guaranteed that they won’t do a great installation either. All you can do is put forth the best effort to find the installer that best fits your job’s needs.

Below are references to flooring trade organizations as well as certification and training programs for flooring installers. Also linked below is the TAS Flooring resources page that includes installation instructions for all of our products.

References: Installation certifications and training available

  • CFI – International Certified Flooring Installers offers training for carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile & stone, sheet vinyl, linoleum, VCT, luxury vinyl, and rubber flooring installations. To be a member you must complete training courses. 
  • CIM – Certified Installation Mangers Program. Training for installers and contractors who are focused on commercial installations. This education program is offered by the FCICA. 
  • CRI – The Carpet and Rug Institute provides information on best practices for carpet & rug installations. 
  • CTI – Certified Tile Installer by CTEF (Ceramic Tile Education Foundation) provides training on the proper way to install ceramic tile and stone. 
  • INSTALL – International Standards & Training Alliance provides a comprehensive training program on floor preparation, installation and finishing procedures for carpet, resilient flooring, resinous flooring, hardwood flooring, substrate prep, concrete polishing, artificial turf and more. Installers must be trained to receive certification.
  • NFIC – Natural Fiber Installers Certification. 
  • NTCA – National Tile Contractors Association  
  • NWFA – National Wood Flooring Association offers training for all types of hardwood installations.
  • TAS Flooring Installation Resources page