6 Tips for Hiring a Hardwood Floor Contractor

6 Tips for Hiring a Hardwood Floor Contractor


Let’s say you want hardwood floors installed in your living room. Before you start Googling around for hardwood flooring contractors in your area, read our six tips for hiring the best contractor.

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1) Make sure you can accurately compare estimates

Different flooring contractors will have different methods of estimates. The information given may make it difficult to truly determine who the best contractor is. You might find that you are comparing apples, oranges, and bananas against each other.

One way to help alleviate that difficulty is to have the contractors list all the steps they will perform to complete the job at hand. If you are uncertain about any steps, make the contractors verify they will be working in accordance to manufacturer’s guidelines.

Once you have comparable estimates, you can then see which hardwood floor contractors are seemingly leaving out information and which contractors are adding steps no one else has.

2) Get everything in writing

After you are verified the contractor is the best person suited for your task, then you will want to draw up a contract. Make sure the contract lists the specific products the contractor will use as well as the specific installation methods. Make sure the contract explicitly states the scope of the job.

Adding a penalty clause to the contract is also a common practice. This penalty clause will detail what will happen if the job is not completed in the specified time frame.

3) Split your payments

Paying a contractor the full amount upfront could lead to a costly mistake. It is far better to split your payments.

One common payment structure is to give a 30% deposit at first. Pay the next 30% when all the materials arrive at the job location. Finally pay the last 40% when the job has been completed.

This payment structure will help prevent the hardwood flooring contractor from skirting any of their responsibilities.

4) Check the contractor’s references

Any flooring contractor worth their salt will have happy customers. Ask to speak to at least three former customers. These customers should be a mix of recent and older customers. This will give you a better overview of the contractor’s quality of work. If at all possible, ask the former customers to send photographs of their hardwood floors.

5) Check insurance policy and business license

You want to make sure the contractor is on the level. Ask to see their business license and declaration (“dec”) page from their insurance policy.

The business license a document typically provided by the city or municipality that grants the business authorization to operate in said city or municipality.

The “dec” page will provide you with an overview of the policy holder, who to contact in case of a claim, how much the insurance policy is covered for, and other basic information about the policy.

Also inquire as to whether the contractor’s workers are employees or sub-contractors. If they are sub-contractors you should also ask for their “dec” page.

Finally, check with an organization like the Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor has any “claims” or “reports” lodged against their business.

6) Don’t go to the Big Box Stores

While the Big Box stores will typically be the cheapest option in your area, you have to remember the old adage “you get what you pay for.”

Professional hardwood floor installers — especially ones certified by NWFA — are far more knowledgeable and experienced. The NWFA is dedicated to training and educating wood floor professionals. A professional hardwood floor installer will be able give professional results and offer advice in case any questions arise after installation.

These are just a few guidelines to finding the best possible hardwood flooring contractor for your needs. If you have any additional questions or concerns feel free to contact us at the Philly Floor store by calling (800) 737-1786 or emailing info@phillyfloor.com.

55 thoughts on “6 Tips for Hiring a Hardwood Floor Contractor

  1. Luke Smith

    I really like your thought about having all the contractors list the steps they will perform to complete the job at hand. I’m sure that would help you see whether a price really was a better deal, or if one contractor was simply offering to do less. I would imagine that it would be good to ask friends and acquaintances if they have ever hired a contractor to sand or polish their timber floor as well, so you could get a firsthand look at some of their work.

  2. Rachel Lannister

    I found what you said about how you should get a contract in writing, before you start the job to be very helpful. My father wants to get new wood floors, and asked me to look up how to best work with a contractors. If my father and the contractor could identify exactly what he wants done, and their expectations, that could help contribute a lot to a great final result. Thanks for the tips.

  3. John Ferrell

    I like that you said that we should contact former clients. If I was going to hire a professional I would want to know that they would do a job that I would be satisfied with. You may want to view some of the professional’s work before you choose them, also.

  4. Rachel Lannister

    Thanks for the tips. You mentioned that you should get estimates from multiple wood contractors, and ensure that you get the best deal you can for your floors. My father wants to get wooden floors installed, as his current laminate flooring is quite old and worn. Since my father is quite strict regarding his budget, he would definitely want to get multiple estimates.

  5. Burt Silver

    Thanks for the tips for finding a timber flooring contractor. My wife and I really want to have timber floors installed in our home soon, and we are trying to find the right person to do the job. I like that you mentioned to get everything in writing. A good contract will ensure that you aren’t surprised and everything goes according to plan.

  6. Alice Jones

    I am looking for a timber floors for my new home restoration project. In order to get a good quality of hardwood floors, I decided to look online for some contractor tips. Looking for happy customers is a great way to determine if a contractor’s work is well received. I’ll share this article with my husband.

  7. Max Jones

    I like how you talked about splitting your payments to keep yourself safe with hardwood floor installation. I’ve been wanting to have a hardwood floor installation done in our home for a while, and I think that this summer using our tax return money would be perfect. I’m going to have to make sure that I find a contractor who is willing to allow split payments which will keep us both responsible during the hardwood floor installation! Thanks for the tip!

  8. Barbera Peters

    The floors in my house are looking kind of old so I have been wanting to get them replaced with timber flooring but I don’t know what to look for in a contractor. I like that you talked about how after you choose a contractor you should get a contract the lists the specific products the contractor will use as well as teh installation methods. That is very thorough but I think it is a good idea.

  9. Ashley Turns

    I love the idea to pay the hardwood installation service you use in split payments – 30% upfront, 30% with the materials, and 40% when the job is all done. My husband and I have been wanting to redo our flooring for a while and we finally have the money with the bonus he just received. I’ll be sure to suggest to both my husband and the hardwood floor installation service we use that we use this split payment method to make sure everything travels along smoothly.

  10. Max Jones

    My wife and I have always dreamed of having hardwood floors in our home, and I think that we’re finally ready to make the switch. I’m glad that you talked about some helpful things to do to get a good hardwood installation contractor hired, including checking their references. I’m going to have to make sure that I do my research on the contractor we decide to hire for our hardwood floor installation, and that he has references that help us know he’s the right guy for the job! Thank you!

  11. Bobby Saint

    Great post. I agree that you must check for any recent references just to validate how reputable the contractor is that you’re hiring. If ever I would be needing the services of a hardwood floor contractor, I would also consider doing this.

  12. Jordan

    I’m glad you mentioned looking at the references for hardwood flooring contractors, and I think that being able to do that would help us be sure we got the right one. I’m thinking it would be good for us to have some hardwood floor installation done by a professional. I want to make sure that we get some good hardwood floor put in, so checking references would be good for us!

  13. Caden Mark

    Generally, the hardwood floor give the comfort and it also increases the looks of your home. There are variety of flooring materials are available and from that it is important you have to choose the best material. So for this you have to hire a professional contractor. But it is not an easy task. And for this you have keep some important tips in your mind. You should check their background, and check whether they have the experience in this field or not. Discuss with them for payment details. And really, in your blog the mentioned point is helpful.

  14. Adina Taylor

    Homeowners are always wanting to perform their home improvements, but they don’t want to take the stress of finding their reliable contractor. By hiring the reputed and reliable contractor can remove your all stress and anxiety to remodeling your home. If you want to hire a hardware, floor contractor for your home, then the blog helps you to select most efficient one who will fulfill all of your remodeling needs. Make sure to hire a detailed contractor who will handle your project from the beginning to end.

  15. Earnest Watkins

    It’s good to know that you suggest getting references from at least three former clients before hiring a flooring contractor. My wife and I are looking at getting new floors in our home, so this tip will be really helpful for us. I’d certainly feel more confident hiring a contractor that has provided exceptional service to past clients.

  16. Kyle Wayne

    I’m glad you talked about making sure the contract lists the specific products the contractor will use as well as the specific products the contractor will use. My dad is looking to hire some flooring services to refloor his kitchen floor. I think I will talk to him about making sure he has good communication with his contractor and knows what’s going on.

  17. Callum Palmer

    It really is important to take the article’s advice and make sure that the contractor you hire has the right business license. After all, if you’re going to rely on someone to install your hardwood floor then you want them to be trained to do it. The right license will show that their business has not only received the right training, but has been approved to do the appropriate work.

  18. Larry Weaver

    Thanks for the tip to get everything in writing when working with hardwood floor contractors. My home’s carpet is all worn out from having multiple pets in the home, and I would like to get it replaced. I was thinking that timber flooring is the type of floor I would like to replace the carpet with, so I’ll be sure to work with a contractor and get everything in writing to make sure that the process of getting a new floor goes over smoothly.

  19. Russell K. McCormick

    Splitting your payment is a very important note that everyone should take. I’ve been in a helpless situation where I paid all the money to the contractor in the beginning itself, and then he flew away without completing the work. Give them in parts so that you are on the safer side.

  20. Russell K. McCormick

    Of course, these are some very useful tips. Last time I was fooled by my contractor as he took much money, also had no licence. I realized this later. But now as I’m aware of these tips, I can hire the best contractor possible.

  21. Jordan Miner

    I’ve been wanting to get some hardwood flooring done in my home for a while now, but I think its finally the right time. I like that you talked about some tips for hiring a hardwood flooring contractor, and how you should get it all in writing. I’m going to have to look for a few good hardwood flooring options and make sure we do that!

  22. Rosie Beckett

    My sister recently bought a house and she wants to change the kitchen floors so that they match the rest of the house. You make a great point that when hiring a flooring contractor you should get estimates from different companies so that you can compare their prices and services. Also, I will definitely tell my sister to find a contractor who is insured so that she can have peace of mind that she will not be liable if an accident happens during the project.

  23. Olivia Nelson

    I agree that you want to consider the references that a flooring contractor has. Contacting these references would tell you a lot about their customer service as well. My husband and I are looking for a flooring contractor, so we’ll have to check their references first.

  24. Katie Wilson

    I agree that you want to get estimates in writing when dealing with a flooring contractor. Finding out exactly what you will pay before you hire them would be really helpful. My husband and I are looking for a flooring contractor, so we’ll have to check their estimate first.

  25. Taylor Anderson

    I have really old carpet in my room, so I’ve been wanting to replace it with hardwood flooring. Thanks for the great tip to make sure the contract explicitly states the scope of the job and when it should be completed by. Another great tip I’ve heard is to make sure the flooring contractor is licensed and insured, as it will help protect you should something go awry.

  26. Gary Puntman

    I agree that you should check the flooring contractor’s references first. This will help you see what their quality of work is, like you said. That will be one of the best ways for you to find the best contractor to hire.

  27. Easton Memmott

    I really liked your tip to check the contractor’s references. I am looking to hire a contractor to help me install my hardwood floor. I will be sure to check my contractor’s references before I decide for sure if I am going to hire them.

  28. Easton Memmott

    I really liked your tip to get everything in writing when you are working with a contractor. I am looking to hire a contractor and I want to be thoroughly prepared to work with them. I will be sure to ask to get everything in writing while I am working with my contractor.

  29. Easton Memmott

    I loved your tip to ask your contractor to get everything in writing. I need to hire a contractor to install my new flooring. I will be sure to ask them for everything in writing.

  30. Taylor Bishop

    Thanks for this advice for hiring a hardwood floor contractor. I’m glad that you mentioned that you should try to have a payment structure and to split it up.. Perhaps it could be good to discuss with with the contractor so you both can decide milestones where payment would be due.

  31. Easton Memmott

    I really liked your tip to check the insurance policy of your flooring contractor, so you can know that you are covered if anything happens. I am needing to hire a contractor to install my new hardwood floors. I will be sure to check the insurance policy of my contractor before they start to work.

  32. Easton Memmott

    I like the tip you gave to compare the cost estimates of several different flooring contractors before you decide on who to hire. My wife and I want to install new floors in our home before we sell it, and we want to get the best deal. I will be sure to get several different estimates before I choose who to hire, so I can choose the best deal.

  33. Milo Bever

    It’s very good way of comparing different companies to ask for a written list of the work steps. I’ve found it very difficult to compare the offers because the packages are so diverse but I hope doing this will make it easier. I was wondering at first if I should install the wood flooring myself but I think it’s better to get it done by a professional. Thank you for sharing this article!

  34. Katie Wilson

    I agree that you want to get a few different estimates before choosing a flooring service. It would make sense to find someone who is affordable and reliable as well. My husband and I are looking for a hardwood floor, so we’ll have to consider their estimates first.

  35. Camille Devaux

    When I was talking to my sister the other day about her recent move, she told me she wasn’t satisfied with the flooring. She wants to get a hardwood floor service to come to take a look at it. Checking the contractor’s workers is a great idea to make sure that they are taken care of properly. She should be made aware of this.

  36. Gary Puntman

    I would love to have hardwood floors installed all throughout my house. I’ve always loved the luxurious look of hardwood flooring. I’ll definitely need to find a contractor within my budget. Getting an estimate from several different contractors will definitely be important. I’ll have to make sure which contractor offers the most thorough work and estimate, like you said.

  37. Millie Hue

    It really helped when you said that we should put everything in writing. As you mentioned, it will assure us that the scope of the job is clear and will be followed properly. I will share this tip with a friend of mine who will be getting their floor refinished. I also noticed how it needs care when I visited them yesterday for a catchup since I just came home from a three-month business trip.

  38. Ken Hwan

    I really appreciate your tip to split up all of your payments so they are easier to handle. My wife and I have been thinking of getting new hardwood flooring in our kitchen, but we have a small budget for it. I will be sure to tell my wife that we should be able to afford it if we split up our payments!

  39. Tyler Johnson

    That’s a good idea to check older an newer references for a company. That way you would be able to see if the hardwood floors they install will stay good over time or if they are just nice at first. I would want to make sure that I could have a floor that would last a long time, so if the floors last a while a contractor would probably be good.

  40. Brooklyn Johnson

    I like how you mentioned that when hiring a hardwood floor installer, you should speak to atleast three former customers that are a mix of recent and older ones to give you a good overview of the contractor’s quality of work. My house is very old, and all of the floors are very ugly and outdated, so I’ve been considering replacing it all with hardwood. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when trying to find the perfect hardwood flooring contractor to help me remodel all of my floors.

  41. Katie Wilson

    Thanks for these tips on how to find a good flooring service. I agree that you want to get a few comparable estimates and compare them before you choose one or another. My husband and I are looking for a flooring service, so we’ll have to check their estimates first.

  42. Jeff Wilcox

    I like the tip that you gave to choose a flooring contractor who has a payment plan that will work for you. My wife and I have been talking about finding new floors. If we do, I will be sure to look for one that has a payment plan that will work for us.

  43. Jeff Wilcox

    I like the tip that you gave to choose a contractor who offers references for you to check to verify their work quality. My wife and I have been talking about finding a contractor to help us if we decide to get help with our floors, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could trust in. If we choose to find a contractor, I will be sure to check their references for us to check.

  44. Amy Winters

    Thank you for pointing out that after you have found the right contractor for you, that you should draw up a contract. My husband and I have been thinking about having wood flooring installed in our kitchen. It’s good to know that after we find the right contractor, we should make sure to create a contract for services.

  45. Skylar Williams

    I like your tip to split payments to the contractor in order to ensure that the job is done correctly. I have been thinking of getting some hardwood floors installed in my kitchen. I haven’t decided if I’m going to use a contractor or get my wood from a supplier and install it myself.

  46. Jay Jorgenson

    I like how you mention that any contractor should have a few references to prove that they do great work. I think that it is important that every contractor should have experience and have insurance. Thank you for the information. I would contact a professional and ask for all his data to see if they are approved.

  47. rachel frampton

    I’ve been planning to have a maple hardwood floor installed in my new house. Therefore, I have to decide to look for a hardwood floor contractor that can do the job. I’ll make sure to draw up a contract the specifies all the products that the contractor will use.

  48. Ellie Davis

    I liked that you mentioned you need to ask for references before hiring a contractor for your project. My father is thinking about remodeling his workshop, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about the benefits of hiring a contractor with good references to help him.

  49. rachel frampton

    I’ve been wanting a Maple hardwood floor installed in my living room. Therefore, I’ve decided to start looking for a hardwood floor contractor. I’ll keep in mind to interview the contractor’s former customers to make sure that they’re good at this job.

  50. Oscar Morrison

    Thanks for suggesting that I ask past customers about their experiences to help narrow down who we want to have do our flooring. We had to tear out some of the living room carpet when the kitchen flooded, so we’re thinking of replacing the flooring for that entire floor of the house. Getting a contractor that’s left satisfied customers in the past would help us trust that we can expect the same.


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