Finding a tile company you trust isn't exactly like hiring a landscaper. You're letting a bunch of strangers inside your home to do work that will be fairly permanent. If your tile company screws up, it can be really expensive to fix the damage, so you want to make sure the company you pick is a talented and trustworthy one. You also need someone local who understands the unique challenges of tile installation in your area, such as being aware that any skim or glue that's put down will dry very quickly because of the lack of humidity if you’re in the prairies versus the coast. Finding a friendly qualified tile company that knows the lay of the land and environmental variables will ensure that when they're quoting the job, they'll know exactly how long it will take, so you don't get charged extra for unnecessary drying or travel time.
Here are some great tips to keep you at the top of your game when you're making the decision.
1. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations - This is the absolute best way to find a tile company that you know you can trust. If they've done a great job for your neighbors, they'll probably do the same for you. Also, they may offer a discount to you or a kick back to your friend for the recommendation. Businesses like these thrive on word of mouth recommendations, so they usually reward business that comes in this way.
2. Search Local Listings in the City Classifieds - If you don't have friends or family who are able to recommend a tile installation company, check out the ads and listings in the herald or on Craig’s list. You might even find someone who specifies your neighborhood as one of their stomping grounds.
3. Check online reviews - Read all the reviews you can find about the tile company you're considering. Are they talking about a residential install in the downtown business district? If so, it might be bogus. Also, don't be put off by one unhappy customer. It's impossible to make every person happy every time, so if there's only one bad review out of 12, that's pretty darn good. If it makes you feel better, you can ask about what happened during that job when you call the company.
4. Narrow your search down to about three tile companies - Once you have it narrowed down to three, start interviewing. You'll need to find out which one can meet your budget, time frame and design requirements, so don't be shy when you're asking them questions. Ask if they've done any commercial installs, so you can see the work in person. Maybe you can dine out at a Chinatown restaurant and check out the quality of their flooring at the same time.
5. Sign a contract - Most of the time, the tile company will have a standard contract that all of their customers must sign. They'll fill in the details of your specific job, but read this contract carefully. Sometimes contractors will build in extra time for driving if the drive is long enough. They might have a clause that allows them to finish the job late without penalty, or have a contingency for substituting materials. It's not that these things are inherently wrong, but you need to make sure you're comfortable with everything as it's written in that contract. If you're like most people, you're not going to be okay with paying for an hour of driving time, or having your contractor substitute materials without your approval. Don't be afraid to request revisions to the contract. It's your home.
Locating a tile company that you're comfortable with and confident in can take time wherever you are. You have to trust them to be in your home and not cause any damage, so look for contractors with a good reputation, negotiate the terms, and sign a clearly defined contract that covers all possibilities. If you've done that, you should be able to rest easy knowing that your job is in good hands.
Learn more about your choices for a Tile Company, Calgary.