How to Find a Good Tile Installer

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Replacing or installing tile in your home can be a long, drawn-out process. Hiring a tile installer can relieve a lot of the stress involved in replacing the tile in your kitchen, bathroom, or other area of your home, while creating a professionally crafted look.
Finding the right tile installer is important, as hiring an unprofessional or inexperienced contractor could result in an unsatisfactory job and wasted money. Here's how to find the right professional, with a little help from Jerry.
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How to find a tile installer

You have many options at your disposal when you're trying to find a trustworthy and experienced tile contractor to work on your home project.
  • Online: Use sites such as HomeAdvisor, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), or the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) to find a qualified tile installer in your area.
  • Local tile supplier: You can call or visit a local tile supplier to see who they might recommend. Contractors buy their tile from local supply stores, and so a supplier represents a good way of learning who has been in the business for a while and has the most experience.
  • Word-of-mouth: Ask friends, family, and co-workers if they have any recommendations for a tile installer. You should still interview them and check out the contractor's certification and references, but this does give you a place to start.
  • Yellow Pages: Your local Yellow Pages has the number for various tile installers in your area. Keep in mind that just because a tile installer is in the phonebook, that does not mean you should hire them without checking them out first.

How to hire a tile installer

Once you have a list of contractors, you need to go through the tile installer hiring process.
Step 1: Call the tile installers. Experts recommend that you call at least three tile installers in your area to get an average price.
Step 2: Interview the tile installers. Next, set up interviews with the tile installers you have an interest in. Some good questions to ask when interviewing a tile contractor include:
  • How much tile will need to be ordered for the project?
  • How long will it take to complete the project?
  • How many additional workers do they plan on using, if any?
  • Do they have certification as a tile installer?
  • Can they provide you with a copy of their insurance certificate?
Step 3: Get bids. After talking to the tile installer, do a walkthrough of the project area and ask them for a bid so you know how much they expect the project to cost.
Make sure the tile installer submits their bid in writing. And make sure that the installer provides an outline of the project, including the following information:
  • The services provided (for old tile removal and disposal, as well as installing the underlayment)
  • The materials supplied (including grout, sealant, and underlayment)
  • The amount of money needed upfront (never pay the full amount upfront)
Step 4: Ask for references. Ask the tile installer for references from previous jobs.
When calling a reference, ask to see the completed project, if possible. Some good questions to ask the references include:
  • When was the project started?
  • When was the project completed?
  • Did the tile installer always show up on time? If not, why?
  • Did the tile installer correctly prep the area before beginning work?
  • Was the work of a high quality?
  • Did the tile installer clean up once the project was complete?
Step 5: Choose a tile installer. The final part of the process is to choose the tile installer you want for your project.
You should base your final decision on the price the contractor quoted you and the answers to your questions from the contractor and references.
Finding a contractor is easy if you know where to look. Just remember that not all tile installers are equal. To protect yourself, you should ask to see their certification and insurance. Also ask for references.
And while an affordable quote is great, you might need to spend a little more money to get a quality contractor for the job.
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