Tile has always been one of the most durable and easy-to-maintain materials, yet the stylistic options were somewhat limited in the past. Tile was seen as an economical and practical solution, but not necessarily the most ‘upscale’ or visually pleasing material.
These days, tile can look and feel like almost anything—from faux-hardwood floors to custom printed bathroom flourishes that reflect your unique tastes. Homeowners, designers and architects are doing incredible things with tile. If you need proof, just leaf through any recent issue of a home design magazine.
But if you’re reading this post, you probably don’t need any more convincing. What you may need help with is knowing how to proceed with your home tile installation. Unless it’s a small project and you feel comfortable tackling it yourself, you’ll want to hire a specialist who can handle the installation with professionalism and care, leaving you with impeccable results at a fair price.
Unfortunately, tile projects don’t always work out this way. Blogs and social media are full of “horror stories” about contractors who didn’t make things easy for paying clients. The quality of the work was poor, or the bill was much higher than expected, or the support staff were rude and unfriendly. Any number of things can and do go wrong.
The question is: How can you avoid becoming one of these unhappy clients? While there isn’t a foolproof formula for locating and hiring the very best tile specialist in your area, there are a few basic things that will dramatically help your chances.
Look for a licensed and insured specialist with a physical business address
These are three big indicators that a company is legitimate and will handle your tile project with expertise and care. Many contractors that make problems for clients don’t have the proper business infrastructure—or sometimes even the legality—to handle your tile contracting work. A business with skill and experience behind it will always be accessible and established.
Look for meaningful customer reviews and photo galleries
Tile contractors who do good work are proud of the results, and will be happy to show you (either online or in a showroom) exactly what they can do. Customer testimonials on Yelp!, Google Plus and other social media are also meaningful. Talk to people who’ve had tile work done, and don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for client references if you’re not convinced.
Look for companies that offer clear, honest estimates
Reputable tile installation specialists don’t want to trip you up with fine print or hidden fees. They want to make everything transparent, so that the project can go ahead with a clear mutual understanding of costs and schedules. Clients that are happy not only with the results, but with the customer service along the way, are the goal of every reputable contractor.
Adding it all up
Tile is one of the most exciting things going on in home renovation and design. Many homeowners are considering tile installations to make their homes more practical, more beautiful, and easier to maintain. But even though tile itself is evolved, some tile specialists are behind the curve. That’s why it’s so important to use the criteria listed in this post to make sure you find a contractor who can work within your budget to make your tile project a complete success.
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