What is the flooring contractor’s Job Description?

A flooring contractor is a business or person who installs, repairs, and maintains floor surfaces in homes and businesses. Contractors can range from a single person to a large corporation with hundreds of employees. Each flooring contractor may specialize in a particular type of floor covering or provide services for a wide range of materials. Others may concentrate on a similar set of materials, such as vinyl and linoleum, as well as hardwood, laminate, and other wood products.

Hardwood, laminate, carpet, tile, stone, and resilient products like vinyl or linoleum are just a few examples of floor coverings. Homeowners and building managers can hire a flooring contractor to prepare the subfloor for these floor coverings, as well as to refinish and repair existing floors. A flooring contractor may also be hired to restore a historically significant flooring material, such as hardwood or certain types of tile and stone. Floor installation is one of the most common projects for these contractors, which can save homeowners the time and effort of trying to install floor coverings themselves.

If someone wants to work as a flooring contractor, they should learn about the different materials and products that are currently available in their area. It’s a good idea to get some installation experience or read up on installation techniques if possible. To learn more about flooring and the construction industry, consider taking classes at a community college or trade school. Work as an assistant installer or for a flooring distribution company is recommended. If you have a lot of experience with floor coverings, you might want to consider starting a flooring installation business for local residents or businesses.

Scope of Work

General flooring contractors install the most basic flooring materials, including carpeting, vinyl flooring, tile, hardwood, and laminate. In rural areas, flooring contractors usually offer a variety of installation services, while their counterparts in large metropolitan areas might find it more profitable to specialize in one type of flooring installation, such as tile, and stick to that. The demand in the community determines how much work is likely to be available for a specialty flooring contractor. Likewise, some flooring contractors install a few types of flooring but exclude others.

Tools and Equipment

Flooring contractors typically don’t install subflooring, but they do install underlayment, which requires saws, nail guns, and staplers. Carpet layers use stretchers and heat seamers in addition to standard carpentry hand and measuring tools. Cutting laminate and hardwood requires a table saw, a circular saw or a chop saw. Hardwood installers also use specialty flooring nailers that shoot nails at a predetermined angle. Tile flooring contractors use some masonry tools, including wet saws, heavy-duty drills for mixing thin-set, and tile-chipping tools for cutting tile to fit around pipes and wall obstructions.

Business Responsibilities

Flooring contractors submit estimates or bids on proposed jobs. They must accurately calculate labor and materials to successfully bid on jobs. Contractors who hire workers are responsible for handling payroll and other management duties. Contractors can choose to incorporate, do business as sole proprietors, or form partnerships with others. Contractors pay estimated income tax quarterly, based on the amount of profit they make. They might handle bookkeeping or administrative duties themselves or contract some or all of the work out to third parties.

Licensing, Bonding, and Insurance

Most communities require that flooring contractors have business licenses. Some also require skill or knowledge testing and annual contractor fees. A high school degree is sufficient for most flooring contractors because they receive on-the-job training. A small business accounting course is helpful for setting up a financial bookkeeping system. Additional local and state requirements include carrying commercial liability insurance and, in some cases, obtaining a surety bond before working on certain projects.

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