The cost of flooring materials
and installation may only be 2 to 5 percent of your entire
construction project, but if that floor fails the costs can
climb as high as 10 to 15 percent of your project — or higher.
You wouldn’t hire an unlicensed
electrician to wire your building, so why would you allow an
unqualified installer to put the flooring in on your project? To
ensure you get the best install, mandate that only qualified and
certified installers work on your flooring projects. After all,
it’s much easier and more cost-effective to address potential
issues upfront than to correct failures after the fact.
Questions to ask potential installers include:
Are they certified, and by
Have they been through
installation training from the material manufacturer and, if
so, did they pass the course?
Do they conduct themselves as
business professionals and craftsmen?
Can they provide a list of
references with contact names and numbers?
Better still, ask your
manufacturer to steer you to qualified installers who have been
through a certification process that the manufacturer either
provides or values and respects. Traditionally, when something
goes awry with installation it is the flooring manufacturer who
is on the hook to make things right. And since the manufacturer
is held accountable, they are vested in ensuring your
installation goes well.
As a matter of fact, that vested interest makes your flooring
material manufacturer a great asset in making sure the installed
product meets your long-term needs. By utilizing the flooring
manufacturer as part of your project management and risk
mitigation team early in the design and construction process,
you’re more likely to get a high-quality, cost-controlled
There are many different variables during the construction
process that can affect the performance of the flooring material
— from inappropriate moisture testing to unexpected jobsite
conditions to installation errors — so it can save time and
money to bring your supplier to the table during the
specification or construction document process and/or pre-slab
pour. These early meetings should outline:
What should be expected from
your flooring materials and the installer.
Who is responsible and
accountable for what activities.
The quality control measures
that need to be in place during installation.
Sounds simple, right? But too
rarely do the manufacturer, general contractor and facility
manager take the time and effort to build the necessary
relationship on the front end of the project. The facility
manager, in particular, loses from this oversight. It would be
better to establish a relationship with a trusted vendor now so
you have an ally to turn to when you need replacement materials,
and advice, in the years to come.
By working with your vendor in a joint project management team,
projects can see cost and time savings and ensure the final
product is installed correctly at a fair price.
About the Authors: Eric Bower is national sales manager
and Chris Cobb is director – General Contractor Relations, North
American Construction Services, for Forbo Flooring North
This post is part of an ongoing
series from the IFMA Health Care Institute. To download the full edition of
Tips, Tricks & Traps to Avoid,