WHAT PROPERTY MANAGERS SHOULD EXPECT
FROM CARPET AND VINYL INSTALLERS
Excerpt from the book
Landlord Floors by Alan J. Fletcher
Copyright 2002-2014 Landlord.com
Installers should not arrive too early in the morning unless prior arrangements
have been made, as the amount of noise generated by installers is enough to
potentially disturb neighboring tenants who may still be sleeping. The manager
of each property should designate a general starting-time. In most cases, 9 am
is the time when most managers and leasing agents open the rental or leasing
office and that is the time when the flooring installers would typically arrive
and be allowed to begin working in the unit.
The installers should notify the manager upon arrival to request the keys to the
Installers should only park their vehicles in a non-reserved visitor's space,
unless the manager has provided the installers with a special place to park
If the unit is occupied, the tenants may have a preference as to when the
installers should arrive. Sufficient time should be allowed for the tenants to
finish with breakfast and showers prior to the arrival of the installers.
There should be no smoking, eating or drinking in the unit.
Any radio or other music should be kept at a minimum level to not disturb any
The installers should not engage in horseplay or any other activities that could
endanger the safety of the tenants.
The installers must at all times keep sidewalks and walkways free of cords,
debris, flooring materials or any thing else that could become a trip hazard to
There shall be no throwing or dropping of any materials from balconies or
The installers should be given specific instructions to the proper person they
are to communicate with in the event of a problem or change of procedure
associated with the job. It should be specified that any changes must be
approved by the owner, manager, or other authorized person available onsite or
The average price for removing and replacing appliances is $10.00 - $25.00 per
appliance. If the flooring installers are paid to remove and replace the toilets
and/or appliances, you should expect that they would put something down to
protect the carpet from spills and stains when they are set on the carpet. When
replacing appliances they must also be sure to double check all water supply
links to be sure there are no leaks. You should expect them to communicate with
you if there is a problem that should be addressed, (for instance, if the dryer
hose is damaged, or the washer hose is leaking) so you can deal with the
If, for instance, the dryer hose is damaged, you would expect that the installer
would not reuse the old damaged hose, rather they should communicate with you so
that you would be able to supply a new dryer vent hose to install before
replacing the dryer back into place. You should have dryer vent hoses and
clamps, and washing machine hoses and hose-washers on hand at all times.
The average price installers charge for removing and replacing a toilet is
$20.00-$35.00. Installers should always supply and use a new wax ring with a
flange when replacing the toilets. They should be expected to caulk around the
toilet base, but I suggest that you have them leave a small area at the back of
the toilet left un-caulked. They should notify the manager if the toilet has any
cracks, internal mechanical problems or if it requires a new water supply hose.
You cannot expect flooring installers to provide the following supplies:
Washing machine hoses or hose-washers,
Dryer vent hoses or clamps,
Toilet water supply lines
Toilet internal workings or seals
You can expect installers to provide the following supplies:
Toilet wax ring
Toilet bowl mounting bolts
You should expect typical floor preparation charges to prevail, unless there is
more floor preparation needed than usual. Floor preparation charges are
typically $25-$35 per hour. You should expect to pay about one hour of floor
preparation for every ten yards of vinyl installed. You should also expect to
pay for floor preparation based on one-half hour increments. (If you have 15
yards of vinyl installed expect to pay for 1 ½ hours of floor prep) The manager
should approve any additional floor prep charges in advance and in writing.
Proper Floor preparation procedures
You should expect that only Portland cement based floor patching compounds
should be used to patch the floors. White-colored patching compounds are
not acceptable and should never be used. Some installers use white patching
compounds because they dry quicker, but are not designed for this purpose.
Over existing vinyl:
Floor patch should be applied to all areas of Vinyl with embossing in order to
prevent the old vinyl pattern from "telegraphing" through to the new
layer of vinyl. No more than three layers of vinyl should be installed on the
floor. If there are three layers of vinyl already installed, all three layers
should be removed prior to installing the new layer of vinyl and/or a new sub
floor may need to be installed.
All cracks and holes in new and existing concrete floors must be filled and
All cracks and voids in new and existing floors must be filled and leveled.
Upon the discovery of any unforeseen floor damage, installer should notify the
manager at once. You should specify that the manager must approve any additional
charges for floor repairs in writing.
All nails screws and staples are to be countersunk. All seams and hammer
indentations, screw holes, voids, etc., are to be filled and leveled with a
You may want to specify which type of underlayment that you wish to be used.
There are several choices. Particle board, Plywood, Luan, Structure wood or
specialty wood products.
You may want to specify the desired thickness that you wish to be used. If you
are removing a damaged ½ inch thick board, then by all means replace it with a
new board at least the same thickness. I recommend that if you use particleboard
or plywood, that it be no less than 3/8" thick to insure stability.
Fasteners, minimum size and length requirements:
¼ inch crown 1-3/8 inch staples or Ring shank nails 1-½" or
Grabber wood screws 1-¼" (drywall screws are not acceptable)
It is not expected that vinyl installers replace carpet transition metals, but
you should expect that carpet installers would install all new metal
transitions. You can specify silver or gold colors. There are two basic types of
transition metals, flat-bar and clampdown. Flat-bar is a flat piece of colored
metal with nail holes every few inches. There are matching silver and gold nails
that are to be used with this type of transition. Clampdown transition is
affixed to the floor and the carpet is stretched over it and tucked under a
metal hood that is then hammered down to hold the carpet in place.
You can specify flat-bar transition metals to be either gold or silver and in 1
inch or 1-½ inch widths. The 1-inch wide flat-bar is most common. (In
some areas, there is an additional charge for installing new metal, usually $1
You should expect that carpet seams should not be too obvious. A well-done
carpet seam should be hard to notice. It should not stick out like a sore thumb.
If a carpet seam looks bad it should be brought to the attention of the
installer as soon as possible. Proper seam placement is important. The worst
place for seams is in heavy traffic areas; every attempt should be made to place
seams in low traffic locations.
All vinyl seams must be properly sealed with the manufacturers recommended seam
sealer. Best location for vinyl seams are under appliances. Never allow a seam
placed under a table and chairs.
You should expect that all carpet and vinyl installation jobs would be completed
in one day,
Unless other arrangements have previously been made. The manager must be
notified as soon as possible if the job cannot be completed on time.
All new carpet should be vacuumed (not all installers will vacuum) and all
carpet and pad scraps should be hauled away. The walls should all be nicely
tucked in. Seams should be neat and not have any loose strings sticking up. The
carpet should be stretched in tight and there should not be any loose areas. All
new metal should be installed. (In some areas, there is an additional charge for
new metal, usually $1 per foot.)
Upon completion all vinyl areas must be free of any excess glue and all areas
swept clean. All excess vinyl and debris must be removed from the unit. All
lights and heaters must be turned off. All keys must be returned to the manager
and all window and doors must be locked upon departure.
Alan J. Fletcher has more than 25 years
experience in the flooring business. Mr. Fletcher is available to speak, and
offers a free consultation to landlords who want to reduce their flooring
expenses. He is the author of Landlord Floors-carpet and vinyl management for
rentals, and a comprehensive training manual, The Landlord Flooring
Contact- Alan J. Fletcher 503-709-3632
Alan J. Fletcher