Having a tile shower installed in your home can be the greatest decision you make regarding maximizing it’s value. The worst thing you can do is hire an unqualified tile shower installer to build your new shower for you. I hate going into a clients home and seeing a shower less than two years old that has to be replaced. My hope here is that I can help you qualify your installer before hiring them to do your project. If you follow this guideline, your odds increase that your new tile shower will last a lifetime. For a more in depth look, read this article on proper tile assemblies.
Tile Shower Installer Qualifications
What is their warranty?
Most installers offer a one year warranty from the date of completion. Since most of the failed showers we see are older than that (by a few months) I would ask for a longer warranty. For example, we warranty our showers for life. You get both our warranty and a lifetime manufacturer warranty as well.
What is their preferred waterproofing system?
You are likely to find many different answers to this question. What you are looking for is a complete system installation method. A tile shower installer that says I use this membrane, and this paint on product is a red flag. Using multiple manufacturers on a shower means you won’t have any kind of warranty from them. Now you will rely solely on the knowledge of the installer only. For example, our lifetime warranty is provided by Schluter Systems. This post details our shower construction method.
Does the installer have any memberships or certifications from the tile industry?
A good way to check for a tile shower installer’s qualifications is to look for certifications and memberships. The N.T.C.A. (National Tile Contractors Association) as well as C.T.I (Certified Tile Installer) are good sources to look at.
Basic Contractor Qualifications
These questions are just contracting 101 to me. Hopefully the potential tile shower installer you are interviewing doesn’t tell you only what you want to hear. I hope for everyone’s sake, they answer honestly.
Does the tile shower installer stay on your project until it’s finished?
A lot of contractors start a job right away, then leave to start another job instead of finishing your job first. I would ask the potential installer if they stay on your project until it’s completed or they will be leaving to start other jobs. We only work one job at a time. Sometimes this costs us other work, but I would rather have a happy customer instead of two dissatisfied customers.
What is their daily work schedule?
It’s important that your tile shower installer keep a regular work schedule. Not only will having a consistant start and stop time make their progress more predicable, it will also help you as well. Typically, we start our day at 8:00 and work until 4:30
Are they licensed and insured?
A good tile shower contractor will carry both general liability insurance and workman’s comp insurance. Both types of insurance are there to protect them and you. Be sure to ask for verification of their insurance prior to them beginning work.
What are their customer reviews or references like?
A good contractor keeps records of happy clients. Many homeowners today even post their review of the company online. Be sure to look for reviews of their company before hiring them. I would recommend using the reviews only as a measure of them personally and not how knowledgeable they are. Many happy customers leave a review shortly after the work is completed and don’t update their dissatisfaction years later.
What are their jobsite safety protocals?
Good contractors know that protecting their employees as well as their customers is very important. I would ask them about grounded tools (especially wet saws or other equipment that’s around water). Also find out how they clean up during and after the day is over. Keeping a clean worksite is very important. We use drop cloths, HEPA air scrubber and plastic sheeting hung from the ceiling. We also provide house cleaning after the job is complete.
What if you want something changed?
Let’s face it, sometimes a tile or other feature just sticks out and you don’t like it. How does your potential tile shower installer handle such things? For us, we don’t argue with you. If you don’t like a tile, we will replace it with one you do. We do work with you to locate fixtures and other finish items as well before we install them. We do want the job to be right the first time, but at the end of the day we want you to be satisfied as well.
How does their billing work?
It’s good to ask this question prior to the start of the job to help clear the air on expectations. Some contractors want a check to hold your spot, while others want to be paid completely in advance. We do collect a check the day we start for 50% of the job. If your job takes longer than a week, 50% of the remaining balance is collected on Friday. Our final payment is due at job completion.
I apreciate that you took the time to read through my suggestions. Be sure to comment below and let me know what you think. If you have a question you would like to see added, comment that below as well. We are a tile shower installer servicing all of Mid-Missouri. Good luck on your project, I hope it is a successful one.