What to Look for in a Grout and Tile Contractor
We’ve all heard horror stories about bad contractors. Bad contractors can disappear halfway through a job, steer a homeowner toward expensive projects when more cost-effective alternatives are available, or fail to do a job the right way. When it’s time for grout and tile repairs, it’s important to find a contractor with a spotless record who has your best interests in mind.
Look for a Tile Contractor to Discuss Restoration Options
Grout and tile restoration can get your kitchen, bathrooms and entryways looking like new for 70 percent less than the cost of replacement. Beware of tile and grout contractors that steer you toward total replacement without first discussing restoration alternatives. Restoring your existing grout and tile might return the best value and get the job done as quickly as possible. Before you consider total tile and grout replacement, consider these alternatives:
Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing
Dirt, mold, mineral deposits and hard water stains are some of the most common tile and grout challenges. But a professional cleaning services can lift dirt from grout joints and eliminate signs of heavy traffic. A permanent penetrating stain can also be applied to refresh the look of a room. This gives your tile and grout a second life. Finally, a penetrating sealer protects against future wear and discoloration.
Replace Cracked Grout and Tiles
Even when tiles and grout joints become cracked and damaged, total replacement usually isn’t the only option — replacing cracked grout and tile is a great alternative. Dozens of grout colors can be selected to match what you currently have. A great contractor will be able to track down hard-to-find tiles. This saves time and money, and helps avoid more costly repairs down the road.
The best tile and grout option for you will be affordable, effective and long lasting. Beware of grout and tile contractors who try to steer you toward total replacement when better alternatives are available.
Make sure they are bonded
Being bonded is different from being licensed, although the two are sometimes related. When a contractor is bonded, this means he has purchased a surety bond. This is a type of insurance policy that protects a property owner. The bond provides a certain amount of liability protection. If the contractor fails to complete a job as required or contracted, the bond can provide compensation to a property owner. Typically, for a bond to pay out to a homeowner, the property owner must first win a claim with the state contractor’s board by proving that the contractor failed to perform the required work.
Look for Great Reviews From Previous Customers
The safety and stability of your home is far too important. Why put blind trust into a tile and grout expert? Look to their previous customers, online reviews and work portfolios for proof that they’re trustworthy. Here are a few places to start:
Yelp reviews are a great place to find out how satisfied customers have been with a grout and tile contractor’s previous work, and any problems that were unresolved.
Be sure that a grout and tile contractor has a portfolio of previous work available to get a better idea of what you can expect. Asking for references from those previous customers is also a good idea.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) keeps records of complaints and rates some businesses based on customer satisfaction metrics. Also, check with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office or the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection to see if any complaints have been filed.
Check circuit court records in Wisconsin and Illinois to ensure a contractor doesn’t have any criminal charges or civil cases pending against them.
Don’t take tile and grout experts at their word. Look to online reviews, portfolios and customer testimonials to find a contractor that goes above and beyond to make their customers happy.