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Certified vs. Approved Carpet Installers

Certified Carpet Installers vs. Approved Carpet Installers

One of the most popular questions asked by consumers related to carpet installers is the differences between certified installers, approved installers, and installers that carry no certification. While the carpet industry encourages the use of properly trained carpet installers, the use of a certified installer does not ensure the installation will be installed according to the CRI 105 Carpet Installation Standard. It also does not assure a homeowner that if a certified installer does not install the carpet properly that the installer’s license will be pulled.

While the use of the term “certified installer” ensures that the installer has taken and has passed a 2-day course on carpet installation and understands proper procedures, it does not certify that proper procedures will be used. On the other hand, there are numerous carpet installers that have never taken a course and have learned the occupation one installation at a time and can perform perfectly acceptable installations. This does not mean they have learned proper installation procedures.

During the 1990’s, when CRI was in the midst of its plan to approve carpet installers, installers were given an open book test of procedures specified in the CRI 105 Carpet Installation Standard. Most of the installers who took the test were seasoned Pro’s and had been installing carpet for 15 or more years. Many of these installers, who first took the open book test, insisted they did not need an “open book” to pass the test. More than 80% of these seasoned Pro’s failed the test. It became evident that these 80% had been installing carpet “wrong’ for 15 years or were poor “test takers”.

Carpet Installers and Certification

Carpet installers, like any trade, have a variety of skill sets performing the occupation. A certification of training is not necessarily as assurance of satisfaction. In hiring a carpet installer, ask for references. Remember, personality is not a job skill. Some of the best carpet installers may not win congeniality awards. Also, in getting references, remember, many of the customers of installers may not necessarily be ideal “life partners” (unless you can get along with everybody). Some installers could perform the job at no charge, mow the grass, take out the garbage, wash the car, and the customer would still be unhappy that the installer left before letting the dog out for a walk.

Concentrate on reliability. Did the installer arrive on time and finish on time? Did the installer leave scrap materials behind for others to clean up? Did the installer return to perform repairs?

Some perceived installation issues may not be installation issues at all. For example, visible carpet seams are commonplace. Visible carpet seam may be more of a reflection of carpet construction than carpet installer skill. While this is not always the case, all carpet seams are visible to some degree.

In comparing certified carpet installers vs. non certified carpet installers, the important point to remember is certification does not ensure satisfaction. Lack of certification does not ensure a lack of skill. Most of the companies that ‘certify’ carpet installers are “for profit”. They earn a living from the certification of installers. It is always in their best interest to point out all the negatives of employing a non certified installer. However, no one is keeping score of the percentage of complaints by certified vs. non certified carpet installers.

A consumer can educate themselves quite easily by obtaining a copy of the CRI 105 Carpet Installation Standard through the Carpet and Rug Institute. The standard provides a step-by-step instruction of proper carpet installation procedure.

Did you know?

42% of all carpet cleaning is performed by do it yourself carpet cleaning methods. Do it yourself carpet cleaning is easy and can reduce carpet wear. Proper carpet care using proper carpet cleaning procedures, while do it yourself cleaning will extend carpet life.

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