America has a unique take on paying people in the service industry. We are one of the only countries in the world to focus on tipping. We tip bartenders, waiters, delivery guys, and car valets. But when it comes to home improvement, it can be hard to tell what you should do. This is especially true when it comes to carpet installers and cleaners. We researched to find out.
Tipping carpet installers is not always necessary since a decent wage is usually built into the fees. The same can be said for professional carpet cleaning crews too. While you're not required to tip, most installers love getting tipped, and it's a great way to say thanks for a job well done.
Understanding when to tip is a great way to make sure that you don't have to spend extra and keep your carpet professionals happy. It pays to learn how to tip properly and what you should expect when calling up some professionals.
How Much Does It Carpet Installation Cost Per Square Foot?
Carpet installation's full costs vary greatly depending on the type of job and additional work that needs to be done. An average carpet installation job will cost between $2 to $4 per square foot. If you need to get professionals to move your furniture first, this will usually cost an additional fee. This can be a flat-rate fee or a fee per object to be moved.
Prepping the area to have carpeting installed can boost the price. It's also worth noting that most companies will also charge you to remove carpet from stairs and other parts of your home. Carpet removal costs between $0.11 to $0.22 per square foot.
How Much Should You Tip Carpet Installers?
Professional carpet installers who go above and beyond the normal standard of labor often end up getting tips, simply because it's worth it. If you choose to tip carpet installers, here's what you need to know:
- A standard tip for installers is $10 to $20 per person, per diem.
- Ask if they would like refreshments or if they can accept cash tips.
- If you have an extremely complex custom installation or had to do a last-minute install at a high-demand time, tip 10 percent.
How Much Does Carpet Cleaning Cost?
Professional carpet cleaning can be fairly intimidating price-wise, especially if you have a specialty carpet you want to clean. Currently, the average home will spend $175 to clean the carpets in their home. This usually covers one to three rooms in a home. Larger carpet cleaning projects will cost between $300 to $350.
Trying to nail down the price of carpet cleaning can be difficult due to the differences that carpet cleaning companies have when it comes to charging. When looking for a good cleaner or trying to ballpark your price tag, keep the following things in mind:
- Most companies have a minimum fee or a minimum number of rooms they require for an order. Ask before you order!
- Cleaners often charge additional fees for stain removal, cigarette burn removal, and similar services.
- If you need to get your carpet stretched or have mold damage, that can cost additional money.
- The technique you use to clean the carpet will also matter. Steam cleaning and dry cleaning are two of the more affordable methods.
Do Carpet Cleaners Move Furniture?
While it depends on the cleaning company you choose to hire, the consensus is that carpet cleaners will move furniture. Most companies will do this at no additional charge. It's always best to ask the company in question what their policy is.
How Much Should You Tip Carpet Cleaners?
While carpet cleaners do have a tough job in many cases, it is not customary to add a tip to their services. Like with carpet installation, good wages are typically built into the fees. If you want to tip your cleaners, it's usually well appreciated. These guidelines will help you understand how much you should tip:
- A customary tip of 10 percent usually suffices. Others suggest tipping $5 to $10 per carpet.
- Always tip extra if your cleaners did more than what they were expected to do, such as move furniture.
How Can You Save Money On Carpet Installation And Cleaning?
With the prices of installation and cleaning being so high, it's not surprising that many people are seeking out ways to save money on both installation and cleaning. Thankfully, there are tons of ways you can save cold, hard cash on these services.
Shopping smart means that you keep an eye out for bargains and that you get at least three quotes before you choose a cleaning company. Comparing quotes and looking for promotional sales help immensely, but so does knowing where to shop. If you want to get a good deal, consider using Groupon for cleaning services.
"Free Installs With Purchase!"
Many people forget that major big box stores tend to offer free carpet installation when you buy carpets from their store. This is true with both Home Depot and Lowe's, as well as smaller chains like Empire. There's nothing cheaper than free, which is why this is such a handy tip to have.
Ask For Discounts
A lot of companies will not offer up discounts unless you ask for them. If you are a veteran, a first responder, or a repeat customer, ask them if they have any discounts you should be aware of. This is the easiest way to slice a couple of bucks off your bill, and all you have to do is call them up and ask.
DIY As Much As You Can
The more work a cleaner or installer has to do, the higher the price tag will be. This is just basic economics. That's why it makes sense to DIY as much of your carpeting work as possible. This can include doing the following things:
- Move furniture yourself. This will avoid any add-on fees you may have and may also help prevent the need to tip.
- Consider renting a rug shampooer. While this won't always give you professional-quality results, it can do in a pinch, and it's much cheaper to do.
- Strip carpets yourself, if you know-how. Removing carpets before an installation is an easy way to avoid carpet removal fees as well as disposal fees.
Most people get those coupon books and "clipper mailers" in their mailbox every other week, then throw them out. Don't do this! Those mailers you get in the mail tend to have tons of discounts related to home improvement, and that includes carpet cleaning and installation. To use the coupon, find one in the mailer and call up the company and say you have a coupon.
The coupons in question can slice off a serious chunk of change from your price tag. Depending on where you live, it could easily amount to as much as 20 percent or more of your bill.
Always Choose Professional Companies
Professional, licensed, and bonded companies are a must when it comes to carpet installation and repair. While it may cost more to hire certified and trained people, it's a good way to avoid problems during work. Unlicensed or unbonded companies won't always yield good results, and at times, they may even take the money and run.
It's better to cry once and pay once than cry twice after you have to pay someone to fix the mix-ups your contractor had. When choosing your contractor, make a point of reading reviews before you book a cleaning. If the reviews are bad or you see that they aren't licensed, do not book them. It's too risky.
When Should You Tip A Cleaner Or Installer?
It's important to remember that tipping is not mandatory. While it's not mandatory, there are times when tipping is rightfully encouraged. These moments include times when your cleaner did a remarkably good job, times when your installers left your room sparkling clean, and times when the contractor in question went beyond the call of duty.
No matter how big or small the tip is, most people will be thrilled to see extra money in their pockets. So if you feel they did a good job, feel free to treat your contractors to a pleasant surprise.
When Should You Not Tip A Cleaner Or Installer?
Technically, neither industry ever requires a tip. However, if you still choose to tip them, it's best to ensure that the tip is warranted. If any of the following is true, you should not even think about giving the contractor in question a tip:
- The contractors were rude or flat-out demanded a higher tip. Tipping is a sign that you feel they are worth a higher wage than they're being paid. It's a courtesy, not something to be expected. If they treat you like dirt or act like you're an ATM, then it's clear they're not worth the wage you paid them. Don't reward bad behavior!
- The price tag you paid is exorbitantly high. If the price is an arm and a leg, there's no reason to tip them. They are already getting very well paid.
- Your contractors didn't do a good job. A poorly done job doesn't ever deserve a tip, and truthfully, that money is better off going to a contractor who can repair whatever mistakes the first ones did.
- You shouldn't tip staff members who work for a company with a no-tipping policy, as this could jeopardize their job.
When it comes to tipping, it's safe to say that everyone appreciates a little money in their hand. However, that doesn't mean that tipping carpet cleaners or installers are a mandatory part of the process. It's just something that you should do if you're really impressed with the work and the have have a policy that allows for it.
If you're going to tip, most contractors will accept whatever you'll give them. However, most people who tip carpet professionals tend to give at least $20. At the very least, it's nice to tip them in the form of snacks and refreshments, if they can't accept money. After all, it is a pretty tough job to do, and having a cold drink of water can help keep your workers focused.