Do You Tip Floor Installers & How Much? (Hardwood, Carpet)

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

Want to know if you need to tip the floor installers? Me too. I've gone through dozens of forums and looked at the numbers. Here's the averages I've found.

Do you tip floor installers, and how much? It's not customary to tip floor installers for their work. Many people do agree that high-quality work or excellent service deserves some sort of tip. On average, about 50% of people seem to tip. The tips range from $10 - $40 per installer. $20 per person per day seems most common.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary

In this article:

  1. How Much Should I Tip Floor Installers?
  2. What Do Floor Installers Think Themselves?
  3. Other Ways You Could Help Them Out
  4. When Not To Tip
  5. Other Things to Consider

How Much Should I Tip Floor Installers?

Generally, skilled labor doesn't require tipping. Most people seem not to tip floor installers extra. Instead, they offer refreshments and buy dinner or lunch, depending on the time of the day. Some installers don't even like being tipped (but not all!).

Here is what people tip on average:

  • Most people that do tip pay on average $20 per person per day
  • For large crews (4 people or more) this drops to $10 / person a day
  • For extra hard work or large jobs, people tip anywhere between $100 - $200.

On average, people offer roughly $5 per room per person, with an average of about $20 per day

When to tip:

  • Left the site neat and clean (i.e. no sawdust anywhere)
  • They did very high-quality work
  • The installers have to move around heavy furniture to get the job done
  • If the installer is an employee of the flooring company, they will get paid by the hour.
  • The bigger the job, the bigger the tip (around 10% with a minimum of $20)

When not to tip:

  • Some companies have a no-tipping policy
  • The installer is an independent contractor or business owner
  • The installer tells you he or she doesn't want to get tipped. More on this issue later.

However, if the contractor really goes out of his way to go beyond the original deal, that's definitely a reason to give him or her a tip.

On the other hand, if you're paying top dollar for the work, chances are the tip is included in the project fee.

"Etiquette and tipping experts agree that tipping a contractor and his employees isn't expected because contractors offer to do a job for you at a specific price. Any extra money they would want would be built into their bid."

(source The Wall Street Journal)

How to make sure you don't HAVE to tip

You really don't have to hand out tips to every worker you encounter. But if you do want to make the installers feel comfortable, you could do any of the following:

  • Make sure the room is empty - move any heavy furniture yourself beforehand.
  • Offer refreshments or even lunch or some snacks - it is an all-day job.
  • Any form of kindness is much appreciated; it doesn't have to be money.

What to do if it's a large crew?

If it's a very large crew and you want to tip anyway, you could consider upping your tip a bit and splitting it between the workers.
If there's a lead installer, some people pay him or her double of the helpers.

What Do Floor Installers Think Themselves?

On average, flooring installers make an hourly wage of $16.43 (based on 1,437 real salaries).
(source Indeed.com)

Floor installers don't receive tips all the time, so getting tips isn't expected at all. This means it can be extra appreciated if they do get it.

However, tradesmen are skilled laborers. They offer business services as opposed to personal services. In this line of work, you take pride in your work and ask the price your labor is worth to you.

Getting tips can feel uncomfortable or patronizing. I've read multiple floor installers that rather have you:

  • make decent and respectful conversation with them
  • let them use the restroom
  • give them refreshments, maybe even lunch
  • show real appreciation for the work

If you do decide you want to tip them, offer them a choice. You just don't know whether they'll appreciate it. There's only one way to find out:

"Can I tip you, or do you just want coffee and snacks instead?"

That's a great way to discuss it in a polite way.

Installers that are employees of large firms like Lowes are more likely to appreciate tips since they get paid way less and make very long hours (up to 12-hour days).
(source Indeed.com job reviews)

Also, tip big. $20 and up seems to be much appreciated by nearly anyone. But don't forget to tell what you're tipping them for: you appreciate the work they did.

Other Ways You Could Help Them Out

Make sure the site is clean and empty.

Offer a good place to work: out of the sun and rain (in case of decking), and has a good working temperature.

Let the workers use your restroom. Trust me, I've heard this one straight from the horse's mouth. Installers are mostly clean, orderly and hardworking people, like you and me. They won't ruin your restroom. However, they might ruin something else if you have them running around the block every time they need to go.

Top tip: don't offer too much coffee, but some coke instead.

Show appreciation for the work they do. Any tradesman can really appreciate appreciation.

When Not To Tip

  • The floor installers are rude
  • They do subpar work
  • They leave the place a mess
  • A contractor that charges a very high rate

They are being rude

If someone is being rude to me, I never tip them. That just doesn't make sense. I give people tips as a way to show them they're worth more to me than their hourly rate.

They do subpar work

I don't tip people that don't try to do a good job. Most people seem to agree that tipping someone is to reward the extra effort. If you tip anyone regardless of the quality of the work, the gesture loses its power.

They are very expensive

If the installer is a business owner, he or she will take home all the pay. If the contractor charges a very high rate already, I might not tip them as well. Maybe I'm happy to pay the high fee for outstanding work or service, but that's a premium already.

Other Things to Consider

So there you have it. The decision is entirely up to you. The nation is split on this issue: 50% of people do tip flooring installers, 50% don't. What category are you in?

To sum it up: you don't have to tip. Flooring installers are being paid for their time. But you could make someone's day, show appreciation for a job well done, and even make a friend, should you decide to give them something extra.

And remember: the best tip of all is appreciation.


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