Get Quotes from Top Flooring Contractors in Washington Dc, DC

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Flooring Contractor in Washington D.C.

Floor-related interior remodeling projects are an excellent way to key into the burgeoning DC housing market – installing new hardwood floors or refinishing old ones alone can see you recover up to 147 percent of the cost of these projects. However, the success of flooring projects largely depends on the proficiency and expertise of the floorer who executes the work. Hiring professional flooring contractors instead of attempting to DIY your floor projects ensures that:

  • The job is done properly and on schedule, saving you time and money
  • High-quality flooring materials are used
  • Common handyman's mistakes like poor surface preparation and incorrect measurements are avoided
  • The risk of on-the-job injuries is greatly reduced

Therefore, before you hire any flooring contractors in Washington D.C., find out if they are licensed, insured, and proficient enough to satisfactorily install, replace, refinish, or repair your floors by asking them the following questions:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Flooring Contractor in Washington, D.C.?

The DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) regulates the activities of flooring contractors in Washington D.C., and this department offers these professionals two licensing options based on the scope of services that they intend to offer:

  • General Contractor/Construction Manager License: this license authorizes the flooring contractor to work on new and existing buildings and structures. Contractors who hold this license can also supervise the activities of other subcontractors and laborers involved in the project.
  • Home Improvement Contractor License: flooring contractors with this license can only work on residential buildings and structures

Failure to obtain an appropriate contractor license from the DLCP before providing flooring services in Washington D.C. is considered a Class 1 infraction and is punishable by a minimum penalty of $2,000 in fines for first offenders. Applications for DLCP-issued contractor licenses can be made online through the DC Business Portal or in person at

1100 4th Street SW
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20024

Applicants who choose the online option will have to create a user account on the portal before initiating the application process. Similarly, all applicants must comply with certain eligibility requirements, which include:

  • Paying all stipulated application fees
  • Providing proof of compliance with local tax obligations
  • Obtaining a valid Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit from the DC Office of Zoning
  • Complying with mandatory insurance and bond requirements
  • Providing proof of corporate registration, where applicable
  • Submitting any additional documentation that the DLCP may deem necessary at the time of the application

Additional information on the DLCP's licensing requirements and procedure for flooring contractors can be obtained by contacting the department online or via phone number (202) 671-4500.

You can also verify your intended flooring contractor's licensing status by contacting the DLCP at (202) 442 4311. License verifications can also be done online via the Access DC portal. However, you may be required to register a user account on this portal before initiating this action.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Flooring Contractors in Washington, D.C.?

Flooring contractors in the DC area often determine their prices using hourly, square foot, linear foot, or per-service pricing structures. However, certain factors will play a significant role in the overall cost of your floor projects, and these include

  • The size and current condition of the floor surface
  • Your preferred flooring material
  • Your location within the district
  • The labor intensity of the project
  • Your preferred flooring contractor's local reputation

Therefore, it is advisable that you get and compare rates and quotes for your flooring project from at least three flooring contractors in the area before making a final selection on who to hire for the job. This gives you a general sense of what to expect to pay for your required flooring services and makes it easier to spot dishonest flooring contractors who fraudulently inflate their prices.

Flooring contractors in Washington, D.C. earn an estimated annual wage of $47,680. The list below indicates the average hourly wages for Washington D.C. flooring contractors and compares these figures with the average hourly wages of floor layers in other major cities in the United States:

Washington D.C. Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Baltimore Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Arlington Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Philadelphia Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
New York City Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Columbus Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Chicago Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Los Angeles Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Phoenix Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Jacksonville Flooring Contractors Average Hourly Wage
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are You a Member of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)?

When selecting floor installers in Washington D.C., especially if you need assistance with wood flooring, it is essential to ask if they are members of or have been certified by a professional organization, like

  • The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)
  • The Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA)
  • The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA)
  • The District of Columbia Building Industry Association
  • The Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington
  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

Floor installers who are members of or have been certified by these professional flooring-related organizations are typically more experienced and proficient than their competitors. They also generally have easier access to training, education, insurance, and other industry resources, significantly increasing your chances of getting high-quality services. Finally, these professional organizations offer consumers additional options for mediation in situations where floor installers perform unsatisfactory work or behave unprofessionally.

Note that you should always confirm your intended floor installer's professional organization memberships and certifications before finalizing any hiring agreements with them.

How Much Do You Charge for Floor Repairs?

Even though floors can typically last for hundreds of years with the right care and upkeep, problems from wear and tear are inevitable, given the amount of foot activity that they get. In addition to this wear and tear, your floor can also experience serious damage due to scenarios like

  • Improper installation
  • Poor maintenance
  • Scratches and dents from furniture, pet nails, and other similar objects
  • Dirt and debris being tracked in

When these kinds of damages occur, at least one or more of the following significant floor cross-sections are affected:

  • Floor surface: this is the visible part of the floor and typically gets the most foot activity. As such, dents, scratches, improper cleaning and maintenance, and sun fading are the most common causes of damage to floor surfaces.
  • Subfloor: this part of the floor is typically non-visible and is installed underneath the flooring material to support and keep it level. Damages to subfloors are usually a result of water-related issues.
  • Joists: this floor cross-section is a structurally critical component of homes and is installed underneath the subfloor to support the weight of the floor and the room above it. Joist-related repairs should always be handled as soon as any damage is noticed and should only be done by experienced professionals.

Always ascertain that the flooring contractor you intend to work with in Washington, D.C., is capable of handling the specific type of floor damage you are experiencing before hiring them. Also, ensure that you agree on how much you will be charged for the flooring contractor's services and get this agreement in writing before any repair work begins.

Prices for common floor repair services provided by professional flooring contractors in Washington, D.C., are listed below:

Estimates based on flooring material per square foot:

$1.35 - $4
$5 - $25.75
Engineered wood
$5 - $25.75
$4.25 - $10
$2 - $7.50
$2 - $8.50
$10 - $16
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates based on type of damage:

$100 - $1,000
Squeaky floors
$205 - $1,000
$225 - $650
$225 - $2,500
$225 - $2,500
Water damage
$1,050 - $5,000
Uneven floor
$2,050 - $18,500
Sagging/Sunken floor
$2,100 - $18,500
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates based on repair solution:

Floorboard repair (per board)
$100 - $300
Flooring replacement (per square foot)
$5 - $50
Floor patching (per patch)
$200 - $1,000
Floor surface repair (per square foot)
$5 - $20
Subfloor repair (per room)
$200 - $1,000
Subfloor replacement (per square foot)
$3 - $12
Floor joist repair/replacement (per joist)
$450 - $2,200
Floor refinishing (per room)
$750 - $1,300
Floor leveling (per room)
$1,050 - $18,500
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates based on floor location:

Bathroom (for 35 – 75 square foot floor)
$300 - $2,000
Mudroom (for 40 – 75 square foot floor)
$350 - $2,000
Kitchen (for 100 – 200 square foot floor)
$440 - $6,000
Foyer (for 100 – 200 square foot floor)
$475 - $6,100
Living room (for 300 – 400 square foot floor)
$900 - $9,500
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Flooring Services Do You Offer in Washington, D.C.?

When searching for proficient flooring contractors in Washington, D.C., it is essential to find out the kinds of flooring services your prospective contractor is equipped to offer and also ensure that they have experience working with your desired flooring material. Professional DC-based flooring contractors typically offer a wide variety of flooring services, and these services are generally grouped into three main categories, namely:

  • New floor installations
  • Old floor removal and replacements
  • Floor repair and maintenance

Likewise, professional flooring contractors in the district are generally capable of working with several types of popular flooring materials, like

  • Hardwood: hardwood is a very popular type of flooring material and is favored by DC homeowners because of its aesthetic appeal, durability, and relatively easy maintenance. However, they have the disadvantage of being susceptible to scratches, dents, and water-related damage. Hardwood floors are usually made from widely accessible wood species like mahogany, oak, cherry, ash, walnut, maple, and bamboo, as well as more exotic wood species like mesquite, teak, and jarrah. Hardwood flooring is also readily available in different varieties, like solid hardwood, finished hardwood, and engineered hardwood.
  • Tile: tile is an aesthetically appealing and durable flooring option. However, this flooring should always be installed by professionals. Otherwise, it may turn out uneven and with a lot of installation errors and flaws. Tile flooring is readily available in different varieties like ceramic, engineered, and porcelain tiles.
  • Laminate: laminate floors offer the aesthetic appeal and durability of tile and hardwood floors for a relatively lower price. This type of flooring is also more scratch and dent-resistant than hardwood but is susceptible to moisture damage.
  • Vinyl: vinyl is a popular flooring option for kitchens and bathrooms because of its high resistance to water and moisture damage. This type of flooring is also durable, relatively cheap, and easy to maintain. Vinyl flooring is readily available in three main varieties, namely sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl planks (LVP), and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT)
  • Carpet flooring:  Carpet is typically available in two main varieties: natural and synthetic fiber. The former is more environmentally friendly, while the latter is more reasonably priced, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain

Always ensure your intended Washington D.C. flooring contractor is qualified to handle the flooring materials you choose and has the necessary equipment to execute the project satisfactorily. Additionally, make sure you and the flooring contractor agree on a price for their services before any work starts, and get this agreement in writing. The following price ranges are typical for flooring services in the DC area:

Laminate floor installation (per square foot, for mid-grade laminate)
$6.30 - $7.30
Laminate floor installation (per square foot, for solid-based epoxy)
$4.55 – $7.10
Vinyl floor installation (per square foot, for mid-grade tile)
Linoleum floor installation (per square foot, for mid-grade tile)
$6 - $7.30
Wood flooring installation (per square foot, for mid-grade solid hardwood)
$9.25 - $13
Wood floor refinishing (per square foot)
$4.60 - $6
Ceramic tile installation (per square foot, for mid-grade tile)
$8.80 - $11.25
Tile and grout cleaning (per square foot, for cleaning and sealing)
$1.70 - $2.85
Tile removal (per square foot)
$4.15 - $5.55
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Refinishing is a good option for old hardwood floors instead of having them totally replaced. This process typically involves sanding down the floor surface and applying fresh stain and lacquer to it. Note that this is a different process from resurfacing, which is usually more labor-intensive and involves removing old floorboards, leveling up uneven ones, and reinforcing floor planks with new nails.

In addition to restoring your hardwood floors and helping them maintain their natural beauty, floor refinishing projects also offer you an ROI of up to 147 percent when done right. As such, even though you can DIY these types of projects, hiring a professional flooring contractor is always a good idea to ensure that the job is done correctly and with the fewest errors possible. Floor refinishing typically costs an average of $3 - $8 per square foot in the DC area. However, these costs are mainly dependent on factors like the size of the floor and the amount of labor required for the job.

While industry experts generally recommend that you refinish your hardwood floors every seven to ten years, which amounts to about four to six times during its lifespan, you should consider undertaking this project if you notice that your floor:

  • Is bending downwards from its edges
  • Has suffered significant dents or scratch damages
  • Has stains that are difficult to remove
  • Has splinters
  • Is turning gray or showing signs of discoloration and fading

Note that you may have to replace the affected floors in some situations. These situations include instances where

  • The floor has already been refinished multiple times
  • The floor has sustained serious water, scratch, mark, or dent damage
  • The floor has nails poking through
  • The floorboards are moving or creaking

Do You Offer a Warranty for Floors Installed?

Whether or not you will be offered a warranty is a crucial area to consider when selecting floor installers in Washington D.C. Professional floor installers in the district typically offer two different kinds of warranties, namely:

  • Manufacturer Warranties: This warranty covers the installed flooring material. As such, its specific coverage terms and conditions are determined by the product manufacturer as well as the type of flooring material in question. Nevertheless, the coverage durations for many manufacturer warranties offered in the DC area generally fall within the following ranges –
      • Hardwood: 25 years or more
      • Tiles: 10 – 25 years
      • Laminate: 10 – 30 years
      • Vinyl: 10 – 20 years
      • Carpet: 10 – 20 years

Note that these coverage durations are often shorter in situations where the flooring material is installed in a commercial building. Also, even though manufacturer warranties are usually non-transferable and only offer coverage to the original product purchaser, some manufacturers may offer homeowners the option of having their warranties transferred to third parties. However, this transferability is usually contingent on the third party moving into the home where the flooring material was initially installed within a specified timeframe.

  • Installation Warranties: This warranty covers the work done by the floor installer and guarantees the flooring material was installed professionally and per the product manufacturer's specifications. Installation warranties typically have coverage durations of at least one year

To this end, before you finalize hiring agreements with any floor installer in the district, always make sure that you will be offered warranties for the project. Also, ensure that you clearly understand these warranties' specific terms and conditions to avoid circumstances that can void them. These types of circumstances usually include:

  • Improper installation
  • Repair work done by unlicensed or unapproved flooring professionals
  • Inadequate or inappropriate use, maintenance, and care of the installed flooring material
  • Damages brought on by natural disasters

Will You Handle Clean-up after the Flooring Installation?

Flooring installation and replacement projects often generate large amounts of dirt and debris, mainly when these projects are undertaken in commercial buildings, which typically have bigger floor areas than residential buildings. Therefore, in addition to hiring a proficient flooring contractor for the job, you should also ensure that the contractor will be responsible for all necessary post-installation clean-up activities. Confirm that post-installation clean-up is covered by your service contract and ensure that these cleanup activities are completed before the newly installed flooring is formally used.

Listed below are tips for the proper cleaning and maintenance of different types of newly installed floors in Washington, D.C.:

Flooring material Do's Don'ts
  • Wipe off spills promptly.
  • Dust and wipe regularly.
  • Use soft mops.
  • Use appropriate polishing material and cleaners recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Always use wood-specific floor cleaners.
  • Use soft-bristle brooms.
  • Never use wet mops.
  • Never wash floors with water.
  • Do not vacuum with a beater bar.
  • Do not use stiff brooms for sweeping.
  • Do not steam-clean the floor.
  • Use floor protectors or glides on the bottom of furniture to prevent scratches and abrasions.
  • Remove dirt and grime through dust mopping or vacuuming. Use a damp mop occasionally, and always wipe the floor dry with a clean cloth.
  • Do not use soap-based detergents for cleaning.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners, scouring powder, or steel wool.
  • Do not drag furniture on the floor.
  • Do not flood the floor with water or cleaner.
  • Never refinish or sand your floor.
  • Sweep and vacuum frequently.
  • Mop with clean, warm water to remove stubborn dirt, and rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  • Always use cleaners recommended by the product manufacturer.
  • Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners, detergents, or "mop and shine" products
  • Clean spills as quickly as possible to avoid stained grout.
  • Always take precautions when moving heavy objects across the floor to avoid scratches and cracks.
  • Cover furniture and table legs with protectors to minimize scratching.
  • Consider caulking and sealing the floor after installation to extend its lifespan.
  • Never use scouring powder, steel wool, or any other abrasives that can scratch the tile's finish.
  • Do not use bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Flooring Contractors in Washington, D.C.?

Flooring contractors that wish to operate in Washington D.C. must comply with specific district-mandated insurance requirements, which include:

  • Contractors that are licensed as General Contractors/Construction Managers must maintain commercial general liability insurance with minimum limits of at least $500,000 to $2,500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and property damage, depending on their license classification
  • Contractors that are licensed as Home Improvement Contractors must maintain liability insurance with minimum limits of at least $50,000 per person or $100,000 in aggregate for more than one person for bodily injury or death in any single accident and $10,000 for property damage. Flooring contractors with this license type must also post and maintain a home improvement surety bond of $25,000

Ensuring that your prospective flooring contractor is adequately insured is crucial when planning flooring projects in Washington, D.C. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of seven fatal workplace injuries occurred among DC-based construction-related workers in 2020; more than half of all reported fatal workplace injuries in the district that year. You risk being held responsible for any injuries or property damage sustained during or as a direct result of work being done on your project if you hire an uninsured contractor.

As such, always confirm that any flooring contractors working on your project have complied with the relevant district-mandated insurance requirements before they start any work. One approach to do this is to ask for a copy of their insurance certificates and bond certificates, if applicable, and then authenticate these documents with the appropriate issuing company.

Additional information on district-mandated insurance and bond requirements for flooring contractors that operate in the DC area can be obtained by contacting the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection at (202) 671-4500.

How to File a Complaint Against a Flooring Contractor in Washington D.C.

The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG) is the primary consumer protection agency in Washington, D.C., and complaints against flooring contractors in the district can be filed with this office.

Home improvement scams are rampant in the DC area, and con artists constantly try to defraud unsuspecting consumers. In October 2022, the OAG published a report on its recent consumer protection activities and revealed that it had received over 2,500 consumer complaints in 2021 alone, more than it had ever received for any previous year. As such, when planning flooring projects in Washington D.C., you should keep an eye out for fraudulent contractors that try to obtain money from unwary homeowners through scams like deceptively:

  • Lying about their license status
  • Demanding significant upfront payments before starting work, and then providing poor services, leaving the job unfinished, or failing to do any work at all
  • Deliberately over-measuring the length or width of the floor area to jack up their prices
  • Charging for premium flooring materials but utilizing substandard materials

The following tips can help you avoid these home improvement scams and ensure that you hire legitimate and proficient flooring contractors in the DC area:

  • Be wary of door-to-door contractors. Get referrals to reputable flooring contractors near you from friends, relatives, or online directories provided by organizations like the DC Department of Buildings, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Wood Flooring Association
  • Always compare prices from at least three different flooring contractors before making your final selection
  • Verify your prospective flooring contractor's license status online or by calling (202) 442 4311
  • Do your due diligence on any flooring contractor you intend to hire. Request and check references, and also look them up online via websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp
  • Make sure that you are given a clearly detailed contract before any work starts. Review this contract thoroughly before signing it, and do the same for any other documents that you are asked to sign
  • Never pay more than one-third of the project's total cost upfront, and never allow subsequent payments to get ahead of the project's progress. It is also a good idea to avoid cash transactions

Complaints involving flooring contractors, floor projects, and home improvement scams in Washington D.C. can be filed with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia through the following methods:

  • By calling (202) 442-9828
  • By completing and submitting a complaint form online
  • Via email
  • By texting "complaint" to (202) 738-5212 and following the guided prompts

Complaints concerning flooring contractors and floor projects in the district can also be filed with the DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) through its Consumer Protection Complaint Request portal. However, it should be noted that this agency normally only initiates inquiries into cases involving more than $250 or when it is found that the flooring contractor has a documented pattern of unprofessional or fraudulent behavior.