Here’s a tip: it all depends on your situation
Hiring local professional carpet installers can save the day when you have just can’t take that ’70s shag carpet in your basement any longer. But sometimes, knowing how much to pay those professionals can get a bit confusing. Do you give them a tip on top of the agreed-upon rate? And if so, how much? And to which crew members? Should you really give the person who spent an afternoon crawling around your carpet on their hands and knees the same amount that you give the person who showed up at the end to throw away your old carpeting?
After all, hiring professionals to install your carpet can be expensive enough on its own; you can expect to pay an average of $1,730 for the job. This guide helps you decide when to tip, how much to tip, and who should actually see your gratitude for a job well done.
When You Should Tip Carpet Installers
It’s common to get a quote (or three) before hiring a professional (like a flooring installer) to come into your home and do work. If you feel that the rate is fair and the work is good, it’s not unusual to give the installers a little extra cash for a job well done.
In industries like these, tipping is considered an appreciated bonus, unlike in the food and service industry, where tipping makes up the bulk of employees’ incomes. That said, if you are happy with the work, a nice way to show your gratitude is with a small financial token of your appreciation.
When You Shouldn't Tip
Many big companies have strict rules against employees receiving additional compensation from homeowners. If you’ve hired a franchise or large corporation, tipping may be a big no-no. If you’re unsure, you can go to the company’s website and see if they have anything posted, or ask the supervisor on your job to avoid any awkward moments down the line.
How Much Should You Tip Carpet Installers?
Unlike eating out at a restaurant, where 15% to 20% is considered the norm, there’s no standard for how much you should. Because these employees don’t work for tips, you don’t have to worry about supplementing their hourly rates.
But if you’re worried about how much to tip, $10 per installer is normally a good base, and that number can go up depending on just how happy you are with the work (or how high the cost of living is in your area). Additional factors, like how close you are to Thanksgiving or Christmas, can also influence how much you should tip. Generally, you should tip slightly more during the holidays, so consider bumping your $10 up to $20 per person if you’re having work done in the days leading up to a major holiday.
Who Should You Tip?
Not everyone who comes into your house does the same amount of work, so you may be thinking that you don’t need to tip everyone equally, but that could be a mistake. A lot of work goes into home improvement projects behind the scenes, and sometimes before the installers even arrive at your home.
For example, just because you only saw two people in the three-person crew doing the laborious work of installing your carpet, it doesn’t mean the third person wasn’t the one who loaded everything up at the warehouse, or who will be tasked with tossing everything into a Dumpster when they get back to the office. That’s why you should offer the same amount to every member of the crew who shows up to your home the day of the job, or else give the total amount to the lead on the job and have them disburse it to the team once they’ve finished.
TL;DR: You’re Not Obligated To Tip
Of course, you really aren’t obligated to tip carpet installers, even if they have done a very good job. Since tipping isn’t common in this industry, nobody is going to be waiting with their hand out after the job site has been cleaned up for the day. Which means nobody is going to be upset with you if you stick to your original agreement and only pay the quoted price for the job.