Do You Tip Carpet Installers? (Here’s The Answer)

Do carpet installers really need a tip?

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Picture this, the carpet installers are done and about to leave. They’ve had a long and hard day. As you open the door for them to leave, there’s an awkward pause. Do you reach for your wallet? 

Put simply, it’s entirely up to you. Unlike restaurant waiters, nearly all carpet installers receive a set salary. It’s not like their livelihood depends on that five dollar tip. But, when they’re standing in your doorway and your carpet’s looking perfect, sometimes they may well deserve it.

It all comes down to your own personal preference, maybe they helped you move furniture out and back into the room. Maybe they helped remove all the old carpet and carried it down a set of stairs? Carpet installers can be really handy, and the job is often never straightforward.

So if it makes you feel good and you think they deserve it then by all means, splash the cash.

Tips on tipping

Tipping practices differ between cultures. Fun fact! In Singapore tipping over the service charge in restaurants is actually illegal! But don’t worry, tipping here is very much legal, for anything! It’s all down to personal preference. If you want to give beyond what is asked then go for it.

Carpet installers are often employed by the carpet shop or a business that employs them. A boss will have several employees that go out to physically install the carpet where needed. They are employed on a salary not reliant on tips on top of a measly wage. 

As a former waiter myself I know the pain of smiling and being nice to people who don’t deserve my time, I was basically begging for a tip to help pay the rent. As carpet installing is a skilled job, people employed in it will generally receive a good wage already. 

Ultimately, you may feel obligated to tip a carpet installer in particular, since they performed a task involving your personal space. After all, their impression of your home may be helped by that cash incentive. Everyone wants their home to be well remembered, right? 

But don’t lose sleep over it, as a carpet installer, they probably see hundreds of houses a year. They may not even remember you or your house a week later. Obviously if leaving a good impression is your goal, tip them $100 each. Go big or go home, as they say.

What a carpet installer actually does for you

Do you really think you could measure, cut, and staple that carpet down by yourself? I know the thought has gone through my mind. How hard can it be? Why not get your partner involved and have a huge argument to top it off!

Believe me when I say, carpet installing is no mean feat. it takes years of practice to get good at. Installers often take an apprenticeship and gain hours and hours of experience before being trusted to do it alone. Don’t let how easy they make it look fool you. It’s a hard job…

Measuring

Every good installer takes a methodical approach to the task, measuring a room just right, even all the slight lumps and bumps that you find on floors and at the bottom of walls. I don’t know about you but I haven’t worked out a single angle since geometry class. You couldn’t pay me to.

Personally, I think that alone is enough to warrant a tip. They are trained in a skill I would rather not spend my time doing – here’s five dollars. See, easy as that.

Cutting

Have you ever tried cutting through carpet? It’s tough, like really tough. You need big strong hands and a specific knife to get the job done.  One slip and oops there goes a finger, or even worse, you cut the wrong shape. Ahh, start again.

Tools 

Any carpet installer worth the money will bring along specialized tools for the job. This involves something known as a knee kicker that looks like a torture device. A installer bangs their knee against this all day. Does that sound like fun? I wouldn’t trust myself near one of them.

Reassurance

At the end of the day, a carpet installer’s job is to install carpet, duh! They know what they’re doing better than you do. Whether or not you think they deserve a tip or not doesn’t change the fact that the job is a physical one that requires experience and a good set of skills. 

So, as you sit comfy in the other room, or just get home from work, and then try to decide whether to give them a tip, just keep in mind what they do for you. Do you really want to do math, crawl around in dusty corners AND bang your knee against a blunt tool all day? I thought not.

How to decide

Look, obviously, it’s your decision to make. But you wouldn’t have searched for the answer if it wasn’t really weighing on your mind. I understand, really. Social difficulties must be avoided at all costs! Why don’t we weigh up some pros and cons. That might just help.

Pros

  • Rewarding someone for a job well done feels as good for you as it does for them. Win-win! 
  • They may even remember you and want to do even better next time, they might even give you a discount
  • They can buy themselves a nice cold beer after work with your tip, is there any better feeling in life?

Cons

  • You may not be able to afford a tip, and that’s okay. Don’t sweat it. No one will force the money out of you, I hope. You might want to rethink your installers if they do!
  • They may not be the friendliest people. Yep, it happens, some workers are not enjoying their work and will make no effort to chat or ask anything. That’s okay too. Just don’t expect me to tip.
  • They may expect another tip every day, what if they’re there all week?!

But what if…

Undoubtedly your circumstances are unique, ugh, they always are! 

Maybe your carpet installer is really funny or maybe you’ve had a great in depth conversation that lasted all day. 

There’s nothing wrong with making friends with your carpet installers, but don’t feel like you have to tip them for this reason. After all, buying friends is never good advice in any scenario. 

Maybe advise them to become a stand up comedian or maybe even a salesman!

What if they’ve had a hiccup? Maybe their work has been a lot harder than expected. This can happen, and sometimes it will be awkward to discuss a new payment amount. Don’t be afraid to ask if a job is going to run over or require more effort than first thought. They might just say no!

The Takeaway 

Like I said earlier, its up to you! Don’t shell out just to avoid an awkward silence, there’s plenty more of them that you can’t throw money at.

On the other hand, if you believe they’ve done a good job, or you’ve just always done it that way, feel free to leave a big fat juicy tip.