One of the other things I’ve learned after spending close to 20 years in this business, is that not all installers are created equal. Years ago we had craftsman doing the installation, more recently we have found that many installers are more skilled as helpers then “mechanics”, but the lure of “easy money” pushes them to become installers. How are you as consumers to know the good from the bad. Referrals don’t really work because you are trusting the installer to give you names of past customers, it is unlikely that he will give you the names of unhappy customers. I just performed an inspection for a customer that used this installer 8 years ago and didn’t have any problems, so when he moved he hired him again. The installer failed in multiple areas, including floor flatness joint stagger, and proper expansion space. The “angels” list on the internet started out with good intentions but I have heard horror stories and, that on many of them you can pay to be ranked higher. We think it is safe to higher the installers that the retailer uses, but truthfully most of the retailers don’t perform any checks of quality, or performance. On any given day the retailer has multiple crews and you never know which crew is going to be assigned to your job, so you might get lucky, you might not. Many of this “installers” where helpers months, weeks, even days ago, but saw the “easy money” and decided to be installers. Not only is quality an issue, but punctuality and work ethic are possible points of failure. To me, it’s s frustrating to have someone not show up on time, and not get the product finished on schedule. I have spent the last 20 years hiring and firing installers (literally 100’s) to reach the crews that work with me today.