Hardwood Flooring Installers / Refinishers

Hardwood flooring installers place, seal, and finish wooden flooring.

What Hardwood Flooring Installers / Refinishers Do.

Wood, particularly hardwood, is a very popular and resilient material for floors, and wood flooring installers both lay this material in place and ensure its aesthetic appeal and durability. They measure, place, and secure the wood, and then finish it by sanding down the wood to make it smooth, applying sealant, and/or applying stain for a pleasing finished look. Wood flooring installers may need to remove previously installed or existing floor coverings to make way for new and improved flooring, and then prepare the surface to be covered by cleaning and leveling it.

Career Snapshot

Hardwood Flooring Installers lay wood flooring.  Refinishing includes scrape and sand wooden floors to smooth surfaces using floor scraper and floor sanding machine, and apply coats of finish.  A floor layer's career begins with on-the-job training from a more experienced wood flooring layer.   Floor layers work in a variety of building environments including offices, restaurants and homes.

(Similar job titles for this sub-sector include:  Floor Covering Contractor, Floor Coverings Installer, Floor Layer, Flooring Helper, Flooring Installer, Flooring Mechanic, Floor Finisher, Floor Mechanic, Floor Refinisher, Floor Sander, Hardwood Floor Finisher, Hardwood Floor Refinisher, Hardwood Floor Sander)

Job Details

Hardwood Flooring Installers/Refinishers typically do the following:

  • Remove existing flooring or wall covering
  • Clean and level the surface to be covered
  • Measure the area and cut flooring material to fit
  • Arrange flooring according to design plans
  • Cut covering and foundation materials, according to blueprints and sketches
  • Cut flooring material to fit around obstructions
  • Place flooring and secure with adhesives, nails, or staples
  • Follow established safety rules and regulations and maintain a safe and clean environment
  • Study specifications in blueprints, sketches, or building plans to prepare project layout and determine dimensions and materials required
  • Shape or cut materials to specified measurements, using hand tools, machines, or power saws
  • Install wood flooring and/or trim using carpenters' hand or power tools
  • Finish wood flooring with stains, sealants and polish

Education and Experience

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to enter the occupation. There are no formal education requirements and these trades workers don't need specific licenses or certifications.  Most workers in this construction sub-sector learn their trade on the job by helping more experienced workers and gradually being given more duties.  Certain high school courses, such as art and math, may be helpful for flooring installers.

Career Outlook

  • Annual pay: Hardwood Flooring Installers/Refinishers earned an average base salary of $40,000 in 2019
  • Employment growth forecast 2018-2028: 7-10%
  • Entry-level education: No formal educational credential required

Career Growth Opportunity

The construction of new housing units will be the primary source of flooring installation work over the next decade.  Hardwood Flooring Installers/Refinishers generally begin their careers as helpers and advance to full journey level after several years of experience. From there, the installer may move up to foreman, carpentry supervisor, or general construction supervisor positions.  Some Hardwood Flooring Installers/Refinishers become contractors and open their own businesses.

Professional Associations

  • International Masonry Institute - Team IMI consists of architects, engineers, construction managers, skilled craftworkers and instructors, offering what no other group can: expertise in training, craftsmanship, design, installation and marketing.
  • International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association - CFI is about installers helping installers rise to a level of professional skills and integrity that will bring the maximum beneficial impact to the floor covering industry, the floor covering installation profession, and to customers who care about the quality of the investment in their floors.
  • Finishing Trades Institute International - This organization’s mission is to advise, assist and coordinate in the training and development of a skilled, educated, and productive workforce for the finishing trades industries.
  • International Standards and Training Alliance - INSTALL is an association of professionals from across the entire flooring industry. This organization is comprised of installers, contractors, manufacturers, associations and consultants that share one simple goal: to take pride in all the work that is delivered.
  • Professional Flooring Installers Association - PFIA is the trade organization for flooring contractors and specialists serving commercial customers. Our members are INSTALL certified. They employ skilled union installers and adhere to the highest standards for safety and quality.
  • Tile Contractors’ Association of America - TCAA members are experienced BAC-signatory ceramic tile contractors who save time and money for their customers through professional installations, supervision, efficient management and - most of all - unparalleled craftsmanship.
  • The Flooring Contractors Association - This organization functions as an educational outlet with a mission for flooring contractors of providing many educational opportunities and resources to support commercial flooring contractors.
  • Associated Builders and Contractors - ABC's mission is the advancement of the merit shop construction philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades – IUPAT members work in the Finishing Trades as industrial and commercial painters, drywall finishers, wall coverers, glaziers, glass workers, floor covering installers, sign makers, display workers, convention and show decorators and in many more exciting occupations.
  • Home Builders Institute - This organization’s mission is to advance and provide education, career development, training and placement of men and women serving the building industry.
  • National Association of Home Builders - NAHB strives to protect the American Dream of housing opportunities for all, while working to achieve professional success for its members who build communities, create jobs and strengthen our economy.
  • The Associated General Contractors of America - The AGC of America works to ensure the continued success of the commercial construction industry by advocating for federal, state and local measures that support the industry; providing opportunities for firms to learn about ways to become more accomplished; and connecting them with the resources and individuals they need to be successful businesses and corporate citizens.
  • National Association of the Remodeling Industry - NARI connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that consumers have a positive remodeling experience with a professional, qualified remodeler.
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) - This mission of this organization is to build a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of craft professionals.  Their vision is to be universally recognized by industry and government as the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for construction and maintenance craft professionals.
  • The Associated General Contractors of America - The Associated General Contractors of America works to ensure the continued success of the commercial construction industry by advocating for federal, state and local measures that support the industry.
  • Fuse Commercial Flooring Alliance - This organization provides member owners and their businesses with educational and training programs, finance, sales and marketing services, and exciting sales incentive programs.


  • Floor Covering Installer – products, materials, tools, how-to, blog....
  • Carpenter Magazine - Official magazine of United Brotherhood of Carpenters
  • This is Carpentry - Feature articles, TIC authors, safety....
  • Constructor - online digital magazine
  • Floor Covering News - Floor Covering News is the Industry’s preferred publication serving retailers, distributors, installers, designers and manufacturers with the #1 editorial content, frequency and most loyal circulation.
    Floor Covering Weekly - Floor Covering Weekly, the undisputed industry leader, has a long and proud history of keeping our readership informed and up to date. That’s why more specialty retailers choose Floor Covering Weekly above all other industry magazines.
  • National Floor Trends Magazine - Positioned as an upscale, fashion-oriented magazine above all other trade publications serving our field, with information retailers/contractors and specifiers/architects/designers need to lead, succeed and grow.