Floor Covering Installer

A floor covering installer lays, replaces, repairs, services and prepares rugs, carpets and flooring made of organic and synthetic materials such as linoleum, vinyl, plastics, rubber, wood, cork and seamless plastic flooring, and they are also responsible for the preparation of the sub-surfaces.

People spend a lot of time indoors, whether it is at work in an office, at the gym, inside a shopping mall or relaxing at home. All kinds of trades to do with the construction and design of buildings have emerged as we continue to erect more structures for these activities.

One of the trades that continues to grow to meet the demand is that of the floor covering installer.

To lay carpeting, they need to inspect, measure and mark the surfaces to be covered, measure, cut and fasten the underlay or underpadding, and then measure, cut and install the carpeting by hand or with a machine stitcher, seaming iron, bonding tape or other bonding materials. The carpet may be stretched using a power stretcher, and it is secured to the floor or other surfaces using a staple gun or other devices.

Resilient floor coverings are installed using adhesives, rollers and other hand tools. Hardwood floors, such as strip floors, block and plank floors, are installed using glue, staples, nails or by other means .

Floor covering installers also inspect and repair damaged floor coverings of various types and estimate material and labour costs for the work involved. They will deal with customer estimates, mix glue, measure, cut and lay down flooring in the course of a typical day.

Since many of the coverings are expensive and require great care in cutting and shaping, employers look for installers who are careful and methodical workers. Anyone who has ever seen a smoothly polished wooden floor can appreciate the efforts of floor covering installers.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 9 Certificate, though a higher grade is recommended.


What to Study

Floor covering installers receive their training either by informal, on-the-job training or through a learnership programme. Trade certification can be obtained either through a learnership programme or after several years of work experience. While trade certification is not mandatory in all areas to become a floor covering installer, it is a requirement for many employers and can also help secure employment. 

Learnership programmes involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. A prelearnership course may also be available.

Learnerships vary in duration, however, a typical learnership takes from four to five years. Although paid, wages are less than a qualified floor covering installer would receive. After successfully completing the course, the floor covering installer is awarded a certificate of completion.


  • carpet sales outlets
  • building construction companies
  • floor covering contractors
  • self-employment

Further Information

Any of the above

Getting Started

  • speak to a floor covering installer about this career
  • get information about learnership programmes in your area
  • try to obtain holiday work as a helper in a carpet-laying or other flooring firm

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations