Carpet Fitter jobs(Also known as Floorlayer)
A carpet fitter is someone who installs carpets, rugs, floors and floor coverings in public, private and commercial buildings A carpet fitter is someone who lays a variety of different floor coverings inside a customer’s property. The material being worked with can usually be fabric carpeting, laminate flooring, solid wood flooring, linoleum, natural stone tiles or “effect” overlays. The term carpet fitter is sometimes used interchangeably with “floorlayer,” although the two jobs are quite different: carpet fitters install floor coverings, whilst floorlayers work with floor base materials. The terms become more indistinct as many companies that install carpets also offer floorlaying services and package the two together under the banner of “floor installation.”
SalaryCandidates who wish to join established carpet fitting businesses can expect to earn £20,000 to £24,000 based on a 41-hour week. Positions for newly recruited trainees with no experience tend to run below this figure for the first two years. There is the possibility for regular overtime too, and also the occasional cash tip from customers. This salary is based on aggregated searches of UK job opportunity web sites, and is reflective of fitters working in the South East of England but outside London. Many fitters choose to become self-employed, and may subsequently seek to take on at least one additional worker. It is a competitive industry in terms of new business starts, with many new entrants in locations around the UK. Word-of-mouth advertising works to the benefit of established firms, and the earnings capacity for a successful business with a stacked commercial order book is theoretically uncapped. Some firms struggle for revenue in areas where there is an outwards migration of other businesses due to recessionary pressures or declining demand.
- Arrive at customer’s site at the designated time and place
- Work either on own or part of a fitting team to lay the carpet or chosen flooring material
- Leave the customer’s property in a tidy state with no reasons for customer “come-back”
- Ensure there are no exposed staples and grip rods, as these are potentially hazardous to the end user
- Partake in evening and weekend overtime in order to satisfy a busy order book of open work
- In the case of a self-employed candidate, the business owner must handle invoicing, tax and administration, at least on a day-to-day basis
- Self-employed candidates will also need to market their own business and find ways of attracting new customers
QualificationsMost fitters have no formal qualifications as they are generally not required at the time of job application within this industry. Some employers like candidates to have at least a GCSE standard in English and maths as this shows a general aptitude for communication and problem-solving.
- Candidates must be able to cut, lay and fasten carpets and floor coverings
- Must be able to measure accurately and advise on possible solutions to the customer’s requirements
- Must be able to work within a team of fitters in larger projects
- It may be a requirement that the fitter also drive the company van from site to site
- Good general people skills are necessary as the fitter will be working in close proximity to the customer
- A good appreciation in terms of being able to leave the site in a clean and habitable condition, even over multi-day installs
Working ConditionsCarpet fitting is a medium risk occupation due to the daily demands of cutting, gluing, pinning and fastening by way of a variety of tools used on site. Risks of sharp objects entering the foot are negated by decent work boots, but there are times when the fitter will be working on site along with builders or electricians, so a degree of common sense is paramount. This job challenges the candidate with the daily demands of heavy lifting, as anyone who has tried to move a rolled commercial overlay will testify. Floorlaying remains a male-orientated industry with something of a “laddish” appeal, although some geographical areas have experienced significant changes in this respect; some prefer to work for small companies in a team of two, whereas other workers prefer the banter and teamwork found in larger workgroups.
ExperienceNew candidates can expect to receive training whilst on the job, and some firms use this as an excuse to pay a relatively smaller hourly rate. However, experienced fitters can usually walk straight into a salaried role, depending on the advance order book of the company. There may be an expectation that they train the younger members of the team too.
Career ProgressionMany fitters who work for established floor installation firms decide to take the self-employed route, which has its pitfalls and perks common to most other industries. Those who run their own business have to deal with taxation, managing workload, finding new jobs, sourcing stock, running vehicles and dealing with general accounting and faltering local markets. Being a sole trader can be very stressful, but it affords the candidate the opportunity to brand and develop their own firm, and look to hire other fitters so that they may continue their expansion.
EmployersCarpet fitters usually work within a pre-defined geographical area for the simple reason that it is easier to build a local reputation than a national one.
James Jenkins is a carpet fitter at Tamar Solutions, which operates in the South-west of England. James is a knowledgeable fitter with 28 years of first-hand experience in the local area.