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FLOORING: An Industry In Crisis

In The Beginning…

The snake eats itselfThroughout history various industries have encountered crisis for one reason or another. It is as inexorable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, and was generally considered a byproduct of business brought about by its cyclical nature. However, history provides no better example of self-inflicted crisis than the floor covering industry. The snake eats itself.

In order to understand how the flooring industry has arrived at its current state one must examine the cause and affect factors that brought it to this point, so let’s go back to the beginning relative to this point. Read More

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Tile Over Vinyl Flooring

Ceramic & Stone Tile Over Vinyl Flooring
A Raging and On-going Controversy in the Flooring Community

In The Old Days…

Back in the early days of the first home improvement Advice Forums for Do-It-Yourselfers on the Internet, less than a decade ago, it didn’t take long to find out that if you were to choose a subject such as this (ceramic or stone tile over vinyl) and rub two tile installers together you could in no-time create fire. If not a raging flaming beast of a fire then at least plenty of smoke. This type of fire and smoke is hard to extinguish because in the minds of some long-time installers, for them to follow this advice would mean changing everything they had been taught by their mentors and fathers and grandfathers and godfathers. For some, these methods mean change and we all know how humans resist change. So, for this reason, this is not directed at any of the long-time professional installers in the flooring community. No sir, instead it is directed toward the Do-It-Yourselfer that is seeking sound advice from an experienced installer that has (trust me) “been there, done that”. You will find this ongoing argument everywhere on the help forums that you go to seek advice. Read More

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Customer Relations for the Flooring Inspector

dollarsWe are all consumers and we all encounter products or services that do not meet our expectations. The consumer having a problem with their floor covering is no different from me or you. The flooring they paid good money for is not living up to their expectations.

When I first became involved in complaint handling, I thought I would see a lot of people trying to get something for nothing. The complete opposite has proven to be the case. In all the years I have been doing inspections less than a handful have met that ulterior motive. The overwhelming majority of unhappy consumers just want what they paid for. Read More

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Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Flooring Options

A Glance at Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Flooring Options
by Marcy Tate

Eco-friendly and sustainable flooring is growing in popularity. Alternatives to conventional flooring are vast and easily accessible. There are eco-friendly underlayment and sealer options, too. Most eco-friendly flooring options cost about 20% more than conventional flooring types. But the growing increase of requests for eco-friendly flooring has proved that many homeowners are willing to pay extra for the great benefits. Read More

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Hand-Scraped Hickory Steps

Custom Made, Hand-Scraped Hickory Steps

A customer I previously made a fireplace mantle for ask me if there were stair treads to match his hand scraped Hickory hardwood flooring. I knew I could make hickory steps but wasn’t sure if I could get the hand scraped look. Festool and Makita have planer blades for hand planers to give the “look,” but for one set of stairs I can figure something else out. I will also be opening up a portion of one wall of the stairwell so the steps run past the wall and have a capped end.

If you do hardwood flooring, you may see this as a great way to add custom business and more profit. I’ve done many sets of steps in my career, so this is not new to me, but the “hand scraping” part of it is a first. Read More

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Retailer & Installer: Working Partnership?

Flooring Retailer and Installer: Is It a Valued Working Partnership?

Partners are for dancing and the only ship that will never sail is a partnership. Installers who are looking for a partnership with a retailer, builder, designer or any other business entity are looking for love in all the wrong places.

As for respect, respect is something that begins within and is reflected or mirrored by those for whom we serve. We are not in this floorcovering business to be someone’s friend or substitute family member. We are here to do a job. We are trained, skilled, educated and knowledgeable about every aspect in the execution and delivery of our craft. Because we have respect for ourselves, we hold ourselves to a higher level of accountability than they will ever hold us. Because we are accountable for our actions we know what we will do and, even more important, we know what we will not do and Read More

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Independent Inspectors for the Flooring Retailer

Flooring Retailers and the Independent Inspector

Eye SpyUsing an independent and experienced flooring inspector gives the retailer an unbiased and credible expert opinion. Smaller floorcovering dealers often have an installation background and can handle installation errors on their own. Larger retailers often have a claims person with business skills but often limited installation skills. In-house claims personnel may lack the expertise and confidence necessary to determine the various installation, manufacturing and consumer issues involved. An independent flooring inspector instills more confidence and is more apt to be accepted by the affected installers, mills or consumers.

It is an unfortunate fact that many consumers expect to be taken advantage of. Read More

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Vinyl Edger Tool Review

The Vinyl Edger is a very user friendly sheet vinyl and linoleum tool and nearly foolproof. With a tool-less design and no moving parts, it is easily used by both right and left handed people. The blades, which are standard hook blades, are held in place by very strong magnets. The engineering is really ingenious in that, if the tool is used wrong, the blade will release, thus preventing a miscut. The tool is designed to produce a net fit, which is perfect for many of the newer adhesives on the market that will not allow for a snug pressure fit. I believe this is a perfect tool for the DIY market due to the well thought out design. Read More

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WFCA Moisture Vapor Testing White Paper

MOISTURE VAPOR TESTING POSITION STATEMENT ADOPTED

Reprinted with permission, D. Christopher Davis, President and CEO, WFCA, July 30, 2006

After taking more than a year to build a coalition of virtually every key organization in floor covering, the Ad Hoc Industry Task Force on Moisture Emission Testing can now officially take the word “Draft” off the Floor Covering Industry Draft White Paper on Moisture Emission Testing. Read More