Forbo & Mondo Course Dates and Costs

Discussion in 'Industry News, Training & Organizations' started by Flooring Specialty Inc, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Interested in Forbo 101, probably Dallas. I will inquire with our manager, but I know you've all done it already. How much did it cost you and what were your expenses additionally? Pennsylvania is also an option, if that site is more thorough. I'd love to see snow again.

    Does anybody have insight on Mondo's cert process? I have heard that 10 jobs may be required as references, I have only 3. But they were epoxy down 5 mil, 4 color, cove and weld. My finger tips went numb for 2 weeks, the 5mil product is that difficult to snap into cap. We bricked seams (and alot of other places too).

    This year, those two would be nice. Thanks in advance, James.
  2. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member


    Since no one has responded to you post yet I will tell you what I know about the Forbo training.

    It has changed and is not the same training that anyone here has taken. Right now the process is you have to attend a evaluation clinic and then be invited to go back to Hazelton PA. They are totally redesigning there training program and I think it will be great.

    So the evaluation clinic runs about 4 hrs. Consists of 8 to 12 participants and goes over the basics of Marmoleum installation. Basically it is designed to see if the applicant has the basic skill they imply they do. If I remember right the clinic runs $ 75.00 and it will be worth the investment.

    Also there has been some other changes and more to come.

    You can call the Forbo Tech Dept for more info. 1-800-842-7839
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  3. IAmFlooring

    IAmFlooring Pro Member

    I have a question. If you get 'certified' do you get some kind of warranty of your work from the manufacturer? Do you. 'Push' the products you are certified on first over other products?
  4. eaadams

    eaadams Sport Floor Pro

    Ask Incognito. Mr. Mondo Southern California
  5. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member


    I'm just an hourly, union installer so I don't "push" any products over others and neither do I greatly concern myself with nor fully grasp all the legal, technical mumbo-jumbo about certifications.

    I have one guarantee I can offer. If anything goes wrong all fingers point immediately at ME. I have to look the "end user" in the eye and explain it to them--------and finally, I have to fix it.

    30+ years of that is pretty much why I'm certifiably insane.
  6. eaadams

    eaadams Sport Floor Pro

    That is a raw deal for you. The installer should not have to deal with that. I handle all that for our installer and he only has to show up and fix the issue (at added cost if my fault, at his cost if his fault). Is that really how they operate down there? Wow that would be a big cost savings.
  7. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Not REALLY a raw deal eeadams. My ability to stand behind my work and show up to represent the shop in the punch list or call back period is what's kept me working at the same outfit.......forever. There's lots of really good installers who aren't the right guy to send back to address problems. I went to college for about three years and majored in psychology with a minor in philosophy. It really does take diplomacy, integrity and expertise to "make it right" for everyone.

    I've yet to replace or repair any work (of consequence) free of charge. So no, it's not any savings to my shop owner. Things go wrong on occasion and I know the shop has sent guys to fix stuff and told them they BETTER not try to charge their hours. He still eats the material costs, delivery, adhesives patch and any backcharge from related trades or the customer's expenses. I've been most diligent in the game of CYA especially nowadays with digital cameras, cell phones and internet access. Probably the most important aspect of that is my willingness and ABILITY to pack the tools and walk off if SOMEONE above me on the chain of command won't take responsibility. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure I've fouled up a much as anyone. I just don't LEAVE the site til I'm happy the job will AT LEAST pass inspection and last the one year labor warranty. I know you mentioned once about 10 or 15 years-------that wouldn't apply to me personally under any circumstances.

    Technically, our contract reads that if the union hall dispatches a qualified journeyman and there's a failure on HIS workmanship the union will provide the labor (only) for any and all corrections. I don't believe that applies TECHNICALLY to those dispatched directly from the shop. So a shop owner takes responsibility for HIS guys as far as I know. When I ask the Business Agents questions like this it kinds of stumps them. I guess it really doesn't come up that often.
  8. I inquired today with Management. Forbo has new glue, so their course is being reworked. Thanks for the insight RFI. Also Mondo he said, doesn't have something that I would be able to readily attend, vague... but he mentioned Nora.

    The courses are always great to network with other installers. I have my own techniques and do things differently than some people so it's nice to either show off or learn something new. Such as:

    • Watching a Forbo mechanic work on Marmo is interesting because they resort to bar scribers and paper templates faster than any other floor.
    • Mondo is a nice 6ft wide rubber but the epoxy is a drag, the bricks take time and coving it was stiffer than Forbo, cross seams like to dive down. I would like to get others advice on Mondo, if I could attend any single factory training it would be Mondo.
    • Altro trained me twice in 10 years, just by chance I had to attend the 2nd time and picked up a couple of new pointers like their endorsement of V plugs over boots. Their weldable drain treatments and the ever popular trapped drain.
    • At Mannington I watched the most proficient guy welding cove and that's when I learned about swivel tips... I had been using Zinser fixed tips for many years prior and then upgraded them at Winkleman.
    It's not just about being proficient with flooring and having patience to read the bucket and give open time when required, Medintec has taught me that much, it's more about having the confidence to tell an entire company of desk jockies 'You're doing it wrong' and fall back on your factory training and the manufacturer to back you up. I had to break out the Mondo install guide more than once and explain OPEN TIME to the GC, and his seemingly endless line of guys wanting to spend time picking my brain. I've had to tell them that THOSE ARE ALL THE WRONG DRAINS and watch them demo concrete digging each one out. Customers want the jobs done right, no matter what Sales and GCs might try to pull during a project. It's only to ensure that customers get what they pay for and I never end up paying for rolls of flooring.
  9. Steve Forbo

    Steve Forbo Pro Member

    If you are good with sheet goods, I highly recommend the Forbo class....and yes, your warranty goes from 5 to 10 years.....
    Bottom line is that you either have "it" or you don't when it comes to high quality sheet goods and flash coving....
    I also have my Mondo cert, and it is nothing close to what you learn at Forbo or even Armstrong for that matter...
    I'm currently doing a pain in the ass Mondo job....9 ramp ways at Delta Airlines with their heaviest material, a little over 3/8 of an inch thick with full poly installation. 20 rolls per ramp and a lot of cuts and seams.
    There are no real secrets to installing mondo other than cut accurately and know how to scribe. Most of their A/B poly installs need no open time. Just proper teeth and 100 lb roller, lots of strong blue tape and skids of bricks(Grey).
    Always cut your mondo dry, and let it relax at least one day. You can trim and cut all your edge seams right away.
    I use a Forbo trimmer with 2 straight blades followed by a hook blade to remove the factory edge vs using a straight edge and butt technique. It is way faster, and gives amazing results. NEVER cut head seams the same day. Cut at least 4 inches off all head seams. After cutting your top sheet with a straight edge, mark the bottom sheet point to point, making sure the edge seams are lined up. Always cut the head seams FULL...bricks will always bring the material down and guarantee a tight head seam. 5 high on the heads and 2 high on the length.
    Another tip is to use the Roberts carpet grabbers with no teeth to handle the material....Along with a high powered leaf blower, you can literally move a 500 lb sheet by yourself....:cool:
    Let me know if you have any other questions, I will try to help.
    And to be honest, the guy that certified me for Mondo took several of my ideas....LOL I had done so much of it, I actually taught him a few tricks....:yesss:
  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Very solid advice Forbo King.

    ESPECIALLY about laying out the goods, trimming the seams and fitting as much as possible to RELAX and acclimate NO LESS than a day ahead of glue. Otherwise the adhesive simply would never get normal roll marks and twists out. DON'T try to kick this shit out and glue it the same day on any job of consequence. Really........THAT'S why they have to send you to "school" and give out these silly "certificates" BREAK YOU from the habits you and everyone else learned their entire career.

    We've had no problems cutting and installing cross seams (head seams) in the same sequence as the entire pre-fitting process. Yes, cut them tight/FULL and then double/triple up on the bricks. 5-6 high and 2-3 wide isn't extraordinary. Bring plenty.

    On LARGE area you can't pre-fit the last sheet because while gluing sheets you're PULLING them tight, taping them firm and then the bricks to get it flat in the wet glue. By the tiime you go even 5-10 widths you're liable to "lose" more than typical rubber cove base can cover, let alone anything scribe fit like a window wall or marble saddle.
  11. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

  12. It's obvious you've done it before. I'm mentioning the 24 hour resting period, when I say open time to the GC. I mean we need to leave these things sit here for 24 hours, untouched. They didn't like that!

    I was using their commercial floor, slightly thicker than 1/8 inch, needed a special cap. Was noted as 5 mil. For the bricks we stopped at home cheapo and checked out 1 pallet and brought 1 pallet from work so we had just about 200 bricks, and that's not very many when you need to stack em up.

    Mondo info said commercial sheets needed sandbags, instead of bricks. Our shop does this Mondo from time to time so I brought one of the more experienced installers with me and gave 1/2 of the $ to him. He kept mentioning bricks and I showed him the paperwork says bags for comm floor and bricks for sports. But we bricked, had to make him happy. On each side of the seam, not directly over top of two sheets, we would place bricks to minimize the cupping.

    I am proficient with scribing and I can chop down as well, but this material was enough to break fingers when snapping into cap, developed carpal tunnel for two weeks. What would I hope to learn? How to minimize the valleyed head seams, why on earth would they state 90% transfer in their EP55 spec? Everybody else is looking for 100%.

    Flat lay sports floors, we use a crab jack sometimes, I thought it crazy at first but it works for pulling sheets. Even though Urethane it slow and thick as peanut butter, it grabs a little better than EP55. I'm not having trouble with sports floors, it's the medical cove Mondo that I'm referring to, their commercial floor.

    I have coved Forbo many times, flat layed it even more. I'm cool with Forbo, it likes me too. But the certification is because I have watched Forbo mechs work and they work differently than homogenous guys, they pattern, they scribe much more frequently and their results reflect this.

    I wish I could get Mondo, that's not to say I will learn a whole lot but it will let me SLOW THEM DOWN when they are trying to jam 1500sf, 400lf of inlayed 4 color bullshit in 3 days with prep. I just wanted to tell everybody to F themselves, but instead ended up giving away 1/2 the job and working 15 hour days and still spent 9 days on it. And in the end I would have made more money hanging cove base. So yeah, I was pissed at myself.

    So the question remains, how does one pursue a Mondo certification? There is probably something I could learn. The Forbo, we will get that set up at work, they're the ones asking for it. All their Forbo guys are Forbo cert'd already, some are out of town working, I'm in town doing pick up b.s. because I can't have that contract. My non-cert status prevents it, in case you were wondering.

    I'm an old school Janser (MI) customer, still buy from them (GmbH) actually. I use their blades and knives and linocut and Zinser, double bar scriber which takes pins and (super sharp) blades. I have Burkes scribers and their blades, and the combi scriber and their blades. Really nothing comes close to Janser on blades. This persistence of mine to buy my tools overseas, in pursuit of that extra edge, the super perfect seams, had led to some quality cutwork on my jobs, they look nice and sell immediately. I may not be Forbo'd out, that's my choice, my way of saying F the system, and is now to my disadvantage. I have attended their seminars however, and I also know their handbook verbatim because it was my bible for the first 5 years, back when I patterned all cove because Forbo said so.

    Certainly goofy about floors, I think we all are.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  13. eaadams

    eaadams Sport Floor Pro

    There used to be a great Mondo installation video on Youtube that showed the seaming / cuts. But it got taken down. But it helped to show the undercut for mondo.
  14. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    The guy from our shop who went to the training came back a changed man. All of a sudden he GRASPS all the basic BS that's written on the side of EVERY pail of pretty much EVERY flooring product and in the online instructions and wants to follow them religiously. Of course Forbo and Mondo have some critical and unique issues to train you on but for this guy all of a sudden he "sees the light" with regard to SIMPLE FLOOR PREP and BASIC CONDITIONS.

    It's really hard for the superintendents who are used to bullying and bum's rushing the floor guys through their filthy, horrible job sites.

    Can't say it hurts my feelings to watch them squirm and squeal when they have to PAY to fix and clean their own mess rather than arguing with me about it.

    Honestly, most of the GCs are pretty fair and good to us. We all just have those lingering memories of those bad ones---------paints them all with the same broad brush so to speak.

    Emotional Battle Scars or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-------so to speak.
  15. MONDO - Futura

    On this page there is a link to the right, References and in the list is Tampa General. The 5 images show examples of contoured and coved Mondo, welded. These are the types of jobs I perform, the market I serve, though none of these images are mine.

    I am looking through these images and I found some that show close ups of the welds, the film residue on both sides of the seam (wash) that is very stubborn to remove.

    They don't show the valleyed seams, but we experienced those and from what I've learned from other installers, they experienced it too. (Guy takes his two hands and makes the finger tips bump each other, pointing downward and cupping upward). Also, the product must have been 4mm, since 5 isn't listed, nor 8mm. I'm not certain, I have a scrap of it here that I left outside, I wanted to see how many months of sunshine it would take for the material to flatten naturally, still waiting for that cupping to go away.

    The 'undercut' you speak of, sounds like the 7 degree bevel that Forbo insisted on, so the bottom of the sheet doesn't create a visible gap on the top of the sheet. We welded everything, typical for medical, but some of these images show net-cut seems, some of this work is fricken beautiful, I'll say that! :D

    Well, I know more today than I knew a few days ago. I thank you guys for that, it prompted me to do more research, just looking at pictures gives some hints as what to expect, as far as natural behaviors are concerned. I sent a formal inquiry to Mondo and await their reply. I can't wait to do 3mm Mondo, a walk in the park.
  16. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    It doesn't all weld up the same no matter what anyone tells you. Colors, lighting, styles, finish layers or treatments, floor conditions, temperatures..................all lead to better or worse, faster or slower, difficult or easier.

    One size doesn't fit all.

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