A brain trust connecting us across the country: NFCA Board

Chris Maskell

Canada is a big country, and to talk to itself our industry needs strong connections between people across the land. Since NFCA was repurposed in 2015, it has experienced tremendous growth and support from construction professionals across Canada.

This growth has been made possible due to several factors including:

  •  A long-standing frustration within the floor covering industry regarding poor site conditions.
  • An underlying desire from many in our industry, and related industries, to improve floor covering standards.
  • The cost of construction delays.
  • Timing and tools available to affect change.
  • The power of social media to bring people and ideas together.
  • Having a strong core from which to communicate out from.

And that last point, leads me to our Board. NFCA’s newly formed Board of Directors started with a group of 10 flooring professionals representing both manufacturers and flooring contractors, primarily out of Western Canada. This group helped assemble the tools that previous boards had worked hard to produce, and then packaged them under the new NFCA banner for presentation to the larger construction community. This effort included loading the original hard copy Floor Covering Reference Manual online, talking with architects, specification writers, general contractors, building owner groups, health authorities and city municipalities about these updated floor covering specifications and how they would benefit from including the manual and the NFCA Quality Assurance Program (independent inspection service) on their projects.

Board members across the country

Since then, more board members have been added to represent other provinces. Candace Hahn of Centura in Saskatchewan, Brent Johnsen of Mapei in Alberta and Jordan Vogt of Steinbach Flooring in Manitoba – each able to reach out and talk to people in their communities. More nominees are waiting in the wings.

Don Styka (Tarkett), is leading our Education Committee and working to form a library of valuable content that will eventually be available for industry to take advantage of. Bob Hunter (Milliken) is heading up the Membership Committee to ensure the application process and criteria maintain quality and meaning to applicants. Other ongoing work includes updates to the Floor Covering Reference Manual, supported by Fred Rabiner, past NFCA president and current president, Rick Wagner (Maxwell Floors).

Eric Klaassen (Atmosphere Floors), Dean Stamper (Shaw Industries), Brent Coleman (Beatty Floors) and Jason Parachnowitsch (Mohawk Industries) round out an impressive group of influencers and fine colleagues.

Member work will continue, especially around sharing and re-sharing basic information that answer questions including:

  • What are acceptable conditions and why do we need them?
  • What is flat concrete and who should provide it?
  • What is the Floor Covering Installers Trade Scope-of-Work relative to surface preparation, moisture testing slabs, and protection of installed flooring?
  • What is the Quality Assurance Program? How does it work? How does is help?
Our work is paying off

Architects are more aware of the NFCA specification as is evidenced by specifications showing up in multiple provinces.

  • A Winnipeg flooring contractor called recently to let me know that an NFCA Quality Assurance Program specification was included in a local hospital renovation — the first QAP project in Manitoba.
  • A project manager with the Windsor Ontario Community Housing Corporation contacted me in September to advise me that they now include the NFCA manual in all their flooring work.
  • A general contractor from Ontario called requesting information about the Quality Assurance Program specification that was included in a North Bay Ontario school renovation he was bidding on.
The National Floor Covering Association (NFCA) promotes industry standards for resilient, carpet, hardwood, laminate, cork and bamboo floor covering installations.

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