Certified flooring installations are here

With very little fanfare, the International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI) classes were held here in Canada for the first time on a public level at Ardex in Mississauga.

Lee Senter, CFCRA president

The CFCRA’s underlying purpose lies in our mission statement where we say we want “To engage, inspire and strengthen our related industries through services, best practices and events.” Well what better way to do this than to ensure that flooring installers who want to learn the tricks of the trade and to improve their skills have a place to obtain the necessary education?

The CFCRA has committed to holding the CFI classes. We had to make a significant investment to have the right to host these classes. We also had to have our instructors approved by the CFI brass to be lead and assistant instructors. I want to thank our many sponsors for the class — especially Kraus Flooring who was extremely generous in the carpet donations for the carpet class and Ardex for their never-ending support with a place to hold the classes and supplying so many of the ancillary items needed for the classes.

The CFI sent Robert Varden, Scott Bradely, Joe Cea and Dave Garden to instruct the first classes and to train our trainers. The first classes were carpet installation, hardwood/laminate installation and resilient installation.

The CFCRA’s hope is that the other provincial flooring trade associations will want to host these classes for their local installers also. We want this to be a huge success. A success for the associations, sure, but more importantly we hope that this is the start of raising the bar of the flooring industry’s installation standards. Maybe someday the worry of a poorly installed floor will be a thing of the past!

We plan on holding public classes a couple of times a year. We also hope that the retailers start to use the CFI certifications as a selling point for their stores and differentiate themselves from the big box stores.

The Association has not slowed down on the maintenance side either. We had Roy Reichow up to teach the IICRC Wood Floor Maintenance Technician class in late March. We taught a dozen more technicians how to oil floors, recoat floors and UV cure floors. Its amazing how this class did not have triple this number of attendees especially when you consider the fact that most of the people who do old fashioned buff coats on hardwood floors know that a lot of the new floors just do not accept a screening and a coat of finish. I really do not understand the reluctance of so many in the industry to keep abreast of the changes in flooring and how to install and maintain it properly.

We also held the Shaw Total Solutions program in Ottawa. It was quite refreshing to see so many attendees out to learn about how to take care of the latest products. Lets face it, with the huge amount of polyester broadloom in the marketplace now, its more important than ever to understand nylon and how it’s treated and the polyesters which look the same when they are new but just do not clean up the same way.

The CFCRA is proud of the progress we are making with the retailers, installers and cleaners. We still need some input from the major manufacturers and their reps. It would make the association a bit more rounded out if we had more representation from this segment of the industry. If you are reading this article and are in the manufacturing or distribution side of the business and you would like to make a difference in our industry, feel free to email us at [email protected].

Lastly, I want to remind you that the association has a help line for people requiring help or advice on their flooring. If you are stuck and need some info, guidance or advice you can always email [email protected] and one of our industry experts will be at your disposal to help with any flooring issues you may have.

Moving forward this summer we will be pushing the unique services some of our members offer to dry substrates prior to installing floors. Keep a lookout, you may be surprised at what is offered.

The Canadian Flooring Cleaning and Restoration Association (CFCRA) was preceded by the Flooring Institute of Ontario (FIO), a not-for-profit organization which proudly served the needs of flooring industry professionals in Ontario since 1962.

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