Looking ahead

Lee Senter, CFCRA president

Thoughts on the future of our industry

I was at the annual instructor meetings of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration Certification (IICRC) at the end of September and could not help but think about the future of maintaining flooring products. After all, the new products being made, the manner in which they are made and the finishes they have are very difficult to discern from the topside after the flooring has been installed.

At the meeting, we had Shaw Industries talk about the colours and styles that were coming. They talked about the products they expected to be mainstream, which again are often quite new and it’s difficult to figure out what the product is made of once it’s laid down.

I am quite lucky to be kept in the loop on these issues. As a certified carpet and flooring inspector I generally see all the problematic floors, not the floors that perform well. I also see the floors that retailers and installers think they can vary slightly from the installation instructions, but of course they cannot or should not.

The issues are almost always the same. Regardless of what anyone says, all wood products are relative-humidity-dependent, and vinyl products are temperature-dependent. The new generation of floor coverings have wonderful sales pitches and include terms like “waterproof floors” and “scratch resistant,” but we need to understand what these terms really mean.

Where am I going with all of this — it’s really simple — is to always read the product’s installation guidelines and instructions. The statement, ”I have been doing this for 30 years” is getting really tired. I am pretty well versed on flooring products, but if I did not read the instructions on the products I inspect I would be humiliated on a daily basis.

So what can we do as an association to help? Well, we can try and get you the information from the manufacturers.

That’s what we are trying to do. We are speaking to all the major flooring manufacturers to have them come to explain to you what the installation and maintenance issues are with these new products.

Shaw Industries is coming November 27 with an updated Total Care Solutions program. We will then have two sessions of Certified Flooring Installers installation classes at Ardex and First Class Flooring the first two weeks of February and March. We changed the dates so that our members can free up installers to attend these classes at quieter times of the year.

Go to www.cfcra.ca to register. Members who register for two classes get one free!

The IICRC has developed an intermediate level Resilient Floor Maintenance Technician (RFMT) certification class. This class was put together by the flooring manufacturers themselves and the manual was put together by the same group for the IICRC. This is a huge step in the right direction and I hope will have all stakeholders in the industry feeling a bit more in harmony with each other. The CFCRA will be one of the beta testers for this new certification class in the new year.

Larry Withall

I want to say congratulations to Larry Withall of Cleansales who was recently presented the CFCRA’s lifetime achievement award. Larry is a quiet, humble man who has always been a problem-solver for his clients. It is amazing how all his competitors came down to spend the night to celebrate with him.

Lastly, I want to remind our readers that the CFCRA has a service to help the public with flooring issues. Just email [email protected] cfcra.ca and we will promptly try and find solutions to your flooring and moisture related problems.

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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