Last year, we decided to expand the editorial focus of Floor Covering Installer to include more specialized and advanced installation techniques and practices, while retaining solid coverage of the basics that everyone in the trade needs to know. The intent was to allow long-time readers an opportunity to expand their arsenal of skills without going over the heads of newcomers. Based upon the response we have gotten from our readers, it seems this was a wise decision. Customized installations, such as inlays, borders, and in-floor lighting systems, which is covered in this issue for the first time, not only offer increased profit for the installer; they also offer a valuable way to boost your visibility and increase the number of referrals you get. When a customer gets a customized installation, whether it's a border, an inlay, or a unique mosaic, people will notice, and they will also ask who the installer is. One referral leads to another, which leads to others, and before you know it, you'll have a reputation for your particular specialty. These types of installations are not only beneficial for you and your company; they also benefit the floor covering installation trade overall, by reinforcing the image of installers as craftsmen and artists, rather than mechanics or laborers. This could help to slow the falling of labor rates that many installers have experienced in recent years.

So far this year, we have featured specialized installation articles on glass tile installation, custom inset designs, custom tile patterns, installing natural fibers, cork flooring installation, and in-floor lighting systems, and we have more customizing articles planned for next year as well. We are fortunate to have some of the most skilled and knowledgeable installers in the industry writing for us, and we have only begun to tap into the deep wellspring of knowledge they have to offer. In order to help us to better meet your installation information needs, we would like your feedback concerning our editorial coverage of the floor covering installation trade. If you have any topics you would like to see covered in Floor Covering Installer, please take a minute to e-mail or write to us.

Also, if you would like to have one of your installations featured in FCI, simply mail us your photos taken before, during and after the installation, and we will consider them for our "FCI Snapshots" section, which will be featured in upcoming issues of FCI. This is one more way for installers to show off their installation craftsmanship, skills, and artistry.