This year, as in the past several years, wood flooring has been one of the fastest growing market segments among consumers, and this trend is likely to continue for some time to come. As the number of consumers purchasing wood flooring grows, so does the need for skilled installers, who are already in short supply in most areas. If you have an interest in learning about wood flooring installation, or if you just need to improve your skills, there are several organizations that can provide you with the information and training you need.

One of the most important organizations for the wood flooring industry is the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). This professional trade organization offers a wide variety of wood flooring installation training courses, held in locations across the United States. The subjects covered range from wood flooring basics and an introduction to wood flooring installation all the way to expert installation and sand and finish classes. If you can't make it to one of their classes in person, a variety of CDs and videos are available, including classes on laying hardwood floors, sanding and finishing hardwood floors, board replacement and finish repair. For more information on NWFA training classes and training videos and CDs, visit their Web site: www.nwfa.org.

Another key organization for the wood flooring industry is NOFMA, the Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association. This organization is responsible for developing and administering standards on hardwood flooring, certifying a variety of wood flooring materials. NOFMA also offers training courses and many helpful online tutorials. For more information, visit NOFMA's Web site: www.nofma.org.

Most of you are no doubt familiar with Mickey Moore, FCI's resident wood columnist. As technical director of NOFMA, Mickey is on the front line of the wood flooring installation trade every day, fielding countless calls and e-mails from installers with technical questions about every aspect of wood flooring installation. For the past several years, Mickey's columns have addressed a wide spectrum of wood flooring installation and repair topics. For those of you who don't save their back issues, all of these past columns are available online on the Floor Covering Installer Web site, www.fcimag.com, and are key word searchable, so you can easily locate information on any installation-related subject. In this issue, Mickey discusses how to develop a plan for wood flooring layout, an important subject for installers of wood flooring. If there is a subject that you would like to see covered by Mickey, or any of our other columnists, please take a moment to call or e-mail me with your requests, questions and comments.