A preview of the 2000 National Installation Contest at Surfaces 2000.

The Surfaces 2000 National Installation Open is the floor covering industry’s premier installer-related event. Finalists from across the country are flown to Las Vegas, NV for a chance to compete against the best installers the industry has to offer. The two-day event evaluates competitors on everything from adhesive selection to personal appearance.

In order to reach the Installation Open, finalists had to qualify in one of eight regional competitions held during the last four months of 1999. Contestants were judged on three criteria: a written exam; repair work; and a hands-on project. The winners from each regional, along with the overall top two runners-up, move on to the main event held during Surfaces 2000.

Finalists compete in either the carpet or resilient category. Each category includes a typical work order designed to test the competitor’s complete range of skills, with emphasis placed on the installer’s ability to handle seaming, transitions, coving, and other key elements of installation.

Last year’s event was held during a single day. This year, competitors will have two days in which to showcase their installation prowess for the judges, a group comprised of some of the industry’s most renowned and respected figures.

For a deeper look inside the Surfaces 2000 National Installation Open, WFCA Technical Services Manager Dick Bray, without whom the Open would be a mere shadow of itself, gives readers an insider’s perspective of the competition in an exclusive conversation with FCI.