With all of the ongoing changes in flooring products, it is vital for installers to have the right tools to install these products. Something as simple as having the correct trowel size can make the difference between a lasting installation and an installation that will fail, yet many installers are willing to take this risk to save a few dollars. When weigh the difference on a cost-per-square-foot basis, this only works out to couple of cents, which is certainly worth it given the potential cost of a failure. In addition to preventing failures, having the right tools can also help you to work more efficiently and comfortably.

In order to help you select the right tools, FCI is introducing a new section, FCI's "Tool Guide." In the section, one of our columnists will present a variety of tools that installers can use to improve their productivity and the quality of their work, as well as explaining how they are used and their advantages. For this issue, long-time FCI columnist Michael Hetts kicks things off with a selection of tools for carpet, laminate and wood flooring. In future issues, we will cover tools for all types of floor coverings, including ceramic and stone as well as resilient, wood, carpet and laminate. We hope that you enjoy this new feature, and we would like to hear your comments in suggestions.

Please take a moment to send an e-mail to: moorej@bnpmedia.com. If there are specific tools you would like to know more about, please let us know.
Also in this issue, FCI is proud to present a tribute to our founder, Howard Olansky. If you've been involved with the flooring industry for any length of time, you probably know who he is. During his career of more than 50 years in the industry, Howard has been an important voice in championing the need for installation training. In "The Olansky Files," you'll find the fascinating account of his storied career, which covers the history of the flooring industry during the past 50 years; there are also personal reminiscences from many of Howard's friends and colleagues in the flooring industry.

Finally, on a somber note, we were all saddened to learn of the recent passing of one of FCI's long-running columnists, Joe Grady, whose "From the Technical Expert" column ran in FCI almost since its inception, for more than 10 years. Joe was an invaluable resource for the flooring installation community, as well as an all-around great person. His dedication to profession was truly an inspiration; even as he struggled with a serious illness, he continued working until the end.