Almost every day, I receive at least one e-mail or phone call regarding installation training; most days there are several. Some of the calls come from retailers who want their installers to improve their skills and get certification on the products they install most often. However, most of the calls come from the installers themselves. It is heartening to hear that so many people are willing to spend their own time and money to improve their installation skills and product knowledge. At Floor Covering Installer, this is our core mission and the inspiration for every issue that we publish. We recognize the need for proper training, and we understand how this training can not only reduce installation failures, but also help installers to boost their bottom line during these challenging economic conditions.

In addition to all the how-to installation articles, news and new product information, one of the most important features in every issue is our directory of installation training programs. Though it is usually in the back of the issue, these three information-packed pages are the driving force behind all those phone calls and e-mails. In these three pages, you will find all the major installation training programs from manufacturers and industry associations, as well as local and regional training programs. The number of such programs has been increasing steadily each year, as both manufacturers and installers realize the importance of installation training and certification in preventing installation failures.

One of the most important training programs for installers is the program offered by Certified Floorcovering Installers (CFI), who have long championed the cause of installation training. Although they are known primarily for their comprehensive carpet installation training program, they have recently expanded their training curriculum to include hard surface materials, including hardwood, resilient and laminate. Under the leadership of FCI columnist and installation expert, Jon Namba, this ambitious program just keeps getting better all the time. If you’re not familiar with this program, I highly suggest that you investigate what they have to offer.

Another important program is the INSTALL program, which offers training on every aspect of flooring installation, as well as training for many other areas of the construction industry. I was fortunate to visit their state-of-the-art training facility in Las Vegas during the Surfaces show, and came away highly impressed by the curriculum, facilities and staff of this organization.

These are only two of the many fine programs that are out there now; there are programs for every specialty of installation, from subfloor prep and removal to custom borders and inlays. Be sure to visit our directory of training programs in this issue to get started with improving your installation skills and knowledge. If there is a type of training that we do not have listed and would like to see featured, please take a moment to call or e-mail us with your requests and suggestions.