At this year’s Surfaces show, overall attendance was down considerably. However, you wouldn’t know this from visiting the Installation Showcase, where every demonstration was standing room only. The CFI booth was also extremely busy throughout the show, with attendees from as far away as South America, Asia and Africa, all of whom were there to boost their installation skills and learn about the latest installation products and techniques. While the current recession has certainly slowed business for many installers, there is an upside to be found: more time for training.  

 During the housing boom, most installers were so busy that they were not able to take time out to attend training classes. Now that things have slowed down temporarily, this is an ideal time to improve your installation skills and knowledge about the latest installation products and tools. Doing so will help you differentiate yourself from your competition, which can have immense benefits when the economy picks up again. Getting certified in your area of specialization can allow you to charge more for your services, and the professional connections that you will make by attending workshops and certification training can also lead to more work via referrals.

 One important area of the flooring installation trade is the growing trend toward “green” practices and products. If you’re not already familiar with “green” installation practices and products, now is the time to get up to speed. Many commercial installation jobs are now being specified to comply with LEED requirements, and this trend is continuing into the residential market as well. Consumers are now seeking environmentally friendly flooring products, thanks to increased attention that is being placed upon the sustainability and environmental impact of flooring products in their advertising. In order to stay competitive in this environment, installers need to learn about environmental impact of the flooring they are installing, as well as the installation materials and methods and their impact on indoor air quality.

 To assist installers in learning about “green” flooring installation practices and products, Floor Covering Installer is proud to present its annual “green” issue. In this special edition, you will find informative articles about “green” flooring installation, as well as an installation guide featuring the latest environmentally friendly installation products and services from a variety of leading manufacturers. We hope that you enjoy this  issue, and that this knowledge will help you to stay on top of the latest trends. If there are other subjects that you would like for us to address in Floor Covering Installer, please feel free to send me an e-mail with your suggestions and comments.