Recently I attended the National Wood Flooring Association’s annual convention in San Diego, where wood flooring contractors and retailers from across the country meet to see the latest wood flooring products, finishes and other installation tools. As with other trade shows I have visited, the areas that saw the greatest attendance were the educational and installation demonstration stages. This shows the ongoing importance of education and installation to all segments of the flooring industry. One of the most well-attended sessions of the convention was presented by veteranFCIcolumnist Jon Namba, who explained in great detail the problems that can occur when installing wood flooring and offered practical advice on how to prevent them. After the full session was completed, many attendees stayed afterward to ask Jon more questions, which he patiently and thoroughly answered.

In this special issue ofFloor Covering Installer,Jon and our other columnists offer detailed, hands-on instruction on a variety of important topics in our annual How-to Reference Guide. In his article, “How to Install Self-Leveling Underlayments,” Jon discusses the factors which must considered when installing these popular products, including flatness issues, surface preparation and the effects of job site temperature and moisture conditions. Wood expert Mickey Moore also explores job site and moisture-related issues in his article, “How to Remediate a Cupped Wood Floor.” Tile expert Michael Byrne returns to FCI after a long hiatus with a detailed, step-by-step exploration of “How to Waterproof a Tile Shower,” one of the most common problem areas for tile installation. In the resilient category, Christopher Capobianco addresses “How to Install Cork Tiles,” while Ray Thompson explains “How to Miter Cove Base.” These are only some of the highlights of this reference guide, so be sure to check out all the informative articles and columns. We hope that this special “how-to” issue of FCI will help you to become a better installer.