Jim Walker, ceo of the International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI), was the keynote speaker for both sessions. Walker stressed the value of certification and professionalism.
“The importance of a professional reputation grows the installers’ business,” Walker said. “Certification must be a part of this to stand out in the flooring installation business. Installers must set themselves apart to be recognized for their skills and knowledge. No one wants to hear about how many years you have been installing flooring.”
Bernstein, who was instrumental in the massive growth of the Wisconsin CFI Chapter before relocating to the Chicago area, was also responsible for hosting numerous certification programs.
“Flooring installers are important to the growth of ProSource,” said Bernstein. “We believe it is of utmost importance that we have the opportunity to provide our customers with the finest installation options available in this area. From past experience, it is a proven fact that when installers seek to add to their knowledge and skills, it becomes a win-win situation for ProSource, for our customers and especially for the installation professionals.”
During the day, the installers had the opportunity to attend a vast selection of workshops. Joe Cea, Installation Specialist representing Congoleum and All Tile, demonstrated the installation of Air Step Vinyl. Rita Bockrath and Justin Covey of Duo-Fast shared the techniques involved in the application of Jet-Trac, a solution for tackstrip installation over concrete. Robert Varden of Seam Master/Koolglide and Jim Walker provided information concerning the identification and installation of woven carpets. Keith Knorps and Colin Pinner of Warmly Yours demonstrated the underfloor heating system. Tim Provence from Armstrong Installation and Technical Services presented techniques for the installation of hardwood and laminate products. Jim Studeny, representing Loxcreen and Carpet Cushions and Supplies, shared information concerning the installation of the Prova Shower System and tile metals.
Scott Carothers, executive director of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation addressed the group prior to the afternoon session.
“Certification is essential for the industry, the dealer and for the professional installers,” said Carothers. “The knowledge and use of the revised 2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation and the ANSI Specifications for Ceramic Tile are critical to the success of the tile installation. Not all tile floorings are installed using the same methods. CTEF is leading the way for the growth of certification in the tile industry. If you are a tile installer, it is very important that you attend the CTEF Certification at this location on March 10, and become a part of a growing group of recognized tile installers.”
Carothers also conducted several sessions stressing the importance of the CTEF Certification, reviewed the various requirements for installation and the new standards. Several installers were fortunate to win the manuals as door prizes.
The next CFI –WFCA Laminate – Wood Training and Certification is scheduled for March 2-3 in Naperville, Ill. at the ProSource location. The course will be conducted by Tim Provence of Armstrong and Tony Buckhardt of Carpet Cushions and Supplies. The CFI – WFCA Carpet Certification will be conducted at the Elk Grove Village ProSource location. Jim Walker and Robert Varden will represent the CFI Team. Later in the year, the CFI Resilient Workshop, the CFI Ceramic Course and the Advanced CFI Carpet Certification will be scheduled at the ProSource locations.
Installers who successfully pass the CFI requirements for the Laminate and Wood Certification also have the opportunity to seek certification through the National Wood Flooring Association, the North American Laminate Flooring Association and through Armstrong ( www.floorexpert.com ). For the flooring installers who are serious about their futures in the industry, a vast amount of education is available concerning training and certification.
“The response was overwhelming for registrations for the two CFI events which attest to the importance that ProSource places on certification,” said Bernstein. “This was the intent of the ProSource Installer Appreciation Day and it was met with huge success. It was important that we achieved a high goal of attendance for the workshops. Not only do the installers benefit from the intensive training, but ProSource does as well. We can rest assured that our customers are receiving the quality of workmanship that is expected. Certification provides ProSource with a method to identify those who provide flooring installations for our customers.”
“CFI appreciates the support of Jeff and the entire ProSource group for recognizing the value of well-trained and certified installers,” said Walker. “The pride exhibited by the flooring installers who participate speaks highly of the quality-minded professionals who represent CFI. We commend the support of ProSource for the importance that the company places on quality installation and look forward to continued success with the programs.”