One of the most important aspects of learning the flooring installation trade is how to select and use the right tools for any type of flooring. While this might seem like a simple proposition, the reality is more complicated. Too often, installers take a one-size-fits-all approach to their tools, and the results can be disasterous. For example, using the wrong size trowel can cause too little or too much adhesive to be applied to resilient flooring, which can lead to costly installation failures. Many installers try to cut corners by using the same trowel for all different types of adhesive installations. For a typical size installation, the cost of buying the correct trowel works out to only a few cents per square foot, but could potentially save you thousands of dollars. Given the current economic circumstances, can you really afford to take those types of risks?

In order to prevent costly installation failures, always take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions on all tools and installation products such as adhesives, fasteners, and seaming tape. Even experienced installers can overlook details when they become overconfident. While many basic flooring installation techniques remain unchanged year after year, the materials used are changing very rapidly. Gone are the days of all-purpose adhesives; there are now separate formulations for every type of flooring. Today’s installers are faced with a bewildering array of choices, so it’s vital to learn the difference between these products.

With this in mind, Floor Covering Installer is proud to present the annual Spotlight Showcase issue. In this section, leading manufacturers explain in detail about their latest installation tools and products, giving you the information you need to make the best choices when it comes to your installation jobs. Be sure to check out these showcases, and when you see a product that catches your attention, go try it out in person at your local floor covering distributor. Special thanks to all of the great companies that contributed to this special section. We hope that you enjoy this special section, and that you will find products to help you optimize your installation business.

If there’s an installation-related tool or product that you would like to see covered in an upcoming issue of FCI, please email me with your comments and suggestions. On behalf of everyone at FCI, have a safe and happy New Year.