INSTALL Weighs in on Flooring Disasters at IIDEXCanada

John McGrath, director of the International Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL), led the Flooring Disaster: Prevention and Recovery seminar and panel discussion at Toronto’s IIDEXCanada design and architecture expo and conference recently.

“General contractors and other subcontractors must understand that some of their activities can cause substrate problems for flooring installers, ranging from improperly leveled concrete floors to moisture intrusion in the slab. It is the best insurance policy to protect everyone involved,” he said.

Panelist Steve Zizek, flooring instructor, Resilient Floor Workers Training Trust Fund, Carpenters Local 27, added, “The cause of flooring problems is often related to the condition of the substrate. And it can be in poor shape long before the flooring contractor’s arrival on site.”

While moisture in the substrate is a major problem, moisture measurement tests can be performed well in advance of the flooring installer’s arrival. Those tests should be the general contractor’s responsibility, but they are often written into the flooring contractor’s specs, added Zizek.

Panelist Dave Furlano, owner of Centa Tile, said even when his firm performs moisture tests, the installation can still be in danger if the vapor retarder is incorrectly used. Moisture can continue to leach up from beneath the slab—particularly on wet or swampy sites.

Zizek added while moisture remains a major culprit for flooring failures, today’s high-quality moisture mitigation products provide improved protection from moisture failure. In Furlano’s contracting experience, one of the leading causes of flooring failure is maintenance crews that don’t familiarize themselves with the appropriate cleaning products and methods.

Added McGrath, “Maintenance comes under the product warranty and all leading manufacturers have detailed information on proper maintenance.”

Fishman Named FCDA 2014 Distributor of the Year

Fishman Flooring Solutions has been named Distributor of the Year for 2014 by the Floor Covering Distributor Alliance (FCDA) and the Alliance’s Powerhold brand of flooring installation products. A founding member of FCDA, this is the second consecutive year that Fishman has been recognized with the award.

“Winning this award for the second year in a row speaks volumes about the hard work of the entire Fishman team and their dedication to delighting our customers every single day,” said Bill Mabeus, Fishman’s vice president of sales. “It also underscores the value the professional flooring installers, commercial contractors and retailers who are our customers have for the Powerhold brand.”

Candidates for the Distributor of the Year award are evaluated on several criteria, including the number of FCDA manufacturer members whose products it sells, growth in sales of Powerhold products and average sales of Powerhold products by branch. In addition, the award recognizes a company’s level of involvement with the FCDA board and committees, as well as its participation in annual meetings and marketing initiatives.

MAPEI Displays SAMA Mosaics at TISE

MAPEI showed its support of the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) through a gallery of work displayed in the MAPEI booth at The International Surfaces Event (TISE) in Las Vegas. The gallery consisted of the work of 20 SAMA members. Each artist used a 12-by-12 inch base to give their interpretation of the World of MAPEI theme in stone, tile, glass and other elements. All of the mosaics featured MAPEI Flexcolor CQ ready-to-use grout as well as various MAPEI mortars.

“Our member artists fearlessly took on the challenge of interpreting the World of MAPEI theme in a small scale,” said Dawnmarie Zimmerman, executive director of SAMA. “The result is a large statement regarding the vast potential of mosaic, not only as a design element in an architectural setting, but also as fine art.”

“We are impressed with the interpretations and the finished pieces presented to us by these mosaic artists and are proud to exhibit their work along with the latest MAPEI system solutions being featured at Surfaces this year,” said Steven Day, MAPEI Americas’ operational marketing manager. “After the exhibit is over, these striking creations will be on view in our corporate offices in the Americas and in Italy.”

ACI Introduces Online Learning, Certification

The American Concrete Institute’s (ACI) ACI University is a new global, online learning resource, providing on-demand access to a wide range of topics on concrete materials, design and construction.

ACI University combines all of ACI’s online educational offerings in one location and makes them more convenient to access, even on mobile devices. With this access to courses covering ACI’s technical documents, preparing for ACI certifications, concrete-related webinars and study programs on concrete design requirements are all readily available.

“Continuing in that tradition and leveraging the latest in today’s educational technology, the ACI University is a global, completely online, one-stop shop portal to all of ACI’s online courses—conveniently accessible through desktop and mobile devices,” said Frances Griffith, chair of ACI’s educational activities committee.

In conjunction with ACI University, the institute has also introduced a certificate program. This comprehensive and in-depth program is available for an individual to review, study and be tested on a variety of concrete-related topics, resulting in a certificate noting the individual’s completion of single-topic-focused courses from ACI University.

New TISE East Dates, Location Announced

The International Surface Event East 2015 (TISE East) dates have shifted to Nov. 2-5 and the location is moving from Miami Beach to Orlando, Fla. at the Orange County Convention Center.

According to show organizers, these dates and new location will more aptly serve the industry from both an attendee and exhibitor standpoint, creating a vibrant yet cost-effective experience while maintaining the convenience of an international hub. From hotel and travel options, restaurants and local attractions, Orlando quickly became the ideal location for TISE East.

TISE East exhibits will open Tuesday, Nov. 3 and continue through Thursday, Nov. 5. The comprehensive education program will be held Nov. 2 to 5 (Monday through Thursday) and will feature more than 45 continuing education sessions combined with numerous industry certifications, show floor tours and demos.

For more information visit

Halex Creates Informational Video Series

Halex Corp.’s informative video series focused on flooring installation features one-minute videos, launched on Halex websites, for all flooring installers as well as DIY homeowners.

“We created these videos to share our collective experience with installers and others,” said Mark Chichak, president and CEO of Halex. “Several of our guys started as installers, so we tapped into their knowledge. We’ve learned a lot—sometimes the hard way—so why not share it?”

The videos, in both English and Spanish, can be found on Halex’s newly updated family of websites:, and

Stauf Weight Loss Challenge Under Way

Stauf team members David Ford, Mark Long and John Bast have committed to a three-month long weight-loss challenge for charity. Ford, Long and Bast will document their weight loss from now until the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) Expo on April 28 in St. Louis.

For each pound that is lost among the team, a dollar will be donated to Advocates of Love, an organization providing 24-hour care and community based care to orphans and suffering children in need in the Dominican Republic.

Stauf has extended an invitation to the public to join the challenge. To participate, post a “before” photo on Facebook and tag Stauf. Participants can decide how much they’d like to donate to a charity per pound lost at the end of the challenge.

Parex USA’s Merkrete Releases Smartphone App

In response to increased demand from architectural customers, applicators and distributors to obtain product information in a digital format, specifically for mobile devices, Parex USA’s Merkrete has developed a mobile phone app. The app provides easy access to resources for all Merkrete products including details, specifications, data sheets, safety data sheets and brochures.

“This app will be a helpful tool for architects, distributors and applicators that need information on the go,” said Tiffany Awischus, product marketing manager for Merkrete. “Not only does it provide another way to access digital versions of our details, specifications and literature, but it will also make it easier for users to find local distributors and determine how much product they need for their projects.”

The free app, currently available for iPhone and Android devices, can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

NAFCD Announces 2015 Appointments and Board

The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has announced its board for 2015, including its first female president. “As an NAFCD member for many years, I’m honored to be leading this organization as president,” said Rosana Chaidez, senior vice president–CMH Sales at Haines. “I look forward to continuing and enhancing the benefits of NAFCD membership in 2015.”

Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD’s executive vice president added, “NAFCD is enjoying membership growth due to our enhanced value proposition. We are excited about the positive impact the 2015 board will have on the organization as a result of their collective experiences in our industry.”

Other executive officers appointed for 2015 include: President-Elect Torrey Jaeckle (Jaeckle Distributors, Madison, Wis.), Vice President Heidi Cronin (The Cronin Co., Portland, Ore.), Treasurer Geoff Work (The R.A. Siegel Co., Mableton, Ga.) and Immediate Past President Craig Folven (Herregan Distributors, Eagan, Minn.).

NAFCD distributor directors for 2015 are: Robert Hagood (William M. Bird & Co. North Charleston, S.C.), David Powell (Erickson’s Flooring & Supply Co., Ferndale, Mich.) and Steve Rosenthal (All Tile Inc. Elk Grove Village, Ill.). NAFCD manufacturer distributors for 2015 are: Flavia Gaggio (IndusParquet USA), Duane Goetze (ShawMark Floors), David Ford (Stauf USA), Alex Shaoulpour (Horizon Floors), Dave Darche (Bona U.S.) and Sean Swanson (Kährs International).

Schönox Introduces App for Professionals on the Go

HPS Schönox’s new app provides information for each of the company’s products, a product usage calculator, video-based installer tips and a GPS-enabled tool to find a sales representative.

“Installers and flooring professionals are on the move and need information quickly where they are,” explained Thomas Trissl, HPS Schönox principal. “The new Schönox App puts the tools in our customers’ hands to understand all of our products, how to use them, and how much of the product is required for their particular project needs.”

Available in both the Google Play Store and the Apple iTunes Store, the app is integrated with the company’s recently updated website, making it available for use across phones, tablets and PCs. “Overall, we’re making it faster and easier to solve subfloor challenges with better products and better information delivered to the people who need them,” commented Doug Young, HPS Schönox executive vice president.

XL Brands Receives First Gold Level Certification for Adhesive

XL Brands has received the first Gold Level Certification for an adhesive from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. XL Brands’ Stix 5405 is a luxury vinyl adhesive, which contains 20% post-consumer content. It is FloorScore certified and is packaged in an EcoPure treated biodegradable pail.

In order to achieve the Cradle to Cradle Gold rating, a product must not only pass indoor air quality standards, but also be evaluated for material reutilization, renewable energy use and carbon management, and water stewardship and social fairness. In addition to its Stix 5405 getting certified gold, six other XL adhesives were certified at the silver level by the institute.

Cradle to Cradle Certified is a multi-attribute certification program that assesses products and materials for safety to human and environmental health, design for future use cycles and sustainable manufacturing.

NWFA Announces 2015 Regional Instructors

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has announced its roster of lead regional instructors for its training and education schedule. NWFA’s regional training model provides one-day educational workshops on a variety of related industry topics, as well as multi-day progressive skill-level training schools.

“NWFA’s regional training model, in which we work with local hosts to identify topics and skills they know are desirable to that specific area, and then take the education to the students, has proved to be highly successful,” said Brett Miller, NWFA’s vice president of education and certification. “Crucial elements of that success are the regional instructors. They all have passed the hands-on and written certifications in at least one area of expertise, and continue to maintain those credentials.”

The NWFA regional instructors are: Daniel Boone of Daniel Boone WFT in Jacksonville, Fla.; Mike Dittmer of Michael Dittmer Wood Floors in Putnam, Ill.; Jason Elquest, owner of Blackhawk Floors in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Daniel Moore, owner of Antique Floors, in Richmond, Va.; Jon Namba, FCI editorial director and owner of Namba Services in Salt Lake City; Kjell Nymark, owner of Nymark Custom Wood Floors in British Columbia, Canada; Joe Rocco, owner of Artistic Floors by Design in Parker, Colo.; Scott Taylor, president of Scott Taylor (Inspector) in Milwaukee; and Roy Reichow, FCI columnist and head of National Wood Floor Consultants in East Bethel, Minn.

Industry Shows to Co-Locate through 2020

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) and National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) Design & Construction Week featuring the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) will continue to co-locate together through 2020.

“Co-locating our respective shows brought together every segment of the industry, advancing our collective professionalism and expertise,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of NAHB and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “By extending this important relationship, we will continue to provide our attendees and exhibitors the best experiences and opportunities possible.”

The 2016 mega-event will be held Jan. 19-21 in Las Vegas. One pass will continue to provide access to both separate exhibits. NAHB and NKBA will continue to produce separate educational programming and special events.

ArmorLock, Target Technologies Partner

Target Technologies International and ArmorLock Industries have partnered to distribute ArmorLock’s Turf Seaming System. ArmorLock is a seaming technology providing a completely new method of turf seaming with no fumes and no harsh chemicals, in a product that requires no adhesives and is 100% recyclable/waterproof, according to the company.

“I believe our strategic partnership with Target Technologies as our distributor makes both companies a solid force in the industry with the best products money can buy for our clients,” stated Shane LeBlanc, president of ArmorLock.

Protect-All Reveals Updated Website

Protect-All Flooring’s updated website is designed to be easy-to-navigate and to help customers find things faster and easier.

“Protect-All is always looking for ways to make a splash in the marketplace,” said Jerry Lee, Protect-All sales manager. “We started with Protect-All Rapid Weld and now we have a website to match.”

For more information, visit

AC•Tech Team Members Form Industry Solutions Group

AC•Tech’s Mac Krauss, Johann Bohlmann and Bill Harrill are now members of the Substrate Sleuths—a new group formed by the company. The flooring applicators, contractors, advisors and moisture mitigation trainers will accept technical calls, emails, texts and Skype/FaceTime questions from the jobsite, whether the inquirer is an AC•Tech customer or not.

With 24/7 access to the group, the Substrate Sleuths are always accessible for any size concrete slab project, the company said. For more information, visit

New Hires and Promotions

Tom Swidnicki is Basic Coatings’ new Midwest regional manager. In this role, he will support Basic Coatings distribution and contractor network in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia. Swidnicki brings with him an extensive hardwood flooring background in the residential and commercial hardwood flooring markets.

Anne Funsten has been promoted to president of B.R. Funsten and Tom Duffy Co.

She has over 20 years of direct experience with B.R. Funsten and Tom Duffy Co., across both residential and commercial markets and corporate affairs, and she has served on the company’s board for 10 years. She also co-led the launch of the Flooring Plus program, which later became the company’s current Floorsight Loyalty Program.

Don Barrett Jr. is the president and CEO of the Flooring Academy of Specialized Training’s (FAST) Career Institute. He is a flooring veteran with over 40 years of experience in the flooring manufacturing, big box retailing and installation trades.

Joining FAST’s board are Riley Gazzaway and David Keller. Gazzaway is a well-known and respected veteran of the flooring industry with over 40 years of experience in the flooring, retailing and installation trades based out of Atlanta. Keller is a second-generation veteran with over 40 years of experience in the flooring, retailing and installation trades based out of Charleston, S.C.

Rachel Gibbons has assumed the newly-created position of business director for H.B. Fuller Construction Products’ wholesale flooring distribution segment. She will execute the flooring installation materials strategy for flooring contractors and its distributor partners in North America. Gibbons previously served as H.B. Fuller’s construction products global marketing director.

Paul Henningassumes another newly-created position for H.B. Fuller, as business director for concrete repair and restoration. In this role, he will develop and execute the strategy for the company’s new business—concrete repair and restoration.  Henning is the former COO of ProSpec.

Steve Butkovich recently joined Laticrete as a regional sales manager. In this role, Butkovich represents the company’s tile and stone installation and care systems throughout upstate New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Butkovich comes to Laticrete with more than 15 years of sales and sales management experience, having recently managed multiple Daltile locations.

Penteron has named Tom Herzer business development manager. In this role, Herzer is responsible for the company’s business development strategy and to drive growth in key markets across the entire group.

Jonathan Train has been appointed president and CEO of theSwiff-Train Co. and Jason Train has been appointed vice president of sourcing. Jonathan has served Swiff-Train for 20 years and Jason will soon celebrate his 12th year with the company. In the transition, Ken, L.A. and Jeff Train will remain active in various aspects of the business. L.A. Train will also remain on the company’s board.

Gene Jarka has joined UFloor System’s Pallmann division as territory manager covering the Midwest including Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

IN BRIEF: Tandus Centiva Expands TandusTape Usage

Tandus Centiva’s TandusTape is now available for Flex-Aire Modular products. Previously limited to use with ethos Modular, the TandusTape Installation System has now been expanded to include the Flex-Aire Modular product platform. In addition to providing more flexibility in installation options, TandusTape eliminates the need for wet adhesives, the company said.

Swiff-Train Co Recapitalized by Stonebridge Partners

Swiff-Train Co.’s management team has recapitalized the company in partnership with private equity firm Stonebridge Partners of White Plains, N.Y.

Swiff-Train’s management team will retain a significant ownership stake, according to the company. Sperry, Mitchell & Co. initiated this transaction, assisted in the negotiations and served as exclusive financial advisor to Swiff-Train.

Swiff-Train is a full-line supplier and distributor of floor covering products. The company offers a broad range of hardwood, vinyl, carpet, ceramic and laminate flooring products, as well as related flooring accessories. Swiff-Train also designs, sources, and markets its own branded line of luxury vinyl tile, called EarthWerks.

Mohawk Acquires IVC, Expanding LVT Offering

Mohawk Industries has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the IVC Group—which includes the company’s Dalton operations consisting of its U.S. headquarters, a sheet vinyl factory and a state-of-the-art luxury vinyl tile (LVT) plant that is coming online.

The acquisition, Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk’s chairman and CEO, explained, “positions Mohawk as a major participant in both the fast-growing LVT category and the expanding fiberglass sheet vinyl business. Mohawk continues to utilize its strong management and balance sheet to increase its participation in the worldwide flooring industry. Today, Mohawk has leading brands and market positions in all flooring types, including ceramic, carpet, laminate, wood, sheet vinyl, LVT, stone and rugs. The U.S. market remains Mohawk’s primary focus, comprising about 70% of our business, with expanding positions in Mexico, Europe, Russia, Asia and Australia.”

Mohawk is acquiring IVC for approximately $1.2 billion through a combination of cash and equity, with the transaction expected to be completed around the end of the first quarter.

Emser Expands East Coast Presence with New Location

Emser Tile has opened its newest location near Raleigh, N.C.  “The Raleigh branch is an exciting new location that helps to solidify our position in this market. Our customer base in this area has been very loyal over the last couple years and we are eager to bring our support closer to the marketplace,” said Bob Baldocchi, Emser’s vice president of marketing. “The Raleigh branch represents the third new branch on the East Coast this year and the next step in our expansion plans.”

The new branch—located at 409-A Airport Blvd., Ste. 100, Morrisville, N.C.—increases the number of Emser sales and service locations to 59 and provides additional sales, logistic and operational support on the East Coast for Emser customers. For more information call the branch at (919) 650-6280 or visit

Upcoming Events

International Wood Products Assoc 2015 – Las Vegas, March 18-20.

Floor Educational Guild Resilient Class – Dalton, Ga., March 25-27.

Coverings 2015 – Orlando, Fla.,
April 14-17.

NWFA 30th Anniversary Convention – St Louis, April 28-May 1.

CFA Installation and Specialty Product Fair – Elk Grove, Ill., April 30.

For more industry events and training, visit the Calendar of Events link under the Resources tab.

Armstrong Exits European Flooring Business

Armstrong World Industries has exited its European flooring business and ceased further funding of its DLW subsidiary. DLW management concluded that its operations could not be financed and sustained without funding from its Armstrong parent and, as a result, filed for insolvency under applicable German law.

“Our difficult, but necessary, decision to exit the European flooring business and discontinue funding our DLW subsidiary in Germany was the culmination of a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives following years of disappointing results, multiple restructuring initiatives and significant financial investments,” said Matthew J. Espe, Armstrong’s CEO.

Tile Redi’s Center Trench Awarded IBS Best of Bath Products

Tile Redi’s new Center Trench was awarded “Best of Bath Products” at the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. Center Trench is a centrally located, linear drain integrated right into the shower pan. Ideal for new construction or renovations when the existing drain is positioned in a centralized location, Center Trench drains may be selected with designer metal finish or with a tile-able drain top.

Decided by a panel of independent judges made up of attending reporters and building professionals, the awards were given in eight categories, plus an overall Best in Show award.

Farrell Gerber, executive vice president/partner of Tile Redi, accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

Fortifiber Aquabar Passes IAQ Standard

Fortifiber’s Aquabar has passed California’s indoor air quality standard—exceeding California’s Section 01350 indoor air quality emissions requirements, which is a stringent test requirement for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in North America.

With a moisture vapor permeance of .87, Aquabar “B” is a superior vapor retarder under wood flooring applications, the company said. Aquabar “B” helps slow moisture vapor originating below the floor system, allowing the wood flooring to acclimate gradually. By reducing the rate of moisture migration, Aquabar “B” protects against moisture vapor-related floor problems such as buckling, cupping or cracking.

Tile Partners for Humanity Recognizes Florida Tile

Tile Partners for Humanity (TPFH) and Mountain Re-Source Center (MRC) recently recognized Florida Tile for 10 years of partnership and support of community improvement projects through generous donations of ceramic tile.

Florida Tile has donated to TPFH and MRC since 2004, when it provided 895 square feet of floor tile for two Habitat for Humanity homes in Atlanta. Since that time, the company has donated more than 800 loads of tile that have gone to more than 20 states, 40 nonprofit organizations and 15 countries.

“Florida Tile is one of our longest-standing partners and they have truly made a difference in the lives of thousands of families,” said Herb Miller, executive director of TPFH and MRC. “We work with nonprofit partners around the country and tile is one of our most-requested items. We’re grateful that Florida Tile understands the value of donating and the good that their tile does in so many communities. They are one of our core donors and we couldn’t do what we do without them.”

Michael Franceschelli, Florida Tile’s CEO, who accepted the plaque on behalf of the company, said, “Our working partnership with Mountain Re-Source Center is very important. It provides a simple, functional method for helping local communities. It is also important for Florida Tile, which is owned by international tile manufacturer Panariagroup, to be able to reach more distant communities in need. The affiliation with Mountain Re-Source Center enables distribution of materials internationally as well, including to regions such as Central and South America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.”

White Oak Acquires Carousel Carpets from Dixie

White Oak Custom Carpet has acquired select assets and intellectual properties of Carousel Carpets from the Dixie Group. White Oak established its roots in the private aviation business, manufacturing specialty wool carpets for corporate aircraft clients.

“Each project is approached with the goal of exceeding clients’ expectations,” stated Tom Pack, White Oak’s president of manufacturing. “And because we cater to a very discerning and specialized clientele, only a select number of companies carry the White Oak brand.”