Loba-Wakol Expands Distributor, Contractor Education

Loba-Wakol has expanded its Distributor Education Program with a new Contractor Education program, focusing on the specific needs and challenges of flooring installers. These education programs are designed to educate distributors and contractors on Loba and Wakol products as well as keep them up to date with new product developments and industry best practices, according to the company.

The Distributor Education Program (DEP) is a one-day event that covers the features and benefits of all Loba and Wakol products, including product demonstrations. The Contractor Education Program (CEP) is a two-day event that includes product demonstrations and classroom education.

NWFA Announces 2015 Board of Directors

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) announced the board of directors at the 2015 Wood Flooring Expo as follows: Chairman Jeff Fairbanks, Palo Duro Hardwoods; Vice Chairman Tommy Maxwell, Maxwell Hardwood Flooring; Treasurer Chris Zizza, C&R Flooring; Secretary Craig Dupra, Installers Warehouse; and Past Chairman John Lessick, Apex Wood Floors.

Directors are: Kevin Murphy, Trinity Hardwood Dist.; John Wooten, CMH Space Flooring Products; Julie Russell, Glitsa, Seattle; Scott Sandlin, Shaw Industries; and Brenda Cashion, Pinnacle Interior Elements.

Ex-officio directors are: Jim Gould, Floor Covering Institute; Avi Hadad, Avi’s Hardwood Floors; Steve Brattin, SVB Wood Floor Service; Jon Namba, Namba Services; Lenny Hall, Endurance Floor Co.; Dan Natkin, Mannington Wood Floors; and Jon Smith, Smith Flooring.

Orcon Gives Back to Installers

Apprentice Fernando Arellano was rewarded with over $1,500 of Orcon carpet installation tools in recognition of his exceptional academic achievements at the Southern California Floor Covering Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) meeting.In addition, apprentices Oscar Tapia, Abel Aranda and Steven Valdez were also given Orcon tools to reward their academic excellence.

The award ceremony was presented by David Romero, coordinator at the Southern California Floor Covering JATC, and Tony Dominguez, technical services manager at Halex Corp., Orcon’s parent company.The participants in the program were able to learn the trade through 80 hours of coursework supplemented by sponsoring companies’ training.

AFA Establishes Council of Flooring Industry Advisors

The American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA) has established the Council of Flooring Industry Advisors (CFIA), an organizational board representing all segments and disciplines of the flooring industry and related services.

“This is a first of its kind,” said Wanda Ellis, AFA’s executive director. “There is no other association that offers a referral network for all segments of the flooring industry for expert advice and guidance. We are providing a direct link to the experts within the flooring industry.”

To become a CFIA associate member, contact Teiya Eubanks at (706) 278-4101, eubanks@americanfloor.org or visit americanfloor.org.

ISSA Releases Second-Generation Clean Standard

ISSA’s new Clean Standard: Institutional and Commercial has been developed to help facility managers measure and monitor the effectiveness of their cleaning processes.Built on the success of the ISSA Clean Standard: K-12, the new ISSA Clean Standard applies to general institutional and commercial facilities.

“The ISSA Clean Standard establishes a framework to help facilities assess the effectiveness of their cleaning processes using a blend of ATP testing and traditional inspection methods,” said Bill Balek, ISSA’s director of legislative and environmental services. “More importantly, the ISSA Clean Standard focuses on how to use the measurement and inspection results to improve the cleaning process, which contributes to the overall quality of the indoor environment and health of the occupants.”

Schönox Kicks Off Second Worst Subfloor Contest

HPS Schönox has kicked off its second annual Worst Subfloor in North America Contest, which will run through Friday, Dec. 11.The contest is open to flooring companies to show the tough subfloors they encounter, how they renovated them using Schönox products and to provide them with much deserved recognition.

Contest entries will be independently judged with first, second and third place winners based on the severity of the original subfloor’s condition, the skill and attention to detail taken in executing the project and the quality of the finished subfloor.

Contest winners will be announced at the 2016 International Surface Event West. Those entering are asked to photograph the subfloor conditions before and after the subfloor renovation project and submit photos, along with some project information, at hpsubfloors.com/worstsubfloor.

FCLC Highlights Need for Professional Installation Training

The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) held its first meeting in St. Louis. Members of FCLC set forth three initiatives concerning the creation of an industry-training portal, improvement of communications between members and the industry, and dealing with needs and issues related to installation.

On the issue of training, the group decided an industry “portal” was necessary to address the need for efficient, effective and affordable professional training for members all in one location. Additionally, the group unanimously decided to address the need for adequate installation training programs as one of their key drivers due to the shortage of trained professionals across the country.

The group will meet again in the fourth quarter.

PFS Rebuild Under Way

Philadelphia Floor Store (PFS) has made monumental progress since suffering a devastating fire that leveled its headquarters in Conshohocken, Pa., on May 17.The company immediately decided to rebuild and in just a little over two weeks, PFS set up a temporary command center in Boothwyn, Pa., where the principals are working to rebuild the company’s systems and processes.

PFS has acquired a temporary warehouse space in Marcus Hook, Pa. The timing of the new warehouse space, complete with a loading dock, racks and plenty of room for inventory, wouldn’t have been possible if not for the generosity of local small business owner, Luke Mulholland of Priority Rental in Aston, Pa.

“We know how tough it is to run a small business and we could not imagine how difficult it would be after a fire,” said Mulholland. “I figured we have a big facility here, maybe we could help out with the space.”

Mulholland offered PFS 3,000-square feet of space in his warehouse. According to PFS owner and founder Mike Glavin, the company has received an outpouring of support from those in the hardwood flooring industry.

Hohn, Astrachan Honored by NTCA During Coverings

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) recognized two industry leaders at its third annual awards ceremony during Coverings 2015. The NTCA’s 2014 Tile Person of the Year Award was presented to Jan Hohn of Hohn & Hohn of St. Paul, Minn. Hohn is only the third woman to receive this award during the six decades it has been presented.

For over 20 years, Hohn has worked tirelessly as a one person, high-end residential tile and stone installation company and has dedicated herself to the trade, serving as president of CASTA (Twin Cities Local Tile Contractors Association), NTCA board member, NTCA Technical and Methods and Standards Committee member, and most recently as chairperson of the NTCA’s Training and Education Committee.

Eric Astrachan, executive director of the Tile Council of North America, received the prestigious Joe A Tarver Lifetime Achievement Award, offered to a leader in the tile and stone industry who dedicates his/her career to advancing the trade. Astrachan has made significant contributions to the industry including incorporating both Canada and Mexico into the association, the development of the Green Squared program and the expansion of the TCNA Handbook and ANSI Standards.

Bostik Releases High-Rise Brochure

Bostik has published an all-inclusive, four-color product brochure focused on how the firm’s floor and wall installation systems add strength, value and high performance for today’s burgeoning residential high-rise marketplace, according to the company.

The brochure offers a “system solution for every installation,” and includes all appropriate information relative to Bostik adhesives, moisture control, sound abatement, surface preparation and more for hardwood flooring projects. For tile and stone installations, similar information is offered for professionals requiring specific materials to install natural stone flooring or a broad color spectrum of recycled, glass-based, premium grouts. 

Nail Gun Depot Launches ‘Bleed Orange Giveaway’

Nail Gun Depot has launched its 15th Anniversary Giveaway, which is taking place through Sept. 15.Also known as the ”Bleed Orange Giveaway,” the promotion gives contestants an opportunity to win the company’s Bleed Orange Bundle, which is a prize pack of items with roots that link directly to the brand’s heritage.

Prizes in the giveaway include a Freeman PFWS fine wire stapler, a Senco PC1010 compressor and a Grex P650LX micro pinner; culminating in one grand prize winner receiving the company’s Bleed Orange Bundle, which consists of a Paslode CF325-Li framing nailer and a Paslode IM250A-Li finish nail gun.

The promotion is open to U.S. residents only, and first, second and third place winners will be drawn on the 15th of each month consecutively, leading to a grand prize drawing on Sept. 15.

IICRC Publishes Revised Standard and Reference Guide

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has revised the ANSI-approved Standard—ANSI/IICRC S100 Standard and IICRC R100 Reference Guide for Professional Inspection of Textile Floorcoverings.

According to the institute, BSR-IICRC S100 describes the procedures, methods and systems to be followed when performing professional commercial and residential textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning. This standard does not specifically address the protocols and procedures for restoration or remediation of contaminated textile floor coverings. No attempt is made to evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of individual cleaning methods, or to compare or contrast one method with another.

MSI Opens LA Distribution Center

M S International (MSI) has opened its newest distribution center in Los Angeles.The 80,000-square foot facility stocks a full offering of MSI product lines including slabs, flooring, wall tile/mosaics and hardscaping made from natural stone, quartz, porcelain and ceramic. The facility also features a showroom exhibiting the latest products as well as inspiration for product selection.

“MSI is committed to bringing a new level of service and products in the surfacing industry to the Los Angeles region,” said Raj Shah, co-president of MSI. “This region is home to over 13 million people who historically have used more granite, quartz and hard flooring products than other parts of North America. This excites us about our large investment in the region.”

Laticrete Named CTDA Supplier of the Year

Laticrete has been named Supplier of the Year by the Ceramic Tile Distributor’s Association (CTDA). The award was presented by Rick Church, CTDA’s executive director, and accepted by Ed Metcalf, president of Laticrete’s North America division, during Coverings 2015 in Orlando.

“We are many individuals worldwide united in a common mission—to provide world class products and services to our customers and industry partners around the globe,” said Ed Metcalf, president of Laticrete’s North America Division. “We consider it a humbling validation of our founding principles that the membership of the CTDA has selected Laticrete as Supplier of the Year.”

The CTDA Supplier of the Year is selected based on results of blind balloting by CTDA members who named their top suppliers and ranked them in terms of innovation, quality, service and other measures.

Wagner Meters Celebrates 50 Years

During Wagner Meters’ 50th anniversary, the company took time to look back on its history and give thanks to its customers. The idea of Wagner Meters began in the early 1960s while Delmer Wagner, founder of Wagner Meters, was working for a sawmill as an electrician. After hearing complaints regarding the contact moisture detectors used to measure moisture in lumber, Wagner began experimenting with new designs and technologies and came up with the first in-line moisture detector using transistors.

In 1965, Wagner Electronics was founded. The company name remained the same until 2010 when it was changed to Wagner Meters. Ed Wagner, son of Delmer Wagner, started working for Wagner Electronics in 1967 at the age of 10, starting with wiring, assembling, soldering and testing meters.

By the time Ed Wagner left for college, he was well-grounded in all the technical aspects of the business. Shortly after earning a degree in engineering, he moved into management with his promotion to production manager. When Delmer Wagner retired around 1987, he sold the majority of stock in Wagner Electronics to Ed Wagner who was then named president and CEO.

Expanding into the wood flooring industry, Wagner introduced the L606 and L607 moisture meters back in the ‘90s. In 2005 Wagner Meters and the CTLGroup collaborated to develop the Rapid RH, an in-situ relative humidity testing system for concrete.

“In closing, on behalf of my grandpa, now retired, my father, and the best employees anywhere, I want to thank our flooring customers for their unwavering loyalty and trust in Wagner Meters these many years,” said Eric Wagner, Ed’s son.

FCICA Names Newberry Chairman

Mike Newberry of Inside Edge Commercial Interior Service has been elected chairman of the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA).Newberry replaces Gerry Swift who just completed a four-year term and will now become the immediate past chairman.

In addition to Newberry and Swift, the 2015/16 executive board includes: Bruce Reeve of Flooring Services as vice chairman, Mike Roberts of Bonitz Flooring Group as secretary/treasurer, and Brent Fike of Roppe Holding Co. as vice chairman of the associates. Kimberly Oderkirk was elected to continue as executive vice president of the organization.

FCICA’s board members serve a three-year rotational term and are elected at FCICA’s annual convention by members in good standing. New to the board—serving until 2018—are Graham Capobianco of Loba-Wakol, Daniel Ortiz-Bacon of Allstate Floors and Construction, and Seth Pevarnik of Ardex Americas. Continuing terms expiring in 2017 are J. R. Allred of Dalton Carpet One, Chris Burke of BFC and Bill Richards of Shaw. Continuing terms expiring in 2016 are Sonny Callaham of Royal Adhesive & Sealants, Jim Judd of Master Craft Floors and Jason Spangler of Wagner Meters. 

WFCA Receives Golden Thinker Awards for Media Coverage

The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) received two Golden Thinker Awards from the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) for exceptional media coverage. The Golden Thinker award recognizes outstanding editorial placement and is presented only to a fractional number of companies across the country each year.

NAPS distributes feature releases for more than 750 companies and organizations including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. NAPS representatives said WFCA’s consumer public relations program received extraordinarily high placement volume with 4,336 articles reaching 61,639,728 consumers at last count for one press release, and 4,144 articles reaching 64,946,000 consumers at last count for a second release.

MAPEI Donates to USA Pavilion at Expo Milano

The MAPEI Group has become a sponsor of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano.“This World Fair underscores the vital importance of having plentiful food for all the people on our planet,” said Luigi Di Geso, president and CEO of MAPEI Americas. “MAPEI fully supports the efforts of nations to work together in order to feed the world.”

Charlie Faas, CEO of Friends of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano, added, “The USA Pavilion is a unique building of its kind. It is a multi-floor structure characterized by open spaces, transparency and accessibility. It communicates the story—intense and diverse—of our national agriculture. This is why the support of an international company like MAPEI, engaged in a continuous process of innovation in materials and solutions for the construction industry, is important to us.”

Bonitz Announces Expansion to South Louisiana Market

Bonitz, Inc. has announced their newest commercial flooring operation in New Orleans, which will seek to build relationships in the business community by servicing general contractors, architects, interior designers and end-use customers in the greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge markets.

Patrick Able, an industry veteran with 16 years of commercial flooring experience from both the dealer and manufacturer side, has been appointed to lead the business operations of this newest location.

Laticrete SuperCap Partners with Mr. David’s Flooring

Laticrete SuperCap is entering the Chicago market through an alliance with Mr. David’s Flooring International. According to the company, the SuperCap system is a time-saving, cost-effective method for finishing new concrete or capping existing slabs by combining patented pump truck technology with products to deliver flat, dry floors.

“I’ve been in this industry for many years and have seen significant changes, but the SuperCap System is truly a revolutionary approach to finishing concrete and capping slabs,” said Leonard Zmijewski, founder and CEO of Mr. David’s.

ACI Releases 2015 Edition of Manual of Concrete Practice

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has released its 2015 edition of the Manual of Concrete Practice. Containing more than 240 documents, ACI said the manual is a comprehensive source of information.

“The Manual of Concrete Practice is a must-have for professionals and contains all the ACI documents needed to answer any questions about code requirements, specifications, tolerances, concrete proportions, construction methods, evaluation of test results and many more topics,” said an ACI representative.

The Manual of Concrete Practice also includes the 2014 version of ACI 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary.

New Hires and Promotions

Al Restaino has been promoted to vice president of marketing at Accella Performance Materials, a company specializing in polyurethane systems solutions and recycled rubber products, which serve the flat proofing, construction, athletic and recreation surfacing markets.

Lisa Richter has been promoted to director of marketing for cleaning industry association ISSA. In addition to more than four years of experience with ISSA as a consultant, Richter has spent 15 years as principal of Richter Communications, a marketing and corporate communications consulting firm.

Diane Phelan is now product manager of Laticrete’s Stonetech and Paver Armor Pro product lines. Phelan comes to Laticrete having previously worked for a global manufacturer and marketer of automotive aftermarket maintenance and repair products.

Faisal Saleem has been promoted to vice president of Laticrete's international division. Reporting to Erno de Bruijn, president of the international division, Saleem will oversee international sales, strategic planning and business development, marketing and the company’s international research and development services program.

Carol Wilkins is the Marble Institute of America’s (MIA) new accreditation and special projects manager. She will also assist with MIA’s Women in Stone initiative and lead MIA’s planned launch of an online university which will offer classes for both the stone trade and the design community.

Sound Seal has hired Dale Asp to serve as the Western regional business development manager for its Impacta division of acoustical floor underlayments. Asp comes to Sound Seal with over 22 years of field sales and channel management experience in the flooring industry.

Chad McLeod has joined Sound Seal as controller, where he will manage the accounting function as well as oversee financial policies and procedures. McLeod has over 12 years of financial experience.

Brian Preuss, previously business development manager, has been promoted to brand manager of UFloor Systems’ Uzin division. In this new role, he will be responsible for managing the North American sales team for Uzin and developing new distributor partners.

Joshua Johnson has joined the Uzin division as the second technical sales manager for San Francisco and the Bay Area where he will work with Big D Floor Covering Supplies, the Uzin distributor partner in the region. Johnson comes to Uzin with over 14 years of industry experience.

American Concrete Institute Elects New Members

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) introduced its 2015-2016 president, vice president and four board members during The Concrete Convention and Exposition in Kansas City, Mo. Sharon L. Wood has been elected president of the Institute for 2015-2016, Khaled Walid Awad was elected ACI vice president for a two-year term and Michael J. Schneider is now the Institute’s senior vice president, which is also a two-year term.

Additionally, four members have been elected to serve on the ACI board of directors, each for three-year terms: JoAnn P. Browning, Cesar A. Constantino, Kimberly Kayler and Roberto Stark.

Informa Acquires Dwell on Design

Dwell on Design, an asset of Dwell Media, will now be owned by UK-based Informa and run by Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction and Real Estate. The agreement formalizes a partnership between Dwell and Informa, which aims to expand the scope and international presence and influence of Dwell on Design, according to the companies.

With the acquisition of Dwell on Design, Informa adds to its roster of over 150 events worldwide, including the International Surface Show East and West, and continues to expand its shows in the design arena.

Dwell on Design NY will be held Oct. 2 to 4, at Clarkson Square in SoHo in New York. Dwell on Design LA 2016 will take place June 24 to 26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Upcoming Events

Floor Educational Guild Advanced Wood Science Class – Denver, July 30-Aug. 1. www.flooringinspectorsguild.org

CFI Carpet, Resilient, Ceramic, Laminate, Wood Certs – Fort Wayne, Ind., Aug. 4-7. Carpet Master II Test, Aug. 3-5. www.cfiinstallers.org

For more industry events and training, visit Calendar of Events.

Division 9 Flooring Donates to Union Gospel Mission

Division 9 Flooring donated enough carpeting for three rooms to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. The Mission houses nearly 300 in the men’s shelter and serves over 1,500 meals a day to residents as well as those who are homeless and hungry on the streets of Seattle.

According to the company, the donation from Division 9 Flooring benefits the Mission’s original building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. The Mission, which opened its doors in 1932, is part of the Pioneer Square Historic District in Seattle, which protects the unique historic and architectural character of certain buildings.

“Supporting our community is a core value of our corporate stewardship program,” said Melissa Rossi, CFO, for Division 9 Flooring. “It’s our privilege and pleasure to donate to the Union Gospel Mission. We believe in the work they do and feel fortunate to be in a position to help.”

Bruce Newbrough Scholarship Announced

The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), in cooperation with Ardex Americas and nora systems, has developed the Bruce Newbrough Memorial Scholarship for the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) program.

The Bruce Newbrough Memorial Scholarship has been established to provide educational opportunities to floor covering installation managers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to and excellence in proper substrate preparation and installation of floor covering.

The late Bruce Newbrough, as Ardex director of technical services and later applications development, utilized opportunities to further his vision and passion which was industry education and training on proper substrate preparation, all for the purpose of achieving successful installations.

“FCICA is honored, not only to have known and worked with Bruce Newbrough, but also to have this opportunity to work with both Ardex and nora towards our common goal of a standard of excellence for installation managers in the Certified Installation Manager program,” said Gerry Swift, FCICA immediate past chairman.

Intertech Wins National Design Competition for Three Texas Projects

Intertech Commercial Flooring topped the leader board at this year’s Starnet Design Awards, bringing home more honors than any other flooring contractor in the U.S. with three national Starnet awards, according to the company. The awards recognized the company’s work across its offices statewide.

Intertech took the top honor in the competition’s corporate category, winning a gold design award for the Solarwinds project in Austin. In addition, Intertech received two silver awards—one in the hospitality-public space category for its work on San Antonio’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and the second in the education category for its work on the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.

Intertech’s work was selected from more than 100 flooring projects nationwide.  Sharing the awards with Intertech were lauckgroup (Solarwinds project); Marmon Mok (Tobin Center); and Robert A. M. Stern Interior Design (George W. Bush Library).

“Each year, we look forward to celebrating the talent and creativity of our members,” said Jeanne Matson, president and CEO of Starnet. “The Design Awards let us also showcase the amazing projects that result from collaboration between our members, our vendor partners and the A&D community.”

USG Named Innovator of the Year

USG Corp. was named Innovator of the Year by the Executives’ Club of Chicago. The award, which is given to a company whose new product, service, process or business model has resulted in organic growth and measurable economic benefit to the region, was presented to USG for its development of USG Durock brand EcoCap Self-Leveling Underlayment.

“The Executives’ Club of Chicago is the city’s premier networking and business forum. Each year, we recognize the best and brightest leaders in technology, innovation and corporate citizenship,” said Ana Dutra, president and CEO of The Executives Club. “[USG’s] talented team is developing impressive technologies, which will further drive Chicago to the top of the global innovation economy.

CBC Flooring to Relocate Headquarters

CBC Americas Corp. has announced plans to invest $3.5 million to strategically relocate its headquarters to Carey, N.C., and East Coast warehousing to Mebane, N.C., by summer’s end. According to Mike Ozimek, CEO of CBC Americas, the move will allow CBC Flooring to better service its expanding East Coast customer base from a more centralized location while creating 100 jobs.

CBC Flooring will retain its West Coast warehouse based in Torrance, Calif., said Chip Braulick, director of CBC Flooring. “Having centralized warehousing on both coasts, along with sales and marketing headquartered in North Carolina, will enable us to be more efficient, reduce costs and provide better service to our customer base.”