NWFA, NTCA Team Up on Smart Home Build

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), the National Tile Contractor’s Association (NTCA), and several of its members participated in the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program’s latest smart-home building project. The home was dedicated to Army veteran Chris Sanna in House Springs, Mo.

A group of contractors in St. Louis joined forces to install the flooring in Sanna’s home. The contractors volunteered their time to install about 1,400 sq. ft. of wood flooring on the main level of Sanna’s ranch-style home, and about 700 square-feet of tile in the basement.

Local installation companies, all of whom were recruited by NWFA St. Louis member Lockwood Flooring, included All Wood Floor Co., JD’s Flooring, Jerry’s Fine Floors, Just Around the Corner and JW Hardwood Floors. The 2 1/4” prefinished solid ash flooring that was installed was donated by Sheoga Hardwood Flooring and delivered by Ambassador Floors.

NTCA coordinated tile donations for the home. Tile was donated by NTCA member Florida Tile. MAPEI donated the setting material for the tile projects, as well as the grout.

MAPEI and NTCA both recently formed an exclusive partnership to assist the R.I.S.E. program, pledging to provide tile and tile installation systems where needed in the construction of one-of-a-kind specially adapted custom smart homes that the Gary Sinise Foundation has committed to building for our nation’s most severely wounded heroes.

According to NTCA’s Bart Bettiga, “NTCA, with contributions of tile from various tile manufacturers and installation materials from MAPEI, is proud to strengthen this contribution as a way of telling our veterans how proud we are of them.”

TCNA Names Gobis 2015 Tile Person of the Year

In recognition of his contributions and exceptional service in the North American tile industry over several decades, Tile Council of North America (TCNA) recognized Dave Gobis with the 2015 Tile Person of the Year Award.

In presenting the award, Eric Astrachan, TCNA’s executive director, said that Gobis—who started out as a tile helper for his grandfather—came to be recognized as an industry guru and a go-to resource in the tile industry who has had, and continues to have, enormous influence in the realms of training and education, standards development, and inspection and consulting.

In cataloging Gobis’ many noteworthy achievements, Astrachan focused on Gobis’ nearly-decade-long post as executive director and technical director for the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). In this role, Gobis demonstrated his strong commitment to standards-based, non-proprietary training, and much of the core curriculum he created is still in use today at CTEF for its various installation and inspection courses.

Gobis retired from CTEF in 2008, was honored with NTCA’s Joe Tarver Cornerstone Award for Lifetime Achievement and is now self-employed, undertaking forensic tile installation inspections and consulting on a national basis for owners, end users, manufacturers and contractors.

CCA Global Partners Announces CFI Partnership

CCA Global Partners has partnered with the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), after its recent purchase of the International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI) to help address the shortage of qualified flooring installers.

Through this new partnership, members of CCA Global’s floor covering divisions will be provided with incentives to bring new hires to the industry, and CFI will have them qualified and up-to-speed quickly, according to the association.

Additionally, members of Carpet One Floor & Home, Flooring America/Flooring Canada and International Design Guild will benefit from tuition credits and discounts from both CCA and WFCA. CCA will provide its members a discount toward the cost of tuition when the installer completes one of CFI’s installation training classes for carpet and hard surface classes.

CFI schools introduce installers to many types of flooring and the tools of the trade with an emphasis on efficiency and craftsmanship. Courses cover hands-on installation techniques, customer service training and OSHA and EPA standards training. Graduates leave a five-week residential carpet class, and they also receive CFI certification.

For more information, visit cfiinstallers.com.

In Memoriam: Ron Van Gelderen

Ron Van Gelderen, former Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) president and COO, passed away from complications related to Parkinson’s disease on Feb. 19, in Salt Lake City, at the age of 80.

“Ron was a great friend and did so much to advance our industry,” said Joe Yarbrough, president of CRI. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time.”

Van Gelderen served as president of the carpet industry trade association from 1980 to 2000. During his tenure, he was at the forefront of many issues facing the carpet industry, including indoor air quality and proper carpet cleaning.

Van Gelderen’s other accomplishments as head of CRI included creating the Industry Issues Council; developing international trade missions so mills could conduct international business; establishing a national ad campaign for carpet; initiating the Seal of Approval program and helping create commercial carpet specification guidelines.

He went on to serve as the first president of the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) from 2003 until 2006. The STC issued the following statement:

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Ron Van Gelderen’s family. He was a great warrior of his own disease and a caring smart and loyal friend to many of us. Ron was a steady and firm leader in an industry full of personalities and corporate politics when the STC was first formed. He earned a reputation for being a leader as the president of the Carpet and Rug Institute.

“When several key members of the turf industry came together to create the Synthetic Turf Council, Ron was the perfect choice to lead. Ron’s calm and straightforward approach to the issues and opportunities facing the industry were presented in a manner that helped make this organization a success. The ability to unite competitors for the betterment of the synthetic turf industry was no easy challenge. Ron was always the first with a smile and a firm handshake; he was a gentle man who had the respect of the STC members and the town he called home.

“He loved to get up early and catch the sun rising over the city; he appreciated his family, his friends and was passionate about the things he believed in. Ron believed in the STC and its mission. We are a better organization today due in part to the example he set for us.”

For more, call (706) 278-3176 or visit carpet-rug.org.

NTCA Endorses UofCTS Core Curriculum for Ceramic, Stone Tile

The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has received endorsement of its core curriculum by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).

As an added benefit for NTCA members, UofCTS online courses will be offered through the NTCA website and individuals who sign up will receive a special membership discount.

Included in the lineup of available courses are Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile and Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone that take a comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industry. The courses teach industry standards, technical information about tile and stone, and sales techniques and are designed to give salespeople the tools they need.

The Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course instructs installers, setters and finishers on industry standards and practices, manufacturers’ requirements and proper installation methods for tile thin-set applications that apply to ceramic tile, porcelain tile, stone tile, glass tile and other types of adhered tile materials.

Additionally, UofCTS is assisting NTCA in developing other online courses for their new online apprenticeship training program. Students have 14 days to complete courses, which are accessible online, 24/7.

Find out more at uofcts.org.

Some Uzin Products To Be Made in U.S.

UFloor Systems recently announced that several Uzin leveling and patching compounds are now being produced and shipped from their newest facility in Dover, Del. Products include NC 888, NC 886, NC 182 and NC 150. A U.S.-produced leveling compound NC 170 will be released later this year, the company added.

For more information, visit uzin.us.

Arizona Polymer Flooring Acquires Super-Krete

Arizona Polymer Flooring (APF), a manufacturer of flooring products and concrete coating systems, has acquired California-based Super-Krete International, a manufacturer of concrete repair and restoration materials.

AFP’s flooring products and systems primarily focus on the industrial marketplace with an emphasis on demanding environments, such as aircraft hangars, auto maintenance areas, food and beverage processing facilities, health care facilities and other spaces requiring high-performance solutions.

According to the company, this acquisition will allow the company to strengthen its position in the decorative concrete market while also introducing its full line of products and systems to Super-Krete’s existing customers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Super-Krete will retain its name and brand, while APF assumes the role of its parent company. Existing decorative products in the APF line will ultimately be transitioned to the Super-Krete brand, which traditionally sells through distribution.

Bona Releases Sand and Finish Training Schedule

Bona US has released the training schedule for the Bona Sand and Finish Training School. This full, four-day training is ideal for hardwood floor contractors, distributors, dealers and inspectors.

The Bona Sand and Finish Training School teaches attendees how to improve technical skills including all the elements related to the entire hardwood floor sand, stain and finish process. The training features large, panel-size floors for full hands-on training as well as sales and marketing techniques to help grow a business.

The training cost is $199 per person which includes four days of training and lunches as well as one dinner. Attendees will receive $1,200 worth of free product (per company) in addition to an opportunity to network and learn from industry peers, according to the company.

The Bona Sand and Finish Training School schedule is as follows: April 12-15, Bona RTC (Dallas); May 10-13, Bona RTC (Denver); May 17-20, Bona RTC (Charlotte, N.C.); June 14-17, Bona RTC (Manalapan, N.J.); July 19-22, Bona RTC (Seattle); Aug. 9-12, Bona RTC (Dallas); Aug. 23-26, Bona RTC (Chicago); Sept. 13-16, Bona RTC (Toronto); Sept. 27-30, Bona RTC (Denver); Oct. 11-14, NWFA facility (St. Louis); Oct. 25-28, Bona RTC (Manalapan, N.J.); Nov. 8-11, Bona RTC (Charlotte, N.C.) and Dec. 6-9, Bona RTC (Seattle).

For more information, visit us.bona.com.

Q.E.P. Unveils Updated Website

Q.E.P. Co. has unveiled its updated responsive design QEP-branded website (qep.com). With a fresh new look and responsive web design, navigating the site will be easy on any desktop or mobile device, according to the company.

The site is designed to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, allowing customers to access detailed product information and videos with the option to share information across all major social networking sites.

The home page displays the company’s newest and featured products in captivating in-use photos and videos while shining spotlights on the latest news, contests, trade shows and promo codes. Visitors can also see live posts from the company’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Each category in the company’s product section offers customers detailed, technical information and photographs with a new zoom feature of all the QEP products. Data sheets, manuals, parts lists and warranties are provided within the Product Support section; distributors and retailers can be found in the Where to Buy section and if customers have any questions or comments they can submit them in the Contact Us section.

USG Accepted into Fuse Alliance Preferred Supplier Program

USG Corp.’s U.S. Gypsum Co. subsidiary has been accepted into the Fuse Alliance Preferred Supplier Program.

Fuse Alliance is a member-owned organization of professional commercial flooring contractors. Members are flooring experts with vast knowledge about flooring products, installation and the environmental requirements of the industry as it stands today.

“The inclusion of USG in the Fuse Alliance Preferred Supplier Program provides us with an additional way in which to support our customers and their business needs with our innovative products and system solutions,” said Phil Ciesiulka, director of the Performance Flooring Group at USG.

Artistic Finishes Announces Leach’s Retirement

Dennis Leach, president/CEO of Artistic Finishes, announced that Tom Leach has retired.

Calling him his “longtime business partner and brother,” Leach stated, “Tom was responsible for the implementation and branding of the Artistic Touch program, which sells our products through distribution across the U.S. and Canada. He elevated the company from a regional finishing business to national recognition. I sincerely appreciate Tom’s critical contributions to making Artistic Finishes the successful business we are today.”

He added, “We wish the best for Tom in his retirement. He will now have time to travel, get more involved in volunteer projects and enjoy quality time with his family and friends. To send a note of congratulations, he can be reached at tomr.leach@gmail.com.” 

FCDA Recognizes Powerhold Manufacturer Members

The Floor Covering Distributor Alliance (FCDA), comprising 20 leading distributors of flooring, flooring installation tools and flooring installation supplies in the U.S., Canada and Australia, honored its Distributors of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year members at the Alliance’s recently-completed annual meeting. FCDA members manufacture and market a line of flooring and flooring installation products under the Powerhold brand.

Honored as FCDA Distributor of the Year was Blakely Products, headquartered in Warren, Mich., with branches serving all of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and Northwest Ohio. Blakely was recognized for the number of Powerhold products it sold, growth of sales of Powerhold products and average sales of Powerhold products by branch in 2015. The level of Blakely’s involvement with the FCDA board and FCDA committees was also considered.

Pomona, Calif.-based Traxx Corp. was named FCDA Manufacturer of the Year. The company manufactures a range of carpet installation products, including carpet seam tape, carpet installation tack strip and quality installation tools. The award is based on a manufacturer’s strategies and efforts to grow Powerhold sales, the quality of its marketing materials and maintaining a superior cost-to-quality ratio.

Fishman Flooring Solutions was honored as the FCDA LVT Distributor of the Year for its increase in sales of the Powerhold Gallery Series of luxury vinyl tiles in 2015. Fishman, headquartered in Baltimore, distributes flooring and flooring installation products in 13 eastern and midwestern states in the U.S.

“The year-over-year growth of Powerhold products continues to be remarkable,” said Dan Lee, president of FCDA and CEO of Professional Flooring Supply in Fort Worth, Texas. “That is due in part to their exceptional quality—thanks to FCDA manufacturer members such as Traxx and distributor members like Blakely Products and Fishman Flooring Solutions, which emphasize bringing value-adding products to the flooring installation marketplace.”

There are approximately 630 products sold under the Powerhold brand. Included are tools, such as tile cutters and seaming irons, as well as supplies ranging from adhesives to tack strips to surface protection products. There is also a Powerhold brand of sports flooring.

For more information, visit www.powerhold.com.

Schluter Revamps Website

Schluter Systems’ updated website (schluter.com) simplifies navigation and provides several interactive tools that make it much easier to design and specify tile projects, according to the company.

The updated website provides complete access to all Schluter online resources. The content of previous microsites, including the Authorized Schluter Dealer (ASD) website, has all been incorporated under this single banner.

The use of a single URL for everything makes it much easier for site visitors to move between Schluter-related topics and ideas, according to the company. The new site is available on a platform that is desktop-, tablet- and mobile-friendly.

The main categories for navigation include products, project planning, areas of use and education. There is also an Inspiration Gallery section as well as an option to search by a specific Schluter product to see how and where it can be used.

In Memoriam: Richard ‘Dick’ Capobianco

Richard K. “Dick” Capobianco passed away Feb. 20, from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 78.

He is survived by his wife Sidnee and sons Christopher of Patchogue and Andy of East Northport, in addition to nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Dick was part of a family that is well-established in the floor covering industry on Long Island. Glen Floors was founded by his grandfather Antonio in 1932. Antonio’s son Peter founded Cappy’s Carpets in Port Jefferson in 1946 and son Fred continued at Glen Floors. Eventually a number of Fred’s children became active in the business and still are. Peter, Jr. operates Cappy’s Carpets today.

He was the third of seventeen children born in 1937 to Fred and Wilena Capobianco of Glen Cove. He was an avid boater and skier, a member of the Northport Yacht Club and an active member of the East Northport Rotary Club.

After graduating from Glen Cove High School in 1955, Dick served in the United States Navy and returned to start a career in floor covering sales at the Hicksville Glen Floors store. One of the other salesmen, Fred Hughes introduced Dick to his daughter, Sidnee. The two fell in love and were married in 1958.

Fred Hughes left Glen Floors in 1959 and started his own business, Fred’s Carpet in East Northport. In 1971, he retired and sold the business to Dick and Sid. Eventually, two of their sons, Christopher and Andy, became active in the business and today the store is operated by Andy and his wife Marianne. Christopher left the company in 1992, staying in the industry in architectural sales, technical support and journalism. He is currently with Spartan Surfaces, a wholesale distributor of commercial floor coverings. Christopher’s son Graham also works in the industry as a technical specialist with Roppe Holding Company.

For more, call (516) 671-3737 or visit glenfloors.com.

Haines Announces Management Restructure

Haines is restructuring its management team to prepare for the future of the company.

Sixteen Haines leaders were promoted and given expanded duties to strengthen the company’s capability to improve and grow.

“When you are a top notch company you develop people,” said Bruce Zwicker, president and CEO of the company. “Changes are inevitable and when they occur they are opportunities if you are prepared. We are. We’ve been preparing for years.”

Mike Barrett has been promoted to executive vice president–logistics; Hoy Lanning to executive vice president–CMH division; John Coakley to chief financial and technology officer and Bill Rothenbach to senior vice president–human resources.

Additionally, Jed Collins has been promoted to director—supplies division; Brian Green to director—CMH Sales, south; Mike Thomas to director—CMH sales, Florida; Jay Friend to director—CMH sales, north; Brian Parker to CMH marketing director; Nitin Mahajan to director—logistics optimization and planning; Mike Chisari to director—customer service and Haines’ voice of the customer; Eric Davis to director—purchasing and supplier reliability and Jim Dennis to senior manager—supplies marketing and sales, north.

In a related announcement, Haines has opened a new 137,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Orlando, Fla. The new space is nearly double the size of the previous facility and less than one mile away, at 4201 Shader Rd. The location also houses staff offices and a Supplies Center.

Zwicker noted, “The additional space gives us the ability to better serve our customers and grow in the Florida market, a market that is pivotal to our continuing growth plan.”

For more information, visit jjhaines.com.

INSTALL Continues Central South Expansion

Since the addition of the International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL) training at the North Texas Training Center in Arlington, Texas, efforts have grown to include Oklahoma as well.

INSTALL, a training and certification alliance of major flooring manufacturers, contractors and professionals installers, is dedicated to elevating the level of quality installations across the floor covering industry. One major focus is to recruit and develop new members of the skilled labor force that are trained to the highest standards of quality in the floorcovering industry.

INSTALL partners with local contractors to develop and host rigorous training courses designed in collaboration with major mills and manufacturers. By offering quality training in Texas, INSTALL has begun to build a skilled labor force that can be available to support work with contractors both in and out of the area.

This strategy for expansion in the Central South market is already working, according to the trade organization. Image Flooring and Flooring Systems—commercial flooring contractors located in Lenexa, Kan., and Springfield, Mo., respectively—have committed to expansion in Texas through the INSTALL program. In this partnership, these companies can actively bid on work in Texas and send crews of supervisors and journeymen once work is awarded. INSTALL provides support to these incoming companies in the form of a pool of local laborers that have been INSTALL trained and can work alongside the incoming crews.

“Now that Image Flooring has committed to serving Texas, our team is working diligently alongside INSTALL to build a labor pool of trained installers that we can put to work immediately,” said Jim Wilkinson, Image Flooring’s vice president. “INSTALL has been a great partner in advancing our growth strategy in Texas and we’re looking forward to continued reach into new territories.”

For more information, visit installfloors.org.

DSSG Holds First Membership Meeting in Las Vegas

The Decorative Surface Solutions Group (DSSG) recently held its first membership meeting at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. More than 40 executives from member companies attended the event which featured presentations from DSSG leaders and members.

DSSG members are contractors focused on the rapidly expanding architectural concrete market and decorative flooring solutions including polished concrete, concrete topping slabs, terrazzo, epoxies and other traditional flooring choices.

In addition to peer-to-peer networking opportunities, DSSG also offers education, marketing and back-office support programs for members as well as discounts on thousands of products offered by their preferred suppliers.

For more information, visit decorativesurfacesolutions.com 

Upcoming Events 

Floor Educational Guild: Carpet—Dalton, Ga., April 4-6. www.flooringinspectorsguild.org

NAFCT Intro to Substrate Floor Inspection—Dalton, Ga., April 7-8. www.nafct.com

Starnet Spring Meeting—Miami, April 14-17. www.starnetflooring.com

Coverings 2016—Chicago, April 18-21. www.coverings.com

NWFA Wood Flooring Expo—Charlotte, N.C., April 27-30. www.nwfa.org.

For more industry events and training, visit www.fcimag.com and click Calendar of Events under the More tab.

New Hires and Promotions 

Bona US announced the hire of four additions to the Bona professional team. Manny Hernandez joins Bona as adhesive specialist where he will manage Bona’s growing adhesive business on the West Coast.

As the new sport manager for the western U.S., Kyle Scholle is responsible for representing Bona’s sports line of products including finishes, paints and sealers.

Jason Soler joins as the new athletic floor care representative, overseeing sales and distribution for the eastern U.S. and focusing on Bona’s newly launched Bona Super Court line of athletic floor care products and systems.

Joey Tyson has been appointed territory manager for the Midwest, spearheading a host of new and developing opportunities for Bona in the Midwest.

Kevin Brininger has been named materials engineer for Dependable. Brininger will be working primarily at Dependable, managing the chemical engineering department as well as assisting with its sister company Cansto Coatings.

Lauren Gramza and Drew Mellen have joined Keene Building Products’ engineering and marketing departments. Gramza holds the role of trade show and marketing coordinator, assisting with marketing initiatives and tradeshow logistics. Mellen joins the manufacturing facility as a quality engineer where he will be assisting Keene’s head engineers on product quality and control systems.

Koster American welcomes two additions to its polymer coatings R&D team. Humayun “Harry” Khan joins as senior chemist to lead Koster’s polymer coatings R&D efforts and Amber Plotner joins as QC/R&D chemist. Additionally, Samantha Samples joins the marketing department as marketing assistant.

Pallmann recently announced the addition of Wikus Nel as territory manager for the Northeast Region. Bringing more than eight years of distribution and contracting experience to the Pallmann team, Nel will cover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada.