Another year of attending The International Surface Event (TISE) in Las Vegas in the books. So how was the show? I thought this year was another great one!

I’ll begin with the show setup. A group of us come into the show every year to set up a couple exhibitor booths. This was the first year in a long while where product was at the booth sites close to the promised time. I have to congratulate the folks over at Freeman (event services company) for this because it’s usually a long wait. Yes, you still have your chaos, but overall it seemed to be a smooth move-in for exhibitors.

The rest of the week went just as well. I had the opportunity to conduct a seminar with Mike Turner from 50 Floor. Our seminar topic was “Finding, Attracting, Training and Retaining Quality Installers.” The session was well-attended, and the attendees were very interactive with their questions. Mike has one of the key formulas to attract and retain installers—it’s called caring for the installers; imagine that! We all know that “qualified” installers deserve more money but at the end of the day, it’s not always about just the money. Installers want to feel they are respected and appreciated for the work they do. If they have a business partner who does this, they’ll go the extra mile for you.

I conducted a session with the topic, “Is Engineered Wood Really Better than Solid Hardwood?” The discussion was that yes, there are differences but these products still need to be treated the same when it comes to certain things such as site conditions concerning relative humidity.

Also, fastening schedules on engineered and solid are different; many installers don’t realize that the fastening schedule for engineered is closer than for solid hardwood. The National Wood Flooring Association’s nailing schedule states the following fastening patterns: strip flooring is 8”-10” on average, plank floors measuring 3” or wider are 6”-8”, and engineered is 3”-4” for staples and 4”-6” with cleats.

We also had a discussion on full-spread adhesive or partial “glue assist” with fasteners on engineered wide planks installed over an Oriented Strand Board (OSB) subfloor, and manufacturers’ warranties regarding nail down over OSB subfloors.

This year’s Installation Showcase featuring hands-on demonstrations gave attendees time to sit, relax and become more knowledgeable on topics of proper tile installations, carpet on stairs, cold weld seaming of vinyl flooring, and proper moisture testing and installation methods for hardwood flooring.

Each year it’s great to see installers attending the show. It’s a perfect time to get some education, see new tools and products, and network with other installers from all over the country and even abroad. Natural Fiber Installers Certification (NFIC), Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI), and International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) all held certifications on the show floor.

For those of you who have never attended TISE, I hope at some point you are able to attend and network with other professionals in the flooring industry. It’s more than worth your time. What you learn at this show can give you a big advantage over your competition.