A couple issues back, I mentioned that our fourth annual FCI Installation Awards would be returning soon. Well, I’m excited to say, they’re here. What I love about this contest, sponsored this year by Schönox HPS North America, is it’s a chance to give back to our readers in multiple ways.
First, you get a chance to submit projects you think are particularly noteworthy and are especially proud of, and see how they fare against other installers’ favorite jobs. Then, during the voting period, several people are randomly drawn to win Amex gift cards just for voting—and that could include you. And finally, if your project is chosen, you will appear in the pages of the November/December issue of this magazine and receive a plaque for your hard work and dedication. Some of our winners have even used that recognition to help build their business, which is a nice added bonus.
The contest is open to anyone in the installation industry. Projects can run the gamut from carpet installations to ceramic tile/stone, resilient, hardwood/laminate and even bamboo/cork, in both residential and commercial settings. If you haven’t entered before—or you have entered and haven’t won—don’t be shy. Enter this year. We love seeing the variety and scope of projects, and the high level of talent and craftsmanship out there.
My favorite thing about this program is calling up the winners and hearing all of their stories. Many of the winning projects are labors of love done at the winner’s home to keep their minds whirling and their skills sharp. Standout projects have included carpet installations painstakingly patched together into rugs from leftover work scraps, hardwood installations where the floor planks and hand-crafted legs of furniture melded together into one show-stopping piece, resilient projects where skill and patience were required to hand-cut arcs and patterns into floors and walls in multiple colors and sizes, and ceramic tile/natural stone work that brought the outdoors in by incorporating stone taken from the surrounding site for accents, decorations and borders.
Entering the fourth year of these awards, I’m still constantly surprised by the ingenuity and creativity of the entries. It just proves that installation is more than a job—at high skill levels it’s an art form that reveals volumes about the person who created it. There’s art to the normal work you all do, too—a seam in carpet so exact it’s almost invisible; getting those perfect grooves, welds and skiving passes in resilient sheet; taking an unsuitable subfloor and transforming it into a surface ready for installation. We see what you’re doing out there, and we want to honor you for it.