I had the opportunity to speak and conduct demonstrations at the JLC Live remodelers show in Providence, RI, March 22-24.  I presented a seminar entitled “Proper Substrate Preparation for Hardwood and Floating Floors” covering hardwood, laminate, LVP, WPC, SPC and other multi-layer cores.

When I asked how many of the remodeling contractors had ever had an installation issue, unfortunately a majority of hands went up. However, it is important to note that flooring contractors were not their only headache; the same majority said they’d had issues with other subcontractors’ workmanship as well.

What really surprised me is when I asked how many of the remodelers had moisture meters, more hands went up in this group than I’ve seen in several seminars with flooring contractors. This concerns me. If the rest of the construction industry is starting to get a better understanding of moisture and taking a proactive approach to test for it, shouldn’t flooring contractors already be ahead of the game?

Here’s something that was even more concerning. When I asked why the remodelers had moisture meters, the response was they’ve experienced moisture issues, and since their installers don’t check for moisture, they’re checking for it themselves. What does that do to the credibility and perception of professionalism in the flooring industry?

On the show floor were plenty of ongoing seminars including trim, waterproofing the building envelope, roofing, framing, tile installation and flooring. A big thanks to Bostik who was the main sponsor of the demo stage, and thanks also to Festool, OLFA, Stabila, MAX USA and Contractors Direct for their support.

One thing that impressed me was that on the second day of the show, lots of high school students from the local area came to attend the show. It was great to see so many young adults with real interest in the building trades, and for me to have the opportunity to expose them to the flooring industry.

If any of you installers out there have an opportunity to attend a remodelers’ show close to your area, I would recommend you go. Not only will you gain a better understanding of how the products you’re installing fit into the overall construction of a building, you can also help expose more people to this industry and give them a more positive impression of the work we do. And if you really want to impress them? Talk about the importance of moisture meters.