I’ve been attending Surfaces, which is now called The International Surface Event (TISE), since the late ‘90s. The show, which is held annually in Las Vegas and ran from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 this year, saw installers from all over the country attend the educational seminars and other targeted events. It was great to network with installer friends and industry colleagues, to see how they’re doing and what’s new in their businesses.

This year featured a lot of WPC, SPC and plank flooring. If you’re an installer and haven’t installed these types of floors yet, you may want to attend some training events as it looks like there’s going to be a need for more installers for these types of products. Most of the planks I saw were “click” systems, but I still feel that it takes a professional to install these products for the best performance.

Even the tools to cut these products have improved. I stopped by the Bullet Tools booth, spoke with owner Dalen Gunn and ended up playing with all their new tools for about an hour—including products that are out on the market and a couple that will be introduced in the next couple of months. He also offers a LVP/carpet tile cutter that takes all the wrist burn out of cutting the tiles. Those of you who cut LVP or carpet tiles with a knife and straight edge know what I mean.

I found a HEPA vacuum at the Taylor Tools booth to add to our inventory of vacuums that meet the silica dust requirements for the various grinders and prep tools that I’m in the process of purchasing. For those of you who are using a rotary hammer to remove tile without dust containment, beware—the silica rules are in effect. There is also a DUSTCUFF dust shroud from BOSCO that I wrote about in my silica dust article a couple of months ago, as well as one from DustRam, to meet the silica dust requirements.