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NWFA Wood Floor of the Year contest accepting applications

 

NWFA new 2013 (4-C) 2St. Louis—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recently opened the application process for the 28th annual Wood Floor of the Year contest. Recognized as the “Academy Awards” of the wood flooring industry, this competition celebrates innovation and quality craftsmanship in wood floor installations.

“Over the years, we have had the honor of presenting more than 200 awards to the artists and craftsmen behind these incredible floors,” said Michael Martin, president and CEO. “We are looking forward to showcasing these remarkable floors once again during our 2018 Expo in Tampa.”

This year’s awards will include the following categories:

  • Best Restoration/Makeover: Entries in this category include all types of restorations, repairs or refinishes, in either a residential or commercial application. Applications can include jobsite finished, manufacturer finished, solid or engineered wood flooring.
  • Best Color & Finish Application: Entries in this category include jobsite-applied applications of dyes, reactive colorants, layered colors and faux finishing.
  • Best Circular/Curved Application: Entries in this category include any circular shape within a flooring system, such as circles, ovals, curves and bent material. Applications can include jobsite finished, manufacturer finished, solid or engineered wood flooring.
  • Best Parquet/Inlay Application: Entries in this category include any parquet pattern, medallion, marquetry or intarsia inlay. CNC and laser cut applications are acceptable, but must be identified.
  • Best Textured Wood Application: Entries in this category may include scraped, wire-brushed, distressed or any surface that is not traditional flat. Applications can include jobsite finished, manufacturer finished, solid or engineered wood flooring.

NWFA also will recognize the Members’ Choice Award. All entries submitted will be eligible to receive this award, which will be presented to the floor that receives the popular vote among NWFA members.

New this year, a Best of Social Media award will be featured. The floors will be featured on NWFA’s social channels, allowing followers to share, like and comment on their favorite. The floor receiving the most engagement will receive this award.

The NWFA has updated the submission period to Oct. 1-Nov. 30. This will provide adequate time for the judging process and time to correspond with winners prior to the public reveal at the NWFA Expo in Tampa, Fla., April 11-14, 2018.

For more information and to submit an entry, visit nwfa.org/wfoy.

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Installments: Uses and applications of profiled wall base

August 14/21: Volume 32, Issue 5

By Mike Pigeon

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 4.04.14 PMThe flooring industry over the last few years has seen a large demand for a wider variety of wall base options in certain marketplaces. With the growing selection of resilient, carpet, wood and tile offerings, architects and designers are requiring a more appealing finish to a completed flooring installation. The institutionalized look of the standard 4-inch rubber or vinyl base was just not cutting it. So what did the flooring industry do? We acknowledged and embraced the challenge with the introduction of profiled bases.

Now this is not a new product category by any means as it has been available for some years now. However, the popularity of wall base is increasing exponentially, especially in healthcare, hospitality, senior living and corporate buildings. The wide variety of profiles adds a special touch and finish to complete and even accent the floors. Advancement in manufacturing technology opened the door for the production of some really unique interior finishes, including unique options to transition from the floors to the walls.

One of the best places to see this trend is in the hotel industry, where taller bases with creative profiles options are being paired to match popular wood looks. With wood being susceptible to denting and scratching, the need for repainting has really changed the mindset of the A&D community when it comes to a more resilient option. Most of these products are made in the U.S.A. and meet FloorScore, NSF 332 Gold and CHPS criteria. Some manufacturers have options for PVC-free, Phthalate-free and even Red list chemical-free products to increase the appeal to the design community.

The options for profiles are numerous. Some just need a simple profile at 3 inches, whereas the more elaborate designs can be as high as 8 inches. I’ve seen even higher profiles at hotels in Las Vegas that look like they were closer to the 10-inch mark with a very attractive profiled face. Some options will even come with a matching color chair rail and corner guards for protection from the service carts. Again, most of these products are co-extruded.

Some of the other benefits of purchasing profiled bases through flooring manufactures are the color options. The wide variety of color palettes is a huge benefit when looking for accent colors to match the flooring product. The options normally include the ability for a custom color to match other interior finishes if needed. Send in a paint chip or a piece of fabric and suppliers can often make it work. The options truly are endless.

Coming from an installation background, I want to address a few items on this topic that are very important, especially after the material has been specified and is ready to install.

Installation is not for the average base installer. The mindset of the technician needs to be more of a finish carpenter’s frame of mind. Production is going to be slower than with regular base, although it does pick up as the installation proceeds. In addition, tools and equipment are going to be completely different. All of this needs to be discussed before the installers are sent to the jobsite. A conversation with the general contractor ahead of time to set expectations for wall conditions usually saves hassles in the long run. The more proactive the installer and flooring contractor are on the front side, the better the installation ends up on the back side. Punch lists and callbacks always affect the bottom line along with reputations.

 

Mike Pigeon, CIM, is a technical installation specialist with Roppe Holding Co. He has extensive background in flooring installation and currently serves on the Certified Installation Manager Task Force.

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Technology: Quick-Step helps dealers take digital leap

February 27/March 6, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 19

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.20.19 AMQuick-Step, known for its laminate, hardwood and luxury vinyl flooring, is also making strides in helping retailers on the digital marketing front. Three of its most recent programs—Blogger Influencer Outreach, Quick-Step Toolbox and Style My Floor—all provide retailers with materials to help digitally inform and inspire consumers, close sales and bring customers from the retailers’ websites into their stores.

The Blogger Influencer Outreach program includes the company’s RoomUP Blogger challenge, which, according to Janelle Manuel, digital marketing coordinator, leverages the authenticity, credibility and trust network of popular bloggers. The program utilizes four diverse, well-known bloggers who are involved in style and design, and highlights their home remodeling projects. “We give [the bloggers] Quick-Step product to install in their homes, saying, ‘Hey, use this as a real flooring purchase from start to finish, talk about the selection process, then go through the installation process, then the care and maintenance.’”

Beyond inspiring the consumer, Quick-Step is making retailers’ involvement in social media easier with the Quick-Step Toolbox—a social content automation tool that is free and available to any retailer selling Quick-Step products. The Toolbox includes articles for social media beginners on how to get started. It contains industry best practices and provides a platform to share content.

The third piece of this digital marketing puzzle is Style My Floor, which puts Quick-Step’s entire flooring product samples into the consumer’s hands using technology and then lets the shopper see exactly what the new floor would look like installed in any specific room of her home.

“It is a consumer’s dream tool when it comes to confidently selecting a flooring product for her home,” said Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of brand marketing, Mohawk Flooring North America.