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ACCESSING TRAINING


Chris McQuade, Technical Service Officer at F. Ball and Co. Ltd. talks about the importance of training for flooring contractors and how to access the best training available, for free.


Continuous learning has always been integral to ensuring the highest standards of professionalism in the flooring industry. Apart from starting their careers with the skills and knowledge to meet customer expectations, flooring professionals need to update their knowledge and acquire new skills in order to respond to changes affecting the industry and retain a competitive edge. Fortunately, there is no shortage of excellent training available to flooring contractors at little or no cost.


Basic training should cover subfloor preparation, including the identification of different subfloor types and how they should be prepared, the application of a floor levelling compound to create a smooth base ready for the receipt of new floorcoverings, and selecting adhesives based on compatibility with different floorcoverings. It should also include instruction on how to avoid common causes of floor failure, chief of which is still unmanaged subfloor moisture.


ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY As well as gaining a good grounding in subfloor preparation and floorcovering installation, flooring professionals should strive to continuously improve and develop their knowledge throughout their careers. This has become particularly necessary as advances in technology have accelerated the development of subfloor preparation products and adhesives with advanced properties and applications.


For example, combinations of new, fast-drying levelling compounds, waterproof surface membranes and adhesives mean that contractors can now install floorcoverings in as


18 | TIP OF THE MONTH


little as one day whereas it would have once taken up to three days. Armed with knowledge of these new fast-track products, contractors are better equipped to deal with increasingly demanding time constraints.


Similarly, advancements in adhesive technology have enabled F. Ball to create adhesives with previously impossible combinations of properties, such as temperature tolerance and pressure sensitive characteristics.


CHOOSING THE


OPTIMUM PRODUCT Having a good knowledge of the range of new products available will also help contractors to choose the optimum product for a particular job and avoid compromising the finished appearance of an installation.


For example, particular vinyl adhesives offer resistance to moisture for where installing resilient floorcoverings in damp and humid environments, and there are levelling compounds that are designed especially to withstand heavy loads and high foot traffic and others designed to accommodate movements in flexible subfloors.


CHANGES AFFECTING


THE INDUSTRY Contractors need to keep abreast of wider changes affecting the flooring industry too. For instance, calcium sulphate


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