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october/november 2012

On a roll for 50 years GMK Logistics celebrates half a century

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incorporating

FLOORS

october/november 2012 | vol 30 no 05 www.flooringmagazine.com.au

Industry News

Special features

Regular Reports

FrontCover

05 New website for Tredfx

12 GMK celebrates 50th anniversary

10 Airstep Retailer of the Month: Hoppens Carpets, Cairns, Queensland

01 GMK Logistics

06 Carpet Court’s $10,000 room makeover 08 Surfaces dates to coincide with Las Vegas Market

16 FocusOn: New resilient standards – AS 18842012

14 Improve your business finances

22 Software 34 Surfaces Today

09 First Victorian member for Australian Floor Style

24 Training 46 Business 40 Timber 47 Exhibition Calendar 42 PIC Floors – Preparation, Installation & Care

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Flooring Oct/Nov 2012 3

Upfront

This issue of Flooring Magazine turns the focus on two major topics of interest – the new resilient flooring standards AS 1884-2012 and the perennial topic of industry training. Flooring Magazine spoke to Andrew Lewis, MD of Polyflor and president of the Australian Resilient Flooring Association, about the new standard, which took four years of hard work and dedication as well as a considerable amount of money (provided by the major resilient companies in Australia) to bring to fruition. (See page 16) The new standard incorporates a number of major changes that reflect the major changes in building construction methods, the composition and finishing of concrete and the manufacture of resilient floorcovering product since the previous standard was published in 1985. It includes some significant new procedures, methods and requirements and it is important that all industry members be aware of them and the effect they will have on how they conduct their business. Industry training is always a hot topic with many in the industry believing that the actual number of installers is diminishing as more retire than are being trained to take their place. Which is why it is so good to see the industry supporting training initiatives throughout Australia and New Zealand. (See page 24) This issue of Flooring Magazine also includes a look at transport company, GMK, which is celebrating 50 years of business as well as a detailed analysis of the types of carpet gripper required to suit different types of floorcoverings plus news, new products and business advice. Happy reading.

ELITE PUBLISHING CO PTY LTD ABN: 27 006 876 419 PO BOX 800, Templestowe Victoria, Australia 3106 Ph: + 61 3 9890 0815 Fax: + 61 3 9890 0087 Email: info@elitepublishing.com.au Website: www.elitepublishing.com.au PUBLISHER Vicky Cammiade Email: vicky.cammiade@elitepublishing.com.au GROUP MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer Curtis Email: jennifer.curtis@elitepublishing.com.au NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Ashley Cooper Email: ashley.cooper@elitepublishing.com.au CIRCULATION MANAGER Georgia Gilmour Email: georgia.gilmour@elitepublishing.com.au PRODUCTION For artwork and production enquiries please email: production@elitepublishing.com.au PRE-PRESS Prominent Digital PRINTED BY Prominent Group Pty Ltd EXHIBITION ORGANISERS & PROMOTERS Elite Media & Marketing Pty Ltd P O BOX 800, Templestowe Victoria, Australia 3106 Ph: + 61 3 9890 0815 Fax: + 61 3 9890 0087 Email: info@elitepublishing.com.au Website: www.elitepublishing.com.au ELITE PUBLISHING CO PTY LTD PUBLISHERS OF: Supplier Magazine, Furniture & Bedding Magazine, Flooring Magazine Members of the Publishers Australia Association

Member of the Australian Furniture Association South West

ELITE PUBLISHING CO PTY LTD (established 1985) All rights reserved – No part of this publication maybe reproduced, transmitted or copied in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without the express prior written consent of Elite Publishing Co Pty Ltd. Viewpoints, opinions, claims, etc expressed in articles appearing in this publication are those of the authors. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the information supplied or for claims made by companies or their representatives regarding product performance, etc or for any errors, omissions, misplacement, alterations, or any subsequent changes, or for any consequences of reliance on this information or this publication.

Jennifer Curtis editor Ph: 03 9890 0815; Fax: 03 9890 0087 or Email: jennifer.curtis@elitepublishing.com.au

4 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

"Your Industry - Your Magazine"

News Australian Made welcomes breakthrough for Aussie exports in China

In a major breakthrough for Australian exporters, the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo has now been formally trademarked in China. This means that for the first time ever, Australian exporters have a symbol which can be used on their Australian-made or grown exports into China, that both establishes their products as genuinely Australian and is legally protected under Chinese law. “Historically, China has been a challenging environment for the protection of intellectual property,” Australian Made Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, said. “The AMAG logo’s formal registration in China as a country-of-origin symbol for Australia now provides an essential legal framework which exporters can rely upon in the event that the logo (or product carrying it) is copied or used without proper authority.” Australian Made commenced the registration process four years ago with the active and financial support of the Australian Government. “Australia has long enjoyed an invaluable reputation as a reliable exporter of high-quality goods,” Federal Trade Minister Dr Craig Emerson said. “The Government welcomes China's legal recognition of the Australian Made, Australian Grown symbol and the benefits our exporters will enjoy from additional confidence in the Australian brand.” The work was carried out by Australian Made Campaign Partner, EKM Patent and Legal.

Baggers lunch The Victorian Baggers will be holding their annual Christmas lunch and awards event on Friday, 7 December at the Mulgrave Country Club. This annual event brings together the industry’s flooring representatives for a social lunch at which they can mingle with their peers and enjoy some good food and entertainment. This year also sees the industry sponsors attending making the event bigger than ever. To book for the event, contact Richard Ellis on 03 9812 0331.

Winner Paul Judge with his wife and daughter, who also tipped in the competition.

Recent installations of Tredfx products, like the one shown here, can be viewed on the new website.

And the winner is... Paul Judge, with the expert help of his wife and daughter, has won the Protect Crete AFL 2012 Footy Tipping compertition. On hearing the good news Paul said: “How lucky was I, only just snuck in over Go Doggies”. Paul won two tickets to the fantastic Hawks Swans Grand Final with a corporate lunch and top seats at the famous MCG. Paul drew level with Go Doggies on the last round but was separated by a better margin to take out first place. Minor winners received Visa cash cards totalling $450. Paul also expressed his thanks to Protect Crete for offering such “top prizes”. “Bring on next season, I can’t wait!”

Make a date with Xiamen Stone Fair The 13th China Xiamen International Stone Fair will be held from 6 to 9 March, 2013 in a completely renewed layout designed to optimise the visitor experience. Over 30,000 m2 will be put into use as overseas exhibiting space which will include over 450 overseas companies. Exhibits will include an impressive choice of natural stone from all over the world as well as machinery, plant and tools for quarrying, working and moving natural stone. Xiamen Stone Fair 2012 boasted 1,500 exhibitors (350 foreigners from 52 countries) over an area of 115,000 m2. A higher turnout than expected in 2012 saw 127, 486 visitors including 23, 221 foreigners from 148 countries. The number of Australian operators was in line with previous years and there were a good number of operators from Asian countries such as India, Turkey, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Lebanon, etc. Interestingly, there was increased interest from operators in the African countries with a good number from Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco and South America, in particular Brazil.

New website for Tredfx The all new website, tredfx.com.au is designed to keep the Australian construction industry up to date with the latest in stair nosings, tactiles and more. Tredfx Floor Safety is committed to setting the standard with both its product offerings and in customer support. The new website complements the widely used Tredfx product catalogues and technical literature. Website visitors can be inspired by the Inspiration Gallery, keep up to date in the News section, browse the Architects Lounge, download informative product brochures and user guides, sign up for the newsletters and view recent installations in the Showcase area. The regularly updated website is available now for viewing.

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News

Carpet Court’s $10,000 room makeover

Raines Carpets expands to North Manly

The winner of the $10,000 room makeover for Carpet Court’s Love the Look challenge has just been announced. The winner is Leanne Bertram, a mother and

Independent carpet retailer and commercial supplier Raines Carpets has acquired a new store in North Manly in Sydney. “We’d been looking to expand our operations when we heard an established carpet retail store in North Manly had come on the market.” The North Manly store was previously part of the Carpet Court Group. Its acquisition adds to Raines Carpets’ existing residential showrooms in Bellevue Hill and Neutral Bay. The new store will be updated to reflect the boutique style of Raines Carpets’ other residential showrooms. “I believe Raines Carpets sits in a unique space in the market,” said Raines Carpets Director David Raines. “We have a bigger turnover than many other independents, which gives us significant buying power. Raines said his company’s high degree of engagement in the buying process translates into stronger sales at the showroom level. “Because we bring real market insight into the carpets we buy, we are well-informed, enthusiastic advocates of the flooring we showcase. We also have a correct understanding of the attributes of individual carpets so we can advise our clients on the best choice for their particular environment.” Raines Carpets has been run by two generations of the Raines family since the early 1980s. Apart from its residential flooring services, it has extensive operations in the commercial flooring sector, supplying and installing carpets in many major commercial building projects across the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Carpet Court ambassadors Darren Palmer and Stacey Kouros

One of Leanne Bertram’s submissions to the competition that helped make her the overall winner.

interior design enthusiast with her own blog (http:// www.house-n-baby.blogspot. com.au/) Leanne has won a $10,000 room makeover complete with style advice from interior designer and Carpet Court Ambassador, Stacey Kouros. The Love the Look competition, housed on Facebook, was judged by Carpet Court’s new brand ambassadors and interior designers, Stacey Kouros and Darren Palmer. According to Palmer, Love the Look gave entrants the chance to showcase their interior style and design muses. “Our sense of style is inspired from all areas –

whether it’s travel, fashion or music – and Love the Look encouraged people to share these influences. Throughout the competition entrants gained valuable advice, tips and knowledge from myself and Stacey, to help them create interior looks they’ll love, with or without the prize money,” said Palmer. Running over a period of six weeks, Darren and Stacey set the Love the Look weekly tasks. Entrants simply shared images of an inspiration, style or interior piece in line with a brief. Weekly prizes include Vera Wang Wedgewood china, digital cameras from Canon, outdoor furnishings and designer rugs from Carpet Court.

Employee or contractor – helping you make the right decision Before your business engages workers, you need to check whether they are employees or contractors by examining the details of the working arrangements. It is important that you get the decision right as you will need to meet different tax and super obligations depending on whether your workers are employees or contractors. Many businesses are getting the employee or contractor decision wrong as they are not checking whether they have set up their arrangements correctly. A significant number of businesses the ATO visited last

6 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

year to check their contractor arrangements got it wrong. The ATO Employee or contractor homepage offers comprehensive, easy to understand information you can rely on to determine if your workers are employees or contractors. The homepage has all the information you need in one place to help you determine if your workers are employees or contractors, including: • the basics – things every business needs to know • the common reasons businesses get the employee or contractor decision wrong

• industry specific information • an employee/contractor decision tool which will give an answer businesses can rely on • summary of the obligations businesses need to meet for their employees or contractors. You are responsible for correctly determining if your workers are employees or contractors and meeting the required tax and super obligations. If you get the decision wrong, you risk having to pay penalties. For more information visit www.ato.gov.au/ EmployeeContractor Essentials

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News Airstep footy tipping winners Airstep’s AFL Footy Tipping competition for 2012 was won by Rob Hodgetts of Carpet Court Launceston. Rob received a cheque for $1000 from Airstep’s Tasmanian manager, Jerry Wheeler for registering the highest score of the competition – 157. The second prize went to Trevor Clegg of Carpet Innovation in Western Australia for his score of 156. Trevor received his cheque for $400 from Airstep’s WA manager, Glyn Counsel. Airstep also ran a NRL tipping competition. Joint winners Jody Holliday of Andersen's Hervey Bay, Queensland and Russ Mackay of Russ Mackay Carpet Court, Queensland each received a cheque for $700.

Surfaces dates to coincide with Las Vegas Market in 2013 and 2014 Surfaces and Las Vegas Market have announced an extended strategic partnership to co-locate the events for 2013 and 2014 in order to provide attendees with an enhanced product sourcing, educational and networking experience. Surfaces 2013, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre 28 to 31 January, serves as the industry's introduction to the newest product styles and selections for the coming year. Every floorcovering product, tool and technology

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will be featured on the show floor with daily complementary installation demonstrations where attendees can see these products in action. The Las Vegas Market, 28 January to 1 February at the World Market Centre Las Vegas campus, is an international home furnishings showcase that combines style, inspiration and productivity and features 1,000 world-class manufacturers as well as educational, networking and hospitality events all week long.

ACT golf day Once again the ACT Carpet Baggers will be holding its annual golf day at the Gold Creek Country Club on 12 November. The organisers are currently looking for support – from those wishing to play on the day, donations towards trophies and other prizes for the event. As in previous years, all proceeds of the event will go to the Canberra Hospital Children’s Ward. For more details contact Steve Garrett on 0411 165 706 or Danny Colbertaldo on 0431 916 889.

Top: Glyn Councel presents Trevor Clegg of Carpet Innovation with his second prize cheque. Below: Footy tipping winner Rob Hodgetts of Carpet Court Launceston with Airstep’s Jerry Wheeler.

Distribution deal for Super-Click Super-Click International has signed an agreement to distribute the Super-Click vinyl flooring system to two of the most reputable flooring distributors in Australia. The deal to distribute Super-Click is shared between PR Floors and Flooring Distributors of Australia (FDA). PR Floors, based in Brisbane, will distribute in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania. Perthbased FDA will distribute for Western Australia, Southern Australia and the Northern Territory. PR Floors and FDA have agreed that Super-Click will be launched through Carpet Court stores nationally. Both companies commented that by partnering distribution they are able to offer national retail groups a nationwide delivery service at one price across Australia. The deal for Australia marks an important milestone for Super-Click International. Stewart Procter,

Chief Executive Officer at Super-Click International commented: “Having visited Australia on a number of occasions, it is very apparent that Australian consumers are amongst the most discerning in the world. Australia is a very significant market for us as the challenging climatic conditions demonstrate Super-Click’s unique and versatile properties. “In securing distribution agreements with both PR Floors and FDA we are in no doubt that not only are they best placed to meet this challenge, they also have the infrastructure and know-how to cope with the logistical problems distribution companies face when servicing such a huge country.” The deal for Australia closely follows the recently announced major distribution agreement between SuperClick International and Jacobsen covering New Zealand.

First Victorian member for Australian Floor Style Independent Flooring retailer’s co-operative, Australian Floor Style has announced its first Victorian member – Wall T Wall Floorcoverings and Blinds in Ringwood. Established in 1975, Wall T Wall has joined Floor Style to maintain its independent status as a retailer, which is important to its local community and customers. Australian Floor Style members are equal owners of the group, which results in each member receiving an

equal share of the profits. With one of the lowest group fees in the industry coupled with some of the best returns: “It was a decision that was very simple and easy to make without changing my business structure”, explained Tony Nicholson of Wall T Wall. New members to the group are also located in Gladstone QLD, Alexandria NSW, Moruya NSW, Kempsey NSW and Port Macquarie NSW.

recently been introducing artistic, fashionable and environmentally friendly touches of style to their materials and patterns. In all probability, however, many innovative ideas have been left aside to concentrate on other priorities during the last difficult period. But, as the tide seems to be turning, the flooring industry is once again ready to focus on new ideas, new products and concepts. Recognising the importance of innovation for the industry’s evolution and regeneration, Domotex asia/ChinaFloor will be the optimal place for companies to officially launch their newest 2013 products and

introduce them into the Asian Pacific markets. Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor will also feature a brand new section of flooring products in 2013, further completing this already comprehensive flooring event. All the details and information on this new show segment will be disclosed in the coming months. Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor is part of the Domotex ‘family’ of events, which includes Domotex Russia (Moscow, 26-28 September 2012; Domotex Middle East (Istanbul, 8-11 November 2012) and Domotex (Hannover, 12-15 January 2013). All those shows are organised by Deutsche Messe.

Innovations under the spotlight Trade shows prove to be one of the most effective ways of promotion to the flooring industry; an important help for companies to tap into a new market safely and establish themselves as main players within their competition; to diversify export sales, and to open future perspectives. Asia is one of the most attractive and promising markets to pursue all these objectives and Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor is the ideal platform to develop business in the whole Asia Pacific region. The 15th edition of Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor will take place from 26 to 28 March 2013 in Shanghai, China. Standing

out from the crowd for its position at the core of the emerging and vibrant Asia Pacific region, Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor is returning with a variety of new and optimised services to make participation at the show a worthwhile investment. Mohawk, Lamett, Beulieu, Gerflor, Suminoe, and Invista are just a few of the main industry players that already confirmed their booth space at the event in 2013.

The importance of innovation Progress, competitiveness and innovation are three basic and intertwined aspects of a successful business. Many international and Chinese companies have

Flooring Oct/Nov 2012 9

Retailer of the month

New H showroom for long term business Hoppens Carpets, Cairns, Queensland

10 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

oppens Carpets is a name that has been associated with retail flooring in the Cairns area since 1974. Bob and Marina Hoppen purchased an already existing business, Major Carpets, and renamed it Hoppens Carpets in 1976 when they relocated to new premises. Keeping it as a family business, son Wayne, who was working in the fuel industry at the time, joined them in 1989 on a full time basis. He had already worked in the business as a teenager during the school holidays for years. Hoppens has always traded as an independently owned store and has never been affiliated with a buying

group. However, it has always had very strong ties with Godfrey Hirst Carpets, its major supplier. “It was always a goal of the family to build a facility to cater for the needs of the business, and we have now managed to achieve this with the business moving into our new showroom and warehouse in September 2012,” said Wayne Hoppen. “It has been purpose built and is an ultra-modern showroom and warehouse facility all under one roof. Sadly, Bob passed away two years ago and never got too see the dream become a reality.” Marina retired from the business in 1997, handing over the reins of the administration side of the

business to Marlene (Wayne’s wife). However, she still continues to offer support and guidance, whenever it is needed. “We are very fortunate to have a great staff behind us, with Nevil, our senior salesman having been with us for 15 years and involved in the industry for well over 25 years,” Wayne explained. “We still have a small staff of seven full time employees – three in sales, two in admin, one warehouse manager and an apprentice carpet/vinyl layer now in his second year of training. “We also have seven contact installers that work for us on a full time basis, most of whom have been with us for 10 years.” Hoppens Carpets services the greater North Queensland area from the tip of Cape York and the surrounding islands of the Torres Straits to Townsville to the south. “However, if it is an existing customer and they want work done further away we

will travel to accommodate,” said Wayne. “We have a large and loyal customer base, some of whom are bringing great grandchildren in for us to install carpet in their first homes. “We have a broad spectrum of customers covering the home renovator to new builds to tourism, major retail and government departments. “The Cairns region has been hit hard by the economic downturn but we have managed to maintain a good level of growth and keep an optimistic approach regarding the future of the region. With major hardware retailers now having carpets as part of their ranges, it offers another challenge for the small retailer. “I feel the future of the industry in general is looking strong for everyone. While many other retailers are affected by the internet and online stores, I believe that we are unaffected by this trend, which is crippling many bricks and mortar businesses.”

Wayne and Marlene are actively involved in the local community, including sponsorship of the United Cricket Club, the Junior Golf in Gordonvale (one of the surrounding towns ) and the Phoenix basketball club as well as actively supporting the PCYC. Wayne is also heavily involved with one of the Rotary clubs (Cairns West) where he was club president two years ago and with a local car club (the Hot Rodicals), which hosts a major classic car show every two years in aid of COUCH (Committee for Oncology Unit at Cairns Hospital). Wayne together with wife Marlene take pride in a hands-on approach that ensures the highest levels of consistent customer service are maintained. “Hoppens Carpets has never subscribed to a one size fits all approach and this, coupled with a knowledge bank of 35 plus years, adds up to proven success,” said Wayne.

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ADVERTORIAL

50 years and growing... East, North, South and now Sharon Kane goes west. GMK Logistics sets up in Perth, truly covering the nation.

As John Kane heads into retirement, GMK Logistics celebrates its 50 year anniversary. Much happens in 50 years. It’s more than half of most people’s lives. A span where we evolve from being completely dependent babies to grownups who take on responsibility and then to middle age where we can combine the vigour of youth with the wisdom of experience. With GMK, John Kane has witnessed all this, including handing over the reins of the company to his daughter, Sharon, in 2007. While other Australians grew up in the surf, Sharon Kane was quick to catch the changing wave of the supply chain business and has steered GMK from a simple transport business to a complete end to end solution where customers are happy to hand over their supply chain to GMK confident their products will reach their customers in prime condition and on time. John saw an opportunity to carve a niche for GMK in difficult to handle and transport carpet and roll products. Many people shied away from these unwieldy and fragile products. This attitude of problem solving and ‘why not’ has been a core value of GMK since its inception. From the humble beginnings of two brothers and one small flat bed truck; GMK has evolved to

national supply chain capability including most recently their own site in WA. It is fair to say GMK has transitioned to a business that has grown up; complete with growing pains, as John Kane readily offers. ‘We haven’t always got it right but we consistently responded to what our customers wanted and this has sustained us and fuelled our growth. I have always believed in listening to our staff, our customers and our suppliers. I knew their concerns were not always my concerns but if we could listen and learn we could work it out together.’ This humility remains and has fostered a ‘can do’ attitude throughout the company. It also ensures GMK can take the undisputed position of preferred national flooring supply chain provider. A dependable supply chain is a core part of all successful businesses. It is not enough to produce and sell great products: those products must also get to their customers on time and in prime condition or they will quickly be replaced by another supplier. GMK understands this and takes their partnership role in the distribution chain very seriously. This has resulted in long term relationships

with both suppliers and customers. ‘GMK have been an integral part of our success. The efficient manner of GMK staff and the prompt delivery of our consignments have been beneficial to growing our business. Congratulations on 50 years. We look forward to continued mutual success.’ says Chris of Kenbrock Flooring. As a company grows and matures, resilience and evolution are vital to its success in a rapidly changing business landscape. A company must be nimble and responsive to its customers changing needs, as much as it must have systems and processes in place to ensure its smooth and efficient operations. Complexity and simplicity must work hand in hand. These are the ongoing challenges business faces. I believe GMK has faced and met these head on with the confidence and energy that comes from the benefits of a strong foundation, a committed loyal staff, customers and suppliers, led by the passionate and capable Sharon. John Kane and can be proud of his daughter, his staff and the company they have built together. He can relax into his retirement knowing it is in safe, capable and visionary hands.

We take our business seriously

We take your business personally YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER 1300 796 208 www.gmklogistics.com.au

Business

Improve your business finances By Sue Hirst of CAD Partners CFO On-Call I see, hear and witness, almost every week, failure of businesses around us. I read about the large companies, and also see many other smaller ones fall by the wayside. Companies fail essentially due to poor management, poor financial control and in some cases fraud – a la Hastie Group. If this is the plight of big businesses, what chance do small businesses have to avoid financial failure or mediocrity? The answer is to have your ‘finger on the pulse’ of your finances, which means past, present and future. Here are some suggestions for what business owners/managers need to know:

Income

How does it stack up against your budget or target? If you didn’t have a budget or target last year, now is a good time to start one for this year. There’s an old saying: ‘If you aim at nothing you will reach the target with amazing accuracy!’ Which income streams performed best? If you didn’t measure it last year, now is a great time to start. Once you start measuring profit by income streams, you can maximise the strongest and work on or eliminate the weakest performers. At least you have the information to make a decision. Are there other streams of income you should consider and are they viable? Get a financial controller to work it out before you proceed. Are there innovative ways you can create other revenue streams – eg, internet sales? Can marketing and sales be improved to create greater volume? Can you better utilise existing resources to maximise income – eg, can

labour, equipment, space etc be more productive?

Costs

How about your budget or expectation in terms of percentage of income? If you didn’t have a budget or idea of what they should be, now is the time to start measuring it. Managing and minimising your costs can have as much impact on your bottom line as big volume increases in income, because every dollar saved goes straight to the bottom line. If you don’t know what your costs should be, a good place to start could be your industry benchmarks. These will give clues as to what to expect. Google ‘business benchmarks’ to find yours, or speak with a good financial controller who can guide you.

Overheads

How does your overhead compare against your budget or expectation in terms of percentage of income? Just like costs, overheads need to be managed and minimised. Ask yourself of every line item on your profit and loss “is this overhead necessary and how can I minimise it?” In a price conscious’ and competitive environment, management of costs and overheads can be your only way of making a profit. Check your percentage of overheads against your industry benchmarks to see how you compare.

Cash flow

This naturally follows on from the above. If you manage to make a profit, now you have to follow it up with good cash flow management. This requires a good

understanding and close eye on what drives cash flow. The key components of good cash flow management are: • plenty of profitable income; • constant management and minimisation of costs and overheads; • pricing for profit – if you’re able to increase prices Do It! If you have to discount be sure to understand the impact on profit; • efficient collections from customers – don’t be a bank for them; • good management of stock – enough to sell but not too much to waste working capital; • good management of jobs – finish them quickly and best quality possible; • utilising all credit terms from suppliers and increasing where possible. The very best way to handle cash flow management is to have a Cash Flow Projection. It’s a simple spreadsheet that plots out what your expected income will be (taking into consideration time for customers to pay) and what your expected outgoings will be. As well as income, it includes any other funds into the business, such as loans, tax refunds etc. Outgoings also include items such as loans, tax, dividends etc. These are important to take into account as their timing can have a big impact on cash flow.

Systems and resources

To achieve all of the above you need systems and people in place to make it all work. Think of modern on-line systems that are freely available today to help you efficiently manage all of the above. On top of systems you need people who understand how the finances work in a business. If you employ a financial controller, or have a good accountant who has the time and expertise to delve deeply into your day to day financial management, that’s great. If not, you need someone on your team who can keep things on the right track financially on a constant basis. CAD Partners CFO On-Call is a team of financial and business advisors who work with open minded people committed to business growth and achieving success. www.cfooncall.com.au www.cfooncall.co.nz

14 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

Installing vinyl? Comply with new AS 1884-2012.

� Easiest compliance with AS 1884-2012 and ASTM F2170 � 10 times faster � Lowest cost per test � Simple to use � Know when slab is ready To protect your business when you install resilient floor coverings on a new concrete floor slab, you need to ensure the floor meets the new Australian standard AS 1884-2012. Rapid RH® 4.0 EX is the fast, accurate way to test moisture in concrete slabs and avoid expensive problems to floor coverings from water damage. Superior results Designed solely to measure relative humidity (RH) in concrete, Rapid RH® 4.0 EX testing provides superior results when you need to know whether the slab is ready for a floor covering to be laid.

The use of certifiably calibrated Smart Sensors means you can have confidence in their calibration, the traceability of results and the documentation that comes with each Rapid RH® 4.0 EX test kit.

Faster equilibration The Rapid RH® 4.0 EX equilibrates faster than any other concrete RH sensing device, saving you time and money. In most cases, it will be within 3% of the final reading one hour after installation. Rapid RH® 4.0 EX gives you accurate data so you know when a slab is ready for installation of resilient floor coverings…and the peace of mind that you can demonstrate you complied with AS 1884-2012.

Always calibrated Each Rapid RH® 4.0 EX Smart Sensor comes with a certificate of calibration. Once the Smart Sensor is placed in a test hole it equilibrates rapidly and, because it remains in the concrete and is not moved, further calibration checks are not necessary.

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® Shaw Contract Group is a registered trademark of Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway company/October 2012.

FocusOn

Hard work rewarded with release of resilient standard The new Australian Standard AS 1884 2012: Floor coverings – Resilient sheet and tiles – Installation practices* was released on 13 June 2012 to much industry acclaim. It follows almost four years of dedication and hard work by the resilient flooring industry in Australia under the auspices of the Australian Resilient Floorcovering Association (ARFA). The last time the standard was revised was in 1985 but changes in resilient product, concrete design and construction as well as tight construction schedules that are decreasing potential drying times of new ground slab structures meant it was well past time for it to be updated in order to protect both the installer and the manufacturer. In 2008, a meeting of ARFA members was called in which it was decided that the changes to the standard were so important and so far reaching that it was the responsibility of the most senior person in each company, ie the managing directors of the membership, to make it happen. All the major manufacturers (initially eight and eventually 12) pay $10,000 per annum each to help fund the project, which was led by the ARFA President Andrew Lewis of Polyflor, The Vice President Roger Blasse of Pegulan and Warren West, secretary of ARFA. The first order of business was to get all the technical people together

to dissect every company’s technical manual and come up with a combined document that covered all the relevant information. From there the ARFA members and the various state based floorcovering associations went through it and added in ‘best practice’ information to provide protection for both installers and manufacturers. Once the draft document was completed in 2010 it was presented to Standards Australia for public comment with the final document published in June 2012. “The most pleasing aspect of all this is seeing competing manufacturers get together and create a document to benefit the whole industry. It is a sign that an industry is maturing when senior management can work together to create something so important,” said Andrew Lewis, MD of Polyflor and president of the ARFA.

“The next step is to create a single national floorcoverings association, which can then look at not just standards but uniformity in training, apprenticeships and even cadetships in project management within the floorcovering industry. “To date there have been two major meetings on this with representation across the board from various state associations, major retail groups and distributors – and the outcomes have been very positive,” explained Andrew. “At the request of the attendees a small team has been assembled to write a business plan, which includes two manufacturers plus Bill Tree, a floorcoverings trainer from NSW and Gary Dunshea from Manufacturing Skills Australia. We are currently putting together a business plan and once that has been presented the idea will be to appoint a full time CEO.” “To talk to government you must have a national body behind you or you aren’t taken seriously. If we want to make changes and get government to take notice of us and provide funding, we MUST be organised and we MUST be national.”** * AS 1884 - 2012 is purchased online from SAI Global in a choice of licensed e-version or hard copy. http:// www.saiglobal.com/Information/Standards/ ** Anyone wishing to be involved should contact Warren West at ARFA – wwest@tpg.com.au or 0422 943 200

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Understanding the new standard Since the release of the previous standard for resilient floorcoverings (AS 1884) in 1985, there have been major changes in building construction methods, the composition and finishing of concrete and the manufacture of resilient floorcovering product. All of these, separately and together, led to the urgent need for changes to the resilient floorcoverings standard both to protect the installer and the manufacturer. The new standard AS 18842012* includes some significant new procedures, methods and requirements and it is important that all industry members be aware of them and the effect they will have on how they conduct their business.

Concrete

The speed of modern construction and the demands placed on builders by deadlines means there is little time for a concrete floor to dry out before the builder is looking to the installer to lay the floorcovering. If a floorcovering is installed while there still is a significant amount of residual moisture left deep in the concrete slab and an impermeable floorcovering is applied to the floor surface, the residue of moisture will gradually equilibrate (rise to the surface) within the slab depth and generate a vapour pressure at the slab surface that can result in substantial damage to the covering. In the new standard – AS 1884 2012, Appendix A provides a detailed reference to testing for moisture content in subfloors. In it there is a section on test methods for concrete subfloors, which is of major relevance to all resilient floorcovering installers and should be read and memorised!

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In essence it states that: “Wherever possible, the relative humidity in-situ probe test, in accordance with ASTM F2170, shall be carried out on the subfloor .... The only exception ... is where there is in-slab heating, a security or an anti-static wiring installation, or where slabs have been treated with a penetrative moisture suppressant. In these cases the surface mounted insulated hood test, in accordance with ASTM F2420, shall be performed. “Concrete subfloors shall be considered sufficiently dry when measurements taken in accordance with ASTM F2170 do not exceed 75% relative

“Concrete subfloors shall be considered sufficiently dry when measurements taken in accordance with ASTM F2170 do not exceed 75% relative humidity ...or ... when measurements taken in accordance with ASTM F2420 do not exceed 70% relative humidity.”

humidity ...or ... when measurements taken in accordance with ASTM F2420 do not exceed 70% relative humidity.” Over the last decade or so, the design mix of concrete has changed dramatically. The water cement ratio (w/ cm) of concrete 15 years ago was around 0.50 with a slump test result of around 80. In recent times it is now up around 0.60 to 0.65 with a slump test result of 110 to 120. Fifty kilograms of Portland cement only require 11 kg of water to hydrate, which equates to 0.22 w/cm. It is obvious that there is more water being used in concrete design today than there was over 15 years ago and 66% of the water that is added to concrete at the time of manufacturing is only added

to make the concrete flowable for the contractors pouring the concrete. Another significant problem is the over-working of the concrete surface with the excessive use of power floats and pan floats, which creates a burnished surface. Burnishing a surface creates a hard crust on the surface of the concrete by pushing the aggregate into the mix and bringing the fines and cement to the surface creating an impermeable layer, which makes it hard for moisture to escape. As concrete floors in Australia are constructed using a membrane (the black plastic installed under concrete), the drying of a fresh concrete ground slab can only take place in one direction and that is towards the indoor air by evaporation from the slab surface. Preventing or delaying the evaporation of this moisture can lead to massive problems with floorcoverings lifting and peeling. Many of the tests used to determine the appropriate point in time to apply a floorcovering only consider the surface moisture condition of the slab and take no account of the moisture content deep in the concrete. However, according to tests that have been performed, the residual moisture deep in the slab has a significant impact on the success of the floorcovering installation.

Installation procedures

Section 5 of the new standard – Installation procedures for specific flooring types – is completely new. It covers how to correctly install each generic type of resilient flooring such as wall sheeting, wet area flooring, vinyl sheet, lino, rubber, LVT, VCT, loose lay types etc – many of which are new types of flooring that were not in existence when the last standard was published in 1985. Again, it is in the best interest of all installers that they ensure this section is closely studied and followed as failure to conform to the new standards could lead to serious problems and even legal action in the future. Graham Caldwell of GLC Consulting, a resilient flooring industry technical expert, when asked for his opinion, said: “One of the major improvements to AS 18842012 is the completely new Section 5 that deals with the different installation procedures for specific resilient flooring types. Whilst basically an overview in

The Best Just Got Better! each case and directing readers to each manufacturer’s specific requirements, nevertheless the detail is something that has been required for some time. This is because of the raft of different generic types of resilient coverings that have come onto the market since 1985. “Subsection 5.1 is common to all types of resilient products and deals with the important aspects of set-out, adhesives, seaming, coving and the rules pertaining to completion and clear-up. “Subsections 5.2 to 5.7 cover the basic installation methods for the different generic types of flooring products covered by AS 1884. These are resilient wall and floor sheet for both general and wet area application – linoleum, rubber floorcoverings, vinyl composite tiles (or VCT), luxury vinyl tiles and planks (or LVT) and last but not least, a section allocated to resilient loose lay sheet, plank and tile, which is the very exciting and recently emerging glueless concept.

If I were to select only one item in Section 5, which in my opinion provides not only installation education but will assist to minimise post installation complaints, it is the important task of ‘Conditioning’, whereby the products are acclimatized 24 hours prior to installation. “This is covered in some detail for VCT in Section 4.1, but acclimatisation to the temperature expected during installation is particularly vital for linoleum, LVT and resilient loose lay products. “I think the Standards Committee for the revision of the resilient floorcovering industry Standard should be congratulated for all its hard work in bringing together a very long overdue update.”

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* AS 1884 - 2012 is purchased online from SAI Global in a choice of licensed e-version or hard copy. http://www.saiglobal.com/Information/Standards/

The current NZ perspective on AS 1884-2012 FloorNZ is currently working with StandardsNZ with respect to the adoption of the recent version of AS1884, which is the industry standard for resilient flooring installation. While this work is being undertaken, FloorNZ advises that current resilient flooring work undertaken in NZ should continue to be in line with the existing NZS/AS 1884:1985. While the new version of the standard has been adopted in Australia, it is not yet recognised by StandardsNZ or FloorNZ. Initial analysis suggests the new standard is largely suitable for use in New Zealand, however, there are areas that need to be amended to ensure a better fit with the NZ flooring industry, Building Code and consumer law. “In terms of benefit for NZ flooring industry, the new standard is considerably better in terms of clarity and relevance to modern industry practices,” explained Rex McGill, Business Manager for FloorNZ. “The existing NZS/AS 1884 was approved in 1985 and is well past

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its use-by date. From an external perspective, having a standard that is nearly 30 years old is undesirable. Additionally, the Tasman is a fairly narrow piece of water with suppliers and some retailers operating on both sides of the Tasman, so we need to be singing off a similar song-sheet.” The work required to adapt the new standard is based on a process of review and consultation that should be complete before the end of the year. StandardsNZ determines the process and timeline for this work, which includes an industry consultation period prior to final approval. “The StandardsNZ costs for this work are considerable and FloorNZ is extremely grateful to the following suppliers that have stepped forward to financially support this initiative – Ardex NZ, Bostik NZ, Floorspace, Forbo Flooring Systems, Gilt Edge Industries, Irvine International, James Halstead NZ, Jacobsen Creative Surfaces, Karndean International, Look Floors and Robert Malcolm,” said Rex.

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New standard and concrete pH Flooring covering materials, building practices and concrete substrate technology have changed dramatically since the last edition of AS 1884 was published 27 years ago. “The new AS 1884-2012 is an upto-date easy to read and understand relevant document that will ensure good practice in our industry,” said Protect Crete director, John Daymond. “One important inclusion to standard installation practices is determining the pH of the concrete surface before installation. High alkalinity is a cause of failure and non-conformity of many floor installations. “With moisture present on a high alkali concrete surface, adhesives, acrylic primers coatings and backing materials can chemically react, not only breaking down their functionality but potentially releasing volatile compounds into the atmosphere causing air quality and health issues,” John explained. “Concrete has a pH range of 12 to 14 when first poured. After initial set

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this high pH is reduced continually on the surface by carbonation. “Carbon dioxide and water vapour, ever present in the atmosphere, produces carbonic acid that reacts and neutralises the base concrete surface continually. If water or water vapour is not moving through the concrete re-alkalising the surface the carbonic acid can lower the surface down to the generally acceptable levels of 9 to 10 pH. Be aware that if this surface is required to be removed by grinding, scrabbling or shot blasting, the pH can read higher than the carbonated surface. “It is good practice and sensible insurance for any installer to take these readings as described in Appendix B of the Standard and diarise them before proceeding. Appendix B of AS 1884-2012 is an integral part of the Standard.” You can obtain a free kit with 100 test strips by being one of the first 100 callers to call Protect Crete’s head office .

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Software

Improving your business through better management systems By Chris Ogden, RFMS Australasia Every day I talk with flooring retailers about their business systems. In the course of these conversations surprisingly few tell me that they are completely happy with their existing business systems. In fact most acknowledge that they "need to do something". Usually they are employing a mix of manual and spreadsheet systems paired with a generic financial tool: almost invariably they do not provide accurate, meaningful and timely information on which to run a business. These systems have usually evolved over the life of the company and can be a hand brake on growth. Very few businesses in our segment have systems that provide the information required to more efficiently manage our businesses and to help us make informed decisions quickly. Everyone agrees that such information is desirable but only few believe that they are currently getting it. So, what is holding flooring retailers back from investing in an IT system that would make their business more profitable and easier to manage? The first obstacle is finding a system that addresses the very specific issues that are peculiar to the flooring

industry. Such a solution does exist but then there are other obstacles. The two most common reasons that I hear are "we're too busy right now" and "it's a bit slow right now". In the case of the former, time to make the change is short and in the case of the latter there is a lack of confidence to make an investment in the business until trade picks up, at which point reason one applies. Both reasons have their merit but for both a good IT system would actually help – in the first instance, assisting to more easily manage all the moving parts within a busy flooring business and in the second instance providing the tools to control costs and to drive sales for greater market share when times are not so good. One question often asked is how easy is it to change to a new business system? The short answer is that it is not easy. Change is the hardest thing to manage and changing to a new IT system is a big change. However, like any major activity that we undertake to improve our business (shifting to better or larger premises or opening an additional store are good examples) energy and application is required to get the reward.

Of course changing IT systems doesn't result in a nice new showroom or another store – both of which are cool outcomes for retailers. IT is "under the bonnet" and therefore the benefits are not visible to the naked eye. In fact a good IT system is likely going to be a better investment before you next spend money on a new showroom or open another store. So, what should you expect as an outcome of investing in a new business management solution? Most of us associate IT with back office functions: debtors, creditors, and anything else that might cause our eyes to glaze over if we are on the sales side of the business. Good IT, however, is much more than financial functions. Without question it should provide you with good financial information but it should do more. It should drive your sales and increase your market share by giving you and your salespeople the right tools to make sales. It should enable you to easily and quickly

receive and cost product as it comes into your store and, thereafter, track it accurately according to roll number, dye series and physical location. It should provide you with reporting tools and analysis that facilitates good and timely decision making. It should do all this and more. Business systems are a challenge but investment in the right system can be the single best investment that you could make in your business. In future articles we will consider the benefits in detail and hear from those who have made the investment. Chris Ogden is a consultant and Managing Director of RFMS Australasia – a supplier of IT solutions specific to the flooring industry. He has owned a large and successful flooring business and, for 10 years, was a director and chairman of Carpet Court New Zealand. He was CEO of Flooring Brands, the largest single flooring enterprise in Australasia, before leaving that role to partner with RFMS to form RFMS Australasia. Chris can be contacted at cogden@rfms.com.

Secret to unlocking sales The key to making sales in our industry is getting accurate and professional quotes out to customers quickly. Okay, so it’s not actually a secret but it is something that we can do better and technology can help. The simple fact is that the more quotes you can process quickly, accurately and professionally the higher your conversion rate will be. How long does it take you to get your quotes out and what is the biggest obstacle to getting them out quicker? It’s not unusual for me to see time frames of longer than a week between

doing the initial measure and getting a quote into the hands of the customer. Experience shows that after seven days the likelihood of getting the job falls o ff a cliff. The process of measuring and quantifying is a critical part of our business but apart from the introduction of calculators decades ago the process has not changed since the earliest days of floorcoverings. Measure by RFMS is flooring software that lets you draw plans or upload electronic plans for quick accurate quantifying and quoting.

“Measure is easy to use and cost-effective,” said Chris Ogden, MD of RFMS Australasia. “We have users who recoup the cost within a month of beginning to use Measure. It’s not hard to work out why: if you are processing quotes in less than half the time it takes you now then you get more quotes out and you have time to follow up on the

quotes that you have already sent. “When was the last time you did that?” he queried. “The process of quantifying flooring has not changed in any significant way since sheet and roll goods were first sold. Measure is a leap forward that has to be seen to be believed and it will provide you with a 21st century competitive advantage.”

Flooring Oct/Nov 2012 23

Training

Shane Eales, Skills Tech Australia with John Bradford, MJS Floorcoverings and Apprentice of the Year – textile stream, Andrew Burke.

Queensland apprentice awards The apprentice excellence awards for Queensland were held at Skills Tech TAFE Queensland on 7 September 2012. The event combined with a trade day, which had many display and information stands from a wide range of different industry groups. The day’s highlight was the award ceremony where 16 different trades across the building and construction industries identified the best new talent in the industry. Lisa Alexiou, ATFA and Robert Bullimore, Apprentice of the Year – timber stream.

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Training

Improving the industry through training The National Flooring Trainers Network is made up of a team of dedicated industry trainers, who are passionate about improving the floorcovering industry through training and assessment. The group consists of trainers and assessors from both Private RTOs and TAFE colleges. Their objectives are to enhance the learning experience of individuals in the industry by providing the most up-to-date training available. The strategies currently being undertaken by the group are: • Constant improvement of resource development to align with current industry needs and trends with consideration to new flooring technology materials and manufacturing techniques. • Consistency – ie, develop and update training and assessment resources and strategies that will be used and aligned across Australia. The group is committed to producing the most up-to-date training and assessment materials nationwide through validation and moderation processes with involvement from key industry groups including Armstrong Australia, Manufacturing Skills Australia, Australia Industry Group, Polyflor Australia and Tarkett Australia.

• Flooring Trade Card – The group is currently working on the introduction of a nationwide trade card, with the aim of providing all qualified installers with an easily recognised quick reference including identification of their qualifications and any relevant further professional development undertaken. • World skills –currently in establishment mode. The world skills program competition consists of individual apprentices competing in a range of tasks covering their area of expertise. • Trades Assistant Program – With the help of industry, the group is investigating the introduction of a trade’s assistance program, which would focus on giving candidates the opportunity to receive training in the core units to provide them with a better chance to enter the workforce. This program can also be made available for people already in the industry who may need an up-grade of skills as well as being adapted to the retail sector – not only with core units but with the possibility of carrying out measurements and calculations, moisture testing of concrete, providing advice to customers on timber vinyl or carpet floorcoverings, etc.

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Training

National Flooring Trainers Network The second National Flooring Trainers Network conference was held in Melbourne in October at the premises of Armstrong. During the conference the trainers/ teachers representing the different TAFE colleges and private RTOs underwent skill and knowledge upgrades from a number of companies as part of their professional development requirements. These included Armstrong installation guidelines presented by Stephen King, Armstrong’s technical services manager; Ardex installation and products presented by Greg Rees, account manager, and Interface installation accreditation presented by Frank Kelly, project manager/ field services technician. “The opportunity for the technical representatives to meet and build closer ties with the trainers/teachers from the different states was welcomed by these companies as well as Tarkett and Regupol,” explained TFIA representative, Mark Willis. “The company technical trainers and trainers/ teachers can now start to work together to improve outcomes for the apprentice training as well as existing tradespeople. “The idea is to have a more direct way to deliver the up-to-date information from industry through this network.

28 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

As we head into the future we now have companies offering training to industry direct through the company training facilities – for example, the Tarkett Academy. “Nicholas Anasson from Regupol hosted a dinner for the group on the Wednesday night and used the opportunity to make connections with the various trainers present. Regupol has shown a desire to be involved with developing training for the industry and Darren Francis, technical specifications division for the company is looking forward to building a working relationship with the trainers group.” The conference also had a number of speakers who presented to and participated with the group. Rex McGill, business development manager from FloorNZ, gave an overview of the training model and implementation that was developed for the New Zealand market. FloorNZ is using a whole of industry approach to their training from existing installers to apprentice installers through to sales staff. FloorNZ was keen for a co-operative approach and the opportunity to foster the relationship between the two countries and to share ideas on training and resources.

Gary Dunshea and Andre Lewis from Manufacturing Skills Australia spoke about the Training Package review. Andre reviewed the package – what was new and what was, perhaps, needed. David McElvenny and Kath Ware from Work Place Training spoke about the Flooring Technology Resource Development project with funding from the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) Program. David was able to show the work done for the first two units and all agreed the work done to date was a big step forward in the development of the resources. David said: “the feedback from the group was important to the success of the project”. Allan Firth, Executive Director of the Carpet Institute of Australia Limited, spoke with the group and gave an overview of the role the Carpet Institute plays in the industry. Allan was also able to provided an update on the Institute’s application for federal funding to develop E-learning resources for the carpet units from the training package. These new E-learning resources will greatly enhance the learning experience for floorcovering apprentices and also industry salespeople.

Above: The growing group of trainers – Frank Kelly, Interface; Garry Eggars, Tarkett; Rex McGill, FloorNZ; Chris Shaw, The Skills Institute TAFE Tasmania; Shane Eales, Skills Tech TAFE, Queensland; Steve Dalton, TAFE SA; Craig Bennet, Hunter TAFE NSW; Greg Rees, Ardex; John Doensen, TFIA Victoria; Robert Cole, FIAA NSW; Stephen King Armstrong; Mark Willis, TFIA Victoria; Michael Keam Armstrong and Bill Tree, Lidcombe College TAFE NSW.

“As the Trainers Network continues to grow, the importance of the connection from the industry to the trainers, who have been working largely in isolation, is seen as an important step to improving the training for the industry in general,” said Mark Willis. Mark Willis from the TFIA Business Services Victoria would like to thank the TAFE organisations, private training providers and company trainers for their participation in the conference. A special thank you, also, to Michael Keam and Steve King from Armstrong for providing the facilities for the conference. “Armstrong has shown strong support to the industry trainers and to the improvement and development of the training available to floorcovering personnel across the whole industry,” said Mark.

Training

Victorian Furnishing Industry Training Awards 2012 The 2012 Victorian Furnishing Industry Training Awards (floorcoverings) recognise the combined efforts of both employer and apprentice to learn and develop the trade skills of a floorcovering installer during the apprenticeship period. These awards have helped influence industry to make informed decisions to employ apprentices in the flooring industry, which is still listed as a skills shortage Australia wide. TFIA Business Services apprentices won five awards in the floorcoverings sector, which encompasses the three categories of carpet, timber and vinyl. These winners were: • Floorcovering and finishing year two encouragement award, sponsored by NMIT and Australian Flooring Supplies – John Hibberd. John works for Carpet Call National Tiles in Bendigo.

• Certificate III in Flooring Technology (Timber) sponsored by Holmesglen and the Victorian Association of Forest Industries – Daniel Tennant. Daniel works for Fine Finish Floors from the Geelong Area • Cert III Flooring Technology (Resilient) sponsored by Holmesglen and Armstrong – Keegan Just. Keegan works with Matt Leak and Carpet Country in Traralgon. • Cert III Flooring Technology (Carpet) sponsored by Holmesglen and Godfrey Hirst Carpets – Jayden Browell. Jayden works for Choices Home Centre, Bendigo (formerly Bendigo Bulk). • Certificate III in Flooring Technology Apprentice of the Year sponsored by the Flooring Association of Victoria – Jayden Browell.

John Hibberd with his trainer Mark Willis from TFIA Business Services, Ugo Tettamanti from AFS and Mark Hannaford from NMIT.

Daniel Tennant with Mark Willis from TFIA Business Services, and Shaun Ratcliff Public Affairs Manager from The Victorian Association of Forest Industries.

Jayden Browell, Apprentice of the Year, with Mark Willis and Ben Vanderveen, President of the Flooring Association of Victoria.

Jayden Browell and Mark Willis.

30 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

Keegan Just, Mark Willis and Michael Keam, Armstrong.

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Training

NZ’s top flooring apprentices honoured by Gloria McGuire, Communications Co-ordinator, FloorNZ The FloorNZ Annual Apprentice Awards was an exciting event attended by a broad range of flooring industry members from around New Zealand. The evening was a great opportunity for industry personnel to get together including suppliers, retailers, installers and apprentices. It was a fantastic opportunity for both employers and employees to celebrate and be acknowledged for the commitment and effort that they make to training the future leaders of the New Zealand flooring industry. Held at the Ellerslie Events Centre, Auckland, this year’s MC and guest speaker was John Anderson, founder of Contiki. Mr Anderson took great pleasure in presenting the trophies, along with signed copies of his autobiography, to the award winners and then entertained and motivated the crowd with the tale of his journey from backpacking around Europe to creating the largest guided touring company in the world. Greg Durkin, Chief Executive of FloorNZ, gratefully acknowledged the generosity of the sponsors of the evening and said that the flooring industry should continue celebrating excellence at every opportunity.

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Top: John Anderson (Founder of Contiki Tours), Ben Evans-Brown (Stage 3 & Supreme Apprentice of the Year winner), Patrick Murray (Stage 2 winner), Melanie Sharman (Stage 1 winner), Mark Jackson (Flooring Planning & Design trainee of the year winner) and Kieran Howard (The Villars Trophy Award) Centre: Melanie Sharman (Stage 1 winner), Mark Jackson (Flooring Planning & Design trainee of the year winner), Patrick Murray (Stage 2 winner), Ben EvansBrown (Stage 3 & Supreme Apprentice of the Year winner) and Kieran Howard (The Villars Trophy Award) Bottom: Dave Fastnedge, Director of Techspan Group, seen here presenting Ben Evans-Brown, winner of the FloorNZ Apprentice of the Year Supreme award, with his new Techspan plastic welding kit. Techspan continued to show its commitment to excellence by once again sponsoring the Supreme Apprentice of the Year award.

“Quality education is an essential part of developing professionalism in any industry and flooring is no exception. Education has a key role to play in ensuring our personnel understand the balance between technical skills and consumers’ wants and dreams. Skilled staff take time to create and, given the skill shortage in Canterbury, now is the time to create,” said Greg. The top achieving apprentices in the New Zealand flooring industry for 2011 were: Stage One Apprentice – Melanie Sharman, Ace Flooring Ltd, Pukekohe. Stage Two Apprentice – Patrick Murray, NBM Flooring, Levin. Stage Three Apprentice – Ben Evans-Brown, Hamilton Flooring Ltd, Hamilton. Villars Trophy – awarded to the person who has demonstrated the greatest enthusiasm and dedication to their training – Kieran Howard, Dunedin Carpets, Flooring Xtra. Flooring Planning and Design Trainee of the Year – Mark Jackson, Jacksons Flooring Design, Napier. Supreme Award for overall top apprentice – Ben EvansBrown. The success of the Apprentice Awards depends largely on the support of generous sponsors. FloorNZ wishes to thank and acknowledge the generosity of its supporters.

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A great night’s sleep in store for award winner Kieran Howard, this year’s Villars Trophy recipient at the FloorNZ Apprentice of the Year awards evening, will be able to enjoy his win by getting a great night’s sleep on a brand new bed courtesy of award sponsor Sleepyhead. Kieran has been around in the New Zealand flooring industry for over 40 years but, even with all his accumulated knowledge and experience, decided to work towards gaining his National Certificate in Flooring Planning and Design. His commitment and dedication in gaining his qualification was acknowledged when he was awarded the Villars Trophy. Product Manager of Sleepyhead, Mark Brady, was delighted to be involved in sponsoring the Villars Trophy as Kieran was a worthy recipient. Not only does Sleepyhead make beds, the company is also a major underlay manufacturer based in New Zealand.

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Kieran Howard, Villars Trophy recipient, was handed his voucher for a new bed by the Sleepyhead Product Manager, Mark Brady.

CS half page vertical - Flooring1 1

Flooring Oct/Nov 2012 33 1/06/2012 11:27:39 AM

SurfacesToday

Cavalier Bremworth creates recycled carpet backing Wool carpet maker Cavalier Bremworth has launched a new carpet backing made entirely from 100% recycled wool carpet. Flashbac is being introduced onto all Cavalier Bremworth carpet ranges, replacing the existing imported jute. Marketing Manager for Cavalier Bremworth, Desiree Keown, said the new backing will see more than 1200 tonnes of waste carpet diverted away from landfill every year. She said the new recycled carpet backing had been extensively tested and performed better than jute in a number of areas.

“Flashbac was tested in a three-month trial in school corridors at New Zealand’s biggest school – Rangitoto College – and it performed extremely well under heavy foot traffic. While being slightly thicker than jute, it is much softer and that means less damage to skirtings and walls when carpet is being installed,” she said. “Wool carpet with Flashbac exceeds the Australian Building Code requirement for fire exits and being a non-woven textile, it will have better acoustic performance than jute.” The new backing reinforces the environmental

performance of Cavalier Bremworth carpets which contribute valuable points towards materials and indoor air quality in the Green Star Australia Rating tool with their Level 4 ECS rating. Ms Keown noted that an unanticipated benefit from the new backing was a dramatic reduction in air emissions through the backing plant, in comparison to carpets being backed with jute. Flashbac was introduced into the New Zealand market a month ago and feedback from specifiers, carpet retailers and installers has been universally positive.

London's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 wins with cork Constant research and development by Amorim, the global cork manufacturer, have resulted in an unparalleled wealth of knowledge about cork.

34 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

This knowledge has enabled Amorim to develop its portfolio of products and solutions, which includes Wicanders Corkcomfort, a next generation cork

flooring, as well as create new technical applications with high added value and challenge new sectors to try out this unique material. In the vast majority of cases it has been able to meet technical requirements while offering gains in terms of sustainability. Recently, a unique partnership between Amorim and London’s Serpentine Gallery led to the successful completion of the 2012 edition of the Serpentine Pavilion, one of the world’s most important architectural events. Emerging from the creativity of architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, and artist Ai

Weiwei, the Serpentine Pavilion 2012 showcases Amorim cork in its full originality and sophistication. Created on two complementary planes – the first in the form of a large steel mirror and the second, protected by the first, recessed into the ground and entirely covered with black agglomerated cork – the 2012 Pavilion pays homage to the legacy of previous editions. Cork plays a central part in this sensory and archaeological experience: the colour, smoothness, smell, feel and subtle lighting permeating every corner are reminiscent of the comfort of nature.

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SurfacesToday

Flooring for man’s best friend The new state-of-the-art RSPCA Animal Care Campus at Wacol, Queensland is revolutionising animal welfare by delivering care, educating people and improving animal welfare across the state. Gerflor resilient flooring features throughout the centre and was integral to achieving the happy, warm and inviting atmosphere that Brand + Slater Architects sought to create. “Colour was an extremely significant factor in creating the animal shelter. Colours were used not only to evoke the senses but to also differentiate between the various functionalities of the building,” Director, Rod Barr said.

“Gerflor had a wide range of colour options that suited our design intentions. The Gelflor ranges also allowed us to match laminate colour samples to vinyl colours to theme rooms. Their colours and designs helped to make this unique design come to life,” Rod added. But designing a facility for animals is not all about aesthetics. Some very practical issues come into play. Gerflor vinyl again answered the demands for hygiene and maintenance. “Vinyl is easy to clean and provides seamless joins for hygiene, offers slip resistance and a range of anti-bacterial products. The

Gerflor products we used were suitable for custom cut out designs, which allowed us to be playful in our design, like the paw prints in the floor and some walls directing the public to dog adoption rooms,” Rod said. The animal shelter design has created a significant amount of interest not only within the animal care industry but also from the general public. Rod and his team have received many compliments on their use of colour and materials to create a space that allows the animals, staff and public to interact in a safe, happy and playful environment.

Leading environment award for Interface Interface, Australia’s largest manufacturer of commercial modular carpet, has won the NSW Government 2012 Green Globe Award for Excellence in Sustainability. The NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards are the leading environment awards, recognising environmental excellence, leadership and innovation in NSW. The award for Going Beyond Environment Standards applauds Interface’s commitment to be the first fully sustainable company by 2020 – Mission Zero.

36 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

Interface launched its Go Beyond campaign this year announcing the company’s sustainability leadership and achievements, with the aim of becoming the most environmentally transparent manufacturer in Australia. A recent innovation has been the launch of Australia’s first 100% recycled nylon yarn carpet tile, Raw. Interface also launched Australia’s first third party audited Environmental Product Declarations for carpet tiles, revealing the full life cycle impacts of its products on the environment.

Interface is the first Australian carpet manufacturer to achieve Gold Standard GreenTag certification for its full suite of products, approved by the Green Building Council Australia, achieving the lowest environmental impact scores for flooring under the GreenTag Life Cycle Assessment scheme. The company has also started to harvest postindustrial yarn from its local manufacturing process and return it to one of its yarn suppliers for inclusion into

its yarn-recycling program. This is an example of closed loop recycling in action and has re-engineered its supply chain, transforming its suppliers into customers. This year Interface started to supply TacTiles, a patented glueless adhesive system for installing carpet tiles, with every new build order. TacTiles reduces the environmental footprint of carpet tile installations by 90%. Interface also continues to run its ReEntry carpet recycling program.

The Flooring Equipment & Supply Specialists

Plywood underlay meets Aust and NZ Standards Only three years ago, Intafloors Distributors introduced plywood underlay to the market in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this hardboard, MDF and fibre cement sheeting were the main products used. Over this time, plywood sales have seen an enormous increase in market acceptance with many thousands of square metres being installed successfully. Intafloors’ plywood underlay has been tested to meet Australian and New Zealand Standards and installing plywood can now be undertaken with total confidence. This along with features such as the ability to “score and snap”, dimensional stability and high resistance to moisture ingress makes plywood an ideal underlay to use. From an environmental perspective it is reassuring to note that the majority of timber used in manufacturing Intafloors plywood is farmed from poplar, which is a rotated seven year crop in China. Blue McEwan, Director of Urban Carpet Court in Brisbane said: “I have been using Intafloors plywood underlay for the past

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Eckenmeister 22x24 three years since it was introduced to me as an alternative to hardboard. The difference it has made due to still being able to score and snap, staples not blowing the surface of the sheet and the saving in time (less feathering and sanding) is a major advantage.” Another important factor is pricing. In this demanding economic climate an underlay that performs well, saves time at installation, is environmentally friendly, meets Aust and NZ Standards as well as being very competitive and is available in all Australian States as well as New Zealand is certainly a convincing package.

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SurfacesToday

Retailers embracing the trend The fastest growing retail flooring solution internationally is single surface polished concrete flooring with bigbox retailers such as Ikea, Wal-Mart, Lowes, Costco and Home Depot already embracing the trend. These retailers have realised the benefits this type of floor can deliver, from durability, maintenance and lighting cost savings as well as reduced lifecycle costs, through to a consistent and attractive aesthetic that enhances their selling space and the customer experience. Beyond the obvious, these major retailers have recognised other benefits, for example, delivering a completely flat surface to reduce customer and employee accidents, which in an increasingly litigious society is becoming a major consideration for big retail. Local retailer, JB Hi-Fi, has adopted a single surface MPC flooring solution for its stores over the last seven years and has recognised major benefits. “We have tried various flooring solutions in the early

days such as dressed timber ply board, vinyl tiles and self levelling epoxy flooring – with mixed results. In some cases significant wear and tear became an issue after only several years. We simply had to find a better solution and that’s where our association with Pro Grind came into play,” said National Project Manager, Branko Jaksic. “We needed a hard wearing low maintenance floor that would enable us to regularly move our store fixtures around without the worry of damaging our floors,” he continued. “Pro Grind MPC single surface has delivered us a floor that is durable, low maintenance, great value for money and looks fantastic, with a high level of shine which adds to the aesthetic in our stores. Pro Grind has now been with us for about seven years and over the journey has provided us with floors that have ticked all the boxes. We have been extremely pleased with the results,” concluded Jaksic. ProGrind’s MPC provides flat, consistent, durable and

easily maintainable single surface flooring solutions. The lifecycle cost of ProGrind’s MPC flooring is also low due to its resilience and durability – it does not scratch or fade because it is not a coating or a covering.

Added benefits include the as well as eliminating landfill additions as the substrate of the floor is used as the total product rather than an overlayment, which later will be removed for disposal.

What’s Black & white and not Read all over? Do you know someone who is vision impaired, has a disability, or can speak, but not necessarily read English – their second language; With 17 RPH stations around the country, there is a Radio Reading Service near you – or them – that will keep them in touch with the printed news and allow them to still enjoy a good book. Go to www.rph.org.au to find out which station is nearest and start a new chapter in their life. 38 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

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Timber

New worldwide timber legality requirements It is now clear to traders and manufacturers of timber materials, wood products and many paper products that governments around the world are taking an increasing role in the fight against illegal logging. Whatever percentage of timber harvesting is illegal in one way or another – and estimates vary – some key governments have decided to stop the undermining of legitimate operations of responsible forest products companies. However, their approaches differ. In the United States the longstanding US Lacey Act, covering the protection of endangered wildlife and wild plants since 1900, has been amended to include the protection of trees against

illegal logging by making any trade found to be illegal punishable by law. Now the European Union has passed legislation, which takes effect in March 2013, and will prohibit the placing of timber harvested illegally under the rules of the country of origin, and products derived from such timber on the EU market. The Regulation requires operators to undertake risk assessment in a process of Due Diligence, which must be declared in their documentation.

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40 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

The laws of the USA and the European Union are similar in intent as they both place a prohibition within the importing country on trade in wood sourced, contrary to laws of any other country. Meanwhile the Australian Government is in the process of enacting a Bill which still needs to go through Parliament and receive the official Royal Assent. Once passed, it will place requirements on importers and domestic raw material suppliers to undertake Due Diligence to determine the legality of a list of regulated products. Significantly, six countries had given inputs to the Australian Government during a consultation process.

The proposed Bill has been welcomed by most parties, but last year an Australian alliance of wood industry associations appealed for some changes. They

countered by Gibson's CEO saying that India has to approve shipments of wood leaving India. According to one report: “SWAT teams were sent to Gibson Guitar's factories to confiscate wood and Gibson cannot ship guitars at the moment. The US Government insists that Madagascar law requires that the work be completed on fingerboards in Madagascar. So it is with interest that many wood exporting countries await some clarification on the EU Timber Regulation. The UK’s Timber Trade Federation (TTF) launched its Responsible Purchasing Policy, which it offers as a Due Diligence tool following members’ vote to make it a mandatory condition of membership (see www.ttf.co.uk). Meanwhile there is no time to be lost in setting up represent 140 timber and wood based product importers and 2,500 businesses in the merchant and secondary processing sectors. They accepted the proposed Bill in principle, but pointed out a few changes. What they said was: “we believe it should substantially stand as it is, especially noting that the Bill matches or exceeds the requirements of the Lacey Act and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) in nearly every case. However, we have serious concerns with regards to business compliance burdens, cost impacts, impossible time restraints for compliance and lack of certainty. To correct these problems we propose five amendments, which we do not think would decrease regulatory effectiveness, and may increase it.” Currently these issues are under review by the government and the general view is that, consequently, the Bill is unlikely to emerge this year.

corporate procedures by all importers in the 27 European Union countries to secure the necessary information on sources of legal timber and wood products; to assess any risk of dealing in illegal timber and to mitigate any risks by requiring additional information from their suppliers to satisfy the EUTR when it goes into effect in March 2013. The TTF website has a countdown clock running at 259 days at the time of writing. Disclaimer This news brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union. For further press information please contact: Michael Buckley Michael@turnstonesingapore.com

In all these cases the approaches to solve the problem of illegal logging are similar and relate to prohibiting trade in wood illegally harvested in contravention of foreign laws, but the practicalities are not always foreseen. Whereas the Australian timber industry has anticipated some problems, in the US a backlash has emerged because of the consequences of Lacey. A groundswell movement is asking Congress to consider changing the Amendment, following the celebrated case of the potential prosecution of a renowned guitar maker. In 2009, with a new administration in power, federal agents raided the Gibson company offices over wood from Madagascar, which was suspect, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The company filed a lawsuit in protest and was raided again over wood from India. Charges of wood being imported illegally were

Flooring Oct/Nov 2012 41

PICFloors

Protection, Installation & Care

BASF helps refurbish Auckland carpark The rooftop level of Auckland’s iconic Downtown Carpark now has an attractive and hardwearing new surface called Conideck 2269, which will provide longterm protection for the building. Auckland Transport was tasked with finding a solution that would limit the deterioration of steelwork due to proximity to the sea and water leaking into the lower floors from the concrete parking roof. Being of light construction, the roof floor also tends to flex with the movement of traffic. The solution had to be light weight, low maintenance, long life, flexible, bridge cracks and provide a hard-wearing surface. Auckland Transport’s evaluation team reviewed a number of alternatives

before selecting the Conideck waterproofing system from BASF Construction Chemicals for its high quality and fastcuring nature, which enables fast installation and results in minimal disruption. Mark Ambridge, General Manager of Top Coat, who was selected as the applicator in the project, said: “Using a heavy duty elastomeric waterproofing membrane like Conideck efficiently bridges existing or future cracks of up to 2.5 mm in width, reducing whole-life costs and downtime.” The Top Coat team prepared the surface of the Downtown Carpark with captive shotblasting and applied the four-coat Conideck system. This included a primer, membrane, wear coat, and UVresistant top coat.

Less mess and fast clean up In the world of tile adhesives, it is a common occurrence for clouds of dust to be formed during the mixing process, requiring more cleaning and, therefore, adding more time to the job. ParexGroup has come to the rescue with its innovative product, Dustless Powder Mastic. Boasting patented dustless technology, Dustless Powder Mastic is environmentally friendly and has a smooth application with excellent non slump properties. With the dustless technology found in Dustless Powder Mastic, building and renovations are made easier

42 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

and with 80% less dust, gone are the days of creating a dusty mess during floor and wall tiling. The product is a breath of fresh air when compared to traditional adhesives and along with the dustless technology, offers exceptional bond strength, coverage and workability and mixes with no extra effort. ParexGroup Managing Director-Australia, Andrew Nunn, believes the technology behind the product is a breakthrough for the tiling industry. “The innovative dustless technology found in Dustless Powder Mastic is a highly

effective way for professionals within the tiling industry to save time and money,” said Andrew. “Having the convenience of less mess ensures an easy clean up and also cleaner air within the working environment. The tiling process is also made more efficient through the product’s smooth feel and even spread, extended open time and the fact that it can be used on a variety of substrates, from fibre cement to concrete.” Dustless PowderMastic joins two other products using the same patented technology – Dustless Ceramacrete and Dustless SE-7 tile adhesives. ParexGroup prides itself on excellence in tiling systems

and is a leading manufacturer and supplier of adhesives, grouts, sealants, waterproofing, technical mortars and building products. Dustless Powder Mastic is an Australian made product and is available in 20kg bags at hardware stores and tiling outlets.

BBS

GRIPPER RANGE

ARCHITECTURAL 3-PIN GRIPPERS

PLYWOOD6mm THICKNESSES

AS/NZS 2445 requires either a commercial grade, or two domestic grade grippers where the area covered exceeds 7m in any direction.

To eliminate the ‘waterfall’ appearance, and to provide more secure anchoring, select a carpet gripper that matches the underlay7.5mm height.

9mm Gripper for use with 6mm underlays over 9mm thick 9mm

34mm ARCHI 3-PIN 80 lengths / 96m 7.5mm and 6mm AS/NZS 2445 Compliant

7.5mm Gripper for use with

7.5mm 7.5mm - 9mm underlays 28mm ARCHI 3-PIN 72 lengths / 86.4m 7.5mm and 6mm AS/NZS 2445 Compliant

6mm Gripper for use with 6mm 6mm - 7.5mm underlays 9mm Dual Bond Gripper for use with 4.7mm foam slab underlay

DOMESTIC 2-PIN GRIPPERS

7.5mm

Low Profile Gripper for use without underlay

28mm DOMESTIC 2-PIN 90 lengths / 108m 9mm, 7.5mm and 6mm AS/NZS 2445 Compliant 25mm DOMESTIC 2-PIN 100 lengths / 120m 7.5mm and 6mm AS/NZS 2445 Compliant 22mm DOMESTIC 2-PIN 96 lengths / 115.2m 6mm AS/NZS 2445 Compliant

9mm

AS/NZS 2455.1.2007 Constructed of 5 even thickness plywood layers In accordance with (Plywood Standard) AS/NZS 2270 • moisture not exceeding 15% (or the pins will rust) • without Lyctid Susceptible Sapwoods (such as Poplar) With sufficient pins to withstand a stretching force of 6,580 N / 1,220mm In accordance with NOHSC: 1005 and 2007 (low formaldehyde emissions)

ELIMINATE THE WATERFALL APPEARANCE UNDERLAY THICKER THAN GRIPPER

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PICFloors

Protection, Installation & Care

Gripper options to improve carpet installation By Will Bateman, BBS Flooring Products** The stretch (or conventional) installation is the preferred technique for most domestic and some commercial carpets. Correctly installed carpet needs to be held under tension by stretching it onto carpet gripper at the perimeter. This durable finish can be improved by choosing the right carpet gripper. It is obvious that carpets and underlays vary in design and grade but how familiar are we with our carpet gripper options to finish the installation? Do we know how to choose the right carpet gripper to match the floorcovering? Can we do better? In this article I briefly cover: • the requirements of Australian and New Zealand Standards for the installation of textile floorcoverings; • your different gripper options, and • how your choice of carpet gripper can improve the performance of the installation.

AS/NZS 2455.1.2007, Textile Floor Coverings – Installation Practice The minimum requirements for the stretch installation of carpet are contained in AS/ NZS 2455.1.2007. With carpet gripper this standard dictates that: 1. the plywood should be: • constructed of “5 even thicknesses plywood layers”; • from plywood made to AS/ NZS 2270, Plywood and Blockboard for Interior Use, i.e. with a. a maximum moisture content “not more than 15%”, and

44 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

b. any Lyctid-susceptible sapwood immunised in accordance with AS 1604 and NZ/MP 3640. 2. the construction should include “sufficient pins…. to withstand a minimum stretching force of 6,580N over 1,220mm length (of carpet gripper); 3. “In Australia, the carpet gripper shall be in accordance with NOHSC :1005 and NOHSC:2007” 4. And “where any dimension….. is more than 7m in any direction, one row of commercial grade (3-PIN) carpet gripper or two rows of domestic grade (2-PIN) carpet grade gripper shall be used”. These technical standards establish a benchmark to warranty carpet gripper and the installation: • a minimum of five even plywood layers prohibits lesser plywood constructions (such as three ply) that may be more fragile; • the maximum plywood moisture content* helps prevents nail rust, which can mark the carpet surface; (*Only kiln dried plywood meets this low moisture

standard – the nails in cheaper air dried plywood remain susceptible to rust.) • where borer susceptible sapwoods are used (like Poplar) the carpet gripper it is mandatory to treat the plywood against borer infestation; • there should be sufficient nails in the gripper to hold the carpet, and the nails and plywood together should be capable of holding a stretch of 6,580 N / 1.22m; • the formaldehyde level in carpet gripper should meet ‘industry best practice’, which is broadly taken to mean an E0 reading; • and 3-PIN gripper (or two rows of 2-PIN gripper) should be used in large area installations where a greater stretching force is used to install the carpet. The requirements of AS/NZS 2455 are summarised in the table below (FIG 1).

Gripper options to improve the carpet installation The minimum requirements of AS/NZS 2455 set a warranty benchmark for correct carpet installation, but doesn’t tell

us how to achieve the best installation. To exceed your customer expectations the right carpet gripper needs to be chosen to match the floorcovering and subfloor conditions. Your main carpet gripper options are: • pin row numbers; • gripper thicknesses; • choice of anchoring nail, and • pin heights.

Pin Row Number

The minimum requirement for stretch installations over seven metres is a commercial style 3-PIN gripper (or alternatively two rows of a domestic style 2-PIN gripper). Fundamental to this choice is whether the gripper will hold the carpet with sufficient force when it is initially stretched*. (*Fibres within the carpet ‘relax’ over time which can result in ‘rucking’ and trip hazards appearing. Re-stretching to put back the tension can be avoided if sufficient stretch is applied initially, but this is only possible if the carpet gripper you choose is capable of holding a greater initial force).

Standard

Measure

Impact on Performance

AS/NZS 2455

5 even plywood layers

Superior plywood construction reduces the likelihood of failure

AS/NZS 2270

Moisture content less than 15%

Kiln drying plywood prevents nail rust and carpet spotting

AS/NZS 2270

Borer susceptible (Poplar) plywood requires treatment

Prevents borer infestation in susceptible (Poplar) timbers

AS/NZS 2455

Sufficient pins to hold 6,580N force

Sufficient holding power for the carpet to be adequately stretched

NOHSC :1005 NOHSC:2007

‘Best practice’ low formaldehyde (E0)

Better OH&S for the installer and the consumer

AS/NZS 2455

3-PIN grippers (or 2 rows of 2-PIN) for installations over 7m

Sufficient holding power when greater stretching is needed

FIG 1

In general the more pins and the more rows of pins you have in a gripper the greater the holding power will be. It is, however, unnecessary to use a 34mm gripper to achieve this effect – a 28mm 3-PIN gripper may suffice.

Gripper thickness

Matching the correct gripper thickness to the underlay height will provide a flat installation up to the wall, without a ‘waterfall’ down (or up). A flat installation also means that the carpet attaches correctly to the gripper pins at the designed angle. In general the carpet gripper should be as close to the thickness of the underlay as is practically possible. This way the carpet bridges from underlay to gripper pins in the same plane.

Anchoring nail

Choosing the right anchoring nail enables the carpet gripper

to hold a full stretch. If the anchoring nail is insufficient or works loose from the subfloor little holding power will be achieved. Your anchoring nail choices are: • standard (no nail) where the carpet gripper is glued down (used where subfloor damage must be avoided); • regular 19mm ring shank (wood) nail for use in traditional pine and hardwood timber subfloors; • a longer 25.4mm ring shank (wood) nail for use in lower density particalboard subfloors; • regular 17.4mm concrete nail for use in most concrete subfloors; • a shorter 2-hit concrete nail for quick installation* over concrete subfloors (*care needs to be taken to ensure that this installation shortcut delivers sufficient holding power to stretch off);

• a novelty ‘dual purpose’ nail for home handyman and other non-stretch installations.

Pin height

2 correct pin nail height is vital for a firm hold into the carpet backing, or to prevent the pin-tips from piercing through the carpet face yarns –a puncture hazard for anyone in bare feet. • Coarser carpet backings (woven carpets or thick ‘hard-to-penetrate’ carpet styles) require longer 6mm pin nails to perform a secure hold. • Lighter weight carpets require shorter 4mm pin nails to avoid face yarn penetration. The right pin height is a function of the density and coarseness of the carpet backing and the overall thickness of the carpet construction.

A guide to choosing the best carpet gripper is summarised in this table. (FIG 2) Too many choices? Not really – your only choice is whether you want to strive for the best installation for your customers. Choosing a gripper to match the needs of the carpet, underlay and subfloor is relatively simple when you are determined to provide a superior installation. All the styles of carpet gripper I have mentioned here are available throughout Australia and New Zealand. **BBS is this region’s largest local manufacturer of stretch installation products, including carpet gripper and heat seaming tape servicing the Australian and New Zealand markets with products matched to local floorcovering and installation needs.

Variable

Reason for Selection

Impact on Appearance

Pin row number

Holding power

3-PIN grippers

Installations over 7m

Properly stretched carpet wont ‘ruck’ as the fibres ‘relax ‘. (To achieve the correct stretch the gripper needs to be capable of holding the initial tension).

2-PIN grippers

Installations under 7m

Gripper thickness

Correct underlay matchup

9.0mm plywood

9mm to 11mm underlays

7.5mm plywood

7.5mm to 9mm underlays

6.0mm plywood

6mm to 7.5mm underlays

4.7mm (dual bond)

Dual bond installations

Low profile gripper

Direct stick installations

Anchoring Nail

Sufficient subfloor anchoring

Standard (no nail)

Glued down grippers

Ring Shank Wood

Regular timber floors

25mm Ring Shank

Particleboard floors

Concrete Nail

Regular concrete floors

‘2-Hit’ Concrete

Harder concrete floors

Dual Purpose

Non-stretch installations

Pin Height

Penetration and hold

6.0mm Long Pin

Thicker carpet backings

5.0mm Regular Pin

Most tufted carpets

4.0mm Short Pin

Lighter weight carpets

Eliminates the carpet ‘waterfall’ at the edge of the room. It also ensures the carpet joins the gripper at the correct angle, so it can lock on to the pin nails as designed.

The carpet gripper should not lift from the subfloor when it comes under tension.

Where the carpet is properly held by the gripper a smooth edge is achieved along the wall. Where pin nails don’t hold on the carpet, the finish along the wall is rough. Protruding pins are an OH&S hazard.

FIG 2

Flooring Oct/Nov 2012 45

Business

Reduce your cycle time Roger La Salle Business is tough. The tightening of credit markets has made running prosperous enterprises even more difficult, and whilst some ‘wring their hands’ and lament the good old days of plentiful credit, how many people are looking at their business cycle time as an alternative to extended credit or increased overdrafts?

What is ‘cycle time’?

Cycle time is best defined as: “the total time in business it takes from receipt of an order until payment is received and banked”. In many businesses the cycle time is typically 90 days. In some cases it is much longer. For complex projects payment can be staggered over many years and final payments are often withheld for a guarantee period, extending even further the total cycle time.

Negative cycle time

Some businesses have a negative cycle time – that is the money is received and banked even before the goods or services are delivered. Airline tickets or pre-paid

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46 Flooring Oct/Nov 2012

phone cards are typically negative cycle time businesses, so too are on-line sellers such as Amazon. Indeed, in the latter case there is not even a need to have expensive infrastructure, such as in the case of a telco or an airline. Amazon as a business needed nothing more than a PC and a website as its investments to get started and create a highly successful negative cycle time business.

The difference between success and failure Cycle time can mean the difference between success and failure. It is important, especially in smaller businesses, to understand the influence cycle time can have on success or, perhaps, failure. Indeed, there are many stories of businesses that have failed because they grew too fast and were unable to provide the finance to support that growth. In simplistic terms, if a business is shipping $100K per month and is operating on a three month cycle time, a minimum of $300K is needed to finance the business. Banks, especially these days, are loath to finance businesses against orders, but rather look for bricks and mortar assets as collateral. If suddenly the business starts shipping $200K per month with the same cycle time, now $600K is needed as working capital and, if that is not available, then foreclosure may be staring you in the face. However, if the same business can reduce its cycle time to just 1.5 months then sales of $200k can be supported with the same initial equity base. That’s how important cycle time is but, unfortunately, this is often overlooked.

Customers are slow to pay

Doubtless the greater part of cycle time is the delay in customers paying their debts. Whilst we can push for deposits, short term financing or even early payment incentives, we should not ignore the inbuilt delays inherent in our own internal processes. If these can be identified and rectified any reduction in cycle time will be immediately seen on the bottom line as pure profit.

So what’s the solution?

Some businesses look to ‘factoring’ their debts. This essentially means taking a

short term loan for the period of financial stress but, in many cases, the interest charged is sufficient to wipe-out any potential profits. Thus, whilst factoring does have a place, look closely at the costs before seeing this as a panacea. Yet another means is to offer discounts for early payment. Unfortunately, whilst both of the above may improve cash flow somewhat, they come at a cost. A better solution to gaining a partial reduction in cycle time is to take immediate deposits on a customer’s placement of an order. Deposits from customers are seldom seen as your ploy to gain some payment a little earlier but more likely embraced by many as a means to secure their place in your delivery queue, and thus they are not viewed negatively. The best solution is to analyse your entire business cycle time. This is best done by dissecting the business into its serial components from receipt of an order, to shipment, and debt collection and to look for ways cycle time can be reduced.

Process innovation

Process innovation is one way of investigating cycle time in a systematic manner. It is quite amazing what effect small changes to processes can have in delivering real cycle time reductions, and any gains made here go straight to the bottom line as profit, pure and simple.

What’s the message?

Process innovation applied to the cycle time reduction should be seen as a means to reap hidden profits from transactions that may otherwise cost real money. Dissect and analyse your business, there is always room for improvement. Roger La Salle is the creator of the Matrix Thinking technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker. He is the author of three books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the Chair of Innovation at The Queens University in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries. www.matrixthinking.com

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Advertisers Index

Exhibitioncalendar 2012/2013 Exhibitions NOVEMBER 2012

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8-11 Domotex Middle East 2012 Istanbul, Turkey www.domotex-middle-east.com

6-8 Feb AIFF 2013. Australian International Furniture Fair Sydney, Australia www.aiff.net.au

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Flooring Oct-Nov 2012