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Calculating Overtimeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Did You Include Bonuses?
We Salute the 2019 Gold Standard Retailer Award Recipients
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Aristotle
Hidden Opportunities For Profit
of Service to the Industry
World Floor Covering Association As the unbiased voice of the flooring industry for 60 years, the WFCA champions the causes and issues that are important to the independent retailer. Thank you to all of our members and industry partners for being a critical part of our work. We look forward to the next 60 Years.
Add your voice. Visit wfca.org or call 855.330.1183 to become a member today.
Stop It Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA
Meet Lewis Davis The WFCA’s New Senior Executive Director of Technology and Research
Can you afford free? Tom Jennings, VP of Professional Development
Calculating Overtime— Did You Include Bonuses? Jeffery W. King, Outside General Counsel for the WFCA
Are You Looking to Win New Flooring Customers? Lisbeth Calandrino
On the cover: Filo, Gotham L2095 — Ghisa, AV325, Dockside, from Crossville
Hard and Soft Surfaces Prospering Together
Interview with Piet Dossche
Gold Standard Retailer Award 2019
Gold Standard Retailer Award 2019 • H.J Martin & Son, Green Bay, WI
Gold Standard Retailer Award 2019 • Carpet One of Billings, MT
Plenty of Real Attraction for Metroflor Interview with David Altman, Director of Research & Development, Metrofor Corporation
The Metroflor-branded Déjà New LVT Collection With Attraxion™ Magnetic Attachment Technology
5 Ways Homeowners Are Going Bolder with Tile Jerry DiFabrizio, President, Tampa Tile
A Floating Floor System Designed to be ÖN IT
Partnerships for Success Margo Locust, Publisher of Premier Flooring Retailer and Fabulous Floors Magazine
Dare to be Square with Smart Squares
46 How A Jobsite Messaging App Can Transform Field Collaboration Steven Wang, CEO and founder of Measure Square
The Courage to Improve and Progress Chris Ogden, QFloors Marketing Director
The Essentials for Preventing Moisture-Related Flooring Failures • Part 1 Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters’ flooring division manager
Green Goes with Everything
WFCA University Online
RFMS Delivers on Connectivity Fred Kotynski, CIO, RFMS, Inc.
Karndean—Gluedown or Rigid Core: Which is Right for Your Customer?
Hidden Opportunities Commercial Cleaning and Maintenance
How Grout Color Can Transform Tile Installations Maria Oliveira, Laticrete Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
TAKING THE LEAD
Scott Humphrey CEO, WFCA
hat are you afraid of? If you look around our world today, you don’t have to look far to find something that can stimulate fear in you, if you let it. In the August 2015 issue of The Daily Mail, they polled two thousand people and found that 86% identified themselves as worriers. The research also revealed that we spend on average one hour and 50 minutes a day fretting, amounting to 12 hours and 53 minutes a week, or four years and 11 months across the average adult lifetime of 64 years. I don’t know about you, but I can think of many things I would rather spend four years of my life on than worrying. Work was the most common worry listed by those polled, followed by financial concerns, being late, a loved one’s health, and their own health. Relationships, missing a train or bus, not waking up to their alarm, their appearance and their family’s safety completed the top ten most common concerns. At our recent WFCA board meeting, I asked several retailers what keeps them up at night. Some of their responses mirrored those from the survey above. Here are some others I received: Installation challenges, unfair competition, the economy, tariffs, political issues, government regulations, etc… Can you relate? Let’s face it, much of what can impact us is out of our control. Isn’t that crazy? It is out of our control and yet we often let it control us. That doesn’t seem right. The best practice would be to “Control the things you can, but don’t let the things you can’t control you!” Many of you are familiar with what has become known as the Serenity Prayer: “ God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Fear is debilitating, yet most of us struggle with it at various points in our life. Even CEOs, managers, and leaders are not exempt.
I also like this quote by Maya Angelou: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” I am confident many of you reading this article remember the panic at the turn of this century around Y2K. There were many who made a living off the panic created by the belief that the world would stop, due to our computers’ inability to process the changeover to the year 2000. I was working at that time for a large manufacturer in the flooring industry who, like many others, expended a substantial amount of money to make sure they were prepared for an event that never happened. Fear is debilitating, yet most of us struggle with it at various points in our life. Even CEOs, managers, and leaders are not exempt. I once heard that “98% of the
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The research … revealed that we spend on average one hour and 50 minutes a day fretting, amounting to 12 hours and 53 minutes a week, or four years and 11 months across the average adult lifetime of 64 years. things we worry about never happen.” (Of course I have also heard that 74.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot to justify our position, so I am not sure how accurate that statistic is) I can assure you, in my own life I have found it to be very much on the mark. Though fear can be a motivator, more often than not it controls us, binds us, and holds us back. Even the most confident and successful people struggle with hidden fear. We would likely all be surprised if we were able to look behind the mask of those who seem the most confident. Many of them are controlled by the fear of failure. This is what drives them to constantly do more and demand more, out of those who work with and for them Here is the crazy part: if you sat down with a life coach and shared your fears, and they turned to you and asked if those fears benefitted you in some way, you would almost always respond with a resounding “No.” Most of us would immediately ask them to help us overcome our fear. Why? Because fear is irrational, and can be debilitating. Fear is the underlying factor for many who are constantly trying to prove themselves, and still others who are on anti-depressants. Have you ever wished you could just “Stop it?” Humor is often the best way to face our fears. I recently remembered a clip I had seen of one of my favorite comedians addressing this topic. Bob Newhart is a comedic genius. His timing and dry whit are impeccable. In a comedy skit called “Stop It,” he helps a patient address her irrational fear. He explains that he charges $5 for the first five minutes, and absolutely nothing after that. When she explains that his fee seems too good to be true, he explains that none of his sessions ever go the
full five minutes. He then tells her to go. She explains that she has a fear of being buried alive in a box. Once he knows he fully understands her problem, he asks her if she is ready for the solution. She hurriedly takes out a pad and pen as he expresses that the solution is as simple as two words. He then yells across the desk at her to “Stop It.” Now I realize I can not do justice to this short comedy sketch. Still I hope you will take the time to look it up and watch it. It is only six minutes in length and will certainly make you smile as you go through the rest of your day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw The purpose is not to mock your fears. After all, at the time we are focused on them, our fears can seem amazingly real. My hope is, as you laugh through the video you too will realize that much of what we fear is not rational. It might help you to remember this acrostic for the word FEAR: F — False E — Evidence A — Appearing R — Real There are plenty of real challenges and opportunities worthy of our attention. The next time you awake in the middle of the night to some irrational fear, just shout out “Stop It!” But warn your partner, or they will be the one dealing with irrational fear the remainder of the night! Now go out there and succeed! ❚
Have you ever wished you could just “Stop it?” Humor is often the best way to face our fears. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
TAKING THE LEAD
Meet Lewis Davis The WFCA’s New Senior Executive Director of Technology and Research
ewis Davis will head the Floor Covering Business to Business (fcB2B) program for the WFCA. He will be responsible for the forward direction, vision and growth. “The fcB2B program continues to bring together leaders who work together on the development of business to business (B2B) technology designed to benefit all entities in the flooring industry,” said Scott Humphrey, chief executive officer. “We’re exceptionally pleased that Davis has taken on this leadership role. His broad knowledge of technology and research coupled with years of experience working with the fcB2B program positions him to lead us into the future. His passion and commitment to our efforts, and his deep knowledge of our work will enable him to plan more effectively for the future, expand the technology, and introduce innovative approaches to B2B industry standards.” Davis has a long history with the fcB2B program. He first got involved with EDI/ B2B when he joined Mohawk Industries in 1996, as the software developer in their EDI department. He later became the manager of the EDI team and was asked to participate along with other industry representatives in forming the initiative which later became known as fcB2B. Davis was instrumental in the development of the original standards documents and has chaired and co-chaired multiple sub-committees over the years. After a brief departure from the industry in 2012, he rejoined Mohawk in 2018 and once again became active in the fcB2B program. Davis is a native of Chattanooga, TN and now resides in Ringgold, GA with his wife Dawn and their two children. “Lewis Davis has been a key innovator in the fcB2B movement since the very beginning. He has ensured programmatic excellence and consistency in the development of the B2B technology. He is a strong and accomplished leader with the support of the entire digital flooring industry, said Aaron Pirner, owner of CAP Carpet, Inc. in Wichita, KS.” Davis can be contacted at 706.217.1183 ext. 132 or via email at email@example.com. ❚
Lewis Davis has been a key innovator in the fcB2B movement since the very beginning. He has ensured programmatic excellence and consistency in the development of the B2B technology. He is a strong and accomplished leader with the support of the entire digital flooring industry, said Aaron Pirner, owner of CAP Carpet, Inc. in Wichita, KS. 4 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Risk Strategies Floor Covering Insurance and Risk Management
lans, permits, people, equipment, local codes; every building project is a complex choreography. Complexity creates risks that can cost time, money, reputations and even lives. Getting beyond risk requires the expertise to understand all the moving parts, see the possible consequences they embody and craft the best ways to minimize and manage them. A top 20 insurance brokerage in the United States, Risk Strategies specializes in deconstructing complexity to understand risk. Whether you’re a trade contractor just starting out or an established firm, our people come from your industry and know your challenges. From spotting contract language gaps to interpreting the evolving regulatory landscape, you’ll get a partner that knows your world and sweats the details to deliver comprehensive, innovative plans that control costs and eliminate surprises. ❚
A top 20 insurance brokerage in the United States, Risk Strategies specializes in deconstructing complexity to understand risk.
You’re Covered Business Liability, Property, Workers Compensation and Commercial Vehicle insurance programs are offered by Risk Strategies. Contact us today to see how we can save you money! Insurance programs designed speciﬁcally for the ﬂoor covering professional for over 20 years. • WFCA-endorsed inspector’s error & omissions program • WFCA-endorsed surety program • Full-service insurance capabilities Contact: Stacy T. Eickhoff, Senior Vice President P: 949-681-1864 C: 714.393.8470 firstname.lastname@example.org
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
WFCA Code of Conduct
he WFCA and its 3,000-members are dedicated to providing consumers the service and support needed to ensure a successful flooring purchase experience. To maintain the high standards of customer service we encourage in the industry, all WFCA affiliated flooring retailers are obliged to follow our code of conduct. ● To be truthful with my customers in all matters related to the sale, service and installation of floor covering ● To refrain from misleading advertising of any nature, and offer only merchandise and services that are readily available ● To treat all floor covering retailers with respect ● To be attentive to the customer’s desires and needs
A Special “Thank You” to all the manufacturers and their marketing departments who provided outstanding editorial to make this publication a success. Publishing Staff Margo Rodgers Locust, Publisher Karen George, Managing Editor Lisbeth Calandrino, Associate Editor Stan Michelson, Communications Director Barry Briskman, Senior Copy Editor Ray Stewart, Production Manager Toelke Associates/Ron Toelke, Creative Director Editorial and Advertising Offices: Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC Phone: 678-761-5002 | Email: Margo@pfrmag.net Columnists Kandy Barnard, Lisbeth Calandrino, Kathrine Caringola, Jerry DiFrabrizio, Karen George, Tom Jennings, Jeffrey King, Fred Kotynski, Margo Locust, Kelly Oechslin, Chad Ogden, Chris Ogden, Maria Oliveria, Jason Spangler, Steven Wang
● To uphold the highest standards of excellence and fairness in my business
WFCA Scott Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer Tom Jennings, Vice President, Professional Development Freida Staten, Vice President Marketing + Communications Steve Abernathy, Chief Financial Officer Kay Wiley, Executive Assistant to the CEO
● To conduct my business in a sensitive and considerate way
The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Phone: 855-330-1183 | Email: email@example.com
● To observe and abide by the laws and regulations governing good business practices
Premier Flooring Retailer is a joint initiative of the World Floor Covering Association and Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC. Copyright© FABULOUS FLOORS MAGAZINE and WFCA 2018.
● To at all times subscribe to the highest standards of professionalism in my business ● To treat violations of this code as inconsistent with membership in the WFCA Learn more at wfca.org or call 855.330.1183 to become a member today.
All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way without written consent from Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC or the WFCA. Change of Address: in order to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of Premier Flooring Retailer, notice of change should be made at least 5 weeks in advance. Premier Flooring Retailer is published quarterly in print by Fabulous Floors Magazine, LLC located at 741 Main Street, Andrews, NC 28901 and the World Floor Covering Association located at 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721. Postmaster: Please send address changes to WFCA, 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and timeliness of information, Premier Flooring Retailer Magazine cannot be held responsible for discrepancies, typographical errors, discontinuance of product nor color reproduction.
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Focused Merchandising = MORE PROFIT
erchandising is your way of talking to the customer on the floor. Let’s start with the impression you make.
●N o handwritten tags, please. Why? Handwritten tags mean they can be changed at a moment’s notice, maybe by the customer with their own marker.
●D o you have square foot pricing for everything on the floor?
industrial strength meets industrial chic
Are you not mixing square foot and square yard?
●K eep samples in color sequence. Most have a numbering system that shows the colors in their best value sequence. This helps the consumer make a comparison buy and keeps your store looking professional. Make sure you have additional samples you can lend out to customers.
●E ncourage team buying. Involve all your staff when making product selections. What do they think will sell and why? Ask how each would promote or merchandise the item.
●C ompare your products and pricing to your competitors. What are they carrying and what’s their pricing? Do you really need to be carrying the same things? If you think you need the same things, can you make money on these items? If not, why carry them?
●E liminate duplicate products. Are you buying the same price point from different manufacturers and none are selling well? Should you be differentiating what you buy?
●R eward your salespeople for selling higher margin items. This is one place where you’ll see quick growth of your business.
Decorative and durable
SChönox DSP Plus
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Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
IT’S YOUR UP
Can you afford free?
Tom Jennings VP of Professional Development Tom Jennings is a lifelong member of the flooring business. Since selling his family’s retail business in 2006, he has served the industry as an educator and speaker. He is a past board chairman of the WFCA and is currently the board chairman of WFCA Services, Inc. and WFCA vice president of professional development. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ree. Is there a more misused, misleading and sometimes blatantly dishonest word in the English language? I think not. Its misuse became so prevalent that not long ago, the government had to put an end to claims of “free financing”, etc. Logical thinking people would easily recognize that anything of value would obviously have a cost associated, right? Apparently not, as free is to a large percentage of the buying public as cheese is to a mouse: Irresistible. Is it any wonder, then, that major retailers are increasingly baiting their customers’ trap with “free cheese”? Ask yourself, does anyone really believe that UPS, FedEx and the USPS operate thousands of planes and trucks, build huge facilities and staff them all at no cost? Silly thought, right? But wouldn’t this have to be the case for any merchant to offer free shipping? Clearly these costs must be built into the product pricing, reducing its value, to make this claim. Yet retailers from Amazon on down the list, continue to understand that too many of us will still believe that shipping is free. (My theory is that these same people must also believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, as well!). But ask yourself, when you are enticed by these offers of free shipping, what value do you place on the company carrying the goods to your home or office? Likely very little. Does anybody get more excited when you see a big brown truck pull up in your driveway, than you do when a red, white and blue one does? For the most part, the answer is no. Why? Because by diminishing its cost and value, the service element has been commoditized, leaving the customer with the attitude of, “As long as you’re not charging me, I don’t care how you do it.” Sadly, this is exactly the ploy being used by big box, online and shop-at-home flooring retailers’ every day. Build the cost into the product, and give the service (installation) away, resulting in the installation being commoditized, just like the parcel services. If I were a flooring installer, this practice of devaluating my craft by the giant stores would make me more than a little upset. Heck, they won’t even install a door bell for free, but an entire day of my skilled labor has no value? All of
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Is it any wonder, then, that major retailers are increasingly baiting their customers’ trap with “free cheese”? us involved in retail flooring will be threatened with diminished value, if we don’t overcome this “free” perception. As I visit with flooring dealers around the country, many respond that their most successful promotions involve some sort of “something for nothing” component. I do not live in a bubble. I fully understand the need to give the customer an offer to which she will respond favorably. I just feel that it can be very dangerous for an independent flooring retailer to devalue, or give away, the one component of the sale where they have the ability to build a compelling and differentiating sales story for the customer—the quality of their service. National retailers have chosen flooring as a category to “build the cost” of services into the product pricing, simply because it is a large ticket item, and one of the few product categories in their stores that have no manufacturer’s model or serial number attached. This results in products that are very difficult for a customer to competitively shop for on an identical basis. The more emphasis that they can put on product, and the less on service, the better. Clearly it is a business model that is working for them. But unless you keep your doors open 100 hours a week, and have huge marketing resources, is following this lead a healthy option for your firm? Or should you, as they say in baseball, “hit them where they ain’t”? Savvy retailers understand that service is really all they have to differentiate themselves from every other outlet in the marketplace, as in the customers’ eyes, products are largely all the same and available everywhere. They understand that many customers value transparency over deception when making a major purchase. They know how to explain to a rational customer that too often free is not cheap, for anyone involved! When marketing a limited time promotion, I suggest that you consider options that add value to the offering: Upgraded cushion, stain-resistant grout, extended financing terms, or even a giveaway such as a television or computer. Any of these will result in the customer feeling that she received “more for her dollar” without devaluing the most unique offering that your store has its staff. ❚
I just feel that it can be very dangerous for an independent flooring retailer to devalue, or give away, the one component of the sale where they have the ability to build a compelling and differentiating sales story for the customer—the quality of their service. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Calculating Overtime— Did You Include Bonuses?
Jeffrey W. King Outside General Counsel for the WFCA Jeffrey King has more than 35 years’ experience in complex litigation with a focus on contracts,
t has been a busy few weeks, requiring your warehouse employees to work overtime. Given the demand, the warehouse employees were also paid a production bonus based on the amount of flooring processed. To calculate the wages owed for those extra hours of work, your payroll office took each employee’s hourly rate and multiplied it by one and a half, and paid the overtime rate for the extra hours worked. Seems simple enough. But did you include the performance bonuses in calculating the overtime? If not, you may have underpaid these employees. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an employee must be paid one and half times its “regular rate of pay” for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. The regular rate of pay includes all compensation received by the employee in a work week, unless specifically excluded in the FLSA. This means the production bonuses must be included when determining an employee’s regular rate of pay, if the bonus is considered nondiscretionary. Nondiscretionary bonuses include those that are announced to employees to encourage them to work more steadily, rapidly or efficiently, and bonuses designed to encourage employees to remain with a facility. The bonuses could be for meeting certain sales goals, safety goals such as injury free work days, attendance, and similar pre-announced incentives.
employment, construction, antitrust, intellectual property and health care. He serves as general counsel for WFCA and other trade associations, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. For more information, contact him at (561) 278-0035 or email@example.com.
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Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an employee must be paid one and half times its “regular rate of pay” for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. A. Calculating the Regular Rate To comply with the law, the regular rate of pay must be calculated, and then use that rate to calculate the overtime due the employee. For example, consider an employee who works 50 hours in a workweek, is paid $12 per hour, and receives a $50 nondiscretionary performance bonus. Many employers would calculate the overtime rate by using the hourly rate of $12.00 to calculate an overtime rate of $18 ($12 × 1.5). This would result in the employee receiving $480.00 in regular wages ($12 × 40 hours), the $50 bonus, and $180 in overtime wages ($18 × 10 hours), for a total of $710 for the work week. This would be a mistake. To correctly calculate the employee’s pay, the employer still pays for the regular 40 hours at the $12 hourly rate for $480 ($12 × 40 hours), and the $50 bonus. The difference is in calculating the overtime pay. The regular rate must be used to calculate the overtime rate. The regular rate is calculated by multiplying the 50 hours worked by the hourly rate of $12, for a total of $600. The $50 bonus is then added for a weekly pay of $650. The $650 is divided by 50 hours to calculate the regular rate of $13 per hour. The overtime rate would be one and a half times the $13.00 regular rate, for an overtime rate of $19.50 ($13 × 1.5). Using this rate, the employee is owed $195 in overtime wages ($19.50 × 10 hours). The total pay due is $725 for the work week ($480 regular pay + $50 bonus + $195 overtime). This is $15 higher than simply using the hourly rate to calculate the overtime due. While the difference does not seem very significant, it can add up over multiple employees, over multiple years. A company in Michigan recently felt the impact of failing to include bonuses in calculating overtime. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division required the company to pay over $198,000 to its employees, because it paid overtime based only
on each employee’s hourly rates, excluding production bonuses. The small difference added up to a substantial liability.
B. Quarterly and Annual Bonuses When the bonus is paid during the pay period in which it is earned, the calculation is straight forward as set forth above. But what if the bonus is paid less frequently, such as quarterly or annually? Until the bonus is paid, the employer does not need to take the bonus into consideration in calculating the regular rate an employee’s overtime. Once the amount of the bonus is determined, however, it must be apportioned back over the work weeks during which it was earned. The overtime for those weeks must be recalculated using the regular rate that includes the allocated bonus. Unless the specific amount of the bonus earned each week can be identified, the bonus is generally evenly allocated to each week. For example, if an employer pays a bonus of $600 for a twelve-week work period. The bonus is allocated evenly for the twelve weeks for $50 a week ($600 ÷ 12). That $50 bonus is then added in to calculate the regular rate of pay, and any overtime during those weeks must be recalculated. The difference between the original overtime pay and the recalculated overtime is then paid to the employee.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
C. Piece Rates and Overtime
The issue becomes more complicated if employees are paid a piecework rate; overtime is still due for hours worked beyond a 40 hour week.
The issue becomes more complicated if employees are paid a piecework rate; overtime is still due for hours worked beyond a 40 hour week. The federal law defines piece-rate as the “regular rate of pay for an employee paid on a piece work basis; obtained by dividing the total weekly earnings by the total number of hours worked in that week.” The total hours must include all time worked, including traveling to a job site from the employer’s premises, picking up job materials, and similar time. It is this rate that is used to calculate any overtime due. To illustrate, assume an employee worked 45 hours and was paid $675. The regular hourly rate for that week would be $15 ($675 ÷ 45 hours). This only determines the non-overtime rate. The employee is entitled to time and a half for the five hours of overtime ($15 × 1.5 = $22.50). Since the $675 already paid included the $15 base rate, an additional $7.50 ($22.50 – $15.00) must be paid for each hour worked over 40 hours. This would require the employer to add an additional $37.50 (5 × $7.50) for a total pay that week of $712.50. This calculation may need to be further modified to accommodate specific state laws. In California, for example, an employee is due overtime for any time worked over eight hours in any given day, even if the week’s total hours were 40 hours or less. Accordingly, an employee who worked four 10-hour days would be owed eight hours of overtime. California also requires pay for rest periods, and other non-productive time. Other states, such as Washington, have followed this trend and require an employer to pay its piece rate employees for nonproductive rest periods. For more information on calculating overtime for piecework, please see Piece-Rate Compensation: Get Ready for the Changing Rules, in WFCA’s Premier Flooring Retailer (November/December 2015).
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There are many forms of compensation that are not specified in the FLSA as excluded from the regular rate, such as discounts on retail goods and services, paying or reimbursing for training, providing wellness programs, paying for gym membership, student loan repayment assistance, and similar benefits or reimbursement programs. It is not clear whether any of these forms of compensation must be included in calculating the regular rate of pay. D. Compensation to Include in Regular Rate The regular rate includes all the employee’s total weekly remuneration, unless specifically excluded by the FLSA. That Act excludes holiday bonuses, gifts, reimbursements of expenses, pay for unused leave or vacation time, and payments to health and pension benefits. The law also excludes discretionary bonuses, provided they are truly discretionary. The federal rules define a discretionary bonus as those where: [T]he employer … retain[s] discretion both as to the fact of payment, and as to the amount until a time quite close to the end of the period for which the bonus is paid. The sum, if any, to be paid as a bonus is determined by the employer without prior promise or agreement. The employee has no contract right, express or implied, to any amount. 29 CFR § 778.211(b). If, for example, the employer promises in advance to pay a bonus, he has abandoned its discretion with regard to the bonus, and the bonus must be included in calculating the regular rate of pay.
paying for gym membership, student loan repayment assistance, and similar benefits or reimbursement programs. It is not clear whether any of these forms of compensation must be included in calculating the regular rate of pay. As a result of these uncertainties, the Department has proposed a new rule to clarify which benefits should be, and which should not be included in calculating an employee’s regular rate of pay. The World Floor Covering Association submitted detailed comments identifying alternative compensation or benefits, that should be excluded from the regular rate of pay. Given the potential liability, possible different requirements in each state, the allocation of annual and quarterly bonuses, and the pending proposed rule on what to include in the regular rate of pay, it is recommended that competent counsel be consulted to ensure each flooring dealer properly calculate overtime for its employees. ❚ The information contained in this article is abridged from legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings, should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.
E. New Proposed Regulations The regular rate of pay regulations have gone largely unchanged for 50 years. Over that time, pay practices and employer perks have seen significant changes. There are many forms of compensation that are not specified in the FLSA as excluded from the regular rate, such as discounts on retail goods and services, paying or reimbursing for training, providing wellness programs, Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Are You Looking to Win New Flooring Customers? Your website is not always the most efficient way to win new customers.
“O Lisbeth Calandrino Flooring Specialist and Associate Publisher and Director of Social Media for Fabulous Floors Magazine
ptimizing SEO is harder and more competitive than ever. In addition, social media is getting more crowded and can be costly,” according to Meaghan Brophy, Editorial Director for the Independent Retailer. Like myself, Brophy believes that continually building customer connections is one of the best ways to win those new customers. As a result, we brought in the top experts in the fields of marketing and floor installation to address those issues. We also rounded out the educational offering with a variety of topics presented by expert speakers on the show floor itself.” So, what really works when you’re looking to win new customers? There’s nothing more important than customer reviews. I like displaying my customer reviews along with photos and information about my customer’s business. Amazon enhances the reviews, and puts them in their entranceways. If you can get video testimonials, all the better. When your customers brag about you, it will inspire others to want to shop in your store. Blogging and providing important information makes you more credible. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years, and although sometimes it can be difficult to provide new content, customers love it. If you can get your customers to write a blog for you, all the better. This way, you can get exposure with their database. Involve your employees in your quest for winning new customers. If you were to ask your employees about their Facebook following, you might be surprised at their number of friends. If they were to invite their friends to ‘like’ your company, your followers would increase rapidly.
There’s nothing more important than customer reviews. I like displaying my customer reviews along with photos and information about my customer’s business. Amazon enhances the reviews, and puts them in their entranceways.
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Customers don’t fall in love with your products; they fall in love with your employees. In order to make this happen, you must develop opportunities for your employees to connect with your customers. Customers don’t fall in love with your products; they fall in love with your employees. In order to make this happen, you must develop opportunities for your employees to connect with your customers. Sending them to your customer’s homes to look at your work, if you’re installing flooring, having them follow up with the customer after the sale. I believe it’s a big mistake to turn the customer over to someone else to follow up after the sale. When you do this, you’re taking away the salesperson’s opportunity to ask for a referral, and thereby to solidify their friendship with the customer. Email marketing is very much alive and well. I believe that businesses shy away from email marketing, because they think they shouldn’t badger their customers. If you’re going to badger your customers with sales and product knowledge, you’re right. Your emails should be filled with interesting and useful information about the world, not just your business. The only time a customer is interested in your product is when they need it. You can’t make them buy something they don’t need or want. Direct mail may not be dead, but it’s an expensive way to stay in front of your customers. I work with companies who use direct mail for their sales. The number of people that come out based upon the mailing is quite low, but many companies still think it’s worth it. I have often thought the customer should get a personalized note when they receive their product. If I were in the flooring business, I would include a note in the carpet indicating how the product was made. For instance, if I were selling a PET product, I would include information on how many bottles were used to make the product, and thank them for keeping the bottles out of the landfill. I would love to see a dealer try this! ❚ Looking for new ideas for your business? Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting the independent retailer for over twenty years. For more information about Calandrino, check out her website, lisbethcalandrino.com. or connect with her directly, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
I have often thought the customer should get a personalized note when they receive their product. If I were in the flooring business, I would include a note in the carpet indicating how the product was made. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
FLOOR ED By Kandy Barnard
Hard and Soft Surfaces Prospering Together Mix your area rugs with your hard surfaces. Area rugs really show off hard surfaces if the colors highlight one another.
Mix your area rugs with your hard surfaces. Area rugs really show off hard surfaces if the colors highlight one another.
iscuss mixing the surfaces together in the customer’s home. We know that hard surfaces can take a beating that carpet can’t. Suggest hard surfaces in these heavily trafficked areas, then suggest that now they can use the absolutely highest fashion luxurious carpet in these other areas. Carpet inserts can be used as a border around the hard surface and vice versa. Determine the type of spills that have occurred in the customer’s home. Would it be better to have hard surface rather than soft surface in these areas? What kind of look is the customer trying to achieve? Do they want it to be practical in some areas of the home, and softer in other areas? This means mixing the surfaces, not using the same surface throughout the home. Mix your area rugs with your hard surfaces. Area rugs really show off hard surfaces if the colors highlight one another. A Brazilian cherry floor, highlighted with a rug with dark green accents, brings out the red in the Brazilian cherry. ❚
This Bling rug by Tuftex is a perfect complement to the hard surface floor.
16 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
We are originators , innovators and overall troublemakers. We saw an opportunity to create a better floor, and dove in mind, body and soul. We chased a dream and created a whole new category along the way. We are style enthusiasts, believers in technology and seekers of simplicity. We are passionate about providing people flooring solutions that meet their design dreams and stand up to real life. We are obsessed with creating an experience as beautiful as our floors. We are authentic to the core. We are COREtec.
COREtec, The Original · COREtec Wood · COREtec Stone · COREtec PRO
COREtecFloors.com Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Interview with Piet Dossche Piet, you are credited with starting a “rigid core revolution” in the LVT category. Can you tell us how you got the inspiration to totally disrupt the LVT category, and the floor covering industry, in general? Passion for great product that provides the solutions needed for the consumer and then flooring that is high quality and allows successful sales and profitability for our retailers.
Piet Dossche After a 20 year career with Beaulieu, Piet Dossche started USFloors. For the past 17 years USFloors has grown to be an industry leader in flooring. As one of the inventors of the patented COREtec Engineered LVF, Piet sold his company to Shaw and is now President of USFloors & Executive VP Hard Surface, Shaw Industries.
From your experience in talking with many dealers and distributors, what do you believe is the biggest misconception about rigid core, or as it is often referred to as MLF product? That it is all the same and isn’t. Style and quality must be consistently present. Innovation must be first in leadership. Commitment to service lays the foundation of loyalty. Reputation and relationships, understanding the needs at hand and working to provide the solution is the trust required.
One of the biggest areas of confusion with most people is understanding the difference between WPC and SPC product. Can you give our readers a brief explanation of the two and how they differ and is one better than the other? Both products are great, but they are engineered for different applications. Both are 100% waterproof and dimensionally stable. Both feature a wide range of beautiful decors and textures. Both install easily and straight out of the box with no need for acclimation. However, each is constructed to suit specific needs based on the requirements of the intended installation. While SPC will perform great in your mudroom or basement, it is tailor-made for commercial settings such as boutiques and offices — anywhere there may be a high traffic load. And although WPC flooring is frequently used in moderate commercial environments, it is better suited for residential use. The COREtec brand is perfect for expressing the originality and creativity that lives within retailers and consumers and is focused on providing an exceptional consumer experience throughout the new flooring purchase. Both SPC and WPC categories offer features and benefits that lend themselves to a wide variety of installation options and end-use. It comes down to customer preference, fashion, design, installation application and budget. The choice is the consumers.
18 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Both SPC and WPC categories offer features and benefits that lend themselves to a wide variety of installation options and end-use. SPC floors feature a high-density rigid core that was developed to withstand impact and resist indentation due to its high mineral content and dense core. During the manufacturing of WPC, we add foaming agents that create tiny air pockets to improve sound quality, insulation and cushion. This WPC core is combined with a thick luxury vinyl top layer and attached cork underlayment, to create a truly comfortable floor.
Should retailers carry both WPC and SPC product? YES — carry both and capture every opportunity in this very successful category of multi layer flooring COREtec’s patented original Waterproof Foamed Core (WPC) flooring helps a house look, and feel, like home. This innovative flooring provides an unmatched combination of beauty, durability, comfort and sound-dampening performance. COREtec developed our SPC floors to provide extra strength and rigidity to meet the demands of commercial and high-traffic residential applications.
There has been a lot of talk in the industry about “waterproof ” flooring, especially with the new rigid core LVT that’s out. But isn’t traditional LVT “waterproof ” as well? Is there a difference? The vinyl face is waterproof in traditional, but the innovation of the combined layers of waterproofing the multi layer floor along with the installation is where the real waterproof win occurs. COREtec The Original is regarded as the originator of the WPC category — true disruptors and innovators in the industry. It is committed to providing beautiful and durable floors at an excellent value while minimizing the impact on the environment whenever possible. The multi layer collection of products provides an ever-evolving portfolio of waterproof floors that embody style and strength that can withstand whatever real life has in store for the consumer. COREtec The Original, with over 200 styles, is the perfect example.
Many rigid core products have an attached underlayment. Do you have a recommendation whether an attached underlayment is the right choice, or should you use a roll underlayment. COREtec features attached cork layer for easier, more consistent installation. Our layered attached product delivers a quiet, comfortable floor underfoot and a fast quality installation. ❚
The COREtec brand is perfect for expressing the originality and creativity that lives within retailers and consumers and is focused on providing an exceptional consumer experience throughout the new flooring purchase.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The WFCA believes in giving recognition where recognition is due. That’s why we are recognizing and rewarding excellence in our retailer community with our Gold Standard Award.
he awards are given to exemplary businesses that have well-demonstrated the standards of a WFCA member, and have created an outstanding consumer retail experience. To receive the Gold Standard
Award in either category, companies are reviewed and judged based upon: • Knowledge — ensuring a knowledgeable management and staff who work to remain informed on the state of the industry at all times; • Customer Service — providing courteous service and offering customers help throughout the purchase and after-purchase processes; • Quality of Store Image — a clean, professional, well-maintained store must be presented both inside and out at all times; and • Code of Conduct — the facility must adhere to the WFCA Code of Conduct. The Gold Standard Award is given in two categories based upon sales volume: Over $10 million and under $10 million. We will also award 2nd and 3rd place prizes in both categories.
The Gold Standard Award is given in two categories based upon sales volume: Over $10 million and under $10 million.
Companies interested in entering or nominating an entrant for the 2020 Gold Standard Awards can visit wfca.org for more details. A company also must be a member of the WFCA, have been in business for at least three years, and have a clear Better Business Bureau report. To be considered, applicants must complete a multiple-page submission form and present multimedia marketing materials and other collateral, which is factored into the review process.
20 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The awards are given to exemplary businesses that have well-demonstrated the standards of a WFCA member, and have created an outstanding consumer retail experience.
This Year’s recipients are: ● In the category including retailers with sales over
one year’s online WFCA University tuition. The 3rd place
$10-million, H. J. Martin & Son based in Green Bay,
winners in both categories were honored with an award of
WI, took home the top honors and received a choice
$500 in WFCA Trade Scholarship funds, plus one year’s
of one of either a two-day on-site custom CFI carpet
tuition to WFCA University online. This year’s winners
seaming class, or a two-day on-site custom sales
training (each a $5,000 value), plus a one-year online Over $10 million:
WFCA University tuition.
• 2nd place — Martins Flooring (Denver, PA) ● In the under $10-million category, first-place winner
• 3rd place — My Flooring Texas (Webster, TX)
Carpet One of Billings based in Billings, MT received the same options as above, but only a single-day of classes.
Under $10 million: • 2nd place — Harry Katz Carpet One (Mineola, NY)
● Second place winners in both categories received an award of $1,000 in WFCA Trade scholarship funds, plus
• 3rd place — Russell Martin Carpet and Rugs (Naperville, IL)
Gold Standard Award Winners 2019
HJ Martin & Son
Carpet One of Billings
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
H.J Martin & Son, Green Bay, WI
igh-quality products and service have been the hallmarks of H.J. Martin and Son since its 1931 start in the garage of Henry John Martin on
the near west side of Green Bay, Wis. And, while they have grown from the “small carpet store” down the street, to the largest interior and specialty contractor in the United States, they still complete projects of all shapes and sizes every day. Their first job was a residential, ceramic-tile bathroom, and those types of projects remain an integral part of H.J. Martin and Son’s identity. They live by the words of their CEO, Edward Martin, who says, “We’re only as good as our last job.” The company is also heavily involved in community and charitable causes. A family-owned company now in its fourth generation, H.J. Martin and Son is an active member of its home community, in Green Bay and throughout Northeast Wisconsin. They’ve made substantial contributions to major community assets such as the P.H. Martin Webster Sports Complex, and the Packers Heritage Trail that enhance quality of life and help bring in out-of-town visitors. They also give monetarily and through their work to numerous non-profit organizations, including the New Community Shelter, the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay and Brown County United Way. ❚
Edward Martin President and CEO of H.J. Martin and Son
“ We are delighted to receive the Gold Standard Award from the World Floor Covering Association because it is based on an outstanding consumer retail experience. As a family run business, H.J. Martin and Son takes great pride in the quality service and products we have provided our customers with for 88 years.” Edward Martin
22 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
“ We believe that our two showrooms stand out in the marketplace for their beauty. Upon arrival, our goal is for customers to envision products in their homes. We do this through high-end displays that engage and interactions with our knowledgeable in-house designers. We want our clients to have a buying experience that exceeds their expectations—we know that some of the best marketing we have is through word of mouth.” Edward Martin
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Carpet One of Billings, MT
arpet One of Billings caught the judging panel’s eyes in the under $10-million category, due to their company growth and dedication
to total customer satisfaction on every job. They describe themselves as “deliberate, adaptive and efficient” in fulfilling the expectations of their customers. From their perspective, their success is due in part to their customer centric customer service model handed down from the founders to the current generation of management. Their longtime motto is “The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer.” In addition, their client relationships do not end when the job is over. Carpet One of Billings has ongoing, committed customer appreciation initiatives and, with a relationship built on trust and satisfaction, their customers have been returning for nearly four decades. Carpet One of Billings supports at least a dozen community related causes through financial investments, sponsorships and in-kind gifts. Some of the beneficiaries of their generosity include local schools, athletic teams, non-profit organizations, churches and community associations.❚
“ We at Carpet One of Billings are extremely honored to receive the WFCA Gold Standard Award. To be considered among the best in a field of so many successful floor covering stores is humbling to say the least.” Randy Mostad
24 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
From their perspective, their success is due in part to their customer centric customer service model handed down from the founders to the current generation of management.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF
Plenty of Real Attraction for Metroflor
avid Altman, Director of Research & Development, Metroflor Corporation, is excited about the new LVT collection Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technol-
ogy. It is produced in Metroflor’s partner facility Elegant Home-Tech, a giant 1,183,600 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing plant devoted to LVT production. David took time from conducting a tour of this modern flooring facility to tell us his perspective on this remarkable new installation technology now featured by Metroflor. How important is the MagneBuild™ technology to Metroflor?
We are very excited to be one of the first pioneers to manufacture a product that’s com-
patible with the MagneBuild underlayment system. Currently, we are only integrating the
Research & Development
MagneBuild technology within our flooring products under the brand name Attraxion, but
we intend to utilize the MagneBuild system with our Verçade Wall Fashion product line in the future, as well.
This story originally appeared in the
Is the MagneBuild technology as good as everyone says? Without a locking system, what keeps the planks from moving or shifting?
March 2019 issue of The Floor Covering Installer
The sheer strength of the magnetic bond. Heavy foot traffic and general rolling loads should not cause the planks or tiles to shift. Should significant “torque” be involved from a rolling load, it may be possible for a plank or tile to slip, but the nature of this “removable/ replaceable” installation system will make it very easy to put a shifted plank or tile back in place. We even tested it by rolling a forklift over our Déjà New planks several times in our warehouse to see if there was any movement, there was none! One of the advantages of LVT is that it can often be installed over existing flooring. Is that the case with MagneBuild? There are many instances where it can be installed over existing hard surface flooring, as long as it is structurally sound, flat and smooth. Best practice as always would be to remove the existing flooring if in doubt. What should we know about subfloor prep? Since the MagneBuild underlayment is a flexible and non-rigid material, the subfloor preparation for the most part is the same as preparing for a glue down product. All substrates must be structurally sound, smooth, clean, and free of dust, dirt and old adhesive resi-
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The installation of Déjà New planks and tiles featuring Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology used in conjunction with the MagneBuild underlayment eliminates the need for perimeter adhesion. due. The substrate surface should be flat within 3⁄16” in a 10 ft. radius, without any abrupt height variations such as expansion joints or underlayment seams. Grout joints need to be filled when installing over existing ceramic tile or stone floors to obtain a smooth surface. Surface cracks, grooves, depressions, control joints or other non-moving joints, and other irregularities should be filled or smoothed with high-quality patching or underlayment compound to prevent telegraphing of imperfections. Do you need any kind of adhesive? Even for adhesive-free systems like looselay LVT, the perimeter usually still needs to be adhered. Is that the case with MagneBuild, too? The installation of Déjà New planks and tiles featuring Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology used in conjunction with the MagneBuild underlayment eliminates the need for perimeter adhesion. The underlayment is very strong and dimensionally stable. The magnetic bond between the two surfaces provides very good shear strength and is quite strong, minimizing the lateral movement of the system.
Déjà New LVT DN821826 Greyed.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Moisture is always a big concern. We hear that the MagneBuild magnetic underlayment acts as a moisture barrier. True? Yes, the MagneBuild underlayment is impervious to moisture and may be used for moisture mitigation purposes up to 100% RH but taping of the seams with the MagneBuild waterproof tape is mandatory. Will using tape on the seams cause any problems for the magnetism? The MagneBuild tape is engineered for this specific application and is applied to the underneath side of the magnetic underlayment, so it won’t interfere with the magnetism. Remember, it is only necessary to tape the MagneBuild underlayment at the seams if it is to be used for moisture mitigation purposes. However, some installers may prefer to tape the seams as a general practice for stability/integrity purposes. A magnetic underlayment sounds like it might be difficult to cut or transport. Should installers be concerned? Not at all. The MagneBuild underlayment comes in rolls 3' × 33.3' (100 sq. ft.) and weighs 75 lbs. It cuts easily with a sharp utility knife and is easy to maneuver across the floor without worrying about damage or tearing. We know that proper acclimation is a factor, even for LVT installation. Is the same true for your new Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology collection? Yes. Like any other resilient flooring, our Déjà New planks and tiles featuring Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology along with the MagneBuild underlayment should only be installed in temperature-controlled environments. The material should be stored flat off of the floor in an acclimatized, weather-tight space, between 65°–85°F (18°–29°C). 28 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Do not double-stack pallets. Permanent HVAC must be in operation before, during and continually after the installation. Products featuring Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology must be allowed to acclimate in the acclimatized environment in which it is to be installed in for a minimum of 48 hours prior, ensuring that the temperature range of 65°–85°F (18°–29°C) is maintained at all times during and continuously thereafter. Keep away from heating and cooling ducts and direct sunlight. What about spills or chemicals? If they penetrate the floor, can they weaken the magnetic bond?
We routinely test the surface of our products and how well they can withstand exposure to a variety of chemicals and substances that floors are often exposed to. We publish this information on our website for any product that we offer. Relative to non-chemical liquids, like water for instance, the magnetic bond actually prevents moisture from settling in the space between the underlayment and the underside of the LVT. In fact, if you were to install a piece of LVT plank over a droplet of water, the magnetic force would cause that droplet of water to dissipate to the perimeter of the plank or tile. It in essence repels water. For everyone interested in your new Metroflor Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology, how do they learn more? Please visit www.metroflorusa.com or contact your local Metroflor distributor if you’re interested in learning more about this wonderful new product. We have inventory in Calhoun Georgia in a 10-Sku design line that’s a subset of our Déjà New LVT collection. It is a 2.5mm product featuring a 20mil wear layer. It’s well suited for a wide variety of commercial applications, and can be shipped anywhere in the USA in a matter of days. ❚
Like any other resilient flooring, our Déjà New planks and tiles featuring Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology along with the MagneBuild underlayment should only be installed in temperaturecontrolled environments.
Déjà New LVT DN1445117 Waxed Greige.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF
The Metroflor-branded Déjà New LVT collection with Attraxion™ Magnetic Attachment Technology
he Metroflor-branded Déjà New LVT collection designed for Main Street Commercial is now available with Attraxion™ Magnetic Attachment Technology. Licensed from
Magnetic Business Solutions’ MagneBuild™ system, the new Attraxion-branded under-
With Attraxion, innovative layouts such as herringbone, alternating colors and borders are easier and faster to install than ever before.
layment enables the rapid installation of flooring without locking systems or adhesives. The Attraxion underlayment adheres to an integrated ferrite (iron) film which is laminated to the bottom of Déjà New products. By merely rolling out the underlayment over any smooth, clean and dry subfloor, the flooring can be installed over it more easily and faster than any other method. The technology eliminates adhesive-related VOC’s and reduces labor and removal costs. In addition to reducing the labor skillset required and opportunity for error, Attraxion’s speed of installation also enables installers to handle two to four times more jobs per day than traditional methods. With Attraxion, innovative layouts such as herringbone, alternating colors and borders are easier and faster to install than ever before. With a 20 mil wear layer and 2.5 mm gauge, Déjà New with Attraxion is suitable for a wide range of specified and Main Street applications including Hospitality, Retail, Healthcare, Education, Corporate and Multi-Family. ❚ Follow us on Facebook @metroflor and Twitter @metroflor_
Left: Déjà New DN821828 Oxidized; above: LVT_ Déjà New DN1445105 Pumice Washed.
30 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
NO adhesives. NO locking profiles. NO JOKE. Time IS money. That’s what Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology™ is about. This game-changing two-part installation technology drastically reduces typical flooring replacement times and that’s just the beginning. Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology eliminates adhesive-related VOCs and the magnetic underlayment can dual purpose as a moisture barrier and crack suppressant membrane to minimize costs related to floor prep. Déjà New with Attraxion Magnetic Technology. Serious technology for serious projects. .
888-235-6672 | metroflorusa.com
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
32 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
5 Ways Homeowners Are Going Bolder with Tile
here are many directions you can take your tile design, whether you opt for a classic look or something more unconventional. Home design trends have been gravitating
towards bolder styles for a while, and homeowners are beginning to go with the flow. If you think now’s the right time to go brighter with tile, you’re entirely correct! Let’s have a look at five ways you could make your tile become the central focal point in your home:
1. A Pop of Color on a Traditional Shape If you take any traditional shape or classic style, there’s a good chance you can make it more interesting by adding a pop of color to it. But only a touch — you generally don’t want to
go overboard with a bright kitchen backsplash or install bold tile on a large surface. A good
President, Tampa Tile
shape to try out in a more exciting setup is subway tile, as tile can’t get any more classic than that.
2. Add Interest with Texture or Pattern Tiles with gorgeous, bold patterns are indeed among the best ways to go when you wish to add something extra to your home design. Patterned tiles offer you a multitude of options, and are a great choice if you’d still like to keep the colors somewhat muted. In that case, a subtly emphasized patterned tile or an interesting texture on tile could bring the entire design together in a bold way without being overwhelming.
Made in Italy, this glazed porcelain “Boucle” floor tile is the very best carpet look in the tile industry. Many of our customers can’t believe it’s tile until they touch it. The term “boucle” refers to the yarn used to make the Berber style of carpets and is the namesake of this truly unique tile. Perfect for large or small indoor areas where the look of fabric but the performance of tile is desired.
34 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Home design trends have been gravitating towards bolder styles for a while, and homeowners are beginning to go with the flow. 3. Go Metallic Tile with a metallic sheen isn’t something you see often, but it can look gorgeous, mainly when the metallic effect is used to emphasize a pattern on the tile. That would look amazing on a kitchen or bathroom sink backsplash and would pair exceptionally well with a subdued design of the other elements.
4. Reserve a Smaller Space for Bolder Tile The bolder your tile desires become, the more effective it is to limit them to a smaller space. You could reserve your elaborately patterned tile for an accent wall in the bathroom, or place it so that it adorns your shower floor. Surrounding this piece of bolder design with a more subdued and more straightforward tile option will make it pop even more and turn it into the
Colored grout and metallic tile, especially on a kitchen backsplash or bathroom wall, can add a decorative and dramatic touch to a home’s décor.
focal point of your plan.
5. Experiment with Grout Colors Experimenting with grout colors is a fun thing to do, especially if you’d still like to keep your tiles subtle and straightforward. After all, why would grout have to match the tile color? Combining colorful grout with oddly-shaped tile can create a subtle pattern of its own and make a design statement as well as any geometric pattern tile would. All it takes is some creativity to come up with a winning combination that would fit with the overall look of the room. Making your tile bolder seems to be the way to go, so don’t hesitate to turn your tile design into a real conversation starter and a subject of admiration of anyone who visits. And let’s not mention how much you’ll enjoy having bolder tile as the star of your home design. ❚
The styles and patterns of early American architecture inspired this decorative glazed porcelain floor tile made in Spain. This tile has a very aggressive texture that makes it great for exterior floors. Ideal for porches and patios where a decorative tile is desired to make the space look bigger than it is.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
A Floating Floor System Designed to be ÖN IT
SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF
ew or remodeling projects, especially those in the
ing lip glues down to the mineral wool to prevent the AP
multi-family and senior housing markets, can become
Rapid Plus from flowing underneath. The Schönox Reno-
challenging when critical substrates are damaged by use
tex® 3D reinforcement fabric is then cut to shape using elec-
through years of use. What’s the advantage of renovating ver-
trical scissors. The fabric is flattened lengthwise to overlap
sus demolition on projects like this? Costs and labor can be
approximately 2". Adhere ends of Renotex® 3D along walls
mitigated when a load-bearing substrate can be rehabbed.
using double-sided tape, when necessary, to eliminate any
Schönox is familiar with this scenario, so we designed an
possible curl. Finally, the Schönox AP Rapid Plus self-level-
innovative solution with insulation, sound-dampening, and
ing compound is poured by using a mixing barrel or pump
fire-resistance qualities in mind.
and completely covering the completely covering Schönox
Schönox’s new Renotex 3D System is designed not
Renotex® 3D, by using barrel mixer or pump. AP Rapid Plus
only to meet, but exceed, the material standards of these
is designed for fast-track installations and is not sensitive to
projects. This versatile and customizable system combines
thickness or climate conditions. Because of this, the sys-
Renotex 3D, a sound insulation sheet, Schönox RS 50
tem cures in as little as 24 hours to a completely decoupled,
foam tape, and Schönox AP Rapid Plus to provide a fast
floating, and self-bearing system.
and cost-effective subfloor renovation system. Once com-
The Schönox Renotex® 3D System is designed to create
plete, you have a smooth, level, and long-lasting surface
a new substrate for subsequent floor covering installations by
ready for installation of a variety of floor coverings, such as
offering professional flooring installers the opportunity to build
luxury vinyl tile or carpet tile.
up a true self-leveling, load-bearing, porous substrate suitable
The installation process is simple, while being labor and
for wood or other flexible materials, such as luxury vinyl tile
cost efficient. First, the sound insulation sheet is cut to size
or carpet tile. Combined, the system is strong, versatile, and
and loosely laid, sheet-to-sheet, on the wooden substrate.
The high density of this underlayment allows for walkability at any time. After the area has been properly covered with the sound-insulating underlayment, the gaps to the perimeter should be closed adhering the RS 50 foam tape to any vertical structure. The foam adds sound insulation, while the self-stick-
At left: Schönox Renotex® 3D; here, Schönox Renotex® 3D System installation
36 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
WE’re Glad you asked. Schönox provides solutions for subfloor challenges with a full line of primers, repair mortars, leveling compounds, waterproofing materials, and adhesives, and with a technical team that’s eager to help during every step of your project. When our products perform flawlessly, we know we’ve succeeded. At Schönox, we love what we do, which is why we’ve been doing it successfully for more than 125 years. To put it simply, we solve subfloor problems.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Partnerships for Success Associations with interior designers can be very important to both you and the customer. Why interior designers need to be an important part of your business
T Margo Locust Margo Locust is publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine and Premier Flooring Retailer as well as owner of a retail flooring store in northwestern North Carolina with more
oday most businesses have some dealings with interior designers. You can advertise for interior designers and bring them to your showroom and explain how you can work together. You can also have them educate your staff on color and style so they will be able to recommend the right designer. How will you work with them? First talk with them about their qualifications and ask for testimonials and photos of completed jobs. States have different laws about certification; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to know if a designer has been certified and what they consider to be their best skills. As you get to know them better, you may want to put their photos on your web site along with photos of their jobs, their qualifications and their testimonials. This can only improve your business and bring in customers willing to spend more money.
than 30 years in the flooring industry. She can be reached at margo@ fabulousfloorsmag.com.
38 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Consider interior designers as your business partners What are their specialties and what do they do best? Designers have special- ties, today one of the growing ones is designing residences for aging in place. As baby boomers get older, most want to stay in their homes as long as they can. This means their homes have to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;aging friendlyâ&#x20AC;? such as wheelchair-accessable if necessary. Who do they know that might be good customers for you? Who have they been buying flooring from and what type of flooring do they need? Do they do large commercial jobs, work with schools or hospitals? Do they have connections that will increase your business? Decide how you will work with them? If they bring you a flooring customer, will you pay them a commission on top of the job or do they want a discount so they can bill the customer? I know several flooring contractors that give their designers a key to their show room with special products and pricing for them. Whoever you work with should be considered a new business partner. They can also help you build traffic by posting your flooring on social networks and making sure you get testimonials on your products. Consider interior designer consultants for your business. â?&#x161;
Today most businesses have some dealings with interior designers. You can advertise for interior designers and bring them to your showroom and explain how you can work together. You can also have them educate your staff on color and style so they will be able to recommend the right designer.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The World’s Best Carpet Cushion
Why is Healthier Choice the world’s best carpet cushion? The secret is our Never Crush Foam Technology. We manufacture the only carpet cushion made from 100% High Density Memory Foam. Most carpet cushion today is made from waste or scrap pieces of low density, light weight foams which are glued or bonded F E AT U R I N G
together. Our patented, Never Crush Foam Technology offers the luxurious comfort
40 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 NEVERCRUSH FOAM TECHNOLOGY
you want while providing the lasting support your carpet needs.
Hydra-Skin™ is a high performance feature unique to Healthier Choice Cushion; it is the only film-less, breathable moisture barrier, which stops liquid spills from penetrating into the cushion while allowing moisture vapor trapped underneath to evaporate and escape.
Healthier Choice Cushion is infused with Ultra-Fresh® Anti-Microbial Protection to inhibit the growth of harmful odor causing mold, mildew and bacteria. It provides permanent protection.
No Odor - Low VOC’s Healthier Choice is the only carpet cushion which is UL GREENGUARD® Gold Certified for low chemical emissions. Breathing high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) is linked to health problems including allergies and asthma. Our product is also CRI GREEN LABEL Plus Certified.
Made in part with soybean oil and other natural resources, which reduces the consumption of fossil fuel petrochemicals while supporting sustainable agriculture.
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF
Dare to be Square with Smart Squares
omeowners today live busy lives. Taking kids to practice, making sure the dog gets to the groomer, and completing those “honey do” projects are just a few of the things that
the average homeowner tackles in their day to day life. Worrying about stains on their carpet should not be one of them. Dream Weaver doesn’t believe that it’s acceptable to have
Smart Squares can be easily installed on most floors with minimal prep work. Installation is a breeze making the product perfect for DIYers.
to move the couch over a few feet to cover up that wine stain. That’s why Dream Weaver combined our proprietary fiber, PureColor® with Smart Squares, the most affordable all in one flooring solution for every space in your home. Smart Squares are Dream Weaver’s most popular residential products transformed into 18" × 18" carpet tiles. Proprietary technology is used to cut each tile precisely while never touching the face fiber, leaving a seamless appearance once installed. Using a peel and stick system, Smart Squares can be easily installed on most floors with minimal prep work. Installation is a breeze making the product perfect for DIYers. Smart Squares are the industry’s most durable residential carpet tiles because they are the only carpet tiles made with PureColor. PureColor is solution-dyed, meaning that the color of the carpet fiber goes all the way through, much like the orange of a carrot, as opposed to traditional piecedyed fibers where the color only sits on top of the fiber, like the
42 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
At left: Simply prep, peel, place and press smart squares to transform any room today! Below: Smart Square in style Easy Street 815 Iron Frost.
red skin of a radish. This creates a more balanced look in
state of the art manufacturing facility until it ships out to
the color of the carpet. It also means that PureColor will
our retail customers.
not bleach from spot cleaning, doesn’t fade from pro-
Smart Squares with PureColor is an asset to any room in
longed sunlight exposure, won’t wear in high traffic areas,
the home. Whether installed in the living room, child’s play-
and can resist some of life’s harshest stains. And if a tile
room, or even a sunroom, it will perform. It’s not a “niche”
does become damaged, simply replace it with a new car-
product or something that will fade away with passing trends.
pet tile. Historically, solution-dyed carpet was a premium,
But, something that every homeowner can live their life on,
only something a consumer could have if they were will-
something that doesn’t cause stress or more work, some-
ing to pay for it. Modern manufacturing technology and
thing that helps the homeowner when they need it most. ❚
logistics keep Smart Squares affordable for any homeowner. Our product stays within the four walls of our
To learn more about Smart Squares visit http://www.smart-squares.com/
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
e! t a eD
2019 CFI Convention August 21-23, 2019
La Cantera Resort & Spa
San Antonio, TX
Connect with installation professionals, dealers & distributors Golf Tournament Kick-Off
Registration Now Open! Visit our website: www.cficonvention.com give us a call: 816.231.4646 44 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The Most Recognized Certification and training Programs Worldwide Carpet•Hardwood•Laminate•Ceramic & Stone•Resilient•LVP
2019 Upcoming Events: July 8 - August 9 | Forney, TX 5-Week Carpet Training
September 10 - 11 | Forney, TX Ceramic Certi ication
July 11 - 12 | Forney, TX Woven & Pattern Carpet Workshop
Sept. 16 - Oct. 18 | Forney, TX 5-Week Carpet Training
July 18 - 19 | Doraville, GA All Level Carpet Certification
September 26 - 27 | Forney, TX Woven & Pattern Carpet Workshop
July 22 - 23 | Forney, TX All Level Carpet Certification
October 21 - 25 | Forney, TX 1-Week Hardwood/Laminate Training
August 21 - 23 | San Antonio, TX 2019 CFI Convention
October 29 - 30 | Forney, TX Hardwood/Laminate Certi ication
Visit our website: www.cfiinstallers.org Follow us on: Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Steven Wang, CEO and founder of Measure Square
The Next GIG
How A Jobsite Messaging App Can Transform Field Collaboration
looring installation. The process hasn’t changed much in
Because of this, we have developed our own solution. It’s
decades, despite all the advances in technology. There
an app called ServiceX. From the ground up, we have devel-
is the usual piling up of the previous day’s waste, the need
oped it with the needs of the field rep in mind. To this end,
to pickup new product and to receive work orders and print-
there is seamless integration with productivity tools, such
outs. Then there are the unexpected exceptions — which
as a floor plan viewer, job completion tracking, sign-off and
are prevalent in larger jobs. And the problems happen
work scope reporting to speed up job reports.
across all stages: floor preps, adhesive and underlayment,
While in the beta stage, ServiceX has already seen much
product installation and finishes, and coordi-
traction. Consider the case of Brian Burke,
nation with other trades.
who operates MeasureUp Flooring. His nine
The traditional approach to dealing with
installer crews have been using ServiceX
such things is to use a haphazard mix of
and there has been notable improvement in
phone calls, text messages and emails. But
all this usually adds to the problems as it can
Here are some of the takeaways:
easily get difficult to organize the information. No one is on the same page. So is it any wonder that many projects have slim margins — or losses? Of course not. So what to do? Well, there needs to be a major rethinking of the workflow — which
● “Our installers are empowered with job information in the field, and they know what they can and cannot do onsite as everyone has the same job history. This means that problems are not replicated.”
means leveraging technology. The good
● “For our commercial clients, the sooner
news is that the systems do not have to be
they know a room/ job is finished, the
advanced or complex. Keep in mind that the
sooner they can let another trade in.”
silver bullet is to use something just about
● “For our sales reps, site installers have
everyone uses — that is, messaging. But it
realized great time savings. The reason is
has to be done in a unified way and every-
that they can have a role in the site proj-
one must use it. When this happens, the
ect management and assist sales if they
results are standout, as there is a boost in
have enough information and can inter-
productivity and efficiency.
act with sales quickly.”
Now it’s true that there are a myriad of messenger apps available like Slack, Microsoft
The bottom line for Brian: “ServiceX is
Teams and WhatsApp, to name a few. They
more like a commercial business version of
are certainly robust and useful for collabora-
Facebook without the confusion.”
tion. But they really do not address the unique
At left are two screenshot scenarios that
challenges of field work. For example, Slack
show how this app has been used to stream-
and Microsoft Teams are essentially project
line their installation process. ❚
management tools for office workers and WhatsApp is focused on social networking. 46 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The Next GIG Chris Ogden QFloors Marketing Director
Chris Ogden is the Marketing Director at QFloors software. She has been involved with QFloors from its onset. With over 30 years of wide-ranging experience in advertising, Chris has successfully communicated QFloors’ vision and value to dealers. She oversees all branding, marketing, and public relations efforts for the company.
The Courage to Improve and Progress
ewsflash: I am past the age that anyone would ever mistake me for 29. I am reminded quite forcefully of that reality whenever I attempt a fitness class at the gym. or decide to wear skinny jeans. But no time is the fact more in my face than when I contemplate how business has changed during my decades (yes, plural) in the workforce. Sometimes it makes me cranky. Because there’s a part of me that wants to believe that after 25 years, I can sit back, coast a little, do my job the way I have done it for years, and stay comfortable. But part of being a technology company is that change is always part of the deal, or else you blink and you’re a dinosaur. So I empathize with the fact that for many in the flooring industry, change is hard. It is difficult to step out of that well-worn track we are running in, especially when we already feel busy and overwhelmed. Change is risky. Change requires courage, leadership, and vision. But, as George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change.” As I have rubbed shoulders and interacted with our QFloors users, I have been inspired and taught by their powerful examples of this principle. I have noticed that the most successful businesses typically are led by individuals who are not afraid of change. They aren’t too tired, too afraid, or too stubborn to look around and ask, “Can we do this better?” WFCA CEO Scott Humphrey, has often talked about the courage to embrace change. A few years ago, in an article in Premier Flooring Retailer, Scott said, “… Through this interaction [within the flooring industry], one thing has become apparent, the more willing a retailer is to change, the more likely they are to succeed.” My observations have also aligned with this. Purchasing and utilizing new software such as QFloors is a great example. It takes some risk, an investment of time and money. Sometimes employees kick hard against that change. It isn’t comfortable at first. It’s not how they are used to doing things. However, the return on investment is typically game-changing. I’m grateful for courageous and forward-thinking dealers who partner with our company, and who continue to push us to stretch, change, innovate, and improve. We’d love for everyone to be part of this journey with us. Can’t wait to see where it leads us all. ❚
48 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
YOUR SOFTWARE SHOULDN’T BE
PAINFUL TO USE Nor should it be torture to learn. QFloors software is: · Powerful yet user-friendly · Comprehensive yet intuitive
Your employees (and your blood pressure) will thank you.
Contact us today for a free demo. (801) 563-0140 www.qfloors.com firstname.lastname@example.org Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The Essentials for Preventing Moisture-Related Flooring Failures Part 1
f you’re a general contractor or flooring professional responsible for installing floor coverings, there’s one thing you must always pay attention to: moisture. Moisture is the industry’s most commonly recurring and expensive flooring-related prob-
lem. Unfortunately, it’s a problem often overlooked or neglected. Consider these alarming facts: According to Robert Nieminen, Editor-In-Chief of Interiors+Sources magazine, U.S. commercial property owners spend an estimated $2.4 billion annually on remediation of structures and floor coverings due to moisture-related flooring Jason Spangler Wagner Meters’ flooring division manager
Jason has more than 25 years’ experience in sales and sales management across a broad spectrum of industries. He has successfully launched a variety of products to the market, including the original Rapid RH® concrete moisture test. Jason has extensive industry involvement, including the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), the International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI), and is Vice Chairman of Associations for The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA). Call Wagner Meters today at (844) 533-9100 and ask for Jason or visit www.wagnermeters.com.
failures. Additionally, Nieminen remarks that $1.2 billion is spent for unplanned topical moisture treatments needed to address moisture issues before floor coverings are installed. And let’s not forget added project costs incurred because of project delays, flooring replacement, lost revenue associated with business disruptions, litigation, and loss of reputation. Nearly every flooring product is affected in one way or another by excess water vapor emissions from concrete and accompanying pH issues — be it carpet, laminate, rubber, tile, vinyl, or wood. Moisture damage to flooring materials includes debonding, warping, buckling, peeling, adhesive degradation, cupping, gaps, mold growth, and more. Moisture damage may also compromise other essential building materials besides flooring such as studs, floor support beams, and sheetrock.
Measure Wood Flooring Moisture Wood flooring and wood subfloors must be measured for excess moisture since wood easily absorbs moisture from concrete slabs and its environment. This moisture can be extremely Continued on page 54
RH testing is depth-specific, which helps explain why it reliably predicts the amount of moisture that the finished floor will “see” after it is placed.
50 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
WOOD MOISTURE METERS
• True On-Site Calibration • Dual Depth Moisture Measurement • Non-Damaging Pinless Sensor • NIST Traceable
24/7 DATA LOGGER
• Collects RH and Temperature Readings • Your Eye on Job Site Conditions When You Are Away • Affordable for Any Job Size
WAGNERMETERS.COM | CALL (844) 533-9100 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The Next GIG
Green Goes with Everything
s your flooring business going green? More and more floor-
without you ever needing to print out the details. It also elim-
ing professionals are focusing on making their business envi-
inates the need to add data to another system, such as an
ronmentally friendly in 2019. Choosing sustainable flooring
external accounting software, or separate estimating pack-
options and avoiding waste during the cutting and installation
age. It’s all done within RollMaster! This allows your flooring
process, are an obvious first step. But, are your internal pro-
business to save paper at every step in your sales process.
cesses going green too? Improvements can be made in every aspect of your business to lower its impact on the environment, and make your business run more efficiently too.
Efficiency for Your Team & the Environment The popular RollMaster E-Docs feature allows flooring busi-
Paperless is the Way Forward
nesses to save on printing, while keeping jobs organized
One of the most impactful ways flooring businesses can
from start to finish. With E-Docs’ virtual storage, you can
make their internal processes more environmentally friendly,
save documents, photos, invoices and more within the sys-
is by reducing paper use. Many flooring businesses still use
tem. This saves paper, and eliminates the risk of important
paper at every stage of the sales process. From taking notes
documents being misplaced. E-Docs also keeps all of your
on a prospective project, to the actual sale and installation,
files backed-up, safe, and secure. Long time RollMaster
all the way through to accounting and reporting, stacks of
user, Dean Culp from Carpet Barn says, “Any document that
paper add up to a huge loss when it comes to going green.
anyone hands you or emails you, you add it to the file and
Effective flooring software eliminates the need to create
it’s there forever. If a question comes up in the future, we go
and store paper records. RollMaster Software’s fully inte-
back to the E-doc. It’s been invaluable.”
grated system captures data from the very first point of con-
Having secure access to your job files anytime, any-
tact with the customer. Orders flow through the entire system,
where, is crucial. Printing and taking paper files with you to a Continued on page 54
Effective flooring software eliminates the need to create and store paper records. RollMaster Software’s fully integrated system captures data from the very first point of contact with the customer.
52 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The support that we’ve had from RollMaster is immaculate.
- Marcus, RollMaster User
Your Complete Flooring Software Solution
24/7 Cloud Service
Automate, Integrate, Innovate - That’s How We Roll! Whether you provide flooring for large commercial projects or single family homes, our software is designed to help your business grow and become more profitable.
email@example.com | 866.822.4904 Premier | www.rmaster.com Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019 53
Continued from page 52
Continued from page 50
job site wastes paper and can cause unnec-
damaging. In fact, the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) estimates
essary trips back and forth to the office.
that at least 75% of all installation failures result from moisture problems.
The RMMoblie App gives your employees
For best results, flooring professionals and general contractors should
access to sales, inventory, and installation
measure wood flooring for moisture before, during, and after installation
data right on their phones. They can email
using an accurate moisture meter. Accurate moisture measurements enable
from within the software, and save PDF doc-
them to avoid costly legal claims, loss of reputation, customer dissatisfac-
uments rather than paper files. This means
tion, and the cost of replacing damaged materials.
you can stop printing out paperwork for employees in the field, and save space at
Measure Concrete Moisture
Since moisture is present in all concrete slabs—new and existing—it will interact with flooring materials and the environment as it comes to the sur-
Technology Your Customers Expect
face. So moisture in concrete floor slabs must be measured before instal-
The days of bulky, expensive, and energy guz-
flooring materials—coverings, adhesives, primer, patching compounds, and
zling servers are over. With cloud-based tech-
the wood flooring—are compatible with existing moisture levels.
lation to avoid flooring failures. Moisture measurement helps determine if all
nology, you can run and store data on normal
In fact, the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the Floor Covering
computers, tablets and smart-phones. Gen X
Installation Contractors Association (FCICA), and many others in the indus-
and Millennial customers don’t just appreci-
try have repeatedly stressed the importance of independent, accurate, and
ate a digital business, they expect it. Paper-
reliable moisture testing of concrete floor slabs.
less billing, sustainable options, and green
Based on scientific studies, the most accurate and reliable method for
practices, set your business apart from the
determining a concrete slab’s moisture condition is to identify its internal
competition and make doing business with
relative humidity (RH). RH testing is crucial because it measures moisture
you easier and more appealing.
below the surface of the concrete slab. Other tests, like anhydrous calcium
Using flooring software to implement a digital transformation in your flooring business can feel like a daunting task, but it’s a
chloride, are surface-based and do not give reliable results. ❚ Part 2 of this article series will explain RH and describe the optimal method for determining RH in concrete slabs.
change that will keep your flooring business in demand for years to come. It can create huge returns for the environment, and your bottom line too! ❚
Gen X and Millennial customers don’t just appreciate a digital business, they expect it.
Freshly poured concrete contains a lot of water, making it extremely important to test a concrete slab’s moisture condition before the flooring installation.
54 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The Floor Covering Industry’s Philanthropy
Help Your Fellow Man
The Floor Covering Industry Foundation supports individuals who have dedicated their careers to the ﬂoor covering industry, when they are ﬁgh�ng the hardest medical ba�les of their lives.
Meet The Majors. Residents of Menlo, Georgia, Nancy and Frank Majors have been married for 50 years. Frank always had a strong work ethic and was employed as a machine operator and mechanic at a carpet manufacturing plant for 33 years. Now re�red, he was recently diagnosed with end-stage Chronic Obstruc�ve Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is a disease of the lungs. Soon a�er Frank's diagnosis, Nancy found out she has squamous cell skin cancer. With both out of work and increasing medical bills, they faced ﬁnancial despair. Nancy shared, “We do without simple pleasures and luxuries just to be able to handle the bills. We do the best we can.” Unfortunately, it proved to be more than they could handle with their limited income. The grant provided by the Floor Covering Industry Founda�on helped them aﬀord basic living expenses, health insurance premiums, and hospice care each month. “The Founda�on has taken away a lot of our worries,” Nancy noted, “We are very grateful.” Know someone in need or want to Give?
Visit fcif.org, call 706.217.1183, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
WFCA University Online
he Flooring Industry’s source for education, strategy, and continuous growth. This online education platform amplifies your business starting with the key piece — your
people. There are learning opportunities for sales associates, sales managers, accountants/ controllers, merchandisers, operations managers, human resources, and owners. These modules are both live action and animated and provide testing and certifications. The mod-
There are learning opportunities for sales associates, sales managers, accountants/ controllers, merchandisers, operations managers, human resources, and owners.
ules are available with 2 subscription options.
Sales and Business Management Training • $399 Yearly Subscription for Members • $699 Yearly Subscription for Non-Members In addition to the 40 modules on Sales and Business Management Training, we are adding 51 new modules for 2019. These Modules are presented in an interview format by Tom Jennings, author of the WFCA’s “Tom’s Tips” video series. Included are topics for both staff and management. These are ideal for viewing individually or as a group during a sales meeting. Each module also includes a “takeaway” component to reinforce learning.
Included Courses — some of the new modules added for 2019! Management Modules
• Tips on successful sales meetings
• People do judge a book by it’s cover
• Top salespeople seldom make top
• Preparation and presentation
• Selling to an educated customer
• Display for success at the bottom line
• Controlling the exit portion of the sale
• Leaders… lead by example
•H ow do your customers define
• Manager or facilitator? • More selection is not necessarily better
convenient? •R emember that the customer doesn’t know what we do •S ell the problem before you sell the solution • Slow down to go faster • The customer is not always right • The first sale is of yourself
56 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Below are some examples of courses included in the WFCA University Online. Financials — Calculating Breakeven
During this session you will learn the importance of and the
Conducting Effective Management Meetings
necessary steps to calculating a sales breakeven for your
At the completion of this course you will learn effective
company, with one special twist. You will also learn how
strategies to holding productive management meetings
much you need to generate in additional sales to cover
through the use of dashboards, task lists, and parking lots.
your cash needs.
Organizational — Employee Handbooks
Financials — Financial Ratios 101
During this course you will learn how to create an
This module covers the importance of tracking business
employee handbook and what content should be included.
metrics and shows examples of what metrics are crucial to
Sales Management —
running a profitable retail company.
Effective Customer Engagement Strategies
Merchandising — Innovative Pricing Strategy
During this session we will cover the age old saying that
During this session you will be exposed to a progressive
you never get a second chance to make a first impression
pricing strategy that helps maintain margins, increase close
and engagement techniques that when done properly
rates, and boost the average ticket.
will lead in a huge increase in sales and overall customer
Merchandising — Open to Buy
During this course you will learn the concept of an open-
Sales Management —
to-buy program, why it’s important, and how to use the
Counting Traffic and Calculating Close Rates
calculations to better manage money spent on inventory
During this session you will learn various methods
to counting traffic and calculating close rates. ❚
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
The Next GIG
RFMS Delivers on Connectivity
he requirements for software connectivity continue to increase rapidly. Mobile solutions drive the need for software connectivity and integration. To provide for these expanding requirements, RFMS has developed a second-generation Fred Kotynski, CIO API. This API allows for RFMS, Inc. extraordinary connectivity to potentially hundreds of applications, providing RFMS clients even greater opportunity to automate their business processes. RFMS offers two versions of the next generation API: Standard and Plus. The Standard API allows communication with other software applications for the purpose of creating and editing customers, and to create Quotes, Orders and Estimates in RFMS. Not only is our API robust and industry best, but for those who don’t have large development resources, we also provide easy to use connectivity through Zapier. Zapier is an online automation tool that connects RFMS with your favorite apps, such as Salesforce, ZoHo, Pipedrive, Hubspot, MailChimp and Constant Contact. This provides the means to automate repetitive tasks without coding, or relying upon developers to build the integration. Other custom software integrations with RFMS can also be developed using our Standard API. RFMS recently launched a first-class integration with the popular customer review and messag58 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
ing platform, Podium. This partnership helps RFMS clients automate the process of collecting online reviews from their customers, after a job is marked complete in RFMS. Another way we’ve expanded connectivity is through our industry leading business intelligence and analytics tool, Business Insights by RFMS. This tool delivers visual key performance metrics and flooring industry benchmarking, through our integration with Birst, the global leader in cloud-based analytics solutions. The Birst platform allows our developers to redefine the way information is delivered and consumed, for everyday operational decision making for owners and managers. With Business Insights you don’t have to guess about the status of your business. In fact, with the benchmarking available in Business Insights, you experience actionable data “discovery” that provides you with instant insight, showing how your business compares to others like you. Your ability to see trends and opportunities for your business becomes crystal clear. With the many opportunities to automate and refine your business processes, you owe it to yourself to see how the RFMS API and Business Insights can work in your business. Contact your RFMS CSM (rfms.com/company/team) to get more details or visit rfms.com today. ❚
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF Katherine Caringola Communications Manager Karndean Designflooring
Gluedown or Rigid Core: Which is Right for Your Customer?
hen customers enter your store asking for “waterproof flooring,” what they’re really asking for is luxury vinyl. Because homeowners don’t live in the flooring world, as we
all do, they likely do not realize that different constructions of LVT exist, nor do they know the differences between these constructions. As a retail sales associate, it is your job to educate the consumer, and help determine which format of luxury vinyl is right for their home.
Always Start with Color Flooring is a long-term commitment, with homeowners replacing their flooring every 10 to 20 years. At the end of the day, it’s the look of the floor that will be the deciding factor, so regardless of where your glue down and rigid core displays are in your store, start by asking about color.
Use Wants and Needs to Inform Construction Most consumers don’t know that different constructions of LVT exist, let alone the differences between them. Ask what they don’t like about their current floor, how important design personalization is, and what are they looking to get from their new floor, to help inform which construction you should recommend.
Gluedown luxury vinyl allows the most variety in terms of specifications and lay patterns.
60 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
As a retail sales associate, it is your job to educate the consumer and help determine which format of luxury vinyl is right for their home. Why might a consumer want gluedown luxury vinyl?
Why might a consumer want interlocking rigid core?
● Design Options: At Karndean Designflooring, our wid-
● Acoustic Qualities: All Karndean Design flooring rigid
est range of designs, colors, textures and formats are
core products have a pre-attached acoustic foam back-
available in glue down LVT.
ing that helps to reduce noise transfer to rooms below
● Personalization: Our glue down ranges allow the customer to have complete control over the look of their
by up to 22dB. Perfect for upstairs areas like playrooms or children’s bedrooms.
floor, from lay pattern to the incorporation of design
● Less Subfloor Preparation: Rigid core products can
strips and borders. Like glue down products, Karn-
be floated over most existing hard floor coverings, per-
dean Loose Lay planks and tile are also multi-directional,
fect for the homeowner that requires a speedy update to
allowing for many lay pattern options.
● Easily Replaceable, Yet Fully Adhered: Gluedown and loose lay products are individually and easily replaceable, and are adhered to the subfloor, giving the consumer added peace of mind.
Rigid core is an ideal solution for upper levels where acoustics are a concern or in rooms that need a quick update.
Break Down the Logistics
increase their budget or push back their timeline. Sell the
Budget and install time should be the last details you dis-
customer the look they love, with construction as a second-
cuss. As we mentioned earlier, homeowners do not replace
ary factor, rather than a price point or calendar date.
their floors often, and in many cases, are paying you for the
Regardless of which format your customer chooses, it’s
installation and subfloor preparation. If the consumer is pre-
important to take the steps to ensure that they are getting
sented with a choice between a look they love that requires
the floor they truly want and need. By doing so, you’ll create
additional time, and cost for subfloor preparation, and hav-
lasting relationships with your customers that lead to repeat
ing to settle for another floor, they are likely willing to either
business and referrals. ❚ Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
FLOOR ED By Karen George Managing Editor
Hidden Opportunities Commercial Cleaning and Maintenance Start small when building your commercial business by seeking negotiated work or bid work. Chances are you will not be paid as quickly as you are for your residential work, so cash flow may be a problem.
ook for jobs that make you money, not because the jobs have big numbers. Keep your margins up, maybe not as high as your retail margins, but don’t give it away. If you give it away once, it will be easier to give it away again—then you’ll get a reputation for being the lowest in town—not a good reputation in the commercial business. Be familiar with local building and fire codes as well as with state codes. Municipalities’ city and counties have to abide by both state and local codes. Understand OSHA regulation, and have material and safety data standards on hand for the products you sell. Where is the work? Check public records, newspapers, building and trade publications, business journals, planning boards and building inspectors. Do you know where the local business inspectors have breakfast? Should you be doing final cleaning on the commercial jobs? Floor covering people are the next to the last people on a commercial job. The last people are the cleaning people. How about bidding on this? Look for an edge. Does your business qualify for woman owned or minority status? Because of federal monies involved on projects, certain hiring policies exist.
How about a truck mount carpet cleaning system? There are lots of them around that will teach you how to price the job, get work and do the cleaning. 62 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
Are you doing window treatments? This is another good business with good margins, as long as you’re smart enough not to compete in the low price category. Leave that business alone. Again, there are companies that will supply the product and teach you how to measure and install. Check references on a new builder as well as do a credit check. Consider getting your small builders a line of credit with your private label store card. You can probably give them 90 days same as cash without interest. You don’t need to be the bank. Ask for a payment schedule on your builder jobs. Get payments as you go through the job, not just one final payment at the end. How about a truck mount carpet cleaning system? There are lots of them around that will teach you how to price the job, get work and do the cleaning. Remember if you are in the flooring business, you already own the customer. Don’t send them away.
Could You Be Running a Hard Surface and Carpet Cleaning Business? Are you missing out on this opportunity to keep your customers, or are you sending them to your competitors who supply product as well as maintenance? Also look into hard surface cleaning as well as dustless floor sanding. Check out the local hospitality industry, beds and breakfast as well as hotels. Supplying installation for hotels may be profitable, but don’t give your services away. Join the local subcontractors association; a group of subs like yourself who want to do business with the best contractors. What does best mean, it means who pays well and on time. The other contractors will know. ❚
Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
SHOWIN’ OUR STUFF Maria Oliveira, Laticrete Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications
How Grout Color Can Transform Tile Installations
uring the design process, homeowners and builder owners meticulously select the right countertops, the perfect shade of blue backsplash tile and the ever-important
shower configuration to mark the difference between an average shower vs. a soul-cleansing experience. However, grout color is often overlooked even though a complementary color can make a tile design pop and transform a room. Help your clients master their designs with tips and product suggestions from LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry.
Seamless Blending Consumer preferences continue to lean towards sleek, no-nonsense aesthetics throughout commercial and residential spaces. To achieve this look, guide your clients to select a grout
Consumer preferences continue to lean towards sleek, no-nonsense aesthetics throughout commercial and residential spaces.
color that blends in seamlessly with their tile. For a perfect color match, PERMACOLOR® Select AnyColor™, an advanced high-performance cement grout allows customers to choose from 80 stocked colors with the ability to customize their grout color to match nearly any color in the Benjamin Moore® and Sherwin-Williams™ palettes.
Adding Contrast Utilizing contrasting materials like dark tile with light grout make the grout color a prominent design element. When selecting a color, it’s important to remember to guide your clients to a shade that complements the pattern of the tile work, rather than compete with it.
64 Premier Flooring Retailer | Q2 2019
While contrasting colors may make a room appear busier, mastering this type of design work creates a visuallyappealing room by adding texture and depth While contrasting colors may make a room appear busier, mastering this type of design work creates a visually-appealing room by adding texture and depth. A truly unique look requires a truly unique grout. SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout produces the most color uniform, color accurate grout available today. While available in a wide range of colors, including 40 traditional solid colors, with the addition of SPECTRALOCK DAZZLE, tile installations can be brought to life with metallic grout colors that add a shimmer effect perfect for pools, and even glow-inthe-dark grout perfect for an out-of-this-world entryway or hallway bathroom. This product may not be a fit for the traditional client, but it’s a good product to have up your sleeve to “wow” a daring customer! ❚
Laticrete Spectralock Neon grout.
Laticrete Spectralock Sparkle grout.
A truly unique look requires a truly unique grout. SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout produces the most color uniform, color accurate grout available today.
We’ve Enhanced Our Look
To Protect Yours
A bold new look on the outside, the same great formula on the inside. STONETECH offers professional grade, safe and reliable products designed to protect, clean and transform. You can count on STONETECH to protect your business and your customer’s surfaces for years to come! ®
www.laticrete.com | 1.800.243.4788 A-8761-0619 ©2019 LATICRETE International, Inc. All trademarks shown are the intellectual properties of their respective owners.