March-April 2019 Coverings magazine

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March/April 2019

HGTV EFFECT Celebrities and The

social media drive design tastes



Montreal dealership: 100% high-end

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Features 6 The HGTV effect


March/April 2019

HGTV EFFECT Celebrities and The

TV personalities, social media celebrities shaping consumers’ tastes.

20 TISE 2019

social media drive design tastes

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Montreal dealership: 100% high-end

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2019-02-20 4:27 PM

March/April 2019 Vol. 44, No. 2 Kerry Knudsen Editor and Publisher 647-274-0507

Steve King Associate Publisher


Mike Edwards Contributing Editor

Life is good as building permits bloom.

10 News

NFCA welcomes four new members; Natural Stone Institute presents award winners; Mohawk realigns business units; Axiscor enters the markets.

14 Law

Saying ‘I quit’ doesn’t free employees from obligations.

18 Design

Utilitarian or not, things matter.

22 Installation

Four photographed flooring material lessons.

Associations 19 Canadian Flooring, Cleaning and Restoration Association

Lee Ann Knudsen Art Director

Canada’s flooring installers and cleaners can learn about latest techniques.

nsGraphic Design Graphics

24 National Floor Covering Association

Omni Data Services Circulation

Cover photo: George Papadomanolakis


Navigating the sub-floor responsibility rollercoaster.

25 Products

Jobsite surface protection fabric; concrete moisture test kit; white oak hardwood; horizontal drain outlet; in-floor heat membrane.

28 Bullets 29 Events and Advertisers 30 Then-and-now

Coverings is published six times annually, Jan./Feb., Mar./Apr., May/June, July/Aug., Sept./Oct. and Nov./Dec., for Canada’s floorcovering industry. Subscriptions are free to qualified participants in Canada’s floorcovering industry. Subscribe at Readers from outside Canada may purchase subscriptons for $55 Cdn. For subscription inquiries, e-mail or fax 1-866-698-9061 Published by W.I. Media Inc., Box 84 Cheltenham, Caledon, ON L7C 3L7 © 2019 by W.I. Media Inc. All rights reserved. W. I. Media Inc. and Coverings disclaim any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect to the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. The opinions of the columnists and writers are their own and are in no way influenced by or representative of the opinions of Coverings or W.I. Media Inc.

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COMMENTARY Picturing hope beneath the snow

Life is good

BUILDING PERMITS on the federal level remain at record highs. As you will see in our Bullets department, Statistics Canada says Canadian municipalities issued $8.8 billion worth of building permits in December, up 6.0 percent from November, up 10.6 percent year-over-year and it was the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The gain, StatCan says, was largely due to higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings, with both components hitting record highs. I always imagine it goes without saying, but building permits are one of the leading indicators of the health of our sector. Every multi-family dwelling Kerry Knudsen and every commercial building needs a floor. Further, every multi-family dwelling and every commercial building may represent a move up for the new residents, which means a vacancy wherever they left, which indicates more spending on renovation. In short, things are looking good. Very good. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how things could reasonably be expected to be better. Sure, I see the horizon. We have a society that feels entitled to big spending, and we have unfulfilled obligations to government workers and unionized employees that likely cannot go on forever. However, today is a day to stop and smell the roses. I am speaking figuratively, of course, since it’s not exactly rose season in Canada, but you get the drift. My favourite rose is called Royal Highness. It’s a hybrid tea with a large, double bloom, it blooms pretty much all season and has long stems that make for dramatic cut flowers. It has few thorns, is light pink throughout and has a heady fragrance with the essence of cloves. I really like it, and have several scattered around the property. The downside, since everything earthly must have a downside like unfunded liabilities, is the Japanese beetle. Talk about a worthless addition to Canadian wildlife. On first glance they are sort of pretty. Shiny, lots of colours and all that. However, they eat the flow-

ers, buds and leaves of roses, and they specifically prefer my Royal Highnesses above any other of our roses. You find out about Japanese beetles after it is too late. They bore holes in the buds, ensuring that the ensuing blooms are shot through with holes long after the offending bug is dead. They chew off the leaves, leaving only the vein from the middle standing skeletally in the sun. And they mate in broad daylight right on the apex of the plant, making certain they are visible as I back out of the drive as if to interrupt any business dealings I may have to deal with interlopers. Mostly, I smash them between my thumb and forefinger, but they have an irksome habit of getting away. Like the lily beetles, that are another hated scourge of the garden, they simply drop when they perceive a threat, and they land in the leaf duff or mulch below and are lost. Of my attempts to mash mating pairs, I am mostly left getting one or none, with the survivor(s) chortling at me invisibly in the base. I spent about $80 last year on nematodes — a new approach to bug genocide — hoping that the larvae will be wiped out before I see them this year. For me, “hope” is like a fantasy filled with fear, especially where Japanese beetles are concerned. For one thing, we don’t know how or whether the nematodes will work. For another, once you use nematodes you can’t use such traditional bug-genocide devices as malathion, since the pesticide also kills the nematodes. We will see. It is March, and the nematodes should be down there, under the grass thatch, chewing away on last year’s bumper crop of beetle larvae under the crunchy snow. Meanwhile, back up on the surface, we have a great opportunity to reinforce our products and services, retain our reputation for quality and advanced product design. Record permits mean record spending and lots of work for everybody. Life is good. Comment at


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HGTV effect Celebrity culture and social media drive consumers’ design thinking

A wife, a husband and a contractor walk into a bar — no, make that a retail flooring store. The start of a joke? No, but it’s the inevitable start of a design process, as each brings a set of creative ideas about the next home renovation project. Where do these design ideas come from? In our information age of sharing (and oversharing) there are many sources, including old-fashioned television programs such as those found on the HGTV channel. Jeff Card, product manager at Patti-Lynn Interiors in Stouffville, Ont., says his contractors face the “HGTV effect” periodically. “Sometimes customers have unrealistic timelines and expec-


March/April 2019 March/April 2019

tations. With HGTV, at the end of the episode the whole thing is done (in under a half hour).” Jeannette Martin agrees with Card about the time-compression expectations. Martin is owner, MYBC Consulting of Abbotsford, B.C., and former social media and marketing coordinator at Surrey, B.C.-based British Columbia Floor Covering Association. “The biggest thing with the advent of HGTV and all of those lifestyle programs is the sense of reality not being true,” says Martin. “Or what you are seeing is not reality. There are still consumers who believe that 1,000 square feet of floor looks like it can be installed in three days. “They are not doing the consumer any favours on those shows by not being truthful about expectations.”

Consumers watching renovation shows on TV often make false equivalencies, according to Martin. “You could have been watching a 37-storey high rise being remodeled and you live in a 100-year-old wood frame home. Your house is your house and that project is that project. “To bring some of what you ‘learned’ while you watched that show in your house it doesn’t transfer.” Cheryl Doak, owner of Floors In Motion based in Whitby, Ont., doesn’t get customers referring to HGTV as their source of inspiration but rather social media sites such as Pinterest, the searchable image-sharing platform or even print photos. “My customers seem to always show me Pinterest pictures and a most recent customer just had some magazine.” Social media followers also look to Instagram, Houzz, Facebook and YouTube, the latter especially for “how-to” installation videos. Before Doak started her own business over five years ago, she worked at End of the Roll where many DIY hopefuls came through the door after watching YouTube videos. “But it’s not professionally done when it’s finished,” she says. Even today, with her mobile shop-at-home business where a Floors In Motion van comes to the customer’s doorstep, the DIY temptation is still in evidence. “I see what people do. They say, ‘I did this myself and I’m so proud.’ I think ‘oh my God’ — but don’t say that out loud.” There is often a cascading effect that consumers go

through when they are searching for design ideas, according to Martin. She says it often starts with Instagram. “In those first quick hits what is possible in design then goes deeper into someone’s website in order to sort through the instructional videos — if they are going to be the DIY person.” Martin finds that a lot of people are going to YouTube because they are able to search with a question. “For example, ‘how do I use chalk paint to do my kitchen cabinets or can I install hardwood floor myself?’’ she says.

Without even having cable TV anymore, Martin relies on the internet. “With my internet I’m able to dial right into that person’s personal YouTube channel to get my ideas,” she says. “Then go to social media, specifically Facebook.” Each social media platform has its particular role to play as consumers comb the internet. “Pinterest pulls together your overall lifestyle that you want to have,” says Martin. “Then when you want to pull ideas together for your home project people go over on to Houzz. Instagram is for those click in the moment inspirations, almost like a Yellow Pages directory kind of thing. “A visual Yellow Pages where I type into the search engine like ‘Annie Sloan Chalk Paint’ because I’ve heard so much about it and then I get those quick visual hits to understand what the product is about. Or I have heard about clay construction and I type that into the search engine to see what that is about. It helps those people that are visual-based in learning.” Martin acknowledges that the internet and television landscape has changed drastically in a short period of time. “When I started in the industry 12 or 14 years ago, Houzz was the key player. Now the ’net has been spread so far and it is so diversified as to how the consumer now goes and shops for their home decor or home DIY projects or their builder.”

But is a little knowledge a dangerous thing for flooring professionals when confronted by consumer expectations? Card thinks it can be for his contractors and installers. “Before the guys get to the project site, the customers are ask-

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ing, ‘are you going to do this because I saw it on a video?’. They educate themselves a little bit on YouTube or social media on how things should be done. Then they tell us how they would like it done because they saw it done that way on a TV show.” The unrealistic expectations absorbed by homeowners from TV shows goes back a long time, according to Card. “Look at Bob Vila or This Old House (on PBS). Basically, that was the same idea, except they would film a renovation over five or more episodes.”

Card points out that now filming is presented at a quicker pace with faster editing cuts and even “a little more musical. In the really fake shows, there is usually a conflict. They have to have a conflict!” Patti-Lynn Interiors has participated a few of those shows, so Card speaks from direct experience. “There always has to be

a ‘Oh no, it’s the wrong floor,’ just to create a little bit of drama,” says Card. Another trope on the shows is having the “celebrity builder” save the day. “We did a kitchen reno awhile back for a celebrity builder guy. So, the guys did the floor and of course on the last row he swoops in and he clicks the last row of cork down and shows how it’s done — like he did the whole floor!” While Card admits that some of them were fun to participate in, they didn’t bring more people in the store. “I don’t think we have seen a lot of return on investment for our own time being on one of those shows.” Doak, Card and Martin all recognize that social media has created a new generation of celebrities that exploit platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, often with TV renovation stars expanding their profiles by crossing over to internet platforms. These celebrities have become the so-called “influencers” on domestic tastes — but beware of authenticity as sponsors challenge their independence. “If you are in the trades at all,” says Card, “your Instagram feed will have all of these tile guys and woodworking guys. There is one guy in Ajax (Ont.) and he had

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some ridiculous number of followers as a ‘tool expert.’ Literally that is his full-time job now. He was a contractor and his full-time job now is reviewing tools.

“He doesn’t live far from us at all. My brother bumped into him at a tool shop and recognized him from Instagram. He said, ‘Yeah, I don’t even build stuff anymore. I am just one of these Instagram influencers and I get paid this way by showing up and doing meet and greets and that kind of thing.’” However, Card can see that shows on the business definitely inspire people to do things, but where they are watching has evolved. “A lot of people do not want to sit down and watch a half hour show. They watch little snippets, those little two- or three-minute YouTube or Instagram videos. That is how they get their ideas because everybody has the attention span of a fruit fly now.”

Doak and Martin also agree that design ideas from social media are having a huge influence on homeowners and that the phenomenon is mostly positive. Martin is currently transitioning her consulting business focus to assist a new set of clients with their marketing and social media needs. For Doak, she notes that while residential customers may “already have what style they want from the pictures that they’ve seen. But for the product knowledge, they still need us.” There is also a trust issue that comes up with clients that have searched the internet, Doak adds. “The negative is that they think they are more educated than we are. If the husband is involved sometimes, he is like the know-it-all because he is the Googler and he knows about the pricing. He is the one who is non-trusting.” And now, the punchline: “The women are all about design and they want what they want. So, I like them.” Comment at



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NEWS NFCA welcomes four new members National Floor Covering Association (NFCA) of Surrey, B.C., has announced four new members. Antex Western of Winnipeg, Man., is a new contractor member representing NFCA standards, quality assurance and best practices in Manitoba’s floor covering industry. North West Rubber of Abbotsford, B.C., and Polyflor of Mississauga, Ont., are new members, also supporting flooring industry quality assurance and best practices. Metro Testing Laboratories of Burnaby, B.C., is a new member supporting quality assurance and best practices by providing third-party testing services to the construction industry.

Interior Design Show in Toronto attracts over 50,000 The Interior Design Show (IDS19) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in January attracted over 50,000 from

Toronto, Ont., and around the world. IDS19 featured IDS Contract, a B2B trade-only exposition and conference that brought an additional 100 exhibitors, 60 conference sessions and a number of new feature areas aimed at B2B trade professionals. With the addition of IDS

Natural Stone Institute announces 2018 award winners The winners of the 2018 Pinnacle Trading in Atlanta, Ga., is the recipient Awards were announced in January of the Oberlin, Ohio-based NSI’s 2018 during the Natural Stone Institute Migliore Award for Lifetime Achieve(NSI) awards ceremony at TISE 2019 in ment. One of the Marble Institute of America’s Las Vegas, Nev. Fourteen projects were earliest memhonoured with Awards of Excellence, bers and a and the best overall project was long-time selected for the Grande Pinnacle member of the Award. This award was presented to Mario & Son of Building Stone Liberty Lake, Institute, his Wash., for Aura, career in the a stylized marble natural stone statue. Joey Mar- Peter de Kok industry began cella, also of in the 1950s Mario & Son, with de Kok’s father, Theo, importing was named 2018 Impala granite from South Africa to Natural Stone Europe and North America. Joey Marcella Craftsman of the Monica Gawet of Tennessee Year, in part for Marble Company in Friendsville, his work as sculptor on the Aura Tenn., is the recipient of the 2019 project. Women in Stone Pioneer Award. Peter de Kok of GranQuartz Gawet is a third-generation marble


March/April 2019

Contract, IDS was positioned as a hybrid event that caters to both trade construction and design professionals and a design savvy, affluent consumer audience, states the show organizer. IDS19 Booth Design Awards were presented in five size categories, from 50 to over 600 square feet. Toronto-based engineered hardwood and LVT flooring supplier PurParket (shown) won in the 401 to 600 sq. ft. booth category. Steve McKenna takes the reins as NAFCD president The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has announced that Steve McKenna will serve as president for 2019. He is also the owner of McKenna Distribution, R&M Flooring Distributors and Luxury Granite, Quartz & Marble in Regina,

fabricator, a first-generation quarrier and is one of only a handful of female quarry owners in the world. Tony Monica Gawet Malisani of Malisani, Inc., in Great Falls, Montana, has been named the NSI’s 2018 Person of the Year. The award is presented annual to an individual who has provided extensive support to the association’s executive team Tony Malisani during the year.


Sask. His parents founded the company in 1985 when he was just two years old. He became involved at a young age, gaining experience in every facet of Steve McKenna the company from warehousing and customer service to sales and management, according to the Chicago, Ill.-based NAFCD. The family ties continue today with his wife, Alyssa, serving as general manager of Luxury Granite. Legal status of wood flooring patents to be monitored An alliance for patent protection for floor locking systems has been established in Beijing by the China National Forest Products Industry Association (CNFPIA) after approval by China’s State Forestry and Grassland Administration and the National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). As a result of patent protection for floor-locking systems Chinese enterprises have to pay patent fees to commercial companies which have patent protection. This development impacts multilayer composite flooring, laminate flooring and wood/plastic flooring producers. The Patent Protection Alliance is aimed at respecting and protecting intellectual property rights, safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese flooring enterprises, promoting the healthy and sustainable development of China’s flooring industry and creating fair competition. The main work of the Alliance will be to assess the legal status of patent applications and authorizations at home and abroad and monitor development trends to avoid patent infringement risks. Experts of the Alliance will analyze the patent and the technology applied to judge whether the flooring products are 12

March/April 2019

breaking patent rules and provide early warnings to Chinese companies. Mullican Flooring introduces Axiscor Performance Flooring Johnson City, Tenn.-based Mullican Flooring has introduced Axiscor Performance Flooring, an independent brand and business unit to develop innovative products outside of the traditional hardwood market. Axiscor collections are based around a Stone Polymer Composite core construction, which will be the platform for future product innovations. The business unit has over a million feet of inventory in 30 different patterns and is in the process signing distributors across the U.S., as well as looking for distributors in Canada. While the Mullican sales team will be offering the Axiscor product lines, the lines will be sold separately and not as an extension of Mullican SKUs. Neil Poland, president of Mullican Flooring, calls the multi-layered Neil Poland flooring category extremely competitive and quickly changing, providing “endless opportunities.” Havwoods International to open Toronto showroom Engineered hardwood supplier Havwoods International has announced plans to open the global brand’s first Canadian showroom in March. Featuring product for both residential and commercial applications, the 1,600-square-foot showroom in a downtown design district of Toronto, Ont., will be available to designers, architects, developers, specifiers and homeowners. The showroom will display innovations in

engineered hardwood flooring and wall claddings. The company has opened showrooms in design districts of major cities such as London, Dubai, Allan Singh Sydney, Rome, Melbourne and New York City, according to Havwoods general manager Allan Singh. Chemtec joins list of Schönox distributor partners Chemtec of Laval, Que., has joined the list of distributor partners for Florence, Al.-based Schönox HPS North America. New distributors contribute to solid Doug Young growth for the company and the industry, according to Doug Young, Schönox HPS North America executive vice president. Chemtec is a source for epoxy-based coatings for both industrial and residential applications. AHF Products names Brian Carson c.e.o. Lancaster, Penn.based AHF Products has announced that Brian Carson has been appointed as the company’s first president and c.e.o. Carson has over 28 Brian Carson years of experience in the flooring industry, including the last seven as president of Mohawk Flooring North

America. AHF manufactures solid and engineered hardwood flooring products that are sold through flooring distributors, big box home centres, national flooring retailers and hardwood specialty distributors under the brand names of Armstrong, Bruce, Capella, Homerwood, Robbins and T. Morton. Registration opens for NWFA Expo The National Wood Flooring Association of Chesterfield, Mo., has announced that NWFA Expo is open for registration. The annual exhibition will be held May 1-3 in Fort Worth, Tex. As an attendee, the NWFA says, visitors will have many opportunities to network, learn valuable tips and tools from the experts, and be among the first to see the latest products and trends in wood flooring. Visit https:// to register. Mohawk Flooring North America realigns business units The president of Calhoun, Ga.-based Mohawk Flooring North America, Paul

Michel Vermette

Mike Gallman

De Cock, has announced he is taking steps to operate with five distinct business units — Residential Soft Surface, Wood & Laminate, Resilient, Commercial and Mohawk Home — in order to drive growth within each business. With the realignment of the Residential sales organization as a separate function from Residential Soft Surface, Tom Lape will assume the new role of president, Residential Sales. Michel Vermette has been appointed president, Residential, Soft Surface. Succeeding Vermette, Mike Gallman has been named president, Commercial and International. In late

Roger Farabee

Tom Lape

November, Roger Farabee accepted the role of president, Wood & Laminate. Lape, Vermette, Gallman and Farabee will report directly to De Cock as members of the Mohawk executive leadership team. CORRECTION: In the January/February issue of Coverings, we incorrectly identified the image of the board on page 16 as the board of the NFCA. It should have identified the board as the British Columbia Floor Covering Association (BCFCA). The trade show following the NFCA AGM was the Flooring EXPO, organized by the BCFCA.

Canada’s floorcovering magazine


LAW Not all legal obligations are on employers

Employee resignations A resignation can be emotionally charged, so it helps to be reminded of the consequences of saying or hearing the words “I quit.” Contrary to popular belief, there is no law that stipulates that employees must give two weeks, or any other prescribed amount of notice of their resignation. In fact, and in the absence of an employment contract specifying the amount of notice that an employee is required to provide, a departing employee is obligated to provide sufficient notice to permit the employer to hire a replacement or to implement a plan to redistribute the work. Factors to Joe Figliomeni consider when determining the appropriate length of notice to provide include the employee’s length of service and character of employment. Of course, a senior executive that has been with the company for 25 years will be expected to provide more notice than a mailroom clerk that was hired six months ago. Who owes what? Failure to provide sufficient notice of resignation can expose a departing employee to a claim for damages. An employee who fails to provide sufficient notice of resignation risks having to pay the employer`s costs of recruiting on an expedited basis and the cost of overtime worked by other employees during the recruitment period. In situations where an employee is vital to the business and the operation has to shut down or become less productive, the employer may sue the employee for lost income. Matters become even more complicated, and conflict usually escalates, when the departing employee pursues continued employment in the same field as his or her former employer. Consider the case of Barbara, a former sales executive for ABC Co. In July, ABC advised its sales staff of a new


March/April 2019

company policy requiring them to execute a standard form employment contract. The employment contract includes a clause prohibiting employees from engaging in any business with ABC’s customers for one year following the termination of the employment relationship (the Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Clause). Declines to participate Barbara refused to sign the employment contract. Instead, she gave five month’s notice of her intention to resign. Barbara’s refusal to sign or even negotiate the terms of the employment contract, and her sudden resignation, caused ABC’s executive team to scratch their heads. Barbara was a well-liked, life-long employee but she was acting unusually coy about her future plans. During the notice period, ABC discovered that Barbara was having frequent meetings with the owner of ABC’s primary supplier. ABC began monitoring Barbara`s computer use and her ABC email account. ABC discovered that Barbara was in the process of incorporating her own company, which would source product from ABC`s supplier and compete directly with ABC. ABC also discovered that Barbara was organizing a conference in Las Vegas with the intent of introducing and marketing her new company to ABC`s existing and prospective customers. ABC confronted Barbara with its findings. Barbara acknowledged her intention to set up a competing business and took the position that, since she had provided ABC with sufficient notice of her resignation and since she had refused to sign the employment contract, she could freely and lawfully compete against ABC and solicit its customers once her resignation took effect. ABC terminated Barbara immediately and commenced a lawsuit seeking an urgent court order to prevent Barbara from hosting the conference in Las Vegas. Barbara has defended the claim. She denies that she is using ABC`s confidential information and that she should be prohibited from soliciting ABC’s customers. Barbara believes that she has a right to apply her knowledge and skillset to earn a living as she sees fit.

Next step: Litigation Against this backdrop, and unless ABC and Barbara can agree to settle their differences, a court will need to decide whether Barbara owes any continuing duties to ABC and, if so, the nature and extent of those duties. Litigation of this nature will obviously be time consuming and expensive for both sides. As is apparent from Barbara`s case, the continuing obligations of departing employees will impact their future endeavors and it is rarely ever as straight-forward as saying the words ``I quit,” and walking out the door. There is a wealth of information in the public realm about the obligations that employers have when terminating employees. However, the obligations of employees who decide to resign are less commonly understood. Before resigning, employees — especially those in senior positions — should consult with an employment lawyer to discuss their current employment situation and future plans. Likewise, employers that are faced with the sudden resignation of a key employee are best advised to speak to an employment lawyer who can provide guidance on how to minimize the interruption and safeguard business continuity. Joe Figliomeni is a commercial litigation lawyer at Lawrences Lawyers, Brampton, Ont.


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DESIGN Some so very much more than others

Things matter

Things matter. Material things. Of course they do. But they don’t all matter the same; we have our favourites. Things usually refers to what has been made. Especially made with an intention. An old distinction has been made between that which is utilitarian, like tools and that which exists only for its meaning, like art. It’s easy to see that most of what we have we have to serve us, which is what tools do. Those things that are symbolic also serve us, but it’s different. Often the distinction is easy but sometimes it’s not, for we can find a lot of meaning in a tool we don’t use because of what it symbolizes for us. Most of the meanings we find in objects are personal. These are a form of stories that remind us of variPaul Epp ous times in our lives, or who we are, or what we have accomplished. One of the things that has the most meaning to me is an old silkscreen print I have. It was derived by A. Y. Jackson from the Northern River painting by Tom Thompson. When still a child, I had seen it in an old schoolhouse and I liked it very much, a depiction of the Boreal Forest in its wild desolation, which I knew very well. Years later, while a college student, I spotted a copy of it in a junk shop in Toronto. The price was 10 dollars, which I didn’t feel I could afford, but later I went back for it. Having spotted my interest, the shopkeeper had, in the meantime, painted the frame a garish silver and raised the price to $20. I bought it anyway and scraped the paint off. It has been one of my most enduring and endearing possessions ever since, and any early example for me of putting aesthetic things ahead of that which was only important. I bought a black candle holder when I was 19, in Antigua. I had no utilitarian need for it, but I wanted to have some nice thing in my life. Not long after, my sister gave me an elegant small vase, of black-enameled copper. She and I shared this appreciation for graceful things, in a way that I didn’t with the rest of my family. Not so long before I left the farm, I was cultivating the land where there had once been a house. A flash of colour caught my end and I went back to pick up a ceramic 18

March/April 2019

pot. It had Chinese characters on it and the particular Chinese green glaze. It was roughly made but there would obviously be a story behind it. A Chinese pot in a bush homestead in northern Alberta? The family that had lived there had left the aftermath of the Russian Revolution by traveling east through Siberia and then through China before settling in La Glace. Years later, I found very similar pots in Toronto’s Chinatown, full of ginger. While a student in Scandinavia, I bought a set of drinking glasses by the famous designer Tapio Wirkkala. They are a brilliant translucent red, with green and black banding and they still form an important component of my “treasures,” reminding me of my early travels and how full of wonder I was at one time. So it goes, collecting things of meaning. I chose to make a profession of designing things. And, as part of that, to make them as well. Some of the first things I made represent both my commitment and my early achievements. I made some wooden handplanes while studying under Jim Krenov in Sweden. I shaped them to fit my hands and their use has given them an even more personal patina. Will they ever mean anything to anyone else? It’s unlikely that they will be used by someone else, fussy things that they are. I built a hanging tool box to put them in, but it just looks like a simple wooden box, not so special. It wasn’t meant to be, but it kind of is, at least to me, because it represents my graduation to competency. I’ve designed and made a lot of things since then. Some have more meaning for me than the others, and many have found their own place in someone else’s set of stories. The stories will change as things change hands, stories gained and stories lost. So it goes. Paul Epp is an emeritus professor at OCAD University, and former chair of its Industrial Design department.

CFCRA Groups want to collaborate with CFCRA on education

Partners in learning The CFCRA is a shareholder of the ANSI Standard-producer, Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC). The largest association in the world for cleaning is the ISSA — the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. The ISSA recently took over the management of the CSSA in Canada. This is a good thing because the resources of the ISSA are immense and the people behind the association are cuttingedge industry leaders. On June 11-13, 2019, the ISSA Canada group, International Facility Management Association and the REMI Network are going to have a joint trade show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The CFCRA will be launching the new Resilient Floor Lee Senter, Maintenance Technician (RFMT) certiCFCRA President fication class. This will be the first time the IICRC will have a common manual for a class. This manual will be the product of the input from the major resilient floor manufacturers. The instructor will be Stan Hulin. We will also be holding a Wood Floor Maintenance Technician (WFMT) class with Roy Reichow and Bill Griffin as instructors. The wealth of knowledge these men will share on floor maintenance will be second to none. The CFCRA will also be participating with the Canadian Sustainability Conference held by Mister Chemical Ltd. (MCL) at the Toronto Congress

Centre on May 13-15. We will have some seminars and spread the good word of the association in support of this great event. By the time you read this we will have held our Certified Flooring Installer (CFI) classes in March. We did not anticipate the manner in which people register, i.e., almost everyone at the last minute! Drew Kern is bound to be ready to be our lead instructor. Carl Sonego is being prepped to be our resilient instructor. We are still looking for a Canadian to be a lead carpet installation instructor. If you have any suggestions, please reach out to me at We have our IICRC UFT (Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician) class scheduled for April 9 and 10 in Vaughan, Ont. This is “buy one; get one free” for members and if you join the association you can get the class free. Last but not least, we are looking for a couple of manufacturer or distributor representatives to join the CFCRA board of directors. Reach out to me if you are interested. The Canadian Flooring Cleaning and Restoration Association (CFCRA) was preceded by the Flooring Institute of Ontario (FIO), a not-for-profit organization which proudly served the needs of flooring industry professionals in Ontario since 1962.

Roy Reichow is one of the expert floor industry educators coming to Toronto in June.

Canada’s floorcovering magazine


Canada Night solidarity: TISE The International Surfaces Event (TISE) 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev., enjoyed a surge of visitors throughout the halls on each of its three days in January to the delight of exhibitors from around the world. TISE embraces three shows at the Mandalay Bay


March/April 2019 March/April 2019

Resort called Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomac and TileExpo. Between them, floor coverings from marble and wood to LVT and carpet are well represented for visitors from retail, installation, contracting and distribution professions. Many special attractions make up the exhibition, includ-

2019 Las Vegas shines ing Canada Night presented by Coverings magazine and this year graciously sponsored by Custom Building Products and Tarkett. The event attracted native Canadians attending the show to network together with free drinks, nibbles and Grade Eh conversation.

So many new flooring products were on display that it’s hard to single out any one surface, but this year a number of suppliers were launching LVT wood and stone tile looks in sheet and planks that should give the real things a run for their money. Hope to see you at TISE 2020 next January.

The team shot videos for TISE exhibitors Mannington, Nuheat, Go Resilient and Warmup. To watch them, visit the YouTube channel at Canada’s floorcovering magazine


INSTALLATION Teachable moments from others’ mistakes

Worth 1,000 words It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are four pictures of situations I’ve encountered and about a thousand words about these situations that can help floor coverers and specifiers avoid similar failures. RESILIENT FLOORING I had a recent site visit to the lobby of an office in New York City to examine “bumps in the floor” in areas where a resilient sheet material had been installed. In the one area, the bumps were hard and uneven, perhaps from a sloppy application floor patch. In another area, there was a perfect square that must have been either an old tile or the remains of adhesive around the old tile. In the area of this photograph (below left), the bumps were soft air bubbles, indiChristopher cating adhesive failure of some kind. Capobianco Turns out the previous floor covering was a resilient tile over plywood. The tile was removed, and the new adhesive went right over the old because, they said, “we had to complete the work over a weekend and had no time for floor prep.” I suspect the two adhesives may have had a reaction with each other and that’s why it let go. Another cause could have been that the floor was wet or otherwise contaminated when the flooring went down. Ugly as it was, this complaint was a simple case of inadequate floor prep — they installed a flexible floor covering over a floor that wasn’t flat and didn’t deal with the old adhesive. This could have been avoided with a little bit of detective work in advance. I would have lifted a few tiles — seeing ply-


March/April 2019

wood and adhesive underneath, I would have left the old floor in place, installed a high-quality plywood underlayment over the existing tile and installed the sheet goods over that. VINYL PLANK, BASE AND ACCESSORIES I worked for a major manufacturer in the late 1990s, and we did a lot of seminars for installers, who were often surprised we wanted to teach about “easy-toinstall” wall bases and accessories. But, then and now, gaps are a frequent callback that can ruin an otherwise beautiful job. The two causes are related to the temperature sensitivity of vinyl: product handling and/or acclimation and stretching of the material. When it’s warm, vinyl can stretch during handling and installation. If you throw a box of cove base, reducer, or vinyl plank over your shoulder and it bends, you just stretched every piece in the box. Install it with nice tight joints and when the material adjusts to room temperature and goes back to its original size, there is a gap at every joint. It’s not shrinking after installation; it’s stretching before or during. The solution, especially in warm weather? Handle carefully and bring the material to the job at least two days before installing it. Lay those 12-foot-long accessory pieces or roll base out flat so they can “relax.” My second point about stretching is shown in this photo of vinyl T-molding (above). I’ll bet it was a perfect joint when it was installed. However, the installer stretched the material — either intentionally to make a tight joint or unintentionally because the material was warm. It went back to its original size and a gap opened. The proper way is to avoid stretching at all - install the material full, and force it into the joint without pulling. The same goes for glue-down reducers. The adhesive can’t hold vinyl that’s been stretched. Let them acclimate and take care not to stretch the material!

CARPET TILE The photo below shows a commissioned inspection I did 10 years ago on a carpet tile installation in a jewelry store. The tile, “designed to be installed without adhesive,” made the job go quickly after-hours, so the owner did not lose any sales days. However, as the space began to be used, gaps started form at some of the joints. In most of the area, the tiles were tightly fitted and there are no visible issues. The gapping was explained in the part of the instructions the installer had missed. “A fixed and unmoving perimeter is mandatory… to avoid tile movement or shifting requires modules be firmly fitted (within 1/16 inch) to all wall lines or fixed building structures or be anchored with adhesive or double-sided tape around the perimeter and under partial or cut tiles measuring less than 12 inches.” Bingo. The tiles were not fitted tight to the walls where baseboard moldings had been installed to cover the edges, and small pieces against the walls were not adhered. This allowed the tile to move. Luckily, this was easy to fix by pulling the tile together and adhering the perimeter. Today, there are numerous methods for installing carpet tile: adhesive-free systems with corner tabs that hold tiles together, partial “grid” adhesive patterns that lock the tile in place on large installations, and full-spread releasable adhesives applied by trowel, spray or roller. Before taking a project on, do a little homework on what’s specified and what the job calls for. CONCRETE TESTING AND PREPARATION Is the photo at right how you are testing concrete for moisture? It used to be common and was even an ASTM test method! However, in 1996, I was part of ASTM Committee F.06 on Resilient Flooring that began standardizing methods and practices for testing and preparing concrete to receive floor coverings. In the 2000s, a scientific “round robin” test of moisture testing methods was undertaken in a lab near Chicago. Under “ideal” conditions (70o F, 50 percent RH), a 500 square foot, 6 in. thick concrete slab was placed for six months so comparisons of every available type of concrete moisture test could be conduct-

ed. Calcium chloride kits, relative humidity probes and handheld meters from every manufacturer were placed — plus several plastic sheet tests. I witnessed a calcium chloride test at over 13 lbs/1000sq feet/24 hrs, (over the maximum for any flooring) next to a plastic sheet test that was bone dry, which proved how inaccurate this method was. Several other “round robin” tests like this over several years helped the manufacturers of moisture testing kits, probes and meters standardize their equipment, and helped the ASTM Committee fine tune the test methods. For example, the ASTM F 2170 Relative Humidity test method is now a one-day test instead of three days that were required when the method was published in 2002, and the F1869 Calcium Chloride test includes specific requirements such as grinding the slab clean before doing the test. The bottom line is that the methodology for moisture testing is better than ever, with published industry standards that mandate testing and specify how it needs to be done, and the awareness of the need for testing is widespread. If you’re not doing testing, you’re going against industry standards and manufacturer warranties, and if you’re testing with ancient methods like a sheet of plastic taped to the floor, you’d might as well not even bother. I have hundreds more photos of situations I’ve encountered for decades, and stories to go along with all of them. If you like this format for my column, let me know — I’ll be glad to keep them coming! Christopher Capobianco has been in the floor covering industry since the 1970s in various roles including retail and commercial sales, technical support, consulting, journalism, education and volunteer work. He currently is part of the sales team for Spartan Surfaces in New York City. You can reach him via

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NFCA The sub-floor rollercoaster

A bumpy ride Sub-floor preparation, and, in particular, leveling work, has always been a source of contention between the flooring contractor and construction manager. The issue of who will perform the work and who will pay for it bears down during late-stage construction when flooring comes onto the scheduling radar. At that point, there is little time or budget left to do the work right. “Patch and grind as necessary” is an all-too-often-used phrase in the specifications. Ambiguity like this, when thousands of dollars are at stake, sets the stage for conflict. Unless there are clear, consistent instructions that allocate work responChris Maskell sibilities where they belong, bids won’t NFCA C.E.O. carry the dollars, slab rejection will continue, and good companies will end up in court, accused of default while they try to avoid taking on thousands of dollars of leveling work that are not supposed to be in their scope of work. Saying no to your customer while trying to build a relationship is an impossible situation to be in. Even when the right parties have carried the price, games can be played: “Get it done and we’ll figure it out later….” Invoices for extra work end up not being paid or only partially paid. This is the result of a sub-floor preparation specification that leaves work responsibility open to interpretation. One solution is NFCA’s Hydraulic Cementitious Underlayment specification guide (updated in 2018). It spells out the process in three parts: General, Product and Execution. This guide needs to make its way into the hands of every design authority in the country. The guide places the responsibility for this work where it belongs — with the general contractor/construction manager/building owner, not the floor covering contractor. With this done, leveling and subfloor preparation in general can be better understood, agreed to in advance and included in the budget. Specs drive pricing, guide processes and form contracts, and contracts are legally binding. The “other” issue The Floor Flatness/Floor Level (FF/FL) measurement system used by Division 3 Concrete should not be used to 24

March/April 2019

determine flatness for the flooring contractor. Flooring contractors use a 10-foot straight-edge or laser to determine if a sub-floor surface meets flooring standards. For most flooring categories, 3/16 inch over 10 feet (slab on grade) is a general industry standard and 1/8 inch over 10 feet for suspended slabs. Meanwhile, Division 3 uses the FF/FL system per ASTM F1155. Once Division 3 Concrete has delivered (poured) its product, the FF/FL measurement system is used to determine flatness according to ASTM 1155. This is done 72 hours after pour. If measurements meet the tolerance for flatness (and level) then the Division 3 Concrete is considered to have met its responsibility. Fast-forward six months, and the flooring contractor will not necessarily have the flat surface needed to proceed with installation. We know this because concrete slabs curl, creep, deflect (sag) and in general change shape as they strengthen and dry. In addition, the FF/FL measurement system stops recording two feet from walls, construction joints and support columns, and therefore does not determine flatness or slab acceptability from the perspective of the flooring contractor. What’s the solution? First, conversation around how must take place at the very beginning, before contracts are awarded. Structural engineers, consultants and owners need to understand the floor covering contractor’s requirements – anticipate slab deflection, plan concrete surface profile, and budgets for corrective work. Second, we need an understanding of the specifications available and how they work. Finally, more education around proper priming, mixing and application practices for hydraulic cement underlayment is necessary. NFCA holds leveling training seminars across Canada for all construction parties. For information on all education events, go to and click on the education tab. It’s an exciting time. As we connect to more and more people across the country and develop partnerships with active, likeminded organizations such as Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and Flooring Consultants and Inspector Training Services (FCITS), momentum is building and the awareness and understanding of the tools available to bring about change is growing. The National Floor Covering Association (NFCA) promotes industry standards for resilient, carpet, hardwood, laminate, cork and bamboo floor covering installations.


Also included is an insertion tool, 10 extensions, five orange protective caps and stainless steel covers, a ¾ in. SDS masonry drill bit, a wire cleaning brush and a vacuum attachment, as well as a certificate of calibration, floor map instruction manual and carrying case.

Surface protection fabric The Superrunner surface protection fabric from Albert Florotex is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use during flooring installation projects. The product is said to be tearproof, durable, waterproof, breathable and reusable. The material is made from textile fibres in three layers — protective outer layer, breathable membrane and fibre bottom layer. Roll sizes include 39.36 in. x 91.44 ft and 39.36 in. x 164.04 ft, or 300 and 538 sq. ft., respectively. Grey added to granite collection Granite and Trend Transformations has announced an addition to its Titan Grey granite collection. The product is engineered with Bianco Montorfano, a granite quarried in the north west of Italy. The granite features a white base with top blends of white, grey, and black crystals that are of fine to medium grain. The key product benefits include: scratch, stain, crack, heat and burn resistant; low maintenance; nonabsorbent and nonporous; mold and mildew resistant; flexural strength; colour consistency; immunity to freeze and thaw; and, easily cleaned with soap and water. The company uses recycled materials in its products, making it the eco-friendly granite option— without sacrificing quality or beauty, it says. Concrete moisture test starter kit The Concrete Moisture Test Starter Kit+ with Rapid RH 4.0EX from Wagner Meters includes a reader, five smart sensors (used for relative humidity testing), and two Smart Logger ambient temperature and humidity recorders.

White oak hardwood floors Mirage has added a new brushed texture combined with its DuraMatt finish on its White Oak Natural floor products. The textured wood surface is brushed so it conceals scuffs and marks. White Oak Brushed combined with the DuraMatt finish is also now available in Carousel from the Sweet Memories Collection. The finish recreates the look of conventional oiled floors without the nuisance of maintenance and regular oil application. White Oak Brushed Natural and White Oak Brushed Carousel are available in Classic (4-1/4 in.), Engineered (5 and 6 1/2 in. for both and 7 3/4 in. for Carousel only), and TruBalance (5 in.) technologies.

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PRODUCTS Luxury vinyl plank collection Parterre Flooring Systems has added plank and tile designs to its Vertu luxury vinyl plank collection. The designs feature a neutral colour palette as well as contemporary grays highlighting the less-defined graining of softer woods. Suitable for the hospitality, commercial and multi-family industries, the collection exhibits the artistry of nature through a contemporary collection of organic wood designs that embrace the beauty of natural flaws, the company says. For a

applied to walls. The lightweight, waterproof, durable and easy to install and maintain product that provides a cost-effective alternative to ceramic wall tile or reclaimed wood, the company says. Offered in 6 to 48 in. planks and 12 to 24 in. tiles, the product can be used in both horizontal and vertical formats in a variety of patterns. The product also has a “pillowed edge” of a slightly larger scale than the bevels that are found on most flooring products to help hide the effects of uneven wall surfaces at the joints. Horizontal drain outlet

manufactured to the highest safety and quality standards with aluminum tubing and FEP cable insulation, the company says. The cold/hot junction is self-contained in the cable. There are 34 cable sizes available in both 120 or 240 V. There are three options available in the system’s thermostats, including a Wi-Fi enabled option. Each system includes 2 floor sensors, one with the thermostat and one with the heat cable. Composite core resilient flooring collection Axiscor Performance Flooring has introduced 30 different resilient floor patterns that include a collection of

total of 37 designs in the collection, 12 new plank designs have been added to this collection with sizes varying by design, available in either 6 in. x 36 in. x 3 mm or 7.25 in. x 48 in. x 3 mm. Among the additions are Shutter Oak, a warm brown wood with a linear design and maple wood varying colour tones called Venise Maple. First-time wood species for Vertu includes Silver Bamboo, an abstract gray with metallic shading to it, and Canna Teak, a warm red/brown wood. Alternative wall planks and tiles

Metroflor has announced Verçade Wall Fashion, which is made specifically to be 26

March/April 2019

Schluter Systems has developed the Schluter-Kerdi-Drain-H with a 2 in. horizontal outlet. The horizontal outlet allows the drain to be connected to an existing drain pipe and P-trap away from the new drain location. Connecting to existing plumbing from a new drain location can significantly reduce demolition work, mess, and the cost of the project, the company says. The product is identical in every way to existing Schluter 2 in. drains with the exception that the outlet is horizontal instead of vertical. The drain includes the integrated bonding flange and is part of the company’s shower system for constructing waterproof tiled showers. It is available in both PVC and ABS. In-floor membrane heating system The Ardex Americas Flexbone Heat membrane system includes three major components for heating, uncoupling and waterproofing. It is said to have 81 percent less air space under the membrane for faster, and more efficient heating. The cables are

authentic and naturally-inspired looks called Prime. The collection is waterproof, pet friendly and extremely durable, with a dimensionally-stable Stone Polymer Composite core, the company says. Each features an attached “IXPE” pad and use i4F locking technologies. The collection is a valued engineered product that is suitable for any room of the home and will meet the demands of multi-family housing, the company adds. LVT collection in multiple formats Five new designs have been added to the Adura luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring collection from Mannington. The tile and rectangle formats include the Pasadena, Vienna and Villa series. Pasadena combines terrazzo with natural wood for a

flooring, and cork underlayments on floors and walls. Composed of dry-film, foam-core tape, Mapecontact SRT is designed for the rapid and permanent installation of solid vinyl sheet, vinyl tile and vinyl plank flooring, as well as solid and engineered exotic and domestic wood flooring, acrylic impregnated wood, finger block parquet and bamboo. transitional look and is available in two tile sizes (18 x 18 in. and 12 x 24 in.) and three colors — Stone, Sediment and Pumice. Vienna is said to capture the look of honed marble in a contemporary way in two tile sizes (18 x 18 in. and 12 x 24 in.) and three colours — Alabaster, Mineral and Quartz. Villa has a brushed, weathered concrete look that transforms a classic checkerboard pattern into an updated, streamlined visual, the company says, and is available in an 18 x 18 in. tile in three coordinating colours— Cement, Coal and Sandstone. All 18 x 18 in. formats are only available in Adura Flex and can be installed with or without grout. Plank formats only include the Napa and Southern Oak series. Napa is a 6 x 48 in. plank distinguished by deep knots, mineral streaks and an under glow available in two new colours — Barrel and Spirit. Southern Oak is a traditional aged oak look available in 6 x 48 in. planks and three colours — Honey, Natural and Spice. Flooring-installation tape

Two new products for installing resilient and wood flooring called Mapecontact MRT and Mapecontact SRT have been announced by Mapei. The double-sided tapes are suitable for concrete slabs containing high moisture content, as well as for installers in need of quick installation times. Mapecontact MRT is designed for the rapid and permanent installation of solid vinyl sheet, vinyl tile, vinyl plank, virgin smooth-backed rubber flooring, natural and prefinished cork

Hypoallergenic soft flooring line Four multicolor Air.o hypoallergenic soft flooring styles have been announced by Mohawk, adding to the current 12-style assortment. With multiple price points and thicker weights, Rest Assured I (40 oz.), Rest Assured II (50 oz.), Peaceful Moments I (45 oz.) and Peaceful Moments II (55 oz.) are said to feature innovative

The Q900A Edge nailer from Primatech is said to reach difficult and tight workspace areas. The nailer is designed to blind nail as close as 2 in. to the end wall at 45° with the same holding power as the field. Used with the 18 ga. Edge nails, the system is designed for most solids boards and also engineered boards with a hard core. Units employ the company’s Primpact striking module to offer reliability, extended performance and smoothness of operation. A fully adjustable base is said to enable the nailer to deal with an infinite variety of solid/engineered flooring from ½ to ¾ in. The articulated handle allows multiple adjustments to maximize user comfort in standing or kneeling position. Underlayment for wood and laminate floors

Double Impact 8302 from DriTac is a 2 mm underlayment and acoustical barrier for installations of hardwood and laminate flooring in residential and commercial applications. The company offers the Total Sound Reduction System (SRS) enhanced lifetime warranty when used in conjunction with its approved flooring adhesives in ‘double-stick’ applications. The underlayment contains negligible VOC content (measured below quantifiable levels), affording a sound abatement choice for eco-friendly projects. It is an inert product that is hypo-allergenic and mold/mildew/ bacteria resistant with no toxic additives (CFC/HCFC/PVC/BHT/Pinta Bromide/latex or antimicrobials). Features include: 42 in. x 28.58 ft. or 100 sq. ft./roll; anti-crush Flooring nailer for tight areas mechanical properties; acoustic ratings up to IIC 73, STC 72 and Delta 21; covers minor floor irregularities; approved over radiant heated floors; available with (LT) and without lip and tape; and, for 8302 Double Impact LT, Safeguard Seaming System creates a building code approved vapour barrier seam between two pieces of underlayment. Canada’s floorcovering magazine 27 styling that includes new multi-colour yarns. The product’s unified construction will not absorb any moisture, inhibiting the growth of or spread of allergens, such as mold, mildew and dust mites, the company says. Engineered with one material, the soft flooring is VOC-free and latex-free with no “new carpet” smell. The construction also simplifies the installation process and is said to make the product the only 100 percent recyclable soft flooring available in the market. In addition, it is said to provide 50 percent more airflow, making it easy to clean by releasing more dust, dirt and pet dander when vacuumed.

BULLETS Current business highlights Canadian municipalities issued $8.8 billion worth of building permits in December, up 6.0 percent from November, up 10.6 percent year/year and the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The gain was largely due to higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings, with both components hitting record highs. —Statistics Canada Physical goods, like commodities and manufactured products, still comprise the vast majority of Canadian exports. But over the past decade, Canadian service exports expanded at an annual rate of more than 4 percent, double the 2 percent growth rate for exports of goods. In 2018, Canadian service exports are projected to surpass $120 billion. —EDC The U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased from $55.7 billion in October to $49.3 billion US in November, as imports decreased more than exports. The goods deficit decreased $6.7 billion US in November to $71.6 billion US. The services surplus decreased $0.3 billion US in November to $22.3 billion US. —U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Preliminary numbers suggest that this has been the best December for job gains in the U.S. since the height of the recession. Over 312,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. Analysts expected only about 180,000 new jobs for December, in line with the 175,000 added in December 2017. —U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Peru’s Exporters Association (ADEX) has reported that up to November 2018 exports of wood products were worth $112.6 million US, compared to the $110.7 million US in the same period in 2017. —Fordaq The OECD uses GDP per hour worked as a measure of labour productivity and it gauges how efficiently labour input is combined with other factors of production and used in the production process. It varies from $99.5 US in Ireland to just $21.5 US in Mexico, while Canada is in the middle at $53.5 US. —Statista Canadian imports of tropical sawnwood rose by 28 percent in November compared to October but imports year to date still trail 2017 by 14 percent. Sapelli, iroko, virola, imbuia, and balsa imports to Canada are all down between a quarter and a third from 2017. Imports from Ecuador, Cameroon and Brazil are off significantly year to date, while imports have increased over 2017 from Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia and the U.S. —ITTO 28 March/April 2019

Vietnam’s forestry product exports in January is estimated at $903 million US, a rise of 11 percent over the same period in 2018, reported the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In addition, export revenue of wood and wooden products reached $852 million US, a rise of 10 percent year on year, while that of non-wood products is $51 million US, up 20 percent over the same time of 2018. —TIN The CBS telecast of the 2019 Super Bowl averaged 98.7 million viewers, the lowest it’s been since 2008. —Nielsen Cybersecurity firm CipherTrace reports that crypto theft hit $1.7 billion US in 2018 (up more than 400 percent from the year before). —The Hustle Euroconstruct sees its growth forecast for the European construction industry from 2019 to 2021 as falling. The growth peak for Europe as a whole was already achieved in 2017 with a 4.1 percent increase in production. In 2018, growth had already shrunk to 2.8 percent for the first time. By 2021, according to Euroconstruct, construction volume growth will continue to decline by around 1.6 percent per year. —TIN Immigrants own 43 percent of all residential properties in Toronto and 37 percent of all residential properties in Vancouver. In both census metropolitan areas, the overall mix of residential dwellings owned by immigrants differs from those owned by Canadian-born residents. In Vancouver, single-detached houses account for 39 percent of all immigrant-owned properties, compared with 48 percent of properties owned by Canadian-born residents. In Toronto, about half of all properties owned by immigrants are singledetached houses, compared with 60 percent of properties with Canadian-born owners. —Statistics Canada The appetite for lab-grown meat is catching on in the U.S. Based on a survey, about 45 percent of respondents said they would eat lab-grown fish. That interest rose across the labgrown meat menu with 63 percent of respondents saying they would eat lab-grown poultry, 69 percent saying they would eat pork made in a lab, and 71 percent entertaining a potential taste in beef made in a lab. —University of Queensland A record $15.6 billion worth of commercial real estate assets sold in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 2018, comprising an 8 percent year-over-year increase in the annual total. Multi-residential investment was up 67 percent year-overyear to $2.7 billion — a historic high. —Avison Young

Floors@Work . . . . . . . . . . . .


Proma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16, 17

Laticrete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


Mapei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


Schluter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Tarkett . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32



June 10 – 12 Neocon Chicago, Ill.

Primatech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

June 18 – 19 GreenBuild Mexico Mexico City, Mexico


May 24 – 26 Canadian Furniture Show Toronto, Ont.



May 9 – 11 CGFF Asia-Pacific Floor Fair Guangzhou, China

NAC . . . . . . . . . . . .



May 1 – 3 NWFA Expo Fort Worth, Tex.


April 9 – 12 Coverings Orlando, Fla.


Mohawk . . . . . . . .

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Sweeping lines, efficient use of space and expert moisture management distinguish Porsche Centre Rive-Sud.

Crossing a high-end finish line

Dealership delight BACK IN 2016, PORSCHE CARS CANADA, along with the Lauzon Group dealership network, broke ground to extend its automotive list of retail locations with the addition of Porsche Centre Rive-Sud in Montreal’s South Shore. The four-level facility spans 100,000 square feet that includes interior parking, a 17-car showroom, 15 service bays, a café lounge, gym, reception area and meeting rooms. Due to earlier delays in the construction of the dealership, the contractors worked within a restricted timeline to complete the project on time for the scheduled grand opening in October 2017. “The parcel of land was very tight,” according to Claude Pigeon, the project architect based in Montreal, Que. “So, we had to make a proposal to the city that we also made to Porsche, and the construction was allowed.” The small property footprint meant that Pigeon had to take his design underground. “That is why we built a two storey basement — to make more space because there was no space on the side.” The deep basement made building the foundation more complicated and also led to managing some water during the dig. Designing the Rive-Sud project also fell to Jasmine Forget, an interior designer and principal of Intemporel Design in Lorraine, Que., who has been creating automobile dealerships for over 20 years. “Any automotive dealership comes with a corporate image,” 30

March/April 2019 March/April 2019

says Forget. “We have to make sure we apply the image according to what is requested,” but adds that some of the interiors allow for more design leeway. Having worked with the Lauzon Group and Porsche since 2000, Forget came into the project knowing that high-end cars require interior materials that provide high-end finishes. White, matte porcelain tiles were used throughout the spaces on both floors and walls. For the events room — with a kitchen where chefs occasionally help to entertain guests — Dekton countertops were chosen, while the building elevator has dense, decorative white panels from Abet Laminati. In addition, notes Forget, Mapei tile and stone products were used on the floors throughout the dealership and on the walls in the washrooms. To complete the construction, Les Carrelages Serco of Laval, Que., was contracted to put the finishing touches on the floors and walls, including the installation of large format tiles in the drive-through for cars coming in for repairs. According to company president Serge Tremblay, the most challenging aspect of this project was trying to meet the restrictive deadline while working in high humidity conditions in the dealership’s workshop. A waterproofing and vapor-pressure-equalizing underlayment membrane was very effective in combating the moisture and humidity coming off the concrete floor and creating a smooth and level surface to install floor tiles, he explained. On October 12, 2017 Porsche Rive-Sud held its grand opening launch party for Porsche owners and enthusiasts, who are now enjoying their new dealership. In 2018, the Concord, Ont.-based Terrazzo Tile & Marble Association of Canada presented the Rive-Sud project its Project of the Year award. The finished Then-and-Now project is featured on each issue’s cover. Please submit project suggestions to

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