FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA.—There was a noticeable difference at the Flooring Contractor’s Association’s (FCICA) mid-year convention held here recently. The organization has gone back to what it was when it began in 1982: the commercial floor covering industry’s technical installation association.
FCICA was formed nearly 30 years ago by commercial flooring contractors and industry vendors to train and educate members on field-related issues. “Our typical contractor member is the person responsible for overseeing commercial floor covering installations,” said Gerry Swift, chairman. “Our larger flooring contractors typically have an operations or installation manager, whereas the smaller contractors have the owner himself manager the field operations.
“Our goal is to educate the people who can prevent us from making a costly mistake in the field,” he explained. “An educated installation manager will also find ways to increase prof- its by identifying change order opportunities as well. They will also have the knowledge to ensure their flooring projects are carried out correctly, efficiently and profitably.”
Touring the facility
FCICA’s mid-year meeting kicked off with a tour of Mapei’s tile and stone installation systems plant in Ft. Lauderdale. FCICA members were able to see Mapei’s state-of-the-art manufacturing and packaging operation, which produces and ships an average of 11 million pounds of product each day.
Educational sessions included a stair tread and riser demonstration, as well as an update on ASTM standards, presented Christopher Capobianco of Christopher Collaborative. This session covered industry standards on concrete testing and preparation for resilient floor coverings. Another session featured a panel discussion on Abatement Practices and Policies, which featured experts from underlayment, adhesive and commercial flooring manufacturers, and ad-dressed chemical and chemical-free type abatement processes used in today’s commercial construction, and the circumstances and potential floor covering failures involved with each method. The final educational session was Moisture in Concrete, presented by Lee Eliseian of Independent Floor Testing & Inspection, who presented a case study involving slab testing of over 2,500 retail stores across the country.
“How often do you see competing manufacturers working together on educational sessions?” Swift asked. “Most of FCICA’s associate members are their respective companies’ technical service managers. They’re not here just to sell products—they’re here to train, educate and learn from flooring contractors and other industry suppliers to develop the latest and greatest installation and mitigation systems.”
FCICA is now preparing for its 30th anniversary convention next spring in Savannah, Ga. The educational sessions are in the planning stages. “One of my goals is to see the claims rate for FCICA contractor members become the lowest in the country,” Swift said. “Once that’s established, I hope to move on to dealer certification for our contractor members.”
For more information on FCICA, call 877.863.2422.