Hardwood Floors April/May 2024

Animated publication

APR/MAY 2024


the bar raise



Olde Wood L I M I T E D




866-208-9663 | OldeWoodLtd.com


us.pallmann.net pallmannusa


See our new packaging at the NWFA EXPO!

Trusted by flooring professionals throughout North America, WOODWISE wood fillers are the gold standard for hardwood flooring applications and are supported by a full line of wood care products, tools and accessories. To learn more or find a dealer near you, go to woodwise.com or call us at 425-869-0859 . THE RIGHT WOOD FILLERS FOR EVERY JOB



Design Hardwood Products, Inc. • Redmond, WA



NWFA Wood Flooring Expo Preview By Libby White Johnston

Find out how you can “Raise the Bar” at the 2024 NWFA Expo. Make your plans now with the event schedule, exhibitor list, and product showcase. With the show being in New Orleans, NWFA members from the area, including Ron-Del Floor Service, share stories of moisture control, restoration projects, and how to experience the city like a local.





Floor Maintenance Pads By Carol Crittendon Floor maintenance pads, also called non-woven pads, perform a variety of jobs, depending upon the materials contained in the pad. While there are lots of choices, it is important to pick the right pad for the job.

My Machine is Leaving Chatter By Russ Watts

The term “chatter” is one we are quite familiar with in the wood flooring industry. This article offers why those of us working in the world of “solving floor sanding problems” might be able to better approach getting to the bottom of what is actually causing the chatter.



Industry Insights

PUBLICATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE Robert McNamara | Sheoga Hardwood Flooring Jason Elquest | Blackhawk Floors Inc. Lenny Hall | Endurance Floor Company Inc. Kevin Mullany | Benchmark Wood Floors Inc. Jim Schumacher Julie Russell | Chair Michael Martin | CEO Anita Howard | COO Brett Miller | VP, Technical Standards & Training Stephanie Owen | Executive Director, NERF NWFA LEADERSHIP

24 Government Affairs Campaign 2024 is in full swing.

By Dana Lee Cole

28 Design Trends How to make the most

By Brittany Stout

of your trade show experience.

Business Best Practices

32 Legal Tricks and traps of contracts.

By Iqra Mushtaq

36 Finance Budgeting basics.

By Dana Rogers

40 Sales Savvy Is value-added selling right for your company? 44 Marketing Mastering Facebook ads.

Libby White Johnston | Publisher | libby.johnston@nwfa.org Burt Bollinger | Editor | burt.bollinger@nwfa.org Brett Miller | Technical Editor | brett.miller@nwfa.org Rhonda M. May | Creative Manager | rhonda.may@nwfa.org Amy Burris | Digital Manager | amy.burris@nwfa.org Bridget Norlie | Engagement Manager | bridget.norlie@nwfa.org PUBLICATION TEAM

By Paul Reilly

By Matt Thibeau

At the Site 106 Innovation Sanding equipment modifications.

By Kyle Neuroh

14 Research Park Drive St. Charles, Missouri 63304 P : 800.422.4556 Local : 636.519.9663 F: 636.519.9664 E: news@hardwoodfloorsmag.com W: hardwoodfloorsmag.com

By Aaron Sheaves

114 Throwback Century-old sanding machine.

By Libby White Johnston

116 Tech Talk Effective approaches to resanding an old floor. 118 WFOY Winner Spotlight Best in Historic Restoration: RippnFinish.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brian Beakler Burt Bollinger Dana Lee Cole Carol Crittendon Lenny Hall Libby White Johnston

Dana Rogers Julie Russell Aaron Sheaves Brittany Stout Matt Thibeau Russ Watts

Michael Martin Brett Miller Iqra Mushtaq Kyle Neuroh Paul Reilly

By Burt Bollinger

120 Hardwood Hints How to know if your miter

By Lenny Hall

saw is cutting true. 128 Sponsored Content A new paradigm in finish technology.

By Odie's Oil


Product Focus

Katie Schenk Advertising & Media Manager katie.schenk@nwfa.org | 636.736.5230

126 Sanding Equipment/Abrasives

Also in this Issue

8 Chair’s Cut

By Julie Russell

Hardwood Floors' subscription base is AAM audited. An AAM audit provides advertisers and agencies with assurance that what they choose

10 Business Briefs 12 Special Content NWFA honors Beth Maxwell and Mickey Moore. 16 Wood Stock 90 Expo Symposium Session Preview An introduction to atypical wood flooring. 122 Special Content NWFA welcomes new Certified Professionals. 130 New Products 132 Overheard on NWFA Podcasts

to invest in does, in fact, reach target audiences for specific ads. The AAM Worldwide audit also helps media companies by documenting the quality of their audiences.

By Burt Bollinger

Hardwood Floors (Print: ISSN 0897-022X and Online: ISSN 2475-5125) is published on a bi-monthly basis, plus the Annual Industry Guide, by the National Wood Flooring Association and distributed as a membership benefit to its member companies and without charge upon request to qualified individuals throughout the wood flooring industry. Single copy price is $8, annual Industry Guide is $50. Subscriptions: $40/year (includes 6 issues and Industry Guide) in the U.S. and Canada. Publication office: 14 Research Park Drive, St. Charles, MO 63304. Phone: 800.422.4556. Printing office: Walsworth, 306 N. Kansas Ave., Marceline, MO 64658. Printed in the U.S. Periodicals postage is paid at Chesterfield, MO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Hardwood Floors, P.O. Box 9147, Lowell, MA 01853. Copyright © 2024 by the National Wood Flooring Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

By Brian Beakler, Ph.D.

134 Wood Talk: Billy Simmons 135 Ad Index 136 Final Coat: CEO’s Message

By Michael Martin

ASPEN •Antimicrobial technology •Solvent and isocyanate-free •Permanent, waterproof bond •Extremely low VOCs •Rapid occupancy times (6 hrs)



We’ve crafted the inventory of products you need.

With years of dedication and skill, you've mastered the art of flooring installation, honing your craft to perfection. We've meticulously crafted an inventory that includes premium hardwood flooring, high-performance sanders, robust flooring adhesives, durable finishes and more. Our selection is designed to ensure that every project you undertake is supported by the highest quality products, allowing your craftsmanship to shine through in every detail.

Find your local branch: HorizonForest.com/contact


By Julie Russell Chair, NWFA

the bar raise

Are you getting ready to pack your bags? As you read this, it’s almost time for the 2024 Wood Flooring Expo, April 16-18, in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year’s theme is “Raise the Bar,” and we are not just talking about the fun to be had on the city’s famed Bourbon Street. It’s about setting higher goals for yourself and continuing to lead in the wood flooring industry by elevating expectations. Explore the cutting-edge wood flooring products, services, and trends during 11 trade show hours. Here, you can not only see these innovations, but also ask exhibitors questions to truly understand how a product can make a difference for your business. Experience exhibitor demonstrations to learn even more about the latest and greatest. New Orleans is a destination like no other, so be sure to read in this magazine the stories of the historic projects NWFA members in the area have worked on, how they handle moisture control in a humid climate, and the restoration process following major hurricanes. They also are offering up tips on how to enjoy the city like a local. This, along with a full preview of Expo, including the schedule, exhibitor list, and a showcase of products that will be featured may be found on page 50. I also wanted to note that this will be my final column as chair of NWFA’s Board of Directors. It has been my honor and pleasure to serve during the past two years. I truly believe in what the NWFA stands for and believe that everyone who takes advantage of what we have to offer benefits. I am extremely pleased to be handing over the reigns to Steve Brattin to take us through the year ahead. In the meantime, I hope to see you in New Orleans! LATEST PRODUCTS & TRENDS

Here is how attending Expo can help you accomplish this:


There are nearly 30 education sessions to choose from throughout the event. From implementing new technologies to measuring subfloor flatness to leveraging social media, the topics covered are vast. Beyond those sessions, NWFA Regional Instructors will share their extensive expertise during technical demonstrations. The knowledge gained can empower your business to stay competitive and thrive in an ever-evolving market. Whether at an education session, reception, or on the trade show floor, there are at least 50 chances to make a new connection that could amplify your career. The fact that all of this is taking place in New Orleans means there will be even more fun times with all of the unique food, drinks, and music to experience. It’s sure to feel like a celebration from start to finish! NETWORKING

Raise the Bar at the 2024 Wood Flooring Expo in NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA April 16-18, 2024 | nwfaexpo.org


hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com




Bona Chroma ® Waterborne Wood Floor Coloration is an eco-friendly wood floor coloring method that results in a vibrant, intense wood color – with an application and drying procedure that is safer, quicker and healthier than other processes. Bona Chroma is water-based, which minimizes odors, eliminates the need for water popping and makes it non-flammable. This customizable color blending system offers nine options for endless color possibilities! Bona Chroma ® WATERBORNE WOOD FLOOR COLORATION

FEATURES AND BENEFITS • Easy to use – forgiving water-based application • No water popping required • Fast dry time – complete jobs faster • Non-flammable/non-combustible – no stain rag fires

• Low to no odor • Non-yellowing formula • Available in nine colors plus Clear • Colors can be mixed for custom blends














At the jobsite

FLOORCLOUD ® has selected Verizon Business as connectivity provider for its jobsite climate monitoring intelligence technology.


GROUP announced a strategic partnership with Stromab SPA, an Italian manufacturer of crosscutting solutions. According to the companies, the

RUBIO MONOCOAT announced that for every order received, it is planting a verified tree at a U. S. planting site, resulting in thousands of trees being planted by partnering with Veritree.

collaboration signifies a commitment to bring cutting-edge technology and comprehensive solutions to the North American market.

BERGER-SEIDLE ® NORTH AMERICA welcomed Carlos Campuzano as a technical sales manager responsible for the Pacific-West territory.

SHAW INDUSTRIES GROUP, INC. announced that Benjamin Liebert has been named executive vice president of its residential business. He succeeded Scott Sandlin in this role. SOMERSET HARDWOOD FLOORING, a Bauwerk Group company, relocated its engineered hardwood flooring production to the Somerset, Kentucky location. STILES MACHINERY promoted Eric Hachmann to national key account manager for flooring manufacturing.

MOHAWK GROUP AND SCANALYTICS, INC., a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Smart Flooring company, launched a strategic partnership to reduce emissions from the built world. ROBBINS SPORTS SURFACES INC., a manufacturer of hardwood basketball floors, was acquired by L2 Capital. Carlos Campuzano

Benjamin Liebert

Eric Hachmann

In Memoriam With sadness, we share that THOMAS M. ADAM, managing partner of Berger-Seidle, passed away on January 4, 2024, at the age of 71. From 1974 to 2024, Thomas M. Adam successfully shaped the company’s development, together with his father, Franz Adam, until 1983. In 2001, Markus M. Adam joined as managing partner, continuing the entrepreneurial legacy into the fourth generation. Thomas passionately dedicated his professional life to the service of the company and the wood flooring industry – in Germany, America, and globally. The Berger-Siedle team says Thomas was a valued leader and role model, personally and professionally, whose work will remain unforgotten. 2024 marks his 50th anniversary at the Berger Group. They will continue his legacy with passion and determination.

Thomas M. Adam

hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com



New distribution partnership SIKA ® has announced a new distribution partnership with Professional Flooring Supply (PFS), a Fort Worth, Texas-based flooring and installation supply distributor that has served the flooring industry for more than 45 years.

CHAD OGDEN, CEO and president of QFloors, was a recipient of the World Floor Covering Association’s Tom Jennings Champion Award for outstanding achievements in the retail sector. FLOOR & DECOR opened

Chad Ogden

DISTRIBUTOR DOINGS DIAMOND W announced a new distribution partnership with Hallmark Floors, initially offering Hallmark’s Serenity, Avenue, and Alta Vista collections to its customers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. new locations in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; Avenel and Springfield, New Jersey; Port Chester, New York; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Mansfield, Texas; and Manassas, Virginia.

your happenings to libby.johnston@nwfa.org. Get in the news!

To be included in the Business Briefs section of Hardwood Floors magazine, please send

BECOME A MEMBER of the NWFA TODAY! Unite with wood flooring professionals from across the globe who are dedicated to education, industry standards, and quality service and products. For more details, visit NWFA.ORG/MEMBERSHIP/


the magazine of the national wood flooring association




With sadness, we share that Beth Maxwell passed away on January 17, 2024.

“Beth was an exceptional teacher. When she traded the elementary classroom for the training room, the impact was immediate at Maxwell Hardwood,” says Tommy Maxwell, chairman of the board for Maxwell Hardwood. “She taught, counseled, and mentored everyone that she encountered. After she retired and still today, her influence through our company lives on.” Memorials may be made to the Billie Foundation Fund, First United Methodist Church in Monticello, and Hope Place.

Sarah Beth Burchfield Maxwell was the co-founder of Maxwell Hardwood Flooring, along with her husband, Tommy Maxwell, where she served as vice president of the company. She used her teaching skills in training and development, which was key to the success and growth of the company. Beth Maxwell was an instrumental supporter of the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA) from the early years, believing strongly in its mission. She co-wrote the one and only NOFMA Flooring

Beth Maxwell

Sidematcher manual, which is used in mills across the country today. She worked tirelessly to help support the people who worked for the company and loved them dearly. A native of Crossett, Maxwell spent her last 35 years as a resident of Monticello, Arkansas. She graduated from Crossett High School in 1969, UAM in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and had a long career as a teacher in the Monticello School District. She would never be far from a football field as she was a Crossett Eaglet, a UAM cheerleader, a Razorback supporter, and the #1 Billie fan. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Tommy Maxwell, daughter and husband, Kristi and Dustin Prince, son, Wil Maxwell, and her four grandchildren, all of Monticello.


“Beth was an exceptional teacher. When she traded the elementary classroom for the training room, the impact was immediate at Maxwell Hardwood. She taught, counseled, and mentored everyone that she encountered. After she retired and still today, her influence through our company lives on.” — Tommy Maxwell, Maxwell Hardwood

hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com



Mickey Moore, a true legend of the wood flooring industry, passed away on January 27, 2024.

According to his obituary, Charles Michael “Mickey” Moore graduated from The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and attended Duke University for two years, completing his degree in Forestry at the University of Memphis in 1974. In 1981, he married Gloria Elrod Ash and became a renowned teacher and inspector for the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA). He traveled the world teaching master classes for technicians in the field. Moore became the technical director of NOFMA in 1988. He participated on numerous NOFMA and National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) committees and contributed to technical publications for both organizations. His expertise was shared with countless students during NOFMA and NWFA schools over the years, which has an ongoing impact on wood flooring professionals at the jobsite and in mills today. Rusty Swindoll, who worked with Moore at NOFMA, says Moore was a natural teacher. “When I went in and asked him a question, Mickey would look at me and say, ‘Let’s go think about that,’ and he’d ask me a question. I’d look it up and come back to him and talk about it. He wanted me to look deep into anything I had a question about. He knew so much about wood, installation, sand and finish, and acclimation,” says Swindoll. Wayne Lee of Middle Tennessee Lumber met Moore as a student at a NOFMA class and later had the privilege of working with him as an instructor. He recalls a time when Moore joined him on a troubled jobsite. “He went into the crawlspace with a meter, camera, and a note pad. He would point out a concern and say, ‘Is that a guideline, standard, rule, or recommendation?’ While I felt like my fifth-grade teacher was calling me out in class to answer a question, he was teaching. Though we were in the crawlspace for hours, it felt like minutes to me because the knowledge was flowing faster than I could pick it up,” explains Lee. “Once we gathered the information, he spoke with the homeowner and shared his thoughts for a successful job. Then he shared the greatest words of wisdom that I have repeated over and over. He said, ‘Get the house ready for wood, then get the wood ready for that house.’”

Mickey Moore

Moore was widely known for setting the NOFMA standards for sizes, inspections, grades of flooring, and more. However, his obituary noted that his love for nature expressed itself in several ways, including that he was an avid hunter and fisherman. “Away from work, I discovered he liked to fish like I did. I went fishing with him several times. In the boat, there was no talk about wood – just about our families and what we are going to use to catch the fish,” shares Swindoll. “He was an all-around fun guy to be with. He knew so much that I never could get all of the stuff out of his head that I would have liked to have had in my head.” “I’ll always be grateful for Mickey’s willingness to go on the road with me when I started working for NOFMA. He was willing to teach me everything he knew about grading and inspecting wood flooring,” says John Forbes, director of manufacturer services for NWFA. “On behalf of NWFA and NOFMA, we send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. The industry is and will continue to be better because of Mickey.” Moore has been accepted into the NWFA Education & Research Foundation's Legacy Scholarship Program. To make a donation in his honor, visit nwfa.org/scholarships.

the magazine of the national wood flooring association


Hardwood Momentum | Barley

Hardwood Riverwalk | Dew

Hardwood Monogram | Latte

Hardwood Park City | Summit

Hardwood Chatueau | Dijon

White Oak is White Hot. White oak is now. And Mannington knows white oak, delivering style at every price point. It’s not surprising. We’ve been the engineered hardwood styling experts since 1986. See our full line of engineered white oak at Floors.com/WhiteOak .

Hardwood Riverwalk | Pebble

Wood Stock

Restoration of the Bank of Alexandria HISTORY Crafting

By Burt Bollinger

The building, with its storied past as a hospital during the American Civil War, had weathered centuries of time and turmoil. Purchased with the intent to restore it to its 1820s grandeur, the owner emphasized that the wood floors were the centerpiece of the entire restoration. Undertaking the mammoth task of revitalizing the 9,000 square feet of flooring, Lynn’s team transported the worn planks to their shop in Washington D.C. Here began the delicate process of breathing new life into the historic wood.

Preserving history is an art, and few understand this better than Sprigg Lynn of Universal Floors, the mastermind behind the meticulous restoration of the Bank of Alexandria, the first financial institution chartered in Virginia in the late 1700s. When a general contractor sought expertise for this ambitious project, Lynn and his team at Universal Floors were a natural choice.

hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com



“The floor had been through hell and back,” Lynn recounts. “It had been down for a couple of hundred years, with all kinds of nails and glued-on remnants. We had to painstakingly remove every trace of its tumultuous past.” With precision and care, the team planed the wood to an even thickness and transformed it into a square-edge floor, ready for its new chapter in history. However, the challenges were far from over. “The contractor had removed the floor haphazardly, damaging much of the tongue and groove,” Lynn explains. “We had to cut back the boards, reducing the wood we had to work with, but preserving its integrity.” To ensure authenticity and that he had enough material to work with, Lynn sourced additional long-leaf southern pine from the same era, meticulously distressing it to match the existing wood’s weathered appearance. “We reached out to E.T. Moore to locate extra wood, long-leaf southern pine from the same era,” Lynn shares. “This wood did not have all the nail holes and oxidation that the existing wood did. We ended up having to antique it to add imperfections to make it look like the existing wood.” Transplanting the restored flooring back to the building presented its own set of challenges. With stairs yet to be installed and scaffolding lining the interior, Lynn devised a novel pulley system to hoist the boards into place. “Authenticity was paramount,” Lynn emphasizes. “We wanted the floor to tell a story, to bear the marks of time and use.” Creating period-accurate imperfections, such as wormholes and oxidized nail holes, required both skill and creativity.

“Over the years, we have seen how period floors wear and what kind of marks they have on them,” Lynn notes. “For wormholes, we found that if we unwind the top part of a 10 cent wire hanger, the top part of it makes an unbelievable swirl like a wormhole.” Lynn and his team also used balls and picks and put black dye inside the marks to represent an oxidized nail hole. “We don’t want to overdo it, but you want to be able to walk the floor and not have a board stick out at you. The floor must flow,” says Lynn. “If it flows well, you’re good to go. If it catches your eye, you’re going to have to adjust it.” Once installed, the flooring underwent a series of additional treatments to achieve the desired aesthetic. “We flat scraped it, palm-sanded it, then hand-sanded it,” he describes. Coating it was another adventure for Lynn, requiring specialized techniques to ensure a seamless finish. “You can’t just roll on the finish and get it down into the cracks,” Lynn explains. “That would look horrible. We had to use smaller rollers that were close to the width of the board. We had to have a backup guy there with an artist brush to use between the cracks to remove the residual finish in the cracks as we were rolling.” The result is a floor that transcends time, a seamless blend of past and present. Lynn reflects on the journey with pride, noting the client’s overwhelming satisfaction. “It’s one of the finest-looking floors we’ve ever pulled off,” he concludes. “And seeing the homeowner’s joy makes every challenge worthwhile. In preserving history, we’ve created a masterpiece.”

the magazine of the national wood flooring association


Wood Stock


In the world of wood flooring, achieving a flawless transition between different sections of a home is one of the hallmarks of true craftsmanship. Matt Garcia of Craftsman Hardwood Flooring recently was tasked with such a challenge when a homeowner with a keen eye for detail envisioned a specific look with a natural patina for both their floors and staircase. “Stair parts for pre-finished flooring pose a challenge as they're usually not made in the same heat-treated processes. The solution was to fabricate stair tread nosings from the flooring material for a perfect match from the flooring to the staircase.” — Matt Garcia, Craftsman Hardwood Flooring SEAMLESS INTEGRATION A By Burt Bollinger

hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com


Here's a breakdown of the meticulous process:

1. DETERMINING DIMENSIONS: Precise measurements were taken to determine the dimensions of the nosings, including the overhang, desired face thickness, and width. 2. CUTTING THE BOTTOM PORTION: Wide plank flooring boards were cut meticulously to create the bottom portion of the nosings with a 45-degree angle miter, creating an overhang. 3. CREATING THE FACE PORTION: A double miter was cut for the face portion of the nosings on the same board, ensuring a seamless transition from the flooring to the nosing. 4. ASSEMBLING THE PIECES: The pieces were glued carefully and assembled using clamps or pin nails, ensuring a tight and secure fit. 5. BUILDING THE STAIR TREADS: The remainder of the flooring planks were used to build the stair treads, attached to the fabricated nosings 1


“The clients fell in love with a beautiful 7’’ wide, long length, prefinished European oak flooring that was heat treated to give a carbonized color in the grain of the wood,” Garcia explains. “Since the color of the wood is achieved by a heat reaction, there is no color pigment in the grain compared to wood treated with stain, giving it a high-definition look and a rich, aged appearance.” The clients desired a seamless flow of flooring from the main living areas to the staircase, necessitating a perfect match in color and style. “As the wood flooring industry has evolved, pre-finished wood flooring styles have greatly influenced clients’ expectations,” Garcia notes. “Pre-finished wood flooring is a competitive market, with many reactive treatments and layered color applications challenging to duplicate onsite. I knew it would be almost impossible to match the flooring the way they wanted, and I would have to come up with a different approach.” Garcia proposed a creative solution: fabricating custom stair nosings from the same prefinished flooring material. “Stair parts for pre-finished flooring pose a challenge as they’re usually not made in the same heat-treated processes,” Garcia explains. “The solution was to fabricate stair tread nosings from the flooring material for a perfect match from the flooring to the staircase.” Collaborating closely with the clients, Garcia presented mock-ups and test pieces to ensure their vision was realized. The result was a set of custom stair nosings that perfectly complemented the prefinished flooring, seamlessly integrating with the staircase and achieving the flawless look the clients desired.




to achieve the desired depth.

In the end, Garcia’s craftsmanship and attention to detail resulted in a stunning staircase that seamlessly blended with the prefinished flooring, creating a cohesive and visually

striking interior space. The project stands as a testament to the ingenuity and skill of craftsmen like Garcia, who go above and beyond to transform their clients’ visions into reality.

the magazine of the national wood flooring association


Wood Stock

By Burt Bollinger and Granite HARDWOOD Kevin Evans and Caleb Schneekloth of Rock Solid Hardwoods Inc. in Denver, Colorado, recently undertook a remarkable project exemplifying their dedication to craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Tasked with bringing a homeowner’s vision to life, they embarked on a journey to craft a hardwood floor that would serve as the focal point of her home. “A designer approached us in our showroom, seeking a distinctive flooring solution for her new residence,” explains Evans. “After careful consideration, she selected solid 8” character grade live-sawn white oak from Henderson Mill.” This flooring would be combined with 18” granite square tiles to make for a dramatic and beautiful pattern extending down the home’s main hallway. “She wanted a pattern that would accentuate the wood. She selected 18” x 18” white granite,” explains Evans. “However, before our installation could begin, there would have to be tremendous attention paid to the small details, including both acclimation and subsurface preparation.” Given Denver’s arid climatic conditions, careful attention was paid to moisture content to prevent issues such as shrinkage and gapping. “During the winter months here in Denver, moisture content can drop as low as 4 percent, leading to potential shrinkage in solid hardwood flooring,” explains Schneekloth. “Neglecting this aspect can result in significant gapping issues.” By collaborating closely with builders and designers well in advance, the team ensured proper acclimation of the wood, stored in a climate-controlled warehouse until installation. Before commencing the installation process, meticulous subfloor preparation was essential. The team at Rock Solid Hardwoods sanded down the OSB subfloor, ensuring a level surface devoid of any imperfections. Every trace of paint and overspray was removed meticulously to create an immaculate foundation for the flooring installation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEVIN EVANS AND CALEB SCHNEEKLOTH | ROCK SOLID HARDWOODS INC.

20 hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com

Adopting a log cabin-inspired design, each granite tile was surrounded by two 8” wide boards, creating a cohesive pattern that spanned the hallway’s length. Precise measurements and attention to detail were crucial to maintaining consistency and squareness, with 1/16” grout lines meticulously maintained. “We needed to make sure that the stone was in tolerance and on-site. She did want to see a 1/16” grout line on each of the granite tiles,” recalls Evans. “We had to make sure that they were both consistent and square. We had to go through and measure each piece and snap our lines out. They used sanded caulking instead of grout to allow for a bit of expansion and contraction.” Before installing the granite tiles, the team applied a finish of Bona Natural Seal to the wood floor, ensuring the edges of the pattern were sealed to prevent grout leakage and potential staining. “This method also eliminated the risk of damaging the granite with our sander,” explains Evans. The remainder of the floor featured a straight-lay design, with a captivating x-pattern in the dining room, mirroring the ceiling. Finally, to enhance the wood’s natural beauty, deep knots were filled with a two-part black epoxy, providing depth and character to the flooring, and complementing the wood’s natural characteristics. After thorough sanding and cleaning, the floor was hand-filled with a latex white oak filler before receiving a final finish of Bona Natural Seal and two coats of Bona Traffic HD Extra Matte. Delighted with the outcome, the homeowner eagerly awaits professional photography to capture the beauty of her newly transformed space, a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the team at Rock Solid Hardwoods Inc.

“Any floor that we glue down, we scour the subfloor to ensure we get any debris off of it. We also scuff it up to promote adhesion and get a good bond. This is especially important when using wide planks, but it is something we do no matter the width,” explains Evans. Additionally, 5-millimeter rubber sound mitigation was installed atop the subflooring, addressing the homeowner’s priority of minimizing noise transmission. The homeowner envisioned a design that would accentuate the wood flooring’s natural beauty. Opting for 18” x 18” white granite tiles, she sought to create a striking focal point in the entryway. Using a laser guide, the team meticulously centered the granite tiles, extending the pattern seamlessly throughout the hallway and into the main living space. “It was originally just going to be at the very front of the entryway, but once we started working on the pattern, she decided she wanted to take it through the entire hall until we got into the main house,” says Evans. “She wanted to draw a lot of attention to the center of the hallway as you walk into the front door.”

the magazine of the national wood flooring association






The Farm Bill includes a forestry title that impacts the U.S. hardwood industry in multiple ways; it is reauthorized every five years. The bill was scheduled for action last year, but was deferred until 2024. Below are several key legislative items related to the Farm Bill that the Hardwood Federation supports. Many of these were initiated in 2023 and will continue this year. In most cases, we already have provided recommendations and language to make sure hardwood is included and reflected in program benefits. Still, we need your voice to support Hardwood Federation requests we already have sent to House and Senate offices to include these measures as part of the final Farm Bill package.

As everyone is aware, 2024 is an election year. Every one of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs, as are 34 Senate seats. Returning members, their opponents, and candidates running for open seats will hit the campaign trail trying to speak to as many constituents as possible. If you run into a 2024 hopeful, the Hardwood Federation has talking points on multiple topics you can access.

24 hardwood floors hardwoodfloorsmag.com

By Dana Lee Cole

(D-WA), and John Duarte (R-CA) could be folded into a final Farm Bill. The proposal includes several positive provisions for the industry, including establishing a USDA platform measuring, collecting, and sharing data related to the carbon benefits of wood products and recognizing the value of carbon reduction and environmental benefits of wood in building design and furnishings in USDA grant programs. Jobs in the Woods Act – This fall, Senate and House members introduced the bipartisan “Jobs in the Woods Act.” (H.R. 5344, S. 3063), a bill that would provide education grants ranging in size from $500,000 to $2 million to promote jobs in the understaffed timber industry and U.S. Forest Service. Legislative champions include Reps. Lori Chavez-Deremer (R-OR) and Gluesenkamp-Perez (D-WA) on the House side, and Sens. Angus King (I-ME) and James Risch (R-ID).

Please encourage candidates to support the following potential provisions in the Farm Bill: Hardwood Export Promotion Funding – Securing funding for export programs that support the hardwood industry is always at the top of our Farm Bill list. The Hardwood Federation strongly supports the bipartisan Agriculture Export Promotion Act of 2023, which would essentially double the funding for the MAP and FMD programs that fund American Hardwood Export Council operations. Budget constraints will make it tough for doubled funding to pass, but the federation continues to advocate aggressively for continued funding for both programs at increased or current levels. Timber Innovation for Building Rural Communities Act – This bipartisan, bicameral bill, sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Reps. Andrea Salinas (D-OR), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez

Be on the lookout for Hardwood Federation e-mails and texts providing additional opportunities to reach out directly to your members of Congress on these and other legislative actions. Visit hardwoodfederation.com for a link to send a letter to your member of Congress.

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Government Affairs (Continued)

Another bill that potentially could be included in the Farm Bill is the Hardwood Access and Development Program. In an important milestone for the hardwood sector, Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) have sponsored HR 6880, the Hardwood Products Access and Development Program (HAP) bill in the House. • The program would support research efforts related to the environmental and health benefits of domestically produced hardwood products. • Eligible entities include non-profit organizations serving the U.S. hardwood sector (including the Real American Hardwood Coalition and other hardwood-focused associations), universities, and research organizations. • Research related to the environmental and health benefits of domestic hardwood products, research related to consumer attitudes and knowledge of hardwood products, promotion of research to the public and potential consumers, and demonstration projects highlighting environmental and health benefits of hardwood products all are included as potential activities related to the HAP. • Up to $25 million over five years in funding is included in the bill language.

We are very pleased to have a House bill and now are focused on getting a companion bill in the Senate, which will be necessary for even a chance of getting the bill folded into the Farm Bill. Ask current Senate members to sponsor a companion bill and ask House members to add their names as co-sponsors. Visit hardwoodfederation.com for a link to send a letter to your member of Congress. Be on the lookout for Hardwood Federation e-mails and texts providing additional opportunities to reach out directly to your members of Congress on these and other legislative actions. Check out our website for information on all the key issues we are tracking. Dana Lee Cole is the executive director at the Hardwood Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based hardwood industry trade association that represents thousands of hardwood businesses in every state in the United States and acts as the industry advocacy voice on Capitol Hill. She can be reached at dana.cole@hardwoodfederation.com.


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Trade shows can be a powerful marketing and sales tool for your business. From large industry-specific events, like the NWFA Expo taking place in New Orleans this month to the many local and regional home shows in your area, each is unique in its audience, purpose, and benefits. solutions for your business. Many companies plan product launches to coincide with the larger trade shows, so you see design trends come to life in real time. Whether you check out a new line of wood flooring at a booth or learn about a new finishing technique in an education session, you surely will walk away with some inspiration. Events like these are filled with the latest design trends and

How to Make the Most of Your TRADE SHOW EXPERIENCE


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By Brittany Stout

So, how can you make the most of your trade show experience? Whether you’re an exhibitor or an attendee, the value you get is directly related to the effort you put in. Take into consideration these tips when mapping out your trade show strategy. FOR VENDORS/EXHIBITORS Commit Early – Don’t let exhibitor opportunities sneak up on you or, worse yet, pass you by. Most shows occur annually, so you already should be aware of this year’s dates. Plus, committing early can sometimes save you money on registration. You will have ample time to plan your marketing and sales strategy to get the most out of the investment. Bring Your A-Game – Just showing up isn’t enough to ensure success. Create a plan for your booth setup, what materials and branded items you want on hand, and who you will send to represent your business to other vendors and attendees.

Set Clear Goals – Without tangible (and realistic) goals, how will you know if your trade show experience was successful? Before the doors open on day one, be clear about what you hope to accomplish and have a plan that will put you in the best position to reach those goals. Be Proactive, Not Reactive – Trade shows are designed to drive members of your target audience directly to you. But to capture their attention and spark conversation, you need to have a proactive outreach strategy. What can you have at your booth to draw people in? Games, prizes, and giveaways can help make you stand out. Be sure to also “step out from behind your booth” to partake in other aspects of the trade show. Take advantage of any vendor networking receptions, and make the rounds to visit other vendors, too. Treat It Like a Treasure Hunt – Embrace the lifelong learner mentality and push yourself to find new ideas, tools, and products to help serve your customers and improve your business. This is an especially great opportunity to hunt for new products and design trends in wood flooring.


Design Trends (Continued) FOR ATTENDEES

Take Following-Up Seriously – As you connect with other businesses and vendors at a trade show, you must live up to your word about following up after the event. At a minimum, a thoughtful email thank you note will reinforce your connection. If you talked about scheduling a meeting, do it. Or, if you have a follow-up question, ask it. Consider this advice as you map out your trade show strategy for 2024. Whether you’re exhibiting or attending, a ton of value can be gained by attending these events with the right approach and mindset. Most importantly, have fun and be authentic. Brittany Stout is the builder specialist and designer at Touch of Color Flooring, a family-built and operated business with locations in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and Richmond, Virginia. Touch of Color has six core divisions: Builder, Multifamily, Senior Living, Commercial, Retail, and Design, and it services seven states throughout the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic. Learn more at touchofcolorflooring.com.

Know Your Purpose – Lose the mindset of being “just an attendee.” You are a critical part of the event. And it’s an investment for your business and your own time to attend a trade show. Be clear on what you hope to gain from this experience, then plan your actions accordingly. Know the schedule, show up early, and stay late as needed so that you get to experience it all. Show Up Ready to Learn – Think about it this way: your customers are relying on you to get as much value out of this trade show as possible. Because this is the value you can, in turn, deliver back to them. They need you to identify new design trends, test new products, and connect with other businesses. You Are Your Brand – Assume you will be making lots of first impressions and having meaningful conversations. This means picking out attire that will represent your brand in a positive light. Wearing branded apparel isn’t just for exhibitors. As an attendee, consider a polo shirt or jacket with your company’s name.

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PARTIES, DATES, AND TERM The contract must identify the parties who are involved – namely your company and the vendor. For

As a business, it is important to review any contract thoroughly before signing. Contracts are legally binding agreements and you want to make sure you are protecting your company properly. Any time you or your company agree to take some action or make a payment in exchange for anything of value, a legal contract has been created, even if the agreement does not seem like a formal contract. This article focuses on some of the common provisions in vendor contracts, what you need to be aware of, and why these clauses matter.


example, if your company’s legal name is Wood is Good, Inc., the contract should include that full name. The contract also should specify the term – typically having both a start date and end date. However, some contracts may not include an end date, and instead continue on until terminated by one of the parties. All deadlines and delivery dates should be included here as well.

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By Iqra Mushtaq

SCOPE OF WORK The scope of the work or the nature of the relationship should be stated clearly in the contract. This means a thorough description of the goods or services that the


vendor is going to supply to your company. Keep in mind that this is the description on which it will be based as to whether the vendor is or is not doing the work on which the compensation is based, so being specific is important.

TOTAL PRICE The contract should specify the


specific dollar figure that will be due and when. This could include the total cost for the services rendered, the price for


the goods purchased, or any other monetary information relevant to the specific interaction. Make sure you are aware of when payments are due and of any late fees and penalties that may apply. Ideally, the payment schedule should correlate to the deadlines and delivery dates. TERMINATION Ensure that there are contract provisions that address when your company and when the vendor can end the contract. The contract should give the details of what qualifies as a reason for contract termination. These reasons usually are broken down into “for cause” clauses and “for convenience” clauses. Both types of provisions are important for your business. Termination for cause clauses allow parties to terminate a contract due to the other party’s inaction or actions or a breach of contract. In most cases, one party must submit written notice to the other party to terminate the contract. There may be other steps involved in the case of a breach of contract, such as a cure period for the breaching party to cure the issue that has arisen. So, if a delivery was to be made by a certain date and it has not yet been made, the notice would remind the other party of the due date and give them an opportunity to “cure” the issue by delivering the product, and if they fail to do so thereafter, the contract may be terminated. Termination for convenience clauses allow your company to terminate a contract for any reason even when a breach has not occurred. A termination for convenience clause is included 4

in contracts since it allows for parties to end their responsibilities in a way that typically does not lead to litigation or harm to either party. This provision should state what notice is required and whether the vendor can charge any payments for completed work, as well as if your company will be given a refund of payments for work not yet completed by the vendor.

AUTO-RENEWALS In some contracts, there is a provision that the term will renew automatically unless certain conditions occur or if the contract is not canceled. If the termination provision allows either party to terminate


the contract for convenience, then the auto-renewal provision has very little impact as even if the term renews, there is a right to terminate for convenience. However, if the contract does not allow termination for convenience and instead only allows termination for cause upon a breach of the other party, then the renewal of the term will have a significant impact. Therefore, if the auto-renewal does not provide any substantive benefit, it may be worth it to remove the auto-renewal provision from the contract and to do business on an order-by-order basis.

the magazine of the national wood flooring association


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