Hardwood Floors February/March 2017

FEB/MAR 2017

CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

HOW SAFE IS YOUR DATA? MINIMIZING MOISTURE FROM SUB FLOORS TECHNICAL FOCUS: RH & WOOD

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More than a beautiful floor. A delighted customer.

YOUR REPUTATION IS OUR INSPIRATION. Since 1898, generations of contractors have counted on DuraSeal ® to deliver the highest quality wood floor coatings. You know DuraSeal Quick Coat as simply the best stain on the market. And we know there is only one way to best protect your Quick Coat stain – by using premium DuraSeal Water-Based finishes.

For your nearest distributor and more information, visit our website or call 1-800-364-1359.

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2 hardwood floors www.hardwoodf loorsmag.com | THIS FLOOR | RED OAK WITH QUICK COAT CHESTNUT + DURACLEAR MAX SATIN |

CONTENTS

O N T H E C O V E R

Supporting Wounded Veterans One Floor at a Time | By Anita Howard The Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program has not only had a lasting impact on the veterans it serves, but the NWFA member volunteers as well. 36

Grow Your Social Media Presence, Grow Your Business By Katrina Olson The six platforms you should be using right now. 44

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What Does it Mean to be a Good Corporate Citizen? | By Katrina Olson How is your company making a positive impact on your community?

PUBLISHING PARTNERS

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CONTENTS

Tommy Maxwell | Chairman Michael Martin | CEO Anita Howard | COO Bree Urech-Boyle | CFO Brett Miller | VP, Education & Certification NWFA LEADERSHIP

Industry Insights: 18 Government Affairs

Management of our Federal Forest Lands and the impact on U.S.-based timber supplies. 20 Designer Insights New design trends in hardwood flooring for 2017.

By Dana Cole

PUBLICATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE Julie Russell, Chair & Board Liaison | Glitsa, a division of Rudd Company Rose Mary Cummings | Maxwell Hardwood Flooring Len Daubler | Shaw Industries, Inc. Galen Fitzel Avi Hadad | Avi’s Hardwood Floors Inc.

By Emily Morrow Finkell

Business Best Practices:

22 Tax Basics It’s that time again…here are some best practices for preparing your taxes.

Lenny Hall | Endurance Floor Company, Inc. Kevin Mullany | Benchmark Wood Floors, Inc. Jenny Riddle | Distinctive Hardwood Floors Adam Williams | Palo Duro Hardwoods

By Bree Urech-Boyle

25 Sales Savvy The seven best sales questions…ever. 27 Customer Corner Handling moisture-related issues as a contractor or retailer.

By Paul Reilly

PUBLICATION TEAM

Stacy Brown | Publisher/Editor | stacy.brown@nwfa.org Brett Miller | Technical Editor | brett.miller@nwfa.org Laura Boyle | Creative Director | laura.boyle@nwfa.org Megan Lhamon | Industry News Editor | megan.lhamon@nwfa.org Katie Schenk | Media Production | katie.schenk@nwfa.org Jodi O’Toole | Web Development | jodi.otoole@nwfa.org

By Kjell Nymark

30 Technology How secure is your data?

By Jodi O’Toole

At the Site: 47 Technical Troubleshooting Understanding relative humidity and wood.

111 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd. Chesterfield, Missouri 63005 P : 800.422.4556 Local : 636.519.9663 F: 636.519.9664 E: news@hardwoodfloorsmag.com W: www.hardwoodfloorsmag.com

By Brett Miller

51 Subfloor Focus Different types of underlayments for moisture control and how each can affect installation.

By Roger Barker

55 Tech Talk Installing wood floors in dry climates. 57 Health & Safety Focus Choosing the right respirator for the job.

By Jason Elquest

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Roger Barker Bree Urech-Boyle Dana Cole Jason Elquest Emily Morrow Finkell Lenny Hall Anita Howard Megan Lhamon Jason Lunn Michael Martin Tommy Maxwell Brett Miller Kjell Nymark Katrina Olson

By Jason Lunn & Rebecca Schumann

Jodi O’Toole Stephanie Owen Roy Reichow Paul Reilly Aaron Schaalma Rebecca Schumann

60 Unique Techniques Dealing with out of level transitions.

By Lenny Hall

Also in this Issue:

ADVERTISING SALES

6 Chairman’s Cut

By Tommy Maxwell

8 Wood Stock 63 NWFA Resources 69 Product Focus: Adhesives and Moisture Control Systems 72 New Products 74 Ad Index 75 Final Coat: CEO’s Message

Libby White Johnston Media & Advertising Sales libby.johnston@nwfa.org | 337.794.9232

Hardwood Floors Magazine (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 without charge to its member companies and their employees, as well as qualified individuals throughout the wood flooring industry. Publication office: 111 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63005. Phone: (800) 422-4556. Printing office: Walsworth 306 N. Kansas Ave., Marceline, MO 64658. Printed in the U.S.A. Standard postage paid at St. Louis, MO, and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Hardwood Floors Magazine, 111 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63005. 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. Copyright © 2017 by National Wood Flooring Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

By Michael Martin

FOLLOW US:

hardwood floors

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ZERO VOCs

Bona Adhesives A Solid Foundation

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CHAIRMAN’S CUT By Tommy Maxwell Chairman, NWFA

A New Chapter

knowledge to help you stand out among your competition. You also will see a completely new website at hardwoodfloorsmag.com. This digital version of the magazine provides the same type of in-depth content as the print version. Best of all, you can access it from anywhere in the world, on any electronic device. These changes expedite our ability to address technical and business issues we see happening in the marketplace through our ongoing work educating installers. The management transition also allows advertising proceeds to be invested directly back into our industry. These changes present tremendous opportunities for NWFA and its members. We encourage you to share your ideas with us about what you’d like to see covered within these pages. Your feedback will shape the future of Hardwood Floors Magazine and our industry as a whole.

While you may not have realized it, when you opened this issue of Hardwood Floors Magazine , you opened a new chapter for our publication. This edition marks a significant step in the magazine’s journey. For the first time, Hardwood Floors Magazine is being produced in-house by NWFA staff. It is a big change, and one that we embrace as we seek ways to better serve our industry. With this management shift, you will see some other changes as well: a bold new look, more technical articles based on industry guidelines, business best practices, timely industry news, and a focus on our members and how they are impacting our industry. Our main objective for the magazine remains the same: to provide the entire supply chain with the information they need to stay competitive and to succeed. Our contributors include industry and publishing professionals who share a passion for our industry. Their insights and expertise will enhance your

FEB/MAR 2017

CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

HOW SAFE IS YOUR DATA? MINIMIZING MOISTURE FROM SUB FLOORS TECHNICAL FOCUS: RH & WOOD

A bold new look, more technical articles based on industry guidelines, business best practices, timely industry news, and a focus on our members and how they are impacting our industry.

Visit www.hardwoodfloorsmag.com to find the latest industry headlines, technical tips, expert blogs, issues, and products.

FOLLOW US:

Our social channels have combined with the National Wood Flooring Association to help achieve our goal of being a more unified voice for the industry.

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From Sea to Shining Sea

has been properly kiln dried, manufactured and graded. NOFMAmembers are located right here in the USA and Canada,

Anthony Oak Flooring, Inc. Buchanan Hardwoods, Inc./Manufacturer of Elite Brand Flooring Carroll Hardwood Co.

7 Ouachita Hardwood Flooring Quarter-Sawn Flooring, L.L.C. Roberts Wood Products, Inc. Shaw Hardwood Flooring Smith Flooring, Inc. Somerset Wood Products Superior Hardwood Flooring by Herwynen SawMill, Ltd. Mullican Flooring the magazine of the nat ional wood f loor ing associat ion Miller and Company Missouri Hardwood (Since 1911) by Hardwoods of Missouri, L.L.C. Monticello Flooring & LumberCo.

Cumberland Lumber and Mfg. Hassell & Hughes LumberCo.

Lewis Brothers LumberCo. Lewis Lumber &Milling, Inc. Magnolia Flooring Mill/Chickasaw Brand Maxwell Hardwood Flooring McMinnville Manufacturing Co. Middle Tennessee LumberCo.

Wood

Contractor Corner

END-GRAIN FLOORS Piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons unveiled the company’s new global flagship, Steinway Hall, at 1133 Avenue of the Americas in April 2016. Nestled in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the stunning two-level retail and performance space was designed to bring together Steinway’s remarkable heritage with exciting new musical and technological innovations in a contemporary setting. Totaling 19,000 square feet, the flagship not only serves as a retail space, but also houses a 74-seat recital hall with a state-of-the-art custom Steinway Lyngdorf sound system; live-streaming capabilities that allow musicians and audiences from around the world to connect; rehearsal studios for artists and students; a recording studio where performances for the Steinway Spirio are captured; and the fabled Steinway & Sons Concert & Artist Piano Bank. Designed by Selldorf Architects, Steinway Hall includes multiple details that reference the materials, craftsmanship, and instruments that the company is lauded for, from 13,000 square feet of end-grain white oak flooring that recalls former iterations of Steinway Hall to recital hall seats covered in an Imperial Yellow fabric that is the same color found inside the action of a Steinway & Sons piano. Other features include a STRIKE A CHORD By Stacy Brown

• Jorge (Tito) Boror, owner of Providence, Rhode Island-based Rende Hardwood Flooring, started a weekly “Floor Talk” segment where industry professionals can talk shop through his weekly #Floortalk post on Instagram (@callmetito). In each post, Tito suggests a few topics and lets the conversation with others flow from there. • A recent article written by Brett Miller, NWFA VP of Education and Certification, highlights the importance of recognizing the federal law that requires wood floors in homes built before 1978 to be tested for lead prior to refinishing. Test kits are available to determine the presence of lead in floor finishes and other architectural coatings. Failure to abide by local, state and federal guidelines for handling and disposal of lead-based products can results in significant fines. Visit epa.gov/lead for more details. • OSHA has issued final regulations to provide employers with more flexibility when it comes to protecting their workers. The goal in revising the previous rules is to reduce fatalities and injuries on the job site. Visit OSHA.gov for more details. employees and the positive return your investment in your employees can have on your business. The article suggests training employees who are vital assets to the success of your business is key to helping them stay current with the latest information in our ever-evolving business world. Visit spencerstuart.com for more details. • The Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, which were set to go into effect on Dec. 1, have been delayed per a decision granted by the federal district court. Visit dol.gov for more details. • An article published by Spencer Stuart stresses the importance of training

custom, bentwood decorative ceiling, and acoustic paneling in the concert hall that evokes the exquisite woods used to make each Steinway. “This is only the third Steinway Hall to be built in New York over the past 163 years, and it was important that we created an experience that illustrates our company’s rich history while incorporating modern technology,” says Bill Rigos, facility manager, Steinway & Sons.

SEND US YOUR NEWS Submit your company news to news@hardwoodfloorsmag.com

FLOOR FOCUS “The end-grain block we chose for the space replicates the flooring from the original hall location and has a clean, contemporary feel,” says Rigos.

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Stock

Manufacturer Meanderings

• Shaw Industries Group, Inc. completed the purchase of US Floors, Inc. According to the company, the acquisition will further expand Shaw’s position in the resilient luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and hard surface markets. • Mullican Flooring has partnered with Scott Brothers Entertainment to provide hardwood flooring exclusively for their latest HGTV show, “Brothers Take New Orleans.” Acknowledgement Awards. Intermountain Wood Products won the award for Best Continuous Sales Growth, Brad Myers of Jaeckle Wholesale Distributors won the award for Distributor Salesperson of the Year and Jaeckle Wholesale Distributors won the award for Distributor of the Year. • Mohawk Flooring announced a new marketing program for its aligned retailers in 2017 through a new program on Houzz Inc., an online platform for home remodeling and design. • Bona US released its Bona Sand and Finish Training School schedule for the 2017 calendar year. New to the schedule this year are four Spanish-only dedicated trainings. Visit bona.com for a full list of dates. • Google and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization launched a digital tool, called Collect Earth, to help countries track land use change related to deforestation more accurately. • Apple announced important progress in their efforts to protect U.S. working forests. Apple has partnered with The Conservation Fund to donate to the conservation easement across more than 32,000 acres of working forest. • The South Carolina Forestry Commission estimated $205 million in Hurricane Matthew-related damages to South Carolina’s timber resources, primarily in the state’s eastern half . • Mercier Wood Flooring announced the winners of the annual Mercier

Photos courtesy of Oregon Lumber Company.

The 3 / 4 -inch thick, 3 5 / 8 -inch wide white oak was manufactured by Oregon Lumber Company. The family-owned company, located 180 miles south of Seattle, makes solid/engineered and end-grain flooring for a wide range of applications – from small projects to large – including residential and commercial. Kaswell Flooring Systems, Oregon Lumber’s east coast representative, was instrumental in working with the architect on the project. The product was manufactured from lumber supplied by Sam Carey Lumber Company of Germantown, Tennessee. As part of the process, each block is carefully selected, precision machined, kiln dried and turned on end. The individual end-grain blocks are then assembled together with a soft aluminum wire spline into flexible strips. “Since pianos are frequently rolled across the showroom floor, endurance was another key consideration in selecting the product and manufacturer,” says Rigos. “Oregon Lumber makes a superior product that met our specifications and passed durability tests. The floors have been in place for almost a year now and the product has held up very well.” “The new Steinway & Sons New York headquarters represents not only their continued 163-year-old commitment to building the most iconic brand of pianos but also shows Steinway’s worldwide support of the musical arts,” says Charles Couch, Oregon Lumber’s president and owner. “It was an honor for Oregon Lumber Company to be a part of the next 90-year Steinway vision. We are confident the oak end-grain flooring will stand the test of time alongside Steinway & Sons pianos.” PROJECT DETAILS Architect: Selldorf Architects (New York, New York); Lumber supplier: Sam Carey Lumber Company (Germantown, Tennessee); Manufacturer’s Representative: Kaswell Flooring Systems (Ashland, Massachusetts); Flooring manufacturer: Oregon Lumber Company (Lake Oswego, Oregon).

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Wood Stock

Real Antique Wood owners meet with Tilman Fertitta in the board room. Photo courtesy of CNBC.

Steinway Hall. 000 square

Real Antique Wood Featured on CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer

By Stacy Brown

Real Antique Wood’s information on file for future reference. Shortly after, a television production company contacted Gary and Lisa for a Skype interview. “I was a little confused; I was thinking what does a production company have to do with Landry’s? I didn’t know what was next. I thought maybe they were going to do a show and they were going to buy some wood from us,” says Gary. “We couldn’t be happier. As a small start-up, this is a life changing opportunity, and we get to share our passion more broadly.” As it turns out, Real Antique Wood had caught the attention of chairman and CEO of Landry’s, Inc. and host of Billion Dollar Buyer, Tilman Fertitta. Fertitta oversees a number of nationally known dining and entertainment brands, including McCormick & Schmick’s and Golden Nugget Hotels & Casinos. With these and other businesses under his purview, he has tremendous buying power. In each episode, he spends time with two small businesses, sampling their products and getting to know their owners.

Real Antique Wood was founded on a dream when owners Gary and Lisa Horvath saw the opportunity to salvage old wood and give it new life. With a long history in the wood flooring industry through ATC Hardwood Flooring, it was the natural next step to open a reclaimed wood mill. “We love old wood. We also love a good story,” says Gary. “When we hear of old barns that are being demolished, we jump at the chance to save them. We rescue this wood and then we turn it into something remarkable. We like to think that we are preserving and continuing the story of every beam, barn door, and board.” Little did Gary realize when he made a casual suggestion to one of his team members that she should make a sales call to Landry’s, Inc. that the next chapter in the Real Antique Wood story would include a foray into Hollywood stardom. Gary shared, “I enjoy watching shows like The Prophet, Shark Tank and Billion Dollar Buyer. A couple of months ago while watching Billion Dollar Buyer, I realized that Landry’s used a lot of reclaimed wood in their restaurants, hotels and casinos, and thought it would be worth our time to reach out and see what their needs were.” So the sales team contacted one of Landry’s interior designers for potential business. The designer said they would put

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NWFAAwardWinners CHOOSE BOSTIKADHESIVES ONTHEIR PROJECTS

NWFA2015 Floor-of-the-Year: Best Commercial Design: OuradaDesigns I Adhesive: BostikGreenForce™

101Winners USEBOSTIK . Since 1999, Bostik has been used on 101 of theNWFA’s Floors-of-the-Year, over65%of all award-winning, glue-down floors. In the 30 years of the NWFA, the industry has evolved. In 1989, Bostik introduced Bostik’s BEST ® , the first moisture-curing polyurethane hardwood flooring adhesive. In 2010, Bostik revolutionized hardwood flooring installation by offering the first adhesive & moisture barrier so effective that it did not require moisture testing of the concrete slab, Ultra-Set ® SingleStep™. Bostik’s industry-changing innovation continued in 2014 with the introduction of AXIOS™ Tri-Linking™ polymer technology. Found in GreenForce™ and Ultra-Set ® SingleStep2™, AXIOS™ products offer a Lifetime Warranty for UNLIMITED moisture vapor protection (no slab moisturetesting required) andareeasytocleanoffofprefinishedflooring, even after cure. Combine this with Bostik’s Thickness Control™ Spacer Technology in Ultra-Set ® SingleStep2™, and you have the highest feature set available from the biggest and most trusted name in hardwood flooring adhesives.

Adhesives used for award-winning floors

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250,000 board feet of reclaimed wood was ordered for use in three Saltgrass Steakhouse Restaurants. Photo courtesy of Real Antique Wood.

The episode aired Jan. 3, and with amazing results. In the boardroom, Fertitta placed an order with Real Antique Wood for benches for his new Italian restaurant, Grotto Ristorante, totaling $9,850 and also offered to purchase 250,000 board feet for three of his Saltgrass Steak House restaurants bringing the total order to more than $600,000.

After sharing his expertise and pushing for improvements to the firms’ products, Fertitta decides whether to place a significant purchase order with one of the companies, both or neither. After a thorough review of the company and completion of multiple contracts and paperwork, Real Antique Wood was cast as a small business for the show. Next thing the team knew, filming was underway followed by a trip to Houston to tape the boardroom meeting. “It was fun and they let us be ourselves; we didn’t have to act,” says Gary. “Tilman gave us a lot of good business suggestions related to handling our inventory, producing a print catalogue and finding good employees. He really wanted us to be prepared for the future and to cue up more business.” “I had such a great time with the whole experience,” added Lisa. “We know that we have a really good business here and hearing it from someone like Tilman who has billions of dollars is so cool. It’s great to learn from somebody like him.”

Benches for Fertitta’s new restaurant Grotto Ristorante. Photo courtesy of Real Antique Wood.

As a result of the order the team has expanded operations by adding an additional drying kiln and has one more on order. “We couldn’t be happier,” says Gary. “As a small start-up, this is a life changing opportunity, and we get to share our passion more broadly.” He continued, “I love what I do; our wood is sourced from farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. When we arrive at the site, it’s not just a chance to gather materials,

but also an opportunity to learn about the barn, family, and community surrounding the barn. Oftentimes we receive old family photos, antiques from inside the barn, and a brief history lesson that we’re excited to share with the future owners of the wood.”

Watch the episode at: cnbc.com/billion-dollar-buyer.

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The Best demand the Best

I’ve used everything out there, but Infinity is my go-to finish. It looks great, wears well and it’s easy to use. I can even let my new guys coat a floor with it and it’ll look great. – Brian Raico, Flooring Specialties

My favorite finish is Glitsa MultiKote. It gives the wood a nice, warm color. It’s durable and simple to use and it has great flow so you can apply it in many different ways. If you’re looking for a stress-free finish that makes you money, then Glitsa MultiKote is the one for you. – Joshua Crossman, NWFA Master Craftsman / NWFA Certified Professional Installer, Sand & Finisher

GlitsaMax2 is a real forgiving 2-component waterborne that flows great and has excellent open time. I can trust that it will deliver a great durable finished product to my customer every time. – Jeremy Summerford, Faith Hardwood Flooring

Conversion Varnishes l Waterborne l Oil-Modified Polyurethane

Join the discussion and upload your Glitsa floor photos www.glitsa.com • (800) 783-4444

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By professionals. For professionals.

Wood Stock

By Stacy Brown A current exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. is challenging the notion that wood is an antiquated building material. Timber City was designed to demonstrate the wide range of benefits offered by cutting-edge methods of timber construction, including surprising strength, fire resistance, sustainability and beauty. The exhibition opened in September 2016 and will run through May 21, 2017. “Timber City” Highlights Wood’s Contruction Potential

Timber City illustrates the proven value of timber as a modern, strong, and versatile building material through featured projects. Curated and designed by Yugon Kim and Tomomi Itakura, founding partners of the Boston-based architectural design firm ikd, the exhibition examines the recent boom in timber construction worldwide and highlights U.S.-based projects, including the two competition winners of the recent Tall Wood Building Prize, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This immersive installation examines the recent innovations of timber technology, especially cross-laminated timber (CLT)

and explores how U.S.-based timber production can help revitalize rural

Photo by Yassine al Mansouri, courtesy National Building Museum.

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190 Wilson Mill Road | Monticello, Arkansas 71655 Phone 870-367-2436 | Fax 870-367-2968 www.maxwellhardwoodflooring.com FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED SINCE 1992

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Pinnacle floors have texture you can feel with your eyes.

This vertical wood panel stands 64‘ tall. Photo by Yassine al Mansouri,

courtesy National Building Museum.

manufacturing communities and benefit urban centers in a wide range of ways. As the only building material that can both reduce carbon emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere, timber is uniquely positioned to move us toward more sustainable, healthy, and beautiful buildings and cities. As part of the exhibition’s run, two American-manufactured massive timber panels have been installed in the National Building Museum’s historic Great Hall. The vertical panel stands 64 feet tall, soaring to the Museum’s third floor level, and the horizontal panel is 40 feet wide. Timber City is funded in part by the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board. “Timber City” Highlights Wood’s Contruction Potential (Continued)

Earthy. Warm. Ar tist ic. The ar t of f looring. Pinnacle is hardwood flooring at its best in style, color and texture, handcrafted to perfection. Sourced responsibly the world over, and

produced to our stringent standards, Pinnacle brings the feel of hardwoods and all of your expectations together as never before.

F L O O R I N G E N R I C H E D B Y A R T I S T R Y A P R O D U C T O F S W I F F - T R A I N Contact: info@pinnacleflooring.com

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Pinnacle Ad-Hardwood Floors Magazine.indd 1

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Wood Stock

A Puzzling Approach to Wood Waste By Megan Lhamon

Handcrafted puzzles made of leftover engineered flooring.

SEND US YOUR STORY Do you have a unique way to handle wood waste? Send your story to stacy.brown@nwfa.org.

Using some of Toby’s leftover engineered flooring, Linda hand-painted pictures on the boards. Toby followed with a scroll saw to turn them into one- of-a-kind jigsaw puzzles. The children weren’t the only ones who benefited from the puzzles though. “These fun projects were a great way for me to practice scroll sawing,” says Toby. “The puzzles survived the use and abuse at school and now my wife would like 18 more!”

Former NWFA Regional Instructor and DuraSeal employee, Toby Merrill, had a slightly different project at hand when his wife Linda asked for his help in creating some puzzles for her kindergarten, first and second grade Physical Education students. “Wood was the only reasonable material for these puzzles because I knew they had to somehow withstand a bunch of 5-8 year olds,” says Linda.

• Sika Corporation announced its new business relationship with The Cronin Company. In December, The Cronin Company began distributing the Sika Interior Finishing product range, including Sika’s commercial and residential solutions for wood flooring adhesives, moisture mitigation, subfloor preparation and self-leveling underlayments, in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. • Eric Butler, NWFA Certified Inspector, joined the Outside Sales Team at Horizon Forest Products, Beltsville Branch. Eric spent the last 22 years as a salesman, manager, and lead mechanic with Beers Flooring. DISTRIBUTOR DOINGS

RETAILER ROUNDUP • R.J. Brunelli & Co., LLC announced that a Floor & Décor superstore will anchor a new retail center, Richmond Plaza, in Woodbridge, New Jersey. • Phillips’ Floors has taken the initiative to invest in their employees’ growth using NWFA University and requiring coursework

• Fishman Flooring Solutions named Bill Mabeus to the newly created position of Executive Vice President. Mabeus will be responsible for managing Fishman’s six operating regions and will be more active in strategic planning, and employee development and training.

• Horizon Forest Products opened its eleventh branch in Houston, Texas. This location offers the same products and services the company has been providing for more than 75 years. Alan Blake will lead this location.

to be complete in order to be eligible for job promotion.

SUBSCRIBE TO HFM E-NEWS The latest industry news delivered right to your inbox. Visit hardwoodfloorsmag.com for details.

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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

By Dana Cole

Management of our Federal Forest Lands and the Impact on U.S.-Based Timber Supplies

harvested from the national forest system has plummeted over the years, limiting supply, devastating local economies around the forests, and negatively impacting the health of our federal forests. Moreover, the devastation from wildfire on our federal forest holdings is a growing national crisis. What was once a threat confined largely to Western public forests is clearly not anymore, as evidenced by the tragic fires in the Great Smoky Mountains last fall. More than 193 million acres of the National Forest System is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), located within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Forty-six million acres of the Federal Forest System, or 24 percent, are designated as available for timber harvest. Less than half the timber designated for cutting on designated lands is being harvested. From the mid-1950s through the mid-1990s, the average amount of timber harvest from the national forests averaged 10 to 12 billion board feet. During that same time period, the average annual amount of acres burned due to catastrophic wildfire was 3.6 million acres per year. Since 1996, the average amount of timber harvested annually was between 1.5 and 3.3 billion board feet. Since 1996, the average annual amount of acres burned due to catastrophic wildfire was over 6 million acres per year. Wildfire suppression costs currently consume over 50 percent of the Forest Service’s budget, stealing dollars from other

The Hardwood Federation is the voice of the hardwood industry in Washington, D.C. We represent the U.S. hardwood forest products industry before the U.S. Congress and the executive branch, focusing on federal level policies and legislation that impact the economic viability of our sector. The value of associations like the Hardwood Federation is that they foster coordination and focus on issues and initiatives of common concern. The Federation was founded in 2004 by industry leaders from various hardwood sectors that recognized the importance of speaking with a united voice on key issues in our nation’s capital. The unique characteristic of the Hardwood Federation is that we coordinate on those top-level issues that cut across many hardwood industry sectors. The Federation team, all three of us, spend a lot of time working with Congress and their staff on issues that impact the industry most, including access to raw materials and regulations that can strangle business operations. Access to raw materials is one issue that the entire hardwood value chain is concerned about. This is one of the main issues that we have been working on over the last few years and it will continue to be a priority in 2017 as we work with the incoming Congress and Trump Administration. In particular, we are concerned about the management of our federal forest lands and how that management impacts U.S.-based timber supplies. Access to raw materials

DID YOU KNOW? More than 193 million acres of the National Forest System is managed by the U.S. Forest Service

BigStockPhoto ©

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John Dupra of Installers Warehouse, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY, 20), Dan Natkin of Mannington Mills, and Rick Holden of Derr Flooring meet during the September 2016 Hardwood Federation Fly-in to discuss priority measures.

companies, their executives and their employees to help us with reach out and communications. Please join us in our efforts! The more voices in the choir, the louder the sound! Dana Cole is 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 U.S. and acts as the industry’s advocacy voice on Capitol Hill. She can be reached at Dana.Cole@hardwoodfederation.com.

• Additional authority for categorical exclusions in three key areas: Critical response actions, salvage operations, and for meeting forest plan goals for early successional forests. • Separating fire suppression dollars from proactive forest management programs and eliminating “borrowing” of funds from management programs to pay for underfunded fire suppression activities. strong provisions were included as part of an energy bill conference committee negotiation. Significant progress is being made; we just need to close the deal. As we work our way into 2017, we will collaborate with returning and incoming members of Congress and new Administration officials to push hard for action that addresses all of the above. This includes legislation that must work its way through Congress and the White House as well as regulatory change and implementation that can move through federal agencies like the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior. Of course, we cannot do this alone…we depend on the thousands of hardwood We have come close the last couple of years at getting federal forest reform legislation through Congress. In 2016, very favorable legislation passed the House and

management programs, including federal forest timber sales. The Hardwood Federation has been advocating enactment of legislation providing both management improvements and adequate fire suppression budget mechanisms. Our priority measures include: • Utilizing the private sector and their resources to expedite timber sales at every opportunity including maintenance and expansion of Good Neighbor Authority and Stewardship Contracting Programs. • Reasonable reforms to environmental protection programs, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA), which streamline permitting processes and legal challenges for forest management programs, including timber harvest programs, in ways that ensure certainty and reliable time frames for decision making. • Prioritization implementation of streamlined permitting under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA), authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill, to projects that reduce a landscape’s susceptibility to insect infestations or disease.

NWFA CEO Michael Martin, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO, 6), Rep. Billy Long (R-MO, 7), and Darwin Murray of McClain Forest Products at the September Hardwood Federation Fly-in.

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INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

By Emily Morrow Finkell

Designer Insights

New Design Trends in Hardwood Flooring for 2017

or cracked. Shiplap is a word that’s no longer just a word to describe shiplap; it has now become part of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ design aesthetic. Shiplap is also what has led to our seeing hardwood migrating from the floors to the walls in the form of wall boards that instantly add architectural detailing where ho-hum Sheetrock would have ordinarily been hung. From a design perspective, I love the influences that the Gaines couple has brought to market since it makes for a more forgiving, livable, low maintenance and mixable design sensibility that’s also affordable and attainable for any demographic group and style. While most cable television design shows will not give much attention to the flooring, you’ll see it be transformed from an unattractive color of carpet to a neutral hardwood floor or wood visual with rugs layered strategically. I’d love to find a program that can show how easily the right flooring choices can make an old or dated space look incredibly well-styled and up-to-date. Even better would be to create a show that walks viewers through the options that are out there and why each is different.

There are some amazing new shifts in the interiors world for 2017 and more importantly the floors on which we will be walking as well. After 12 months of serious observation and supporting data from sales, it is safe to say that 2017 should be a rewarding year for all of us who have “hung in there” hoping for a more robust economy. Taking the mega-trends into account – the ones that aren’t mere blips on a radar, but lasting and noteworthy in how they impact our choices – manufacturers, flooring retailers, specifiers and designers will need to be tuned in to finding flooring that reveals “character” in new ways. Authenticity, primitive or indigenous designs, and travel-inspired looks are key adjectives when describing the biggest trends. Just look at the major movement that Chip and Joanna Gaines and their urban farmhouses started with design projects on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” Joanna’s choices for the clients on the show have resulted in the carefully curated Magnolia Home brand which includes primitive details, burlap, rustic metal, nailhead accents and lots of wood – painted, distressed and/

Photos courtesy of Emily Morrow Finkell

CHARACTER Sophisticated designs in carpet and rugs that are layered upon American-made hardwood floors.

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So how do you share the most essential attributes of hardwood flooring when we live in a world of instant information? Perhaps we as flooring manufacturers, providers, specifiers and retailers can encapsulate the information and utilize social media as our means to share it. The consumers simply don’t know what they don’t know. There’s a great opportunity for all of us to better educate the end-users. Once someone makes the decision to tackle a home improvement project, specifically flooring, beyond identifying the right product they’re faced with one of the other biggest hurdles ever; visualizing the possibilities. We’ve seen technology empower the consumers’ decisions that were once selected because they were “safe” to those who are now leaning toward super-personalized and bolder options. Pinterest and HOUZZ are great examples of the vehicles that can quickly deliver visual inspiration directly to your front door, whether it’s a rug or wall boards in a niche, we are seeing things change quickly in the ways we all do business. If you can search for it, see it, like it and click on it, it’s yours. We once only used e-commerce for buying books or music, but thanks in a large part to the competitive landscape of shipping, we can now have almost anything delivered relatively easily. It’s going to be an exciting new year and there’s no telling what unexpected things will happen, but one thing is for sure: the floor covering market will continue to evolve further away from mundane wall-to-wall carpet to sophisticated designs in carpet and rugs that are layered upon American-made hardwood floors. Emily Morrow Finkell is an interior designer and CEO of EF Floors & Design, LLC in Dalton, a provider of hardwood floors and home furnishings, and NWFA design contributor. She can be reached at kikermorrow@gmail.com.

In North America, I do think we are seeing a change in attitude and preferences for American-made products and flooring. After this past year’s revelations of how Chinese manufacturers colluded with their customers to mislabel and misrepresent safety of the products for the home, as well as safety of the work environment where they were made, consumers learned the hard way to be vigilant in knowing exactly what we bring into our homes and how it all impacts our health and welfare. Before the “urban farmhouse” movement, the term character meant the imperfections that might have been graded out in the sorting process of wood so that the veneer is clear of any knots or cracks. Today, if you take a poll among consumers and designers, you’ll learn that subtle imperfections or character flaws are considered desirable and many consumers or designers equate character as good. The challenge for us all is knowing how to get to the heart of what someone means when they’re asking for character. Ask lots of questions…and then ask more questions. You could find yourself in a situation where you are giving a customer what they asked for, but not what they wanted. Flooring choices should be given significant time and attention to make sure they’re appropriate for the lifestyle and wear they’ll be given. Today, it’s not difficult to find hardwood floors that can stand alone or pair easily with soft surfaces in order to create a gorgeous interior instantly. So often, there’s a misconception that site-installed hardwood floors are just better as a whole and are the only way to get a custom-designed look. But you can also find factory-finished hardwood floors that look custom-designed and are incredibly resistant to surface scratches. Because the manufacturer applies the finish treatment to the wood, they are able to use very effective commercial processes that are not available to on-site installers. Typically this consists of layers of aluminum oxide and UV-cured urethane. While site-applied finish warranties last from three to five years, factory finishes will often have warranties of up to 25 years or more.

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BUSINESS BEST PRACTICES

By Bree Urech-Boyle

Tax Basics

Tips for Preparing for Tax Season

income. If you prepare your taxes early, you can see how close your taxable income is to threshold limits for certain deductions. If you are close to one, a small retirement contribution not only increases your chances of not outliving your retirement savings,

We are already a couple of months into 2017, which means tax season is upon us. Do you feel confident about what lies ahead for your 2016 tax return? If you are like many people, you would rather put your head in the sand than think about preparing and completing your tax return. You might reason that there isn’t anything you can do to change it, so you might as well not waste any time thinking about it. While it is true that many tax planning options for 2016 have expired, there are still some things you can do to help your bottom line. Additionally, now is a great time to start thinking about your taxes for the 2017 tax season. Whatever you do, try to not get overwhelmed and take it one step at a time. A little preparation goes a long way. There are many benefits to filing your taxes as early as possible: • Your chances of identity theft increase the later you file • Gives you time to track down missing documents • Allows your tax preparer time to give you more attention before they get busy • Early filers get their refunds much faster (even faster for those who e-file) • See a snapshot of your tax situation and reveal tax savings strategies • Peace of mind. Who wants to deal with that anxiety until April (or later if you extend your return)? Many retirement savings contributions made by the tax filing deadline (April 17, 2017, this year) can help reduce your 2016 taxable THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM

but also could reduce your tax bill significantly. Even if you aren’t close to a deduction income

limit, it will still reduce your taxable income as long as you contribute to an eligible retirement account like a deductible

individual retirement account (IRA). Do you take one of your children to jobs with you? Maybe you pay

them a wage for their time. Your child could put their earned income

into a Roth IRA. Roth IRA contributions grow tax-free, and since you contribute to them

with funds that were already taxed, they can be withdrawn at retirement tax free. This won’t reduce your 2016 taxable income, but compound interest is very powerful, especially for a child in their mid-20s or younger.

HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE?

If you already use accounting software like QuickBooks, then you are off to a good start. Ensuring that all of your bank and credit card statements have been reconciled in your software is a great way to make sure you have accounted for all of your income and expenses. Of course this will not capture any expenses you may have paid in cash, so do your best to

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separate any register receipts that were paid in cash and tell your tax preparer to include those as well. As you go through your bank and credit card statements, make a list of any payments you received that might result in you receiving a 1099 or W-2. If you do work for a company and earn more than $600, you should receive a 1099 and must include that income on your tax return. If you make that checklist early, you can start marking them off as you receive them in the mail. That way you know which ones are missing and can start asking for them in early February. Companies have a deadline of Jan. 31 to postmark your 1099s and W-2s. Keep in mind that your federal return is not the only form due soon. Of course you have the state you live in (unless your state has no income tax), but you also may owe taxes to your municipality. There also will be sales and payroll forms due if applicable to your business. If you haven’t been using accounting software or still feel overwhelmed about your taxes, it might be helpful to contact a trusted accountant as soon as possible. Call them and ask if they have a tax checklist that will help you get organized and think of any deductions you might not know about. They will likely give this to you for free which gives you the opportunity to get a feel for them to see if you want to hire them to file your tax return. Another option is downloading one from the internet. Simply search for “2016 tax return checklist” or look on irs.gov. The IRS website is surprisingly easy to use.

software, then now is a great time to get started. Plus, getting started with 2017 can help you think of things you might have forgotten that apply to your 2016 tax return. QuickBooks gives you the ability to assign a tax line to each item. Over time, you could get dangerously close to being able to complete your tax return. As you get better at analyzing your financial results, you can do more tax planning that could save you big over the years. This could include estimating your tax payments and avoiding giving the government an interest-free loan by receiving a large tax refund each year. This will also help you with tax saving strategies like timing when to purchase new business equipment. • www.irs.gov – contains a wealth of information. The site has a section for all types of businesses, small and large. • Remember that extending your tax return doesn’t extend the time you have to pay. If you don’t pay taxes owed, you will pay a penalty. This doesn’t apply if you are due a refund. • The IRS will never call or email you asking for personal information. When in doubt, hang up and contact them via their contact information on www.irs.gov. Here are some final thoughts to help guide you:

Best wishes for a great 2017!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Bree Urech-Boyle is Chief Financial Officer at the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. She can be reached at bree.urech-boyle@nwfa.org.

Remember that now is a great time to be thinking of your tax situation for 2017. If you aren’t currently using accounting

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