Self-taught installers ‘can learn a thing or two at the Academy’

THE Academy for Excellence in Flooring sees many self-taught flooring installers through its doors all with reportedly one thing in common, a desire to improve their skills in the installation of wood, laminate and LVT floors.

The Academy’s courses are designed to help installers work smarter and faster and teach everything from accurate cutting of stairs to replacing individual boards once the installation is complete. Boosting confidence and making installations 20-30% faster, attending an Academy programme is well worth the investment.

Lee Thompson, technical manager, The Academy for Excellence in Flooring, explains more: ‘We often find self-taught installers will overprice complicated jobs or simply just avoid them altogether. At best this is somewhat deflating for confidence and at worst it is actually damaging to business. Taking a course at the Academy is a way they can gain skills and make sure they are ready for any challenge.’

Stairs are notoriously problematic for wood, laminate and LVT floors and even measuring them accurately can cause problems. With tape measuring woefully inaccurate, and stair spiders only accurate on straight stairs; the Academy teaches what’s described as a simple way to get perfect measurements on all sizes and shapes of stairs with nothing more than a piece of paper pencil and piece of laminate.
With Academy training booths featuring winder and curved stairs, there will be no real-world staircase too difficult to tackle.

In terms of fixing problems, the Academy also adopts a ‘worst case’ approach so that self-taught installers are ready to tackle any on-site problem with fresh-found knowledge and confidence. Teaching how to replace a single damaged panel whether it be laminate, LVT or even nailed down solid, rather than having to remove skirtings and lift the entire floor, is just one example.

‘A damaged plank will often see installers break out in a sweat, but that really need not be the case,’ continues Lee. ‘We’ve a record of seven-and-a-half minutes for taking out and replacing a nailed down solid wood board - the worst kind of floor to have damaged during an installation. The principles are the same no matter what floor, so with the worst-case scenario in the bag, installers can tackle a similar situation with complete confidence.’

For self-taught installers, the Academy’s technical courses reportedly provide an opportunity to improve confidence and most importantly, grow business.