How can a flooring contractor best work with their client to get floorcoverings installed to the best possible standard? Darren Robinson has the answer.
THE flooring industry continues to remain busy and we’re happy to see plenty of innovative and challenging projects progressing. On every project, a flooring contractor should aim to work with their client to get the floorcoverings installed to the best possible standard, while sticking to the programmed works to fit in with other trades. If you can manage both of these, you’ve met the client’s most important requirements.
But achieving these objectives alone can still be a challenge. If the subfloor preparation products are subpar and so is the service they come with, there’s little a contractor can do except end that relationship and aim for a better one next time. By then though, choosing the wrong suppliers has already negatively impacted your relationship with a client.
That’s why it’s vital to choose a supplier with good products and trustworthy technical support that can provide the experience and expertise your project needs.
To provide a successful service, a manufacturer’s technical team needs to offer a proactive and reactive approach. The proactive aspect involves good planning of duties and site visits, clear communication, and a well-balanced, professional working regime. The reactive side will often be the one that divides the good from the great. A technical team can receive various information and requests throughout a project’s timeline.
Providing solutions while still keeping a project on schedule requires more than just knowledge and experience, as it’s here where skills and adaptability show their value. Before selecting a supplier, it is worth searching for evidence of its technical team demonstrating their expertise, such as in project case studies, which might be published by either the supplier themselves or by previously satisfied clients.
We monitor all the tasks that are requested and carried out by the Bostik technical team each year and this helps us undertake a detailed analysis in order to futureproof the department. Although we perform various tasks to ensure a successful and long-lasting installation, the most common task within the flooring sector is moisture testing of subfloors. Imagine how many are carried out each year – these vital tests help prevent thousands of flooring failures.
The old adage that ‘a workman is only as good as his tools’ still holds true today, so investing in up-to-date equipment is vital for any technical team. The right range of tools will ensure they’re fully equipped to provide the tailored service that the flooring industry should expect from a manufacturer’s technical services team. It also helps in providing the most efficient service, minimising delays or downtime and reducing the need for additional site visits.
When it comes to moisture testing, many contractors have become familiar with hygrometers but manufacturers will also maintain alternative testing equipment – at Bostik, this includes Tramex quantitative moisture meters and carbide bomb test kits. While a hygrometer accurately assesses relative humidity (%RH) by measuring the water vapour present in the air, a non-invasive moisture meter will locate areas where these should be placed, providing an accurate reading at the highest recorded reading.
Although a carbide bomb (or CM) is a destructive test that requires the removal of a sample of screed, in some cases it can be the only suitable test for use with certain types of screeds, so this can be extremely useful. It’s always advisable to have skilled and trained members of a technical service team on hand to assess the results of these tests to help reduce the number of failures.
A manufacturer’s technical team should be the cornerstone of a business within our industry. Think of them as almost like a first responder, who can act quickly to provide solutions for your projects. Contractors are offered this service free-of-charge, so we urge anyone who hasn’t made the connection with your technical support team to take advantage of the opportunity.
The expertise shared can be invaluable and you can continue to assist manufacturers by passing on that information to your team, helping increase knowledge and standards across the flooring industry as a whole.