We launched our latest initiative, Fuse Technical, at the Fuse Alliance annual conference held recently in Orlando, Fla. Our goal was to find a way to build a closer relationship with interior designers and architects as it relates to the technical component of flooring. According to a recent survey of interior design professionals, the top three problems that designers experience with flooring installations are improper installation, poor maintenance, and moisture-related product failures. In fact, these three issues account for 74 percent of their flooring installation problems. Additionally, interior design professionals are looking for more trained installers and more help with moisture and installation issues.

We created Fuse Technical to help interior designers effectively solve flooring installation issues with the right technical information so that projects stay on track and on budget. Offered exclusively through Fuse Alliance, Fuse Technical brings flooring installation expertise specifically for commercial interior designers.  

As we discussed at our meeting, today’s projects are more complex than ever. They often include multiple flooring surfaces such as carpet tile, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), sheet vinyl, ceramic tile, and even polished concrete. Fuse members have the expertise to consult with the designer on transition materials as well as specific subfloor requirements that vary by product.  With the rise of moisture-related claims, our members are equipped to offer the right solution for the project.

It wasn’t long ago that commercial flooring jobs were relatively simple; a typical job might have utilized broadloom carpet and vinyl composition tile.  Those days are over. It takes a real flooring expert to understand the intricacies of installing ceramic tile on the floors and walls of bathrooms, rubber tile in the fitness room, LVT in the corridors and lobbies, and carpet tile in the office areas.  Add areas where the designer wants polished concrete and you have all the ingredients for a very complex job.

Since three quarters of the issues that designers have are installation related it makes sense for the flooring contractor to help in the area that they best understand.

Our intent with Fuse Technical is not to influence specifications but to assist in the assembly of the project specifications so that all flooring products fit together and that all subfloor issues are defined prior to the job going out to bid. This will insure that the end user, designer, and general contractor get fair quotes and that all bids cover the same scope of work.

We discussed this initiative with two key influencers in the interior design community.

Tom Marquardt, founder of Marquardt+ in Chicago said: “As a designer who has built my practice and expertise on learning from and working with contractors, fabricators and installers to push the outcomes of my designs, Fuse Technical is just another way to more fully develop expertise in flooring work that engages every one of my projects.”

Robyn Taylor, associate principal and design director of Westgroup Designs in Irvine, Calif., said: “Having a single point technical resource for various flooring products and installation methods is an efficient, effective option for resolving time-sensitive issues during the design development and construction phases, as well as a valuable resource for educating design and architectural professionals who specify these products.”

Fuse will be rolling this program out in the coming months with the objective of being a positive, additional resource for designers.  We believe that our manufacturers will see our initiative as a positive and will embrace it as well when they are asked a question from a specifier that is installation related and better handled by us.  

The Fuse Tech team can be reached at: 888-353-0924 and fusetech@fusealliance.com