You know what I like most about flooring? It is the very definition of grace under pressure. The vast array of products sold by our industry are designed to withstand years of daily pounding, spills, dropped items, extreme temperatures…whatever you got, sooner or later it hits the floor. Also, considering its prominence in any décor, a top quality floor has to do all this and still look good, day-after-day, year-after-year. These are qualities that serve our industry well-especially now. We all know business has been sluggish so maybe now is a good time remember there are a great many things to be thankful for in the flooring industry. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving…

Thanks to everyone who refuses to buckle under the crush of bad news. Our expert retail columnist Sam Allman has repeatedly used these pages to remind our readers that now is not the time to sit idle and wait for things to pick up. Sam evokes soldiers who “harness their discomfort” on a battlefield and turn it into ingenuity and determination. “They may resent their plight,” Sam tells us, “but they also embrace it as an opportunity.”

In that vein, thanks to all those retailers who have taken Sam’s message to heart. Nampa Floors, for example, is a retailer that clearly gets it. The three-store Idaho chain recently held an “Ugly Kitchen Contest” that drew more than 300 folks hoping to win a kitchen makeover.?Also, thanks to Hans and Alicia Stark, at Michigan Tile, who converted unused space in their showroom to a conference room for community groups. Thanks to the retail groups that have worked tirelessly to support members through tough times. Abbey Carpet & Floor, for example, is running a very classy campaign that reminds consumers that “Every floor is a work of art.” Carpet One Floor & Home and Flooring America established a new advertising portal?designed to hold down local ad costs for members while maximizing their marketing punch.

Thanks for the many bright spots in our business that illuminate the path ahead. Most notably, the commercial segment has stayed strong; and savvy retailers have taken notice. Our commercial flooring guru Dave Stafford has explained how to land more of this business, the questions to ask and the people to contact. “If you and your team can give eye-popping service and show technical competence, rest assured, you will get more commercial work,” says Dave.

Thanks to the many innovators in this business. You’d think an industry that predates indoor plumbing would run out of ideas, but that is hardly the case. Just to cite a few examples: Mannington Commercial has managed to become even “greener.” It started recycling construction-grade drywall into VCT tile. They’re also working on a plan to power their Salem, N.J. headquarters using old car tires. Shaw Industries deserves enormous credit for its bold decision to globalize the company’s 10-year-old “Environmental Guarantee.” This assures that even more tile and broadloom will be recycled into new EcoWorx products. Thanks to Amtico for a huge engineering breakthrough: its Stratica line of luxury tiles are made with no PVCs, and that means better air quality.

Thanks to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation for its outstanding work. Chris Davis, Larry Nagle, Al Wahnon and all the other good people working with FCIF simply refuse to let the economic slowdown undermine their commitment to assisting those in our business who experience life-altering hardships. 

Thanks to the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA), and  the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) for their leadership in educating retailers and contractors about this crucial element of our industry. Thanks to the top notch pros at Hanley Wood who organize Surfaces. Due to their hard work, the annual show in Las Vegas remains our industry’s shinning star.

And of course, our thanks to all you readers and advertisers who support us; and thanks to a roster of expert contributors that is far and away the best in the business. You have all helped establishedNFTas the No. 1 publication in flooring. Please know that we remain committed to serving the needs of our industry. Due to space limitations I had to leave out many in our business who are worthy of our gratitude. But let 's remember: Even in this turbulent year, on Thanksgiving we all have much to be grateful for.