Beaulieu of Brazil recently hosted the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) to provide installers from around the country with two weeks of hands-on training.
CFI’s Jim Walker, Robert Varden, Efren Llamas and Francisco Jimenez shared their expertise with more than 70 flooring installers and sales representatives.
Before the event, Walker, CFI’s CEO, noted, “We are looking forward to working with the installers as they strive to add new skills and enter into a broader scope of flooring installation. The correct methods are becoming more important and we are honored they have chosen CFI to be part of this premier training event in Brazil.”
Marc Van Camelbeke, industrial director of Beaulieu of Brazil, spearheaded the event. He flew installers in from all over the country to the company’s Ponta Grossa-based manufacturing facility. The installers incurred no cost for travel, lodging, meals or a three-hour tour of the mill.
Along with Beaulieu of Brazil, Roberts/QEP, Traxx and MAPEI supported the event with flooring, tools and supplies. To help with the training, Beaulieu translated the library of CFI training materials into Portuguese.
Llamas opened the first session with techniques of LVT installation. He placed a strong emphasis on following the manufacturer’s directions and using specified methods. “The installers learned the installation techniques required by manufacturers including adding borders, cutting miters and the importance of the substrate. They learned how to use a moisture meter correctly and the correct way to perform a layout of the job using trammel points as reference guides.”
He added, “We stressed the importance of product acclimation, using the correct adhesive and notched trowel, the spread rate, expansion joints and using the correct tools to cut LVT.”
Nathaniel Woodhead, MAPEI Brazil commercial director, contacted CFI prior to the event to provide adhesives and substrate preparation materials. Members of his team were present to provide demonstrations.
Llamas noted, “The installers learned the importance of substrate preparation by participating in a hands-on session taught by MAPEI. Each installer prepared the substrate in his module and the following morning installed new flooring over the prepared floor.”
Broadloom and Carpet Tile
The patterned carpet installation demonstrations were led by Walker and Varden, CFI’s executive director.
Walker said, “The installers became proficient at the various requirements of seam construction such as running a row, seaming and using a glue gun and blacklight.”
He explained how “new methods of adhesive application and the necessity of following the rules of power stretching, correct seaming techniques and learning how the KoolGlide can assist them were all important elements of the training.
“Every installer went through the procedure of using a power stretcher and deadman to align patterns, and using a wall trimmer to cut and align the carpet along the wall,” Walker added. “We stressed they had been given the opportunity of a lifetime by Beaulieu of Brazil to be the first certified CFI installers in the country. They have the opportunity to elevate the installation standards and be proud of the contributions they make to the industry. It was obvious they were excited to learn.”
Varden pointed out how the installers were excited about using the KoolGlide iron, which was demonstrated to do a fusion in a white Saxony carpet. “They were amazed they could not locate the insert when it was completed. They also learned how to use the tool effectively. And they learned about pattern tolerances and how to correct difficult alignments.”
While discussing modular carpet, Walker and Varden covered how to cut the tiles, how to achieve different patterns and the use of the correct notched trowel or roller and sufficient adhesive transfer, as well as the importance of preparing the substrate.
“We demonstrated how the correct adhesive application cannot be lifted from the substrate and no bubbles will occur,” Varden said. “We were there to assist them every step of the way and discovered how motivated and interested they were to be a part of a new experience that will make their lives easier.”
Besides having installers at the sessions, Beaulieu of Brazil also had sales personnel in attendance. Throughout the training, they could be seen taking notes on ways to incorporate professional installation into the entire selling package. Some were even included in the construction of seams and the understanding of what is involved in a professional installation.
“We left the salespeople with a greater appreciation of the value of a quality installation,” Walker said. “This was one of the most rewarding training events in which I have been involved because of the concern of the manufacturer who instilled the thirst for knowledge in the installers [and salespeople]. Both are now aware of the CFI motto ‘PRIDE: Pride, Responsibility, Integrity, Dependability and Education.’ The installers will wear the CFI colors proudly and are on their way to sharing the correct methods to others.”
At the end of the event, Beaulieu’s Van Camelbeke said he was going to explore ways to continue training using the CFI installation teams and developing a Brazilian CFI chapter. “The event was a success beyond our expectations. To be instructed with enthusiasm and a great sense of humor by the best people in the trade was for all of us an unforgettable experience. CFI showed the protocols and the tools to do the perfect job. Not only was the focus on workmanship, but also on personal skills and what it means to be a skilled professional, of whom our industry is in dire need. We have planted the tree and now we need to continue with this work and give continuity to this massive project.”