From April 24-April 26, 2018, City Floor Supply hosted an NWFA Intermediate Sand & Finish training at our headquarters in King of Prussia, PA, with NWFACP testing taking place on April 27 for those who signed up.
This training session attracted contractors who were eager to learn new techniques and improve their craft so they could offer their clients the best of the best. Each of the students received valuable hands-on experience with this training.
Lenny Hall, NWFA Regional Instructor and owner of Endurance Hardwood Floors, led the training.
The NWFA Intermediate Sand & Finish Training itinerary
The first day of the training started out with an explanation of taking proper safety precautions on the job and establishing customer expectations, which are almost as essential for a successful job as the techniques themselves.
Then, the students moved on to a discussion of proper jobsite prep. After that, abrasives were the topic, and then the class moved on to a discussion and demo of how to maintain and use your big machine, and how to avoid common sanding mistakes left by the big machine. After lunch, the students got to practice operating big machines.
Day one finished off with the students practicing the use of an edger, and Lenny taught the students how to properly clock the edger, how to maintain it, and how to perform common fixes on the fly.
Day two started out with a demo and practice of using wood putty, floor cement, epoxy, and other fillers.
Then, the students moved on to a practice of the final sanding process. They practiced choosing the proper grit sequence, flattening the floor, and properly removing scratch patterns.
The class then moved on to the topic of using the buffer to blend the perimeter of the floor with the field and how to properly clock the buffer. They then discussed using a planetary sander for multi-directional floors and to remove swirl marks for an extremely smooth finish.
The discussion moved on to final detailing, including hand sanding and using scrapers.
Lenny then discussed with the students the process of water popping the floor, and how to properly apply stains, colorants, and sealers, before allowing them to practice everything they just learned.
Day three began with a discussion and demo of the use of wood bleach, iron acetate, and ammonia to color a wood floor.
The discussion then moved on to an in-depth delve into the different types of finishes and proper application methods, and how to inspect the finish to ensure that it has been properly applied, including penetrating oil finishes. Then, it was time for the students to try their hands at actually applying the finish to the panels.
Intercoat abrasion was the next topic of discussion and practice for the students.
The training finished off with a discussion of dust control, including how and where to vacuum, and then a demo of the final coat application as well as on-the-job repairs, such as repairing a wet footprint on a freshly stained floor, which we also demoed in a Facebook Live video that day.
As you can see, this was a lot of value provided at the training. We plan on holding more training events in the future, so make sure to subscribe to our blog for updates on upcoming events.
Why attend an NWFA training session?
If you have years of experience in the wood flooring industry, you might be wondering about the value of attending an NWFA training session like this. So we spoke with a few attendees at the end of the training to find out why they signed up and what they got out of the three-day session.
People with as little as 3 years to as much as 30+ years in the industry came out for this training. Here’s what they thought.
Scott Dall, Sandman Restorations
Scott has over 20 years of experience in the industry.
“You see some of the other guys here who have been around this business for a long time. Everyone always learn something new. No matter how long I do this, I’m always learning something new. There’s always a better way to do something. I always want to push myself to give my customers the best product possible, and the best way to do that is to continue learning.”
Scott says that this year’s training taught him a new way to back out of the room when finishing the floor.
Brian Prusik, Retailer Flooring Solutions
Brian has been in the business for 34 years.
“I’ve run a buffer for 34 years and had no idea that the pressure points on a buffer affect the way that it sands the floor. That was invaluable. There’s always new things, new finishes, and new products to see.
The direction in which you hold the edger against the wall determines whether you leave swirl marks or not. It’s little details like that that make all the difference.”
Nicholas Herrlett, 518 Floor Care
Nicholas is has three years of experience in the industry.
“I got a lot out of it. We saw a different edger technique that allows for less swirl marks, which will take a little bit out of our efforts to remove swirl marks. We also learned new techniques for moving the buffer over the floor.
It’s not just contractors who are new to the business who can get a lot out of these trainings––industry veterans who are serious about continuously improving their craft and providing the best possible services to their clients are also able to learn new techniques and methods from trainings like this one.
NWFA trainings like this one give you exclusive access to an NWFA certified inspector, who can give you a fresh pair of eyes to help you critique and improve your technique, which helps you step up your game, offer more value to your clients, and ultimately earn more.
For more information about upcoming events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 737-1786.