This is the official site for the National Wood Floor Association.
An organization I help start and one in which I spent many
years working on the board and serving as the founding chairman
for such committees as the “Technical Manual Committee”
and the “Magazine Committee”. There’s lot
of good stuff on this site. If you’ve never been on
the site before, it’s fun to look up the past and present
“floor of the year” winners and entries.
Of the three wood flooring associations in North America
(NWFA, NOFMA & MFMA) the NWFA is the newest, largest and
most all encompassing. The NWFA boasts a membership of well
over 3,000 wood flooring professionals from manufacturers
(who were the primary if not exclusive membership in NOFMA
and MFMA until recently), distributors, dealers and contractors.
Architects, designers, consultants, writers, editors and even
the public can find helpful assistance through the NWFA.
My current association with the NWFA:
I am a member of NWFA and teach an occasional school
in advanced techniques. I will also occasionally answer a
difficult question or help decide a complex issue when called
More stuff on my history with NWFA – if you’re
For many years I worked establishing and helping teach various
schools for the NWFA. After more than 10 years of this entirely
volunteer effort, my wife and I decided I could use some of
the money I was spending on air fare, hotel and restaurant
food (not to mention the 6 to 8 weeks per year) in more commercial
pursuits – like our business and our retirement nest
egg. I have always enjoyed teaching and helping others but
one day you wake up and realize there is no one taking care
of you when you’re done. Since I’m not independently
wealthy and am certainly not going to inherent anything. It’s
all up to me. I would go back to teaching if I could afford
it. Oh, well -- what will be will be.
The Technical Manual Committee first started as the Technical
& Education Committee. We were charged with putting together
technical information for the association and developing schools
to help train folks in our industry. It was a perfect match
for me since years earlier I had helped start the (National
Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association) NOFMA School. Its
goal was to educate wood flooring mechanics. The NWFA schools
were to have a much broader scope. They were to help educate
all career types and to take wood floor mechanics from the
basics all the way up to becoming expert artisans. I had also
recently written the first comprehensive manual (a book entitled
“HARDWOOD FLOORS) on the installation, sanding and finishing
of all types of wood flooring published by Taunton Press and
Fine Homebuilding Magazine.
While chairing the Technical Manual Committee we created
the first manuals on wood species, grading, water & wood,
installing, sanding and finishing, problem solving, etc. Everything
anyone in our business might want to know about our business
of wood floors.
While co-chairing the Magazine Committee we located a good
magazine publisher (Athletic Business) and started the magazine
now known the world over as the mouthpiece of our industry
“Hardwood Floors Magazine”. (This is another of
my favorite sites -- see www.hardwoodfloorsmag.com
below) The biggest challenge in those days was producing enough
accurate editorial material to interest our potential readers
and generating enough advertising revenue to pay for it. I
am still an occasional contributor to the magazine especially
on areas like wood flooring over radiant heat, hand scraping
wood floors and mixed media floors (wood, stone, tile and/or
This is a site where you can go for ideas and information
even more than at the NWFA site. These guys really have it
together editorially on wood flooring. This is another great
spot to look for ideas on designs for wood flooring installations.
They publish all the winners (and non-winning entries which
are sometimes better than the winners) for the floor of the
This is the official site for the old National Oak Flooring
Manufacturers Association now referring to themselves as the
National Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association. These guys
are the ones to are most responsible for developing and upholding
the grading rules for wood flooring – particularly oak
and other indigenous hardwood flooring species. These guys
used to be the go to guys when professionals in our industry
and those in other associated trades needed rules and guidelines
about our industry.
NOFMA just like the NWFA, has begun holding schools to train
and certify inspectors of finished wood floors as well. I
say as well, because they have long trained inspectors and
inspected wood flooring at the mill level – and did
a very good job of this in my opinion.
I’ve decided not to get involved in the finished wood
floor inspectors schools either the NWFA’s or NOFMA’s
inspectors schools to teach or to get certified. I’ll
just keep my reasons to myself – unless of course I’m
forced to go public.
This is the official site for the Maple Flooring Manufacturers
Association. This is the granddaddy of all the wood flooring
associations. Although started as more of a good ole boys
club in the 19th Century than a regulatory organization, these
days they do a great job of putting together sport floor manufacturers
and their installers/finishers. Most sport floor manufacturers
deal in sugar maple. This is the wood floor of choice for
gyms and other indoor sports facility floors. Since many of
the specifications and installation methods for such floor
are proprietary, it’s natural for these manufacturers
to want to help their installers to themselves. They train
them and certify them in their own techniques.
When an installation comes up in an area where they have
a certified installer – he gets the job (usually). Since
all government and school jobs require a closed bid environment,
an installer or two from a nearby area may get the opportunity
to submit a competitive bid – or, a competitive manufacturer
may submit a similar bid for an “equivalent or equal
specification” on a project.
Virtually all NBA arenas and most colleges and universities
require MFMA certified floors be installed in their sports
facilities. This even includes some Canadian facilities as
well as the USA. Ironically, there are at least two highly
capable maple flooring sports floor manufacturers in Canada.
Foreign manufacturers are still not allowed membership in
the MFMA the last I heard.
This site belongs to a friend of mine in the United Kingdom
– Nottingham most especially (they have two locations
now I believe). Jasper Weldon, along with his associates Paddy
and are some of the finest floor mechanics in all of England.
One of their most famous installations was the re-flooring
restoration of Windsor Palace after the recent fire damage
ruined larges sections of the structure. Of course I have
lots of other friends throughout the UK, not only in England
but Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Each area has its own techniques
and local procedures. For example, there are still solid wooden
end grain blocks being installed in the centuries old method
of “dry setting” outside some of the old chateaus
as sidewalks, streets and cart paths. End grain block glued
to stone or concrete with “hot glue” is still
a favorite in Wales and Scotland. Although I haven’t
personally witnessed it, I would expect it in Ireland, England
and all over Europe as it was once a quite popular installation