At Forbo, we know how important it is for installers to have the right training available to ensure high standards and the best result for customers. Therefore, we are proud to support the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) in delivering its courses. We spoke to Chris Smith from All Type Flooring, who recently completed the FITA Linoleum course, about his work and the training provided.
I am the owner of All Type Flooring, based in Gravesend in Kent, which I started two and a half years ago. We pride ourselves on providing a wide range of flooring solutions for both domestic and commercial customers.
At 21 years old I felt that finding a trade was the best route for me and began looking at what was available. An opportunity came up with a local flooring installer and it seemed a really good fit for me. I began as a trainee, learning the skills of the trade on site as well as completing an NVQ course. A few years later I became self-employed and then set up All Type Flooring over two years ago. I have now been in the flooring industry for 22 years.
I have found there is real satisfaction in helping to improve spaces for people, whether that’s a house, school, office, care home, shop or doctor’s surgery.
Flooring is something that can make a real difference to a building and when a job is done well, your skills and hard work are appreciated.
The variety in the flooring industry is also something that I still enjoy. With a mix of different projects in both the domestic and commercial sectors, every day is different.
Why did you decide to take the linoleum course at FITA?
One of our customers is a local doctor’s surgery. As an NHS building, hygiene is among the most important considerations and so Forbo’s Marmoleum was selected as it would help them to achieve a healthy and hygienic environment. Specifically, a cap and cove design was required to ensure ease of cleaning and maximum cleanliness. I had not fitted a lot of linoleum in recent years, so I wanted to refresh my knowledge and skills. In particular it was useful to brush up on the best approach to templating with Marmoleum to get the best results.
Do you think training is important? If so, why?
Yes, training is very important. The flooring trade has evolved a lot over the years to where it is now: a professional occupation. Training has a big part to play in ensuring the trade and the standards we work to continue to improve. I followed a very typical route of being trained first as a carpet fitter and then had to learn about other materials and pick up new skills throughout my career. Some flooring contractors will just stick to what they know and are comfortable with. Training is a great way to help you broaden the range of options you can offer to customers.
Are you planning to complete other courses?
I am now looking at attending the FITA Advanced Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and FITA Advanced Marmoleum courses in the near future.
Is there a particular Forbo product that you have used, which you really like?
In addition to the Marmoleum we installed at the doctor’s surgery, I recently fitted Forbo’s Coral entrance matting and I found that to be a really a good system to work with. I have also used Forbo’s Surestep Wood Vinyl on a few projects too, where safety flooring was required.