I recently got back from the Bona Sand & Finish School in Kent WA. I must admit that I was hesitant to go, as I was worried that it might not be worth it, to miss some work to go. Those fears were put to rest by the first day, it was definitely worth it!
Meeting like minded flooring contractors, all with the goal to improve our skills was inspiring. Some with decades of experience, some installers trying out a floor sander for the first time. The wealth of information regarding flooring solutions, what works for us, and what mistakes we’ve learned from, was great. Also, the instructors Darrin, Bobby, and Kevin were great hosts (I put on a few pounds) and very knowledgeable.
The school was put on by Bona, a hardwood floor supplier. They have always made very good products, from finishes like Traffic, to every kind of sanding machine. It was nice to try out some machines and products I haven’t used before, and see the amount of thought that has gone into these.
While the food and trying the toys, whoops,…I meant tools, was great, the main idea I came away with at the end of the course was to ask this question throughout the job ”Am I doing the best practice?” It may mean doing another step in the process, to make that floor look and feel even better, all to improve the end product, which in turn will make you, the customer, very happy. At times that may mean a little extra time, but you cannot get the best possible product by skipping steps. You would be getting the best work and value for your money.
It was great to refocus and realize that the reason we do this is because we love this craft and want to do the best job we can. Developing friendships with other flooring contractors was great as well, to be able to pick up the phone and tap into that knowledge in the future or offer any help on the other side, even to some who would technically be my competition. To focus on quality and great service will make everyone happier. I will definitely take in more training in the future, to keep updating my skills.