How to Find and Hire a Certified Flooring Inspector

I belong to an association of flooring inspection professionals called N.I.C.F.I. or the National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors. I wanted to pass along some thoughts to you regarding this extraordinary group and its role in the flooring industry.

Like any industry, the people in the overall flooring business range from mediocre to excellent. Within this industry, there are several hundred flooring inspectors. I am here to tell you that the approximately 135 NICFI members are the best in their field.

In order to be a Certified Flooring Inspector, we must first have some type of flooring experience. Then, at our own expense, we are required to take multi-day, out-of-town classes sanctioned by one of several certification bodies and pass tests in whichever area of expertise interests us: carpet, laminate, wood, ceramic tile, resilient, or any combinations. After passing these in-depth tests, we are on probation until we submit samples of our flooring inspection reports to special boards for review. Once approved, we can call ourselves Certified Flooring Inspectors. The NICFI membership takes their work seriously. All of us have multiple areas of expertise.

But it doesn’t stop there. Our industry changes quickly, so we are required to continue our educations each year. We must show proof that we are maintaining the required continuing education credits.

That is why I am proud to belong to NICFI. The members are like the cream that rises to the top. Almost 60 of the best inspectors in the country showed up for our conference. They came from all over, including Hawaii! We networked. We renewed friendships. Some of the top people in our industry lectured and gave workshops. We learned about upcoming changes to flooring installation standards and requirements. These changes have been “in committee” for years. Our group learned the “latest and greatest” before anyone else.

So why should you care about any of this? My point is that you should know about these flooring inspection professionals. If you have a flooring complaint — whether manufacturing, installation, or in-home related — you will probably get a visit from someone that your retailer sends out. It might be your salesperson, it might be the sales rep for the manufacturer, it might be the installer. All of these people have a vested interest in your flooring complaint. They want to save money and make your complaint go away. That does not always mean that you will be happy with the results of their visit to your home.

Now you know that an unbiased, independent, highly skilled flooring inspector could visit your home and determine the exact cause of the flooring failure and the responsibility for the claim. You can insist that a Certified Flooring Inspector look at your complaint. You can hire one yourself if the retailer or manufacturer will not. Either way, you can depend on this inspector to examine your entire floor and the installation. We are not allowed to make any comments during our inspection unless we are hired directly by you. In either case, we will write an unbiased report and address all the facts pertaining to your complaint. These facts will allow us to come to a conclusion as to the cause of the flooring failure: manufacturing, installation, consumer related, or a combination of any of these three factors. Our report is a legal document.

The NICFI website (www.nicfi.org) allows you to search for an inspector near you. It also allows you to examine the training and credentials for each of us. You can also make an inspection request through the website. I suggest you check out the website and bookmark it for future reference. If you ever need our help you will be glad you know how to find a true flooring inspection professional!

 

Who is Glenn Revere?

Glenn Revere has been a carpet expert since 1973. He’s a certified flooring inspector and the author of All About Carpets, the only book written to protect and inform you about your carpet choices, from carpet buying and carpet warranties to carpet care and maintenance. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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One Response to “How to Find and Hire a Certified Flooring Inspector”

  1. Rick Reed says:

    Great article Glenn. I wish that I had spent time talking with you at the conference. Rick