Building Your Brand with NWFA

The June/July issue of this magazine is one of the most-anticipated issues of Hardwood Floors Magazine each year. It’s the annual NWFA Wood Floor of the Year issue, which showcases innovative craftsmanship and design in wood flooring installations. This issue represents a tremendous opportunity for NWFA members to not only promote their company, but also learn how to take their technical skills to the next level. I have always enjoyed thumbing through this one, and I hope you do too.

The contest is judged by designers, flooring industry experts, and wood flooring professionals, reinforcing that the awards truly recognize quality work and craftsmanship. Some do the same type of work as you every day, and others are industry peers that bring a different perspective to the contest, assuring that the floors rank among the best – in the world of wood flooring. So yes, not everyone gets a participation trophy here at the NWFA; it’s a real contest.

The winning entries profiled show you, and your customers, all the possibilities wood floors offer. Use this inspiration to help your customers think outside the box. The resulting floors could land you on the pages of this magazine as one of next year’s Wood Floor of the Year winners.

New Certification Opportunities
Another opportunity to increase your brand potential will launch July 1, 2017. The NWFA Certified Professional program will add two additional designations: Certified Craftsman and Certified Master Craftsman. These designations were developed to give certified wood flooring professionals a means to further validate their craft by showcasing specific skill sets.

With the addition of the new certifications, NWFA will now have a complete career path in place that allows an individual to move from having little to no experience, to becoming a master of our trade.

To become an NWFA Certified Craftsman, the candidate must be an NWFA member in good standing, have been an NWFA Certified Professional Installer and Certified Sand/Finisher for a minimum of one year, and successfully fulfill all of the requirements for a total of four of the Specialty Skillset Badges.

To become an NWFA Certified Master Craftsman, the candidate must be a Certified Craftsman, complete all seven of the Specialty Skillset Badges, attend the NWFA Inspector school, and submit a final examination medallion, which will meet a detailed set of specifications as designated by the judges.

Specialty Skillset Badges include:

  • Circular/Curved Application (5 submissions)
  • Colors and Finishes (10 submissions)
  • Marquetry/Inlays (3 submissions)
  • Medallions (3 submissions)
  • Parquetry (3 submissions)
  • Textured Wood (5 submissions)
  • Wood Bending (5 submissions)

Each of these skill sets is clearly defined within the simple online application process. Through this process, those who qualify can earn individual Specialty Badges, work toward becoming a Certified Craftsman, and ultimately work toward becoming a Certified Master Craftsman. Each Specialty Badge has a unique set of qualifications that must be met for the badge to be awarded. And, as an added bonus, fulfillment of these badges also meets the requirements for the redefined Wood Floor of the Year entry categories.

Always keep your eye on the ball (or the trophy in this particular case). These recognitions aren’t intended to say, “look how cool I am; I got a trophy,” but instead emphasize how your company performs at a level that makes your customers want to hire you. Even participation in the WFOY contest shows you perform at a different level, so watch for projects that could be entered and study the categories so when you are out there selling you will see the fit for your next entry.

So what are you waiting for? Take the next step in your career and advance your business. Contact the NWFA at 800.422.4556 or visit for more details on the Wood Floor of the Year contest and the Certified Craftsman and Certified Master Craftsman programs.

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