Greg Mihaich is an application engineer for Norton/Saint-Gobain Abrasives, and has been with the company since 2007. In this role, he works in the professional floor sanding and DIY/contractor markets on new product development, testing, and training. A second-generation wood flooring contractor, Mihaich has been active with NWFA, serving as an instructor at schools, and assisting with updates to NWFA’s Sand and Finish Guidelines.
Mihaich recently was featured on the NWFA Wood Talk podcast, so Hardwood Floors magazine caught up with him to ask a few more questions.
Tell us something interesting about yourself. I am a volunteer firefighter.
How did you get started in the industry? I grew up in the business. My father and uncles had a business, and I started going along on jobs when I was probably six years old, working alongside my brothers. I went to college for engineering, but eventually decided to get back into the family business. I later started my own business and did that until I went to work for Norton.
What is your favorite wood floor project that you’ve participated in? I’ve worked on many elaborate projects over the years, but my favorite project also was the simplest. Several years ago, my manager and I were contacted by someone at our headquarters in Worcester, Massachusetts, to see if we could help out with a charity they were involved with locally, Girls Inc. They provide afterschool programs and mentorship for young girls, and had a basketball court that was pretty worn. They asked if there was anything we could do for it. Since it was just myself and my manager, we weren’t going to be able to re-sand the floor. So, we did spot repairs, then taped and re-painted all the games and recoated the floor. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but to the girls’ basketball team, it meant the world, and they were thrilled to have a better-looking court to play on. It was very rewarding to work on something that had an impact on people’s lives.
What energizes you to stay in the wood flooring industry? I like how social media has made the industry more connected with contractors sharing techniques and knowledge. And, contractors now are eager to learn about new things. It makes my job more interesting to have an audience that wants to learn about the technical aspect of abrasives.
What are you listening to right now? I’m a fan of vinyl and recently picked up “Juliana Hatfield sings Olivia Newton-John.” It’s a great album.
Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for success? I make a schedule for the day with specific amounts of time allotted for working on various projects. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in a project and let other things fall by the wayside. Scheduling time for everything helps to keep everything on track.
What keeps you busy outside of work? Firefighting is like a second job, so that takes up most of my free time. Outside of that, I enjoy hiking and kayaking in the Adirondacks with my wife, reading, and restoring classic cars.
You can listen to a technical-focused discussion between Greg Mihaich and NWFA’s Brett Miller, as well as other hardwood flooring experts by visiting