David Watson is managing director of Grand Parkett, a distributor located in Liverpool, England. He has been in the wood flooring industry for three decades, mainly as a contractor, before he moved into distribution. Watson has been an NWFA Certified Sand and Finish Professional, Certified Installation Professional, Certified Wood Flooring Inspector, and received the Master Craftsman designation.
Watson was recently 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 student of the industry. I love to learn and am still learning. We started our training center to give back to our customers, and it has been a great success. It is the only dedicated wood floor training school in the United Kingdom that offers installation and sand and finish. Courses range from basic to advanced. We align standards with NWFA guidelines with a little tweak to accommodate UK standards, namely temperature and humidity differences.
How did you get started in the industry? Like most people, I suppose. I helped someone out on a job, did okay at it, and it went from there. That was 30 years ago.
Who has influenced your career the most and why? I’ve met so many great people, especially at the NWFA schools. Eugene Klotz (founder of Renaissance Floor In-Lays) has to be the all-time best for me, though. RIP Gene.
What is your favorite wood floor project that you’ve participated in? It was no grand building but a spectacular floor. English elm, hand-scraped, oiled, and waxed. My kind of floor.
What energizes you to stay in the wood flooring industry? I went from contractor to distributor, so now I get to talk to flooring professionals all over the UK about everything to do with wood floors, and I love it.
What are you reading right now? I recently dug deep into researching Georgian and Victorian wood finishes. There’s very little information about it, but delving into historic books brought up some fascinating stuff about how they did things back in the day. Two of the books I read were “Staining and Polishing” by Charles H. Hayward and “Hints on Household Taste” by Charles Locke Eastlake.
Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for success? Every morning at 6:30, I walk 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) before I go to work and do the same in the evening. I need to look after my heart.
What keeps you busy outside of work? I have four children, two grandchildren, and one on the way. They keep me active.
You can listen to a technical-focused discussion between David Watson and NWFA’s Brett Miller, as well as other hardwood flooring experts by visiting hardwoodfloorsmag.com/nwfa-wood-talk-podcast.