Wood Talk: Billy Simmons

Billy Simmons

Billy Simmons owns ITAC International, an independent firm specializing in the science of flooring behaviors and failures. Based in Bay Minette, Alabama, Simmons is an NWFA Certified Wood Flooring Inspector, Certified Installation Professional, Certified Sand and Finish Professional, Certified Sales Advisor, and Certified Commercial Inspector. He also serves on the board of directors for NWFA Certified Professionals, is a Regional Instructor, and received the NWFA Vanguard and Ambassador Degrees.

Simmons 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’m an education junkie. I’m always reading and trying to stay updated with what’s going on, what has changed, and what will change.

How did you get started in the industry? My dad was a general contractor, which means I grew up doing everything from the time I was old enough to get on a ladder. We did the general contracting thing for the longest time. In the 1990s, my dad, brother, and I decided to start doing our own wood floors because we couldn’t get anyone to do the quality we wanted.

Who has influenced your career the most and why? I had a lot of mentors over the years. On the installation side, Daniel Boone and Don Conner back in the day. On the inspection side, it’s hard to nail it down to one person. When I was a newbie, some of the bigger names took the time to answer questions and provide some documents they had. I ended up learning how to do reports by reading others.

Photos courtesy of Billy Simmons / ITAC International LLC

What is your favorite wood floor project that you’ve participated in? I was hired as a consultant on an original bog oak floor that was put in back in the early 1900s in an old hotel in Mobile, Alabama, that had to be taken apart and reassembled from all the damage that was done over the years. I was a herringbone with a picture frame around it. It was interesting because of the way the floor system was made. It had true wood beams in between concrete; they put the wood beam in and then put concrete in between the beams, and you nailed it to the beams.

What energizes you to stay in the wood flooring industry? I like helping people. The biggest misconception about being an inspector is that I’m the enemy. I enjoy taking the guys who want to learn and sharing my years of experience and all the new things that are going on with the inspector side to help them. For example, I have dealers who have me do a half-day class with their installers to explain what we do as an inspector. I get to meet the contractors and tell them what we are looking for and what to document so if an inspector comes in looking at their job, they can say, “Here are all of my readings – what changed, what happened, and why?”

What are you listening to right now? The Late Kick with Josh Pate podcast. The latest episode was about college football for next year and the new 12-team playoff system versus the fourteam system.

Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for success? I have a general schedule,
but I go in every morning, make sure everything is set up for that day, and take care of anything that I didn’t get to the day before.

What keeps you busy outside of work? Watching Alabama and SEC football. And I play golf. As an inspector, I look at everybody’s problems, so I have to go out and chase the little white ball.

You can listen to a technical-focused discussion between Billy Simmons and NWFA’s Brett Miller, as well as other hardwood flooring experts by visiting hardwoodfloorsmag.com/nwfa-wood-talk-podcast.

One thought

  1. Great Article. It is nice to be able to review biography and get more familiar about a colleague that I have met on only 2 occasions. The industry needs more professionals like Billy. i would like to see more articles like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.