Every business has problems that come and go, however there’s often a few that tend to hang around year after year because they’re linked to some of the bigger challenges of the industry itself.
In this article, I want to talk about problems just like this. Specifically, the top 10 problems every epoxy flooring business has to deal with.
These haven’t changed much in the 20+ years I’ve been doing resin flooring – they were there when I first started, and they will probably still be there for some time yet. By identifying these problems and why they exist, however, we can hopefully take some very early steps to help resin flooring installers find a solution.
To start off with, we’ll look at a couple of age-old resin flooring problems that stem from the way resin flooring installers work with resin flooring systems.
First of all, a big error many guys make when it comes to systems is to test them out on a client’s floor. To put it simply, you’ve got to be trying resin flooring systems on a training slab and nowhere else. That way if you mess it up, you do so without the extra cost of materials, stress, lost time and even loss of reputation. Testing new systems on a training slab rather than in the field also allows you to learn much more by deliberately pushing the boundaries of products and practicing how to handle a full range of problems that may pop up.
Having a training slab to thoroughly test new systems may save installers from failures and disputes, however it can lead to the second common mistake I see resin flooring installers make with systems – developing their own. Testing is great, but throwing together your own combination of products during this process can create a few problems. Perhaps the biggest risk of installers applying their own resin flooring systems is the fact that by doing so they are on their own with resin flooring warranties.
The solution to both problems above is quite simple: use manufacturer’s systems. By using flooring systems from a manufacturer, you not only get something that’s been tested and proven, you also get greater support should anything go wrong. Using manufacturers' systems also means you can tap into their training programs and facilities rather than do it all yourself.
While those two problems are within the control of the individual installer, there are many others that continue to affect the resin flooring industry as a whole.
At the forefront here is the matter of dealing with incorrect resin flooring specifications. Every resin flooring installer has felt the frustration of working on a project that just doesn’t have the right flooring system specified. We’ll get to why incorrect specifications are so common shortly, but for now let’s explore what can be done in such situations.
If you feel there’s a problem with the specification, the best thing I believe you can do is raise it with the decision makers as soon as possible. While the temptation is to push ahead and try to make it work, or even pass the accountability onto someone else, in my experience going down either of these paths usually doesn’t end well. Instead, pull it up and raise the issue with the specifier with the intent of helping them save face. While it may feel like you’re causing problems, it’s actually a good deed that builds a level of trust that may even be rewarded with future work.
Once you get past the specification, the struggles unfortunately don’t end for resin flooring installers. In the world of resin flooring, there’s a minefield of frustration that can be encountered on the work site as well.
For example, every installer will at some stage need to scramble to overcome resin flooring worksites that aren’t ready. Residential garages that aren’t cleared out and retail projects with unfinished de-fits are just two that quickly come to mind. Many resin flooring installers will also have to navigate through the tricky problem of having supplied a quote off a plan only to find the concrete not up to resin flooring standard when they arrive.
Once the project is underway, the curveballs can keep coming in the form of getting squeezed for time on resin flooring projects and other trades damaging the concrete slab.
As these are industry-wide problems, there’s unfortunately no quick fix like there is for the system-related trouble. Gradual, positive change for resin flooring is the only way we can eliminate these headaches once and for all.
To solve any problem, you first need to understand why it exists in the first place. For me, I believe the reason these ongoing problems exist for resin flooring installers is connected to the level of professionalism in our industry. Let me explain what I mean by that.
While resin flooring has been around for decades, we still have no associations, no best practices and no minimum standards like other established trades such as electricians and plumbers. We have also historically gone without a trade course that could deliver a benchmark in skills and ensure the same minimum standard of work was being achieved by everyone.
The good news is that after years of hard work and campaigning, we finally have a proper resin flooring qualification that has allowed some light to appear at the end of this tunnel. Through the MSF38018 Certificate III in Flooring Technology, we can learn from industry experts rather than the “old school” way of learning from the painful mistakes of employers.
The importance of qualified resin flooring installers in helping reach a higher level of professionalism and overcome these industry-wide problems simply can’t be understated. By being more qualified and being more professional, we will be better equipped to make the problems we’ve talked about here a thing of the past.
Being qualified will also have a huge impact on the individuals and the businesses they operate. If you dream of growing your resin flooring business and figuring out how to get off the tools one day, becoming qualified – with all the benefits it provides – is a certainly big piece of that puzzle as well.
Qualification, professionalism, best practices and standards also hold the keys to making life easier for our industry in the project design world. The absence of these things has left architects, specifiers, builders and other design professionals lost and confused when it comes to resin flooring. Problems like incorrect specifications and getting squeezed for time on resin flooring projects exist because there simply hasn’t been enough guidance available to correct the mistakes that keep being made.
As an industry, the answer is to develop the relevant practices and standards, and educate through pathways like continued professional development (CPD) programs so that these professionals can generate specifications that actually work for resin flooring installers.
Watch the videos on the top 10 resin flooring problems here:
resin flooring systems on a training slab
Risk of applying own resin flooring systems
Installers on their own with resin flooring warranties
Dealing with incorrect resin flooring specifications
Resin flooring worksites not ready
Concrete not up to resin flooring standard
Getting squeezed for time on resin flooring projects
Trades damaging the concrete slab
Importance of qualified resin flooring installers
How to get off the tools
Real World Epoxies has formulated, manufactured and supplied high-quality resin flooring systems and products for more than two decades. We stand behind our resin flooring products because we only use proven, high-quality materials that we know will perform as expected.
If you’re a resin flooring installer looking to overcome your resin flooring problems, fill out one of our contact forms or call us on 1300 EPOXIES (1300 376 943).
To help build a strong resin flooring industry that sits alongside timber, carpet, tiles and vinyl as a mainstream flooring option.
To eliminate preventable failures
that hurt the resin flooring industry
and prevent it from reaching its full potential.