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FloorSkills Open Day Hosts European LVT Installer of the Year

FloorSkills Training Centre European LVT Installer of the Year Competition

Training centre FloorSkills welcomed the industry to celebrate excellence in flooring at its annual open day in Solihull last month. More than 200 retailers and installers attended along with 40 supporting manufacturers who showcased their products in the bays.

Running simultaneously with the open day, FloorSkills hosted the Grand Final of the inaugural LVT European Installer of the Year competition. Held in collaboration with the Woontotaal Training Academy (Netherlands), the live heat saw eight contenders, representing both countries battle it out for the title.

Finalists, Gary Haigh, Anco Rijstenbil, Dave Amweg, Daniel Jones, Steve Sidney, Tim Loonstra, Sidney Braspenning and Joe Lockhart, had passed through a challenging semi-final that had tested their technical ability with a herringbone installation complete with border and centre island. They were therefore, given free rein in the final to create unique and distinctive designs.

The final winners were voted by the public. FloorSkills owner and director, Matt Bourne told UK Flooring TV: “We did our judging in the semi-final. It was really tough to select the finalists and there were literally only points between them in some cases. We picked who we thought were the best fitters so we thought it would be a bit of fun for the public to decide the overall winners. The designs are really unique and so it’s down to people’s personal taste.”

Not only did the finalists have to create a stunning installation but they also had to prepare a plywood subfloor and skim coat – all under the watchful gaze of the judges and general public. They were provided with tiles from Harvey Maria, Moduleo and Tarkett and had to use all four colours in their designs.

Steve Sidney from Sunderland Carpet Centre took first place for his geometric repeating star pattern. Other stunning layouts included a VW campervan theme by Anco Rijstenbil which came second and a lion’s head design by Tim Loonsrtra in third place.

Steve said: “It feels great to win. The hardest part of the competition was trying to get all of the tiles to work together as we hadn’t been told what products we’d receive until the day. The win will definitely give me more confidence when customers ask my design advice and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”

The open day was a ticketed event as the centre had to comply with health and safety regulations and the capacity was maxed out. Any proceeds from ticket sales were donated to a brittle bone charity.

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