Name: Adam Bircher
Company: AB Design Flooring
Job Title: Installations Manager
How did you get into the flooring industry?
I’d just left school at the age of 16. My neighbour was a carpet fitter, and I started working with him. I’ve moved into subfloor preparation and installing other floorcoverings since.
What’s been the biggest change in the industry over the past 10 years?
The improvement in the products. Now you’ve got rapid drying levelling compounds that mean you don’t have to wait for days or weeks before you are able to install floorcoverings and self-levelling compounds that make life a lot easier.
Looking forwards, what do you think will be the biggest change in the next 10 years?
At the rate levelling compounds are advancing currently, I think that’s where we’ll see the biggest changes. I hope we’ll see levelling compounds for use over calcium sulphate screeds that are more forgiving and levelling compounds with built in damp proof membranes that don’t fail.
What’s the worst job you’ve been on?
Probably one where we had to install new floorcoverings in the canteen of a factory as part of a refurbishment. There were cracks in the floor, old bitumen residues present, and the moisture levels were very high. There were lots of different preparations involved, including removing the old adhesive residues, filling in the cracks and installing a damp proof membrane. The end result was good though.
And what’s the best?
I enjoy all of our jobs really. There was one where we installed floorcoverings in about a dozen bathrooms of a hotel in Bromsgrove. It was tricky work because we had to work around all the fixtures, but it was really satisfying in the end.
Do you have a go-to product for certain jobs?
Yes! It’s Stopgap 1200 Pro. It’s useful in so many situations, not just where there are old adhesive residues present.
What do you like best about the job?
The satisfaction when you finish a job and the customer looks at it and they’re happy, and you know that the job has be done right because you have faith in the products that you’ve used.
What is your least favourite thing about the job?
Fear of failure. That’s why I don’t like to work with inferior products.