Who to Know in Wood Flooring – Keith Cudmore

An interview with Keith Cudmore,
Metropolitan Hardwood

How did you get started in Flooring?
I started working for a Vancouver based builder and recognized a need for a quality hardwood installer. I got involved with NWFA in1988 (Keith was part of the first class of NWFA recognized inspectors), and started installing Metropolitan wood in 1992, then went to work for Metropolitan shortly after.

What would you do if not flooring?
I would do what I do now but in a scaled back capacity.

What do you like best about the flooring industry?
The relatively low number of claims. Training is my favorite part of the industry and also the item that the industry needs more of. Metropolitan hosts training events nationwide, and is developing an in house training facility. Metropolitan has QC testing at all of its plants, and the results are verified with in house QC when material arrives in Kent.

What do you do to relax?
Photography and water color painting. Mostly nature and Architecture. I’m just getting set up for Macro photography, and have been doing water color painting for a long time.

Are you involved with groups besides Flooring Association NW?
I’ve been involved with NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) for a long time. I also do Missionary work all over the world. Some recent trips include building villages and care facilities for women and children in The Congo and El Salvador.

What industry trends are you keeping an eye on?
There are a lot of building and design trends that affect us. An example is putting heat vents in the ceiling instead of the floor. Wider boards present an installation challenge. We encourage the use of the correct adhesive and full spread glue for larger boards. Another trend is the lack of time for training.

What advice do you have for someone getting started in the industry?
Find a really good Installer or Hardwood Flooring professional and let them mentor you. Seek good training and be teachable! Someone told me long ago that the sign of a good carpenter is that you never see their mistakes—meaning that you should deal with issues immediately, and fix them as you go rather than letting them sit.