Nathan Ware is the managing director of The Commercial Flooring Company, who work nationwide for various clients. Most recently Nathan’s projects have included over 90 new Centre Parcs lodges in Sherwood Forest, completed using our Opus range, and the PKF Cooper Parry offices, the winning entry to our recent Your Project competition. He also spoke to us about the challenging working conditions he has experienced, including live environments to avoid disruptive shut downs.
How long have you been in this profession and what led you to it?
I started working in contract flooring in the year 2000. I left college having completed my HND in Building Studies and approached a local agency to look for work. Ultimately, I had an interview with a local construction firm for a trainee structural engineer position and another as a trainee contract manager for a flooring company… the rest is history.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
We offer a great service to all our clients, which has seen our repeat business peak at over 90% among all new customers. We’re there every step of the way, from design to completion of works, which gives our clients peace of mind. We’re often asked to work in very challenging conditions, occasionally in live environments, but we have a team to accommodate all scenarios. Our commitment to health and safety in the workplace also reassures our customers that they are in safe hands.
Why did you choose to partner with Karndean?
Karndean offer a vast amount of products, whether it’s a huge accommodation block, a feature reception or a downstairs cloakroom, there is something for everyone. All the products are sufficiently stocked in the Midlands which helps us to carry out fast track projects. There have been several occasions where others have quoted weeks for products to be delivered, but we know when we turn to Karndean this won’t be the case.
Could you tell us about a few of your recent projects that have involved Karndean?
We recently completed 90 new lodges in Centre Parcs, Sherwood Forest, using the Opus range. We also fitted 350m2 of LooseLay Weathered Timber for the PKF Cooper Parry offices, the winning Karndean Your Project entry, over 150m2 of Van Gogh for Midland HR Head Office in Nottingham, and over 300m2 of LooseLay in the Stryker offices in Manchester.
What flooring questions are you asked most often by customers and how do you respond?
One of the most common questions we get is ‘what do you think?’ It throws me sometimes because as much as we can offer our professional advice, each job is personal to the client and we would just like to help them achieve what they want.
What are the most important questions you need to ask your customers at the beginning of a project?
Firstly, we ask if the product is fit for purpose in the environment it’s supposed to be fitted. The last thing we want is to fit something that simply won’t work and we have to replace a month later. The programme and timing is also important – we’re often asked to work out of hours as shutting down the client’s business can cost them an awful lot of money. We want to offer the best possible solution to the client’s needs, so budget is another big focus to help us determine whether we can deliver what they want.
Have you come across any unusual complications and if so how did you overcome them?
We had a client at Cadbury World who wanted to form a feature desk to roll up the walls and on to the ceiling. Despite dozens of samples he could not find a good enough match. After a conversation with our fitter on site, they suggested the idea of coving Karndean up the walls and onto the ceiling. I was a little sceptical at first but once we had completed the first room it looked fantastic.
What floor trends are you currently seeing?
In the LVT market we’re beginning to see a lot more design features than just a standard tile. I think this offers a great opportunity for clients to have a feature within their floor without the astronomical costs. We’ve now done a couple of jobs using Karndean’s Kaleidoscope collection and they look fantastic.
How would you describe Karndean to your colleagues?
Karndean is a great customer focused company. Whether we’re ordering small samples, looking for design assistance, or next day deliveries, they always seem to be able to deliver. I would fully recommend them to any other flooring company out there.