NFWA Certifications

NWFA Certificate is a widely recognized criterion associated with a specific skill set. 


Supported by the National  Wood Flooring Association, the NWFA certificate guarantees the quality, result, and confirmed skills. Moreover, the NWFA Certificate enables independence in flooring contractors, technical knowledge, and proved competencies. 

To earn this certificate, each candidate has to go through a specific process.

The NWFA offers the following certifications:

  1. Certified Installer 
  2. Certified Sand & Finisher 
  3. Certified Sales Advisor
  4. Certified Wood Flooring Inspector

To support honest reviews and encourage accurate inspections, all of the NWFA Certified Professionals must sign the Code of Professional Conduct. 

This Code is an official document that defines how a company’s employees should behave in the workplace on an everyday basis. This Code celebrates professional practice. Simply said, by signing this Code, a person is held accountable. 


Certified Installer (CI) Certificate

To become a Certified Installer (CI), a minimum of three years as an installer is mandatory. 

Next to practical experience, it’s mandatory to complete all of the installation courses featured on NWFA University (NWFA). 

Plus, the hands-on test is included, which is always supervised by a certified member. 


Certified Sand and Finisher (CSF)

To become a Certified Sand and Finisher (CSF), a three-year experience as sand and finisher is mandatory. 

All the Sand and Finisher courses must be completed with the NWFA, and a hands-on test should be completed successfully. Just like with a Certified Installer, a hands-on test is supervised by a certified member.  


Certified Sales Advisor (CSA)

As a true leader within the hardwood flooring industry, NWFA is continuously working on providing more reliable technical standards, education, networking, and advocacy. Therefore, NWFA implemented the Certified Sales Advisor (CSA) certification.


Flooring Inspections NWFA


This program aims to :

  1. Educate sales and design staff to define materials that will suit customer’s needs
  2. Provide relevant information on peculiar maintenance procedures
  3. Set realistic expectations for post-installation 

This way, no one can get the wrong information, and any chance of criticism is set to a minimum. 

Knowledge about material + setting the right expectations equals a low number of wretched claims. 

To become a Certified Sales Advisor (CSA), all of the sales courses on NWFA are mandatory, and maintaining a sales certification by earning three CCUs per year is a must. 


Certified Wood Floor Inspector (CWFI)

NFWA Certifications

Certified Wood Floor Inspectors are the “Gold Standard” when looking for inspectors. People want professionals with a sure track of success history, who can use their knowledge and expertise to help them get the best assessment possible.

Becoming a Certified Inspector is a long and arduous task.  NWFA  prerequisite education courses must be completed before applying to attend the  Inspectors School.  Furthermore, the NWFA hands-on school must be completed, as well. 


The hands-on schools that are required are:

  1. Basic Installation 
  2. Basic Sand and Finish
  3. Intermediate Installation
  4. Intermediate Sand and Finish

Attendance at the hands-on schools and completion of all the training courses, make someone eligible to attend the NWFA Inspector School and eventually take the inspector exam. 

The inspector exam is an independent test with more than 300 various multiple-choice questions that must be completed in only four hours or less. 

This exam is focused on technical knowledge, and each applicant must pass each student must achieve a score of 75% or higher.  Even upon completion of this milestone, the Inspector Candidate is not done yet.  The applicant will be monitored for a year or so with the requirement to submit at least one  Full Inspection Report for approval or rejection.  It is only upon this rigorous process that a  CWFI  designation is awarded.

The inspector school is held once a year at the NWFA headquarters in St. Louis. It’s a five-days long course with two main focuses:


  • Information gathering


  • Report writing



This class offers inspection scenarios on mock-ups, provides education on gathering the necessary information and gives training on how to write reports based on the collected data. 

Once completed, reports are graded, and if adequate, the student has fulfilled all the testing requirements. 

Students are rewarded with a Conditional  Certificate once all of the testing requirements are passed. Also, their first three contracted inspection reports are graded and accepted.

As mentioned earlier, NWFA is a leader in the flooring industry, and as such, they are more than well aware that progress happens continuously. Therefore, constant improvement is mandatory. 

To maintain the inspector certification, an inspector must earn three CCUs per year and send one inspection report per year for review. These reports are graded, and if they don’t meet acceptable standards, the report must be rewritten and resubmitted for additional corrections. All in, this is the most difficult certification to achieve.

NWFA Certified Inspectors are recognized as the most qualified inspectors in the wood flooring industry.  As such, certified inspectors are in high demand. 

Many manufacturers support this claim. Consequently, they insist that NWFA Certified Inspectors be contracted when an inspection is required. 

NWFA Certified Inspector will always:

  • Gather information from the people involved in flooring inspection
  • Would never share any theories or conclusion why the floor went wrong
  • Listen more, talk less.
  • Follow ethics standards for inspectors.
  • Make and take their time to discover what the flooring and subfloor are
  • Are always familiar with the specific geographical area
  • Interview every party involved

Competent flooring inspectors will always put extra attention to good reporting. A proper inspection report is clear, brief, and without irrelevant details. 

Since other professionals will be examining the written, a non-biased attitude is always present in the report. Plus, every written work can be used later on at the court. 

Home and business owners should always focus on quality when it comes to hardwood flooring inspecting service. 

Only certified inspection for hardwood floors is proper inspection. 



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