Friday, October 28, 2011

Carpet Color Choices: Is Beige Boring?

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 11th in a series

"Am I Boring If I Just Want Beige Carpet?" is the eleventh in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new.

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #11: Am I boring if I just want beige carpet?

We like you just the way you are!

The fact is, everyone has their own style when it comes to home and business decor. So there is no right or wrong answer. Carpet is the foundation of your room’s look. It can be a neutral color, blending in with fabrics and other surfaces, or it can be a vibrant focal point of the room, making a statement that reflects your style.

Ever-popular beige carpet can make a room look spacious. Environmental colors, like blues, deep greens, rosy quartz and stony neutrals are becoming increasingly popular. Warm colors can turn up the heat in a room that lacks light, while cool greens and blues have a calming effect. The good news is that no matter what look you’re going for, there is a carpet color out there to compliment it.

Visit and to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask you questions about carpet colors? What tools do you use? What resources do you refer them to? And, which colors are you finding most popular for customers?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bragging on Carpet City Rotary by Werner Braun

Bragging on Carpet City Rotary by Werner Braun

Werner Braun: Bragging on Carpet City Rotary

In his August 12, 2011 column titled "Bragging on Carpet City Rotary" for the Dalton Daily CitizenCarpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun discusses the benefits of belonging to the local Rotary Club, lists what the local service group gives to the Dalton community.

“…my decision to join Rotary 11 years ago is directly related to my family’s move to the United States. We emigrated from Germany and, because of the move; we were able to realize the American dream. I spent many years looking for ways to pay back, and in the end, Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self,” articulated what I was looking for.

I’d like to share with you what
Carpet City Rotary is all about.

I’m proud to say that 80 percent of our funds go towards Special Olympics events in Whitfield County. We put on a summer track and field event, bowling event and a basketball skills competition. We will also be the event sponsor for the upcoming golf event at the state Special Olympics that are coming to Dalton in October.

During the local Special Olympics events we support an average of 250 to 275 kids and the state games will have 1,500 kids. In addition to funds, we provide 10 to 15 club members as volunteers.

Every school year, we give six $500 scholarships to Dalton State College (DSC) and two for each high school in the area. The Carpet Capital Rotary also sponsors an exchange student from the Georgia Rotary Student Program and provides a one-year scholarship to DSC. Last year our exchange student was from Sweden, this year she is from Germany.

Every Christmas we do a toy drive for Providence Ministries and average more than 100 new toys for needy children each year. This May will be our seventh anniversary for our annual fundraiser called “Swing for the Green,” a hole-in-one competition for $1 million. And most recently, we have partnered with the city of Dalton to create a new park across from Harmon Field. We’re in the process of getting signs up, as it will be called Carpet City Rotary Park.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Carpet, Rugs, Bathmats and Trends: Bathroom Blogfest 2011

Carpet, Rugs, Bathmats and Trends: Bathroom Blogfest 2011
Mohawk Home Bath Mat

Bathroom Blogfest 2011: The U.S. Carpet Industry Takes it to the Mat as Carpet and Rug Institute’s Bethany Richmond Discusses the Colorfast and Furriest in Bath Mat Trends

A few weeks ago, I slipped and fell getting out of the bathtub. In a classic ass-over-teakettle move, I stepped out of the tub, placed my damp foot on the tile floor and slid, caroming off the doorjamb and falling, arms akimbo. (Wow - four of my favorite words in one sentence!)

It was my own blessed fault – I forgot I had taken up the bathmat to wash.

You might say I was a victim of my own messaging. For the past three years on the Carpet and Rug Institute blog, I’ve been telling everyone that carpet and rugs cut down on slip and fall accidents. CRI President Werner Braun is fond of quoting an old insurance industry statistic that says you are 7 times more likely to fall on hard floors than on carpeted ones and 7 times less likely to hurt yourself if you do fall on carpet. As I lay there, sprawled on the eponymous hard-as-rock floor, experiencing the only moment of my life I will ever be happy to have a behind equipped with ample natural padding, it came to me that somehow I would work this episode into a blog post. The sixth annual Bathroom Blogfest seems like my chance.

Mohakw Home NY Showroom
Mohawk Home's NYC Showroom
I represent the carpet industry, so each year for the Bathroom Blogfest I write about bathroom rugs. For my previous posts, I have sought inspiration from David Record, who works for Mohawk Home, America’s #1 bath mat manufacturer and importer. Again this year, David proved himself to be a gracious and generous font of information.

When I asked him to discuss the trends in bathroom rugs, David said (much like the man who said “plastics” to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate), that the word this year was: memory foam.

Memory foam rugs, he said, cut into various shapes and covered with different materials, have been the hot new trend in bath mats for several seasons at the New York Home Textiles Market and were showing no signs of slowing.

Also big, David said, are bath mats made with micro-denier polyester. Denier is a measurement of the thickness of a yarn. Since most carpet fibers are 15-20dpf (denier per filament) and the yarns from your standard-issue nylon bath mat average around 3-8 dpf, you can image how soft and downy rugs made from 1dpf polyester must feel. Fine as frog’s hairs, as we say in Georgia.

But there’s a flipside to the hot and new story. Both of these increasingly-popular bathmat styles (according to David, memory foam has gone from 0 to 10 percent of the market in just two years; micro-denier polyester has captured close to 7 percent share seemingly overnight) are imported, mostly from China.

What’s still made in the U.S.? Good news: nylon bathmats, those tireless (and predominately solid-color) workhorses of the home textile world are still made here. According to David, foreign manufacturers, for all their flair for the new and unique, cannot match the quality or price of good old Mr. Solid American Nylon. He may not be sexy, but next time I find myself in Kohl’s or Target, JC Penney or WalMart, and I feel the need for something new to liven up my Loo,  I know whom I’ll choose. Because, from my outpost here in Dalton, Georgia, the stoic, but hard-pressed carpet manufacturing capital of the world, “climbing out” begins, emphatically, at home.

~ Bethany 

The "climbing out" participants of the 2011 Bathroom Blogfest include:              

NameBlog NameBlog URL
Susan AbbottCustomer Experience CrossroadsCustomer Experience Crossroads
Paul AnaterKitchen and Residential Design
Shannon BilbyFrom the Floors Up
Toby BloombergDiva MarketingDiva Marketing Blog
Laurence BorelBlog Till You Drop
Bill BuyokAvente Tile Talk
Jeanne ByingtonThe Importance of Earnest Service
Becky CarrollCustomers Rock!
Katie ClarkPractical Katie
Nora DePalmaO'Reilly DePalma: The Blog
Paul FriederichsenThe BrandBiz Blog
Tish GrierThe Constant Observer
Elizabeth HiseFlooring The Consumer
Emily HooperFloor Covering News Blog
Diane KazanUrban Design Renovation
Joseph MichelliDr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika MillerModenus Blog
Arpi NalbandianTile Magazine Editors' BlogTile Editor Magazine Blog
David PolinchockPolinchock's Ponderings
Professor ToiletAmerican Standard's Professor Toilet
David Reich my 2 cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley PondScarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy RenshawPurple Wren
Bethany RichmondCarpet and Rug Institute BlogCarpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce D. SandersRIMtailing
Paige SmithNeuse Tile Service blog
Stephanie WeaverExperienceology
Christine B. WhittemoreContent Talks Business BlogContent Talks Business Blog
Christine B. WhittemoreSmoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog
Christine B. WhittemoreSimple Marketing Blog
Ted WhittemoreWorking Computers
Chris WoelfelArtcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.
Patty WoodlandBroken Teepee
Denise Lee Yohnbrand as business bites

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Carpet and Rug Institute Mission: Same Despite Structure Change

Carpet and Rug Institute Mission: Same Despite Structure Change

Despite changes, Carpet and Rug Institute’s Mission Remains the Same: New structure for CRI Brings More Decision-Makers to Table

In his September 16, 2011 column titled Despite changes, our mission remains the same for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun discusses recent restructuring at CRI.

“At the leadership level at CRI, nothing has changed: CRI continues to be governed by a board of directors and policy committee. But now, instead of committees and work groups, CRI will organize under a central decision-making group we are calling the Strategic Issues Leadership Council, or SILC for short.

Under the SILC, there are three new groups we are calling panels, which will be organized along three main content areas: deselection, product performance and standards, and extended producer responsibility and Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). 

The Deselection Panel will house all of the issues that have the potential to cause carpet to be deselected, such as fear of increased asthma and allergy symptoms with carpet use.

The Product Performance and Standards Panel will address all items related to standards, such as the Texture Appearance Retention Rating (TARR) system, installation, and the Seal of Approval carpet cleaning testing and certification and Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality programs.

The Extended Producer Responsibility and CARE (Carpet America Recovery Effort) Panel addresses recycling issues that the carpet industry faces, while also ensuring that all players in the industry are doing their due diligence.

The Carpet and Rug Institute works with its member companies, allies in the field, independent testing laboratories and government agencies to continually improve its best practices in product improvement, environmental responsibility and customer care. The result of this pursuit of excellence means that CRI exceeds industry standards and meets customer expectations and this — I’m happy to report — will never change.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bentley Prince Street Makes Carpet Couture Collection Fabric

Bentley Prince Street Makes Carpet Couture Collection Fabric
BPS President Anthony Minite with entire carpet couture fashion collection
Carpet will never replace cotton as “the fabric of ourlives”, but Bentley Prince Street, the inventive, California-based commercial carpet manufacturer (and Carpet and Rug Institute member) has re-imagined carpet as the fabric of our dreams in an impressive couture collection, which came about as part of a creative collaboration between BPS and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California 

BPS President Anthony Minite showcased a few of the designs during an interview with news anchor Dave Gonzales on Los Angeles TV station KCBS/KCAL [click on this link to view the 4:31 minute video]. 

Minite discussed how all six dresses in the carpet couture collection will be showcased in the windows of one LA-area Neiman Marcus store, beginning September 8. He praised the creativity of each of the young designers whose garments were chosen for the collection.

Minite also mentioned that Bentley Prince Street, which has been in business in California since 1979,  is one of only five carpet manufacturers remaining in a state that at one time had over 80 firms producing carpet.

Watch the four and a half minute interview with Anthony Minite or read more about the carpet couture fashions on the BPS blog. The article is titled Carpet Couture: Taking Our Runway Fashions On The Road.

And, check out the entire fashion show on YouTube in this5:46 video titled Bentley Prince Street Carpet Fashion Show. The lighting in the video doesn’t do the fashions justice, but it’s nice to see all the styles at once. 

Thanks to Bentley Prince Street for reminding us all that carpet is a fabric and the flooring business is about fashion.


Image credit: Designing for Life Blog

Friday, October 14, 2011

Carpet TPI (Turns Per Inch): What Is It?

Carpet TPI (Turns Per Inch): What Is It?

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 9th in a series

"What is TPI and Why Should I Care?" is the ninth in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website The banners ads contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new. Today's is about carpet and TPI - aka "turns or twists per inch".

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #9: What is TPI and why should I care?

TPI or “turns per inch” is the number of times two or more yarns have been plied in an inch length. The more twists in the yarn, the more durability in the carpet – which means it will be less likely to unravel over years of usage. Most carpet yarns have 3.5 to 6.0 TPI.

A good TPI to look for: 4.50 to 4.75.

Visit and to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask you about TPI? What resources do you use to help them?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CRI SOA Insights On Carpet Cleaning, Restoration Industry

CRI Seal of Approval Program Offers Insights to Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Industry

CRI Seal of Approval (SOA) Program Offers Insights to Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Industry

In his September 23, 2011 column titled "CRI connects with community" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun discusses CRI’s participation in this year’s Connections Convention and Trade Show, one of the most influential training and display venues for the residential cleaning and restoration industry.

At Connections, attendees attend seminars and learn such things as how to attack pet odor and remove wine stains from carpet and the importance of using environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Mr. Braun spoke at the meeting about busting the myths behind carpet, asthma and allergies.

“…many people are still surprised to discover that there’s no scientific data to suggest that removing carpets will help those with asthma and allergy symptoms, even though some doctors still recommend the removal of carpet to their patients as part of their treatment.

One of my favorite stories from the show involves a Las Vegas cleaning professional who participates in the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval Service Providers program. He serves his community by working with his local Humane Society. When someone adopts a dog or cat he provides a one-time free carpet cleaning service.

I think this story demonstrates the importance of programs like CRI’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning products and equipment because it shows that humans aren’t the only ones who need clean indoor air — we all need clean air to breathe.

It’s through hearing stories like these that I know we’ve “connected” with a new floor covering audience.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Latex Allergy: No Worries With Carpet

Latex Allergy: No Worries With Carpet

Today’s carpet choices pose no threat to individuals allergic to natural latex

One of the difficult aspects of allergies is that susceptible individuals must stay on constant alert for exposure to the substances they are allergic to. Although latex allergy affects a relatively small segment of the population, those who are affected by it can have serious reactions if trace amounts of latex are hidden in food, for example, or if the workers handling the food have been wearing latex gloves. In light of the hidden dangers allergy patients must be on the lookout for,  it’s nice to know of one area where there is no need for worry – carpet. Today’s synthetic carpet does not contain natural rubber latex and does not pose a risk to latex allergy sufferers.

There are many different kinds of latex. The type used in carpet is a synthetic latex called styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) latex. Other synthetic latexes commonly encountered are ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) latex, acrylic latex, neoprene rubber latex, etc.

The latex which causes allergy is natural rubber latex, which is collected primarily from the rubber trees of Southeast Asia. This rubber contains the proteins to which people become allergic after repeated exposure. Only proteins can cause allergies. Synthetic latexes do not contain proteins.

So, the good news is: there is no risk of latex allergy in broadloom carpets since natural rubber latex is not used in today's carpets; this is due to the high cost of natural rubber latex and the uncertainty of consistent supply sources for it, due to things such as unpredictable weather events, political upheaval in the rubber producing areas, etc. Some imported area rugs may contain natural rubber latex and some domestically produced bath mats may contain natural rubber latex, but periodic washing removes any protein residues.

There’s more information about carpet and latex on the Carpet and Rug Institute’s web site.

~ Bethany

Image Credit: Rubber Trees

Friday, October 7, 2011

Carpet Performance Ratings For Carpet That Stands Up to Kids, Dogs, Husbands

Carpet Performance Ratings For Carpet That Stands Up to Kids, Dogs, Husbands

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 8th in a series

"What kind of carpet can stand up to two kids, a dog and my husband?" is the eighth in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new.

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #8: What kind of carpet can stand up to two kids, a dog and my husband?

Many manufacturers will put carpet performance ratings on the label as a guide for consumers. Rated from 1 to 5, the scale represents the carpet’s ability to withstand extended wear. A rating of 4 or 5 would be a good choice for high-traffic areas. Carpets in the 2.5 to 4 range are predicted to give normal durability. And anything below 2.5 should be chosen for low-traffic areas like bedrooms. Not all manufacturers provide the numerical rating. But it’s a good place to start, for those that do.

Visit and to learn more.

How do you answer consumers who ask which carpet will wear better? How do you use carpet performance ratings to recommend carpet that stands up to kids, dogs and husbands?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Carpet in Schools: Safer, Quieter, Easier to Clean

Carpet in Schools: Safer, Quieter, Easier to Clean

Carpet as educational tool by Werner Braun

In his September 30, 2011 column titled Carpet as an educational tool for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun discusses CRI’s attendance at the annual meeting of CEPHI, the Council for Educational Facility Planners International(CEPHI) and highlights how carpet in schools is safer, quieter and easier to clean than alternative floor covering options.

CRI has long espoused the benefits of carpet in schools, and there is no better opportunity for talking to school design decision makers than at the CEPHI show. Once again, the carpet industry was represented at the show by CRI director of market issues, James Beach.

In his article, Mr. Braun lists carpet’s benefits in schools: noise reduction, fewer slip and fall injuries, and greater sound and energy insulation qualities. Plus, CRI research shows the cost to properly maintain carpet is less than for hard surface floors. Mr. Braun cited a survey conducted by Beth Shapiro and Associates that showed that 92 percent of teachers feel classroom design has a strong impact on the learning environment, and most teachers preferred carpet in their classrooms. From the article:

 “Carpet traps noise as it bounces around a room, allowing students to hear with more clarity. This also helps students concentrate and listen to instructions more closely, providing a more effective learning environment.

Safety is another benefit carpet brings to the learning environment. The traction carpet can provide greatly reduces the possibility of slips and falls in the school. Slips and falls on a carpeted surface will most likely be less painful than a fall on a hard surface.

Choosing carpet for schools also adds to the comfort of a learning environment. Carpet acts as an insulator, helping keep classrooms cozy on cold winter days. It also adds an aesthetic appeal. It creates a sense of “home,” helping students feel relaxed and welcome.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Carpet Cushion Adds Comfort, Life to Carpet

Fabulous Floors Magazine: Carpet Cushion Adds Comfort, Life to Carpet

Want More From Your Carpet? Upgrade Your Carpet Cushion: Better Carpet Cushion Makes for More Comfort, Life for Your New Carpet

Often, when a new acquaintance finds out I live in Dalton, Georgia (where most U.S. carpet is manufactured) they will ask for a tip about how to choose carpet for their home.  Invariably, I tell them that the thing that will have the biggest impact on how they enjoy their carpet is what kind of cushion they choose to go under it.

The truth is, once you choose a carpet, you are only partly done with your carpet purchase. You also need to think about carpet cushion.
FabulousFloors magazine ran a rather fabulous article about shopping for cushion that pointed out that carpet cushion serves two purposes: first, it makes your carpet feel better and stay beautiful longer. Second, it extends the life of the carpet and makes it easier to keep clean.

“…it is cushion, far more than your carpet, which determines how your carpet and rugs will feel when you walk on them. Plus, the correct cushion helps maintain your carpet’s original appearance over the long haul. (It also increases air flow between your floor and carpet or rugs for better, more efficient vacuuming.)

Cushion functions as a shock absorber, taking the pounding of everyday foot traffic. This helps your carpet feel better, look better and last longer. While technological advancements have brought us to a point where carpet these days rarely wears out, cushion’s job is to help prevent carpet from what is called “uglying out;” that is, losing its shape and resiliency. Put another way, the right cushion will help your carpet look and feel younger for a long time.

Better-quality cushion also provides features which run-of-the-mill padding never dreamed of, like blocking moisture and fighting odors from spills, plus providing thermal and sound insulation between floors.

In terms of comfort, which comes first, your cushion selection is largely a matter of personal preference; for example softer, more luxurious cushion in the living room and master bedroom or a firmer feel in a family or child’s room. However, conferring with a specialty flooring retailer will help you match the correct cushion to your carpet. Selecting the wrong cushion might actually void your warranty. You can’t go wrong if you buy the best for the life of your carpet.

Ultimately, you should base your decision on four things. Have your retailer explain personal comfort, performance that’s matched to your carpet, functionality for your lifestyle needs and, of course, a warranty that’s just right for you.”

Today, you can find carpet cushion with a number of options for waterresistance; some with the strength and resilience of memory foam, and some thatoffer antimicrobial protection. And in a wonderful promotion, Carpet and Rug Institute member manufacturer Mohawk will make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Decorate for the Cure partnership to fund breast cancer research. 

I found one more cushion reference worth including here. It’s from an article called, “3 Vital Reasons to Research Carpet Padding Before You Buy” from The Carpet BuyersHandbook website that lists three reasons why your cushion choice is so important:  

1. You could ruin your carpet by choosing the wrong carpet cushion.

Out of sight should not be out of mind in the world of carpet padding. Put thick cushion in a high traffic area and you'll quickly find it's too soft to stand up to the wear and tear. Place a cushion that's too thin on a rough subfloor and prepare to see the imperfections come through. This is one time when taking the salesperson's word could end up being a costly mistake.

So, what can you do? Start by checking out the manufacturer's recommendations for your carpet. Next, consider where you are placing the carpet--guest bedroom or main hallway. Be extra cautious if you have radiant heating. For a little guidance, log on to Carpet Cushion Council's residential guidelines.

2. You could make your home more energy efficient by using carpet cushion.

With all the talk about weatherizing homes and energy efficiency, it's surprising more hasn't been made of the benefits that come from carpet and cushion.

A carpet cushion's insulating properties vary depending on the kind of material. For example, the insulating properties of bonded polyurethane are twice that of textured flat rubber. The Carpet Cushion Council has a handy chart of R-values (a measure of thermal resistance) for common types of padding. This is excellent information to have if you're trying to warm up a finished basement floor or maximize the heat from your radiant floors.

3. You could be helping the environment with your carpet cushion.

Some people don't like the thought of expending any more resources than absolutely necessary. If that sounds like you, then there's a lot to love about carpet cushion. Much of the cushion used in the United States is recycled. You can find recycled or reclaimed padding that is polyurethane (foam), rubber, and fiber. If you are concerned about the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the Environmental Protection Agency recommends looking for cushion with the CRI Green Label. Check out the Carpet and Rug Industry's Web site for more information about the Green Label. (for more information, there’s also the website for the Carpet Cushion Council – bmr.)

There's lots to be said about carpet cushion and how it adds comfort and life to carpet, don't you think? What would you add?

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