Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ANSI Audit For Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality Testing Program

Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality Testing Program
Big news here at the Carpet and Rug Institute!  Our Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality testing program recently passed another yearly challenge: the annual audit from ANSI, the organization otherwise known as the American National Standards Institute.

ANSI is the well-known and highly-respected organization that is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). ANSI is the voice of the American standards community, and is a vital link between governments, industry, consumers, and all other stakeholders in the standard-setting process. It is the third-party we at CRI are referring to when we say the GLP program is “third-party certified”.

I spoke with Jeff Carrier, CRI’s Indoor Air Quality Manager, about the ANSI audit process. 

“I am often asked what it is like to undergo an ANSI accreditation audit. From my perspective as the GLP program manager, it’s a strange mixture of insurance policy, IRS audit, and Wild West dental visit  all rolled into one.

CRI’s Green Label Plus programs ensure that certified carpets and adhesives are the lowest emitters of
VOCs- Volatile Organic Compounds. A certification needs to stand for something, and by taking advantage of ANSI’s accreditation services, GLP users have full assurance that CRI is meeting our obligations by operating a program that is fully compliant with ISO Guide 65- General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems. It is Guide 65 (soon to be replaced by the recently adopted ISO 17065) that guides our operations and administration to ensure that we are operating the Green Label Program in accordance with the requirements of, “…competence, consistent operation and impartiality of product, process and service certification bodes” (ISO Guide 17065).

In short, this says that we state what we’re going to do, we follow through with what we said we’re going to do, and we’re competent to do it. It also includes strict separation of product manufacture, performance of testing, and evaluation of testing – no “home cooking” – everything strictly professional.

And to keep us on our toes, twice each year we entertain outside auditors who review and inspect information from the financial health of the program right down to the individual chain of custody sample sheets to ensure that every i is dotted and every t is crossed. No record or file is off limits. Procedural errors can either be classified as minor or major nonconformities. Either type of nonconformity must be addressed or corrected within 30 days. The auditors also have the option of making recommendations for program improvements. It really helps to have these outside eyes review the program. Occasionally, familiarity can cause you to overlook something that needs to be updated or corrected.

These audits are tough, but in the end they work to show us that we’re running the program very efficiently and openly. It does give us great satisfaction to earn accreditation from ANSI. It shows the confidence CRI has in the strength of the Green Label Plus program that we’re willing to subject ourselves to this rigor - not just during our audits, but on a daily basis. After all, the
GLP programs provide families across the world with the lowest VOC-emitting carpets possible.”

Well said, Jeff – thank you!

~ Bethany  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From CRI!

Fall Leaves,Dalton, GA by George Davies
Fall Leaves in Dalton, GA, painted by George Davies,
Assistant Director - Marketing Communications
with Shaw Industries, a CRI-member manufacturer


Happy Thanksgiving!


From everyone at the Carpet and Rug Institute and the Carpet America Recovery Effort:



Anthony, Bethany, Frank, Georgina,

James, Jason, Jeff, Jennifer, Joy, Ken,

Linda, Louise, Pat H., Pat J., Ryan,

Susan, and Werner

Friday, November 18, 2011

What Is Heavy Traffic on Carpet?


Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 14th in a series

"What is Considered Heavy Traffic on Carpet?" is the fourteenth in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. 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 heavy traffic on carpet.

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

Carpet Question Corner #14: What is Considered Heavy Traffic on Carpet?

Heavy traffic is 1,000 to 10,000 traffics per day or up to 2,000,000 traffics for the life of the carpet.

Obviously, durability is key in selecting the right carpet for high-traffic areas. 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.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer customers when they ask you about traffic on carpet? What resources do you use to help them understand heavy traffic and how to select the best carpet?
Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carpet Care Tips: Preserving Carpet Beauty

Preserving Carpet Beauty – Carpet Care Tips to help prevent “pile crushing” from Werner Braun

In his October 30, 2011 column titled Presearving nap or pile for the Dalton Daily CitizenCarpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun  provides a few carpet care tips on how to preserve your carpet’s appearance by caring for its fibers. Mr. Braun discusses how, over time, carpet can begin to show signs of wear, in the form of high-traffic areas that appear crushed or flattened, or hollow spots where furniture legs have indented the carpet’s face. He offers readers a few basics about carpet construction and tips on choosing carpet that will “stand up” to a busy lifestyle.

“First, ‘pile’ — the visible surface of carpet — is a term sometimes used to identify the texture of rugs and carpets. Popular choices are cut, loop, patterned loop or cut and looped. CRI offers a Texture Retention Rating Scale that compares several types of carpet pile and rates them by the degree to which their appearance and surface changes over time. This can be found on our website, www.carpet-rug.org.”

The article continues to point out that a number of things can be done to keep the pile standing at attention. Installing carpet with a higher resilience in heavily traveled areas can help. For better appearance and longer carpet life, small rugs can be used to reduce the amount of direct traffic on the carpet — the rugs take the abuse, not the carpet. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear paths in high-traffic spots and in front of furniture will slow this change.

“Crushing is the loss of pile thickness because of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Regular vacuuming will help reduce crushing that results from traffic. Some carpet cleaning professionals also periodically use a “pile lifter” before, as well as a “grooming rake” after extraction cleaning carpet.

The next fall question: What about the depressions or indentations left after moving furniture around?

We know people say they clean the most in the spring, but the changing of seasons always leads to change — and movement of furniture is no exception. Due to the heavy weight of some furniture, and depending on the type of carpet, some depressions may be permanent.

Use of furniture gliders or cups under the legs of the heavy pieces can help minimize the indentations; or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways from time to time so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To also remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, dampen the area and heat it with a hair dryer, working the fibers with your fingers or a spoon.”


Thank you, Werner

~ Bethany

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Carpet and Indoor Air: Lew Migliore Sets Story Straight

Carpet and Indoor Air: Lew Migliore Sets Story Straight

Industry Expert Lew Migliore Sets the Story Straight About Carpet and Indoor Air

Here’s the Truth from an Industry Expert:

Lew Migliore is one of my favorite carpet people, and one of my favorite things to hear is how Lew reacts to folks he doesn’t agree with who set themselves up as experts on carpet. In his September 12, 2011 “claims file”column that appeared in Floor Covering News, Lew takes the consumer affairs columnist from the Chattanooga, Tennessee newspaper to task for her article on carpet installation.

Lew’s column takes the Chattanooga writer’s article apart point by point, and points readers to the correct information for installing carpet, choosing pad and assessing the condition of the subfloor that is located on the Carpet and Rug Institute’s website.

It’s Lew’s reaction to the woman’s advice to consumers to open their windows for several hours after carpet is installed that I find entertaining. If you know Lew, you can just hear him saying this stuff - New York accent and all.

“Where do these people get their information?

And the kicker, verbatim: “When the new carpeting is down to your satisfaction, leave the house for several hours so the fumes dissipate.”

Come on, really? Do you leave the house after painting, or replacing a toilet or cleaning the bathroom with all sorts of chemicals and using drain cleaner? Ludicrous!

…Specifications for installing carpet can be found online at carpet-rug.org, the official site of the Carpet & Rug Institute, which covers all aspects of installation including cushion, substrate conditions, new carpet odor, tackstrip, etc.

Expert advice?

Are her other books as well researched as carpet installation, I wonder? Wouldn’t make me want to go out and buy them. If you’re going to write on a subject and pass yourself off as an authority who people look to for the truth, you’d better know what you’re talking about.”

You said it, Lew. Thanks

~ Bethany

Friday, November 11, 2011

Carpet R-Value: Should I Be Concerned?


Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 13th in a series

"Should I Be Concerned About the R-Value of a Capet?" is the thirteenth in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. 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 the R-Value of carpet.

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

Carpet Question Corner #13: Should I Be Concerned About the R-Value of a Carpet?

Simply put, R-value is the insulation level of a carpet. The higher the R-value, the more a carpet retains heat. In colder climates or colder seasons, this heat retention can actually save you money by conserving heat and energy.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask you about R-Value or how well carpet insulates? What resources do you use to help them? What other questions come up?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HousekeepingChannel.com: Cleaning Tips, Solutions

HousekeepingChannel.com: Cleaning Tips, Solutions

Housekeeping Tips Online Offer Great Solutions for Homes, Businesses

In his October 21, 2011 column titled "When you teach, you learn" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun introduces readers to a valuable online resource for advice on keeping our homes, offices and businesses clean, namely, housekeepingchannel.com.

Housekeepingchannel.com states on its website that it’s a “comprehensive resource for ‘Better, Faster, Healthier’ cleaning and housekeeping, [providing] proven processes and practices from cleaning experts, professional executive housekeepers and cleaning services, environmental service professionals, doctors and scientists, and organizational and time-management consultants.

Allen Rathey, president of Housekeepingchannel.com says he started the site began because he felt there was a need for a “one-stop-shop” for health and cleaning information for consumers and retailers alike. Housekeepingchannel.com began in August 2004 and goes deeper into cleaning topics than the average consumer magazine goes, and it is a free, totally educational product that all can access.

‘We think of ourselves as teachers,’ said Rathey.

I think what Rathey and his team are doing is inspiring. It’s never too late to take a moment to step back and look at how we can improve our teaching skills. If we look long-term at how to improve our communication products, we can improve education — and not just education on housekeeping.”


Thank you, Werner!

~Bethany


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Carpet Recycling Gaining Media Attention on YouTube!

Carpet Recycling Gaining Media Attention on YouTube!

Carpet Recycling Gaining Media Attention Starting With YouTube

I find more about carpet recycling in the news every day. In addition to articles and blog posts, I’ve discovered several videos on YouTube that tell the carpet recycling story from various points of view. Here are a few good examples, although there are many more.

First, I found a 6:17 interview with Kim Matsoukas, director of sustainability for CRI-member manufacturer Bentley Prince Street on California’s AB 2398 carpet recycling law.

[Subscribers, click on California's New Carpet Recycling Law to view the video on YouTube.]

Natural InteriorsNancy Kibbee spotlights several Ohio carpet retailers who are collecting carpet for recycling in their communities on the Natural Interiors blog.

Here’s a 2:54 video from SF Carpet Recycling in San Francisco. Unfortunately, this company is no longer in business, but the video is very informative, with excellent information about what people need to do to prepare carpet to be ready for pickup by recyclers.  

[Subscribers, click on Intro to Carpet Recycling to view the video on YouTube.]


Here’s the 3:12 video from Kasey Kruse from Kruse Carpet Recycling of Indianapolis, Indiana. This was one of the first online videos about carpet recycling, and it’s a classic.

Kasey and her father Dick Kruse are very active with the Carpet America Recovery Effort,  the non-profit group committed to increasing carpet recycling in the U.S.

[Subscribers, click on Kruse Carpet Recycling Informational Video to view the video on YouTube.]


Exhibitors Carpet Service posted this video of their operations. It’s a mixture of video and still photography with some great imagery, but I didn’t always understand what the machines are doing. But, at only 1:42, it’s fun to watch.  And if you can fill me in on all the steps in the process, I’d love to hear from you.

[Subscribers, click on Exhibitors Carpet Service - Carpet Recycling Video to view the video on YouTube.]


Here’s a fascinating 2:43 interview on buildaroo.com with Tom Ellis, VP of Marketing for Tandus Flooring.  Tom talks about the various ways Tandus is recycling and the different products Tandus is using to provide recycled content for their flooring products. Click on Tandus Carpets: Recycling Waste Streams - buildaroo.com to view the video [which isn't available to embed here].

And talk about your heavy-duty shredders, this :46 video of a carpet shredder at EcoWise Carpet Shredding and Recycling is worth watching just for the sound effects alone! It reminds me of the soundtrack for The Blob.

[Subscribers, click on Carpet Shredding for Carpet Recycling to view the video on YouTube.]


It’s great to see carpet recycling gain attention in social media.

If you have a video that deals with carpet recycling video, please send me a link. Everyone else – get rolling!

~Bethany

Friday, November 4, 2011

Carpet: Safe for Older Individuals, Toddlers, Too!

Fact or Myth? Carpet is Safer for Older Individuals.

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 12th in a series

"Fact or Myth? Carpet is Safer for Older Individuals." is the twelth in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. 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 whether carpet is safer for older individuals.

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

Carpet Question Corner #12: Fact or Myth? Carpet is safer for older individuals.

Carpet is ideal for all ages, but especially older individuals. It cushions footsteps for lower impact on joints. It is also safer by reducing slips and falls and minimizing injuries when falls do occur. So the elderly, as well as toddlers, stand to benefit the most.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask whether carpet is appropriate for older individuals? What resources do you use to help them?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Carpet Capital History Inspires Despite Challenges

Carpet Capital History Inspires Despite Challenges

Challenges and Triumphs: Finding Inspiration in Carpet Capital History

In his August 12, 2011 column titled "Challenges and triumphs" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun discusses how Dalton, Georgia, the nation’s well-known "Carpet Capital of theWorld” works to keep up the spirits of its citizens during the economic downturn of recent years.

“With every triumph, there come a few challenges along the way.

As a town that is built on an industry, Dalton will continue to experience highs and lows in this economy. Metro Dalton (Murray and Whitfield counties) continues to have a higher than national average unemployment rate at 12.1 percent, though jobs in manufacturing and trade are beginning to increase as of June 2011, according to the United States Department of Labor.

But what I’ve come to realize over the years about Dalton and the flooring industry is we are more than highs and lows — we’re a continuous story of pride at its best, as we battle through hard times and make new paths through innovation for the future. 

As a town that was built from selling bedspreads on Peacock Alley, we know that our products have a direct connection with the housing/building market. This is one of our main challenges in the floor covering industry.

I’m confident when I say that the carpet industry will continue to succeed because of the innovation our members continually bring to the table. I’m convinced that carpet will always have a ‘home.’


And even more, I’m confident Dalton will always have carpet.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Karastan in Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West Home

Karastan in Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West Home
Karastan carpet was chosen for the restored living room of
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.
Photo by Donna Yeaw.
I was not surprised to learn that in 1955 the architect Frank Lloyd Wright considered
designing rugs and carpets for the renowned rug and carpet manufacturer Karastan. (Karastan is now part of Mohawk Industries, the world’s largest flooring manufacturer and a Carpet and Rug Institute member.) Several highly-regarded artists of the day, including the artist Henri Matisse, (see related blog post Mattisse Rug Donated to Carpet and Rug Institute) designed rugs.

According to a story in National Floor Trends magazine, titled Karastan rugs featured in Frank Lloyd Wright's home, those early discussions between Wright and Karastan led the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to choose a Karastan product for the newly restored Taliesin West, Wright’s home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“The reason we selected Karastan for the living room of Taliesin West was because of the color selection available, the quality of Karastan’s carpets and Wright’s relationship with Karastan. Wright talked to Karastan in 1955 about collaborating on a line of carpets with the Wright design,” said Doug Volker, the foundation’s director of licensing and product development.

Matching the carpet in historic photos, Karastan donated 1,495 sq. ft. of new carpet to bring the Taliesin West living room and adjacent dining cove back to their former beauty. The carpet selected for the restoration project, Karastan’s Cambridge Shores in Glazed Wood color, was custom made and bound into five rectangular rugs to fit the space.

Wright began building Taliesin West in 1937 as his personal home, studio and architectural ampus, and no doubt was still making changes in 1959 when he died. Each year more than 150,000 visitors tour this historic property in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains to admire the genius of the man who continues to impact interior design, architecture and ideas about sustainability and green living.”

The Robie house in Chicago, built during the early days of the architect’s career, also has carpet designed and manufactured by a CRI member. (See related blog article Carpet in Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House.)

Congratulations to Karastan for contributing to this historic project. The Karastan carpet looks right at home in the beautiful desert setting.

~Bethany

Photo Credit: National Floor Trends. Photo by Donna Yeaw.
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