Coffee Stains and Solution Dyed Carpet

coffee picI enjoyed my extra hour of sleep this morning, but I still need my coffee! We decided to try a little experiment with our eColor Carpet fiber and coffee. These products are made from “Solution Dyed Polyester and are supposed to be stain resistant. Unlike traditionally dyed carpet, solution dyed is made of fiber that is the same color all the way through. We poured coffee on a sample of our ecolor carpet, and simply follow our simple cleaning instructions for carpet. The results speak for themselves!

Coffee Stains Removed

 Click here to see our collection of ecolor carpet.

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Acacia Hardwood – The Truth About Short Leaf vs. Long Leaf Acacia

Acacia has been growing in popularity, and for good reason. This hardwood’s beautiful swirling grain and rich colors create a character that is truly unique and exotic.

Not all Acacia is the Same.

big leaf acacia

This is a typical “big leaf” variety.

“Short Leaf” is what is commonly thought of as having that unique Acacia look. “Big Leaf” is less visually striking. Furthermore, Big leaf has far less character in its grain and less variation in the individual planks. This is why big leaf is less expensive than than short leaf.

The wood’s visual characteristics contribute to these different types. However, it is important to note that over 1,300 species were previously thought to belong to the genus. Most of these species are native to Australia. However, the non-Australian species were reclassified as “Vachellia” and “Senegalia” after 2005. According to Wikipedia:

“The name Acacia was retained for the majority of the Australian species and a few in tropical Asia, Madagascar and Pacific Islands.”

Short Leaf truly has the wow factor.

Short Leaf Acacia

This is a classic “Short Leaf” Acacia.

Its high drama grain and board to board variation is sure to draw compliments. Furthermore, it is very strong, dense, and heavy. The Janka Hardwood Rating Scale ranks it at 1700. This is over two times stronger than red oak. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or ask the experts.

Rustic Accents from Armstrong

This is a room scene of Rustic Accents from Armstrong. This is a great example of a short leaf variety.

Click here to see our collection of Acacia hardwood flooring.

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Why Polyester Has Become a New Standard

In the past few years, polyester carpet has taken off in the carpet industry, and there are two main factors that have boosted polyester to nylon‘s number one competitor. Brad Christensen (a Marketing Manager from Shaw) said, “First, improvements in heat-set and twisting technology have helped improve PET’s overall performance and, therefore, reputation. And second, the economic downturn made the value proposition that polyester has always provided even more attractive.”

Technology/Quality
Advances in fiber extrusion such as heat-seating, twisting, and solution dying have created a much stronger fiber. This has given the consumer confidence in a product that has been viewed as a value-grade offering in times past. The consumer is right to feel confident. James Lesslie, assistant to the chairman, Engineered Floors, told FCNews “The natural stain resistance of polyester combined with the economics are primary drivers to the growth of the fiber.” The various polyesters we offer come with some very impressive warranties. Lifetime stain resistance, life time fade resistance, and 25 year texture retention are just an example of the assurances our customers have that they are buying a quality product.

The Economy
As Brad said, polyester has always been a cheaper alternative to nylon, and the demand for cheaper alternatives is one felt across every market. As one of America’s most forward-thinking and competitive industries, the floor covering industry was quick to recognize and react to the shift in consumer priorities and spending. Its response to this shift in demand was an investment in polyester fiber extrusion and manufacturing. The result has been amazing. In just 5 years, polyester has went from being 5% of carpet sales to 35-40%.

At Carpet Express, we are excited about the products we offer. As a company that prides itself on personal connections to customers, we are constantly updating and creating carpet collections that keep pace with our customers’ ever changing needs. Our customers need options, and we are confident that eColor polyester is an amazing product for an amazing value for our customers.

To read more about the growth of polyester, read Floor Covering News’ article “Polyester sees continued growth through 2013.”

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How to Measure for Carpet Installation 101

Measuring for carpet is not as simple as just figuring your square footage.  Our infographic below will show you why. Keep in mind these same concepts also apply to vinyl installation. If you have any questions about installation don’t hesitate to call 800-922-5582. We install in a 150 mile radius  of Dalton, Georgia. However, if you are out of our service area, use our installation page to look up a Certified Floorcovering Installer in your area.

How to Measure for Carpet

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mm vs mil: What’s the difference?

The units of measurement used for laminate and vinyl thickness have similar sounding names. This has been a source of much confusion. The millimeter (mm=1/1000 of a meter) is used for measuring the thickness of laminate flooring. Laminate is typically somewhere between 7mm to 12mm thick. 12mm laminate is just short of a 1/2 inch thick.

The confusion arises from the term “mil.” It is used to measure the thickness of sheet vinyl flooring. This term does not mean millimeter. It is 1/1000 of an inch, and outside the USA it is commonly referred to as a “thou.” However, engineers in the US have started using “thou” due to the confusion with millimeter. It’s origin comes from the days of industrial revolution. It is a unit invented to streamline the tedious work of engineers. Instead of using fractions like 1/8’s and 1/16’s, engineers were able to speak in tenths. Today mils are used to measure everything from aluminum foil to your credit card (and vinyl of course). To give you some reference, a dime is about a millimeter thick, and just over 39mils. See the graphic below for a visual. Vinyl usually runs between 50 to 125 mils thick.

Please remember that the thickness of vinyl and laminate flooring does not necessarily correlate with its quality. Density, construction, and thickness are all details to consider when comparing products.

millimeters vs mils

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Cheap Doesn’t Mean Low Quality at Carpet Express

Cheap CarpetFor decades, we have made a name for ourselves by having discounted carpet styles. Carpet Express has saved thousands of customers money all over the U.S.A. We’ve done this by traditional good business practices like having a healthy stock on hand while maintaining great relationships with our suppliers and customers. We’ve been able to keep costs down in a tough economy. Our Sales and Management teams are working closely together to follow the market and seek out the perfect products. We have searched the catalogs of America’s best manufacturers for styles that are unbelievably affordable. These collections feature full color-lines, exciting patterns and styles as low as $0.88 a square foot. Recently Carpet Express developed a program that utilizes another approach to getting cheap prices on quality carpet. This line starts at the unbelievable price of $0.60 a square foot. We call it the eColor Collection.

eColor CarpetOur eColor carpet is American made, stain proof, fuzz proof, fade proof, and comes with 10-15 year wear warranties. Styles with these specs would normally sell for much higher, but there is a big difference. eColor carpet fiber is made with a streamlined state-of-the-art manufacturing process. Furthermore, we have limited these collections to the most popular colors. So instead of creating 30-50 colors, we specialize on 5-10 popular colors. This cuts down cost in manufacturing, stock, and overall expense. These savings are passed on to all our customers. From wholesale customers, rental property managers, to residential homes at every price range, our customers have fallen in love with these dependable and affordable products. Shop online today. Our flooring experts are waiting for your call or email. 800-922-5582

 

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Domotex and the International Builder’s Show 2013

This is market season at Carpet Express, and we’ve been traveling the globe. We have had great responses at The International Builder’s Show, Domotex, and now Surfaces. The general attitude has been: times are still tough but there is an optimism and a hunger for new business out there that is truly exciting. Floor Covering Weekly quoted our international sales rep in reporting on Domotex 2013:

“Traffic is down but I’ve gotten quality leads,” said Greg Smith, national sales rep for Dalton, Ga.-based Carpet Express. “We’ve actually written more business this year. It’s been very positive.”

We have continued to see a great response to running line carpet, vinyl, and hardwood. We are excited to hear from our team returning from Las Vegas at the Surfaces tradeshow in Las Vegas. 2013 is starting out with a bang, and we are excited to strengthen old relationships and begin new ones. From our wholesale customers to our daily retail customers, we can’t wait to hear from you this year!

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Armstrong Announces Solid Flooring Price Increase

Armstrong Announces Second Solid Flooring Price Hike Since October

Citing a continued escalation of lumber prices, Armstrong World Industries (Lancaster, Pa.) on Tuesday announced it will initiate a 10 percent price increase on solid wood flooring for U.S. and Canadian shipments on March 1.

“Lumber prices are rising more rapidly than our previous expectations,” said Kevin Biedermann, senior vice president, Armstrong Residential Floor Products. “As the housing market continues to improve, we anticipate these higher costs to continue as fewer sawmills try to keep up with the increased demand. Armstrong continues to work at manufacturing productivity improvements and cost reduction programs to offset higher costs but cannot keep pace with the sustained increases.”

The latest price hike marks the second time since October Armstrong has raised prices on solid wood flooring. And in November it announced a price hike for engineered wood flooring.

Armstrong is not alone in responding to the upswing of lumber prices, which has been brought on by the ongoing housing upturn. In November, Mohawk Industries (Calhoun, Ga.) announced a 6 percent price hike on select engineered flooring and then later broadened the scope of products affected to include all of its Unilin products.

Near the end of December lumber purchasing contracts for March delivery reached nearly $400 per 1,000 board feet on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The latest readings on random length lumber purchasing contracts for March stand at about $375.

Reposted from Hardwood Floors Magazine
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Janka Explained

Len Daubler, manager—product support for hard surfaces at Shaw Industries, explains the various Janka numbers for the same species of wood:

A Janka Hardness test is part of ASTM D 1037 “Standard Test Methods for Evaluating Properties of Wood-Base Fiber and Particle Panel Materials.” Hardness is defined as “resistance to indentation using a modified Janka hardness test.” The test is a measurement of the load (force) required to embed a modified Janka ball, 0.444 inch in diameter, to one half its diameter into the wood specimen. Two areas on the face of a specimen that is 1 inch thick, 6 inches long and 3 inches wide are tested, and the information is recorded and then averaged.

So what does this mean, and why do these numbers vary? In simple terms, let’s refer to the Janka number for red oak, which according to the Wood Handbook is 1290. Let’s remember the number generated is an average of two test sites taken from one specimen, so in essence these numbers are a reference point to use and are not an absolute. Each time a specimen is tested, the numbers and average may be different.

Additionally, when looking at an engineered product’s Janka number, you have a number of variables that can affect that particular product’s hardness rating or psi, which involves the number of plies making up the overall thickness of the product and the construction of the material. Even the species of the underlying plies can contribute to a higher or lower Janka number. For example, say a three-ply red oak product’s top ply is red oak, the second ply is balsa wood and the bottom ply is red oak. Now consider a three-ply red oak product that is red oak throughout all plies. These two very different assemblies could produce rather starkly different Janka ratings. Long story short: We have to remember that a Janka number can vary, and no matter how high it is, all wood products can dent or scratch.

Reposted From Hardwood Flooring Magazine
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