A Visit with Nationally Recognized Carpet and Flooring Expert and Author
Today’s blog is a bit unusual in that I’m visiting with an author who also happens to be an expert when it comes to flooring. This very talented man has both a blog and a book that answers every question you may have regarding carpeting and flooring.
For more than 30 years, Glenn has specialized in carpet, laminate, hardwood, and engineered flooring. Glenn consults with consumers, manufacturers, decorators, retailers, and installers. As a certified flooring inspector, he has seen it all. But one of the things he did not see in his three decades was a true guide to address many of the common questions about carpet and flooring. How do I handle a warranty claim? Should I install wood or carpet? What’s the different between wood laminate and engineered hardwood? What type of flooring will improve my home’s value? So many variables go into choosing a carpet and flooring—performance, style, color, budget, intended use—and now there is a resource for addressing your questions.
I had the chance to ask Glenn ten questions, but encourage you to take a look at his blog, “Inspection Safari” for tons of additional great info.
I’d say one of the most common mistakes people tend to make is buying by price instead of quality. If you think about it, your carpet will be the most used surface in your home. It is also the most visible. Consumers should not skimp because they will just end up paying for it in replacement costs.
- What is the difference between hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate?
Hardwood generally refers to ¾” thick solid, real wood flooring. Engineered wood is a real wood veneer glued over a piece of plywood. Laminate is a plastic topped board made from fine sawdust. The “wood” seen through the plastic top is actually a photograph.
- What is better for a rental property, carpet or some type of wood flooring?
That depends. If the rental is multi-story, carpet is better acoustically; wood is noisy. Carpet needs regular vacuuming and professional cleaning. Wood is sensitive to water spills. It scratches easily if not swept regularly—a bad idea near a beach. In either case, regular maintenance is the key to a long life.
- What are a few common mistakes you see people make when filing a warranty claim?
I am not involved in the claims process, either before or after the inspection. Most claims are not filed by the consumer directly with the manufacturer. They go through the dealer first. Thus, the process takes time. I advise people to be patient with the process and flexible with the results. What I can tell you is that documenting everything is important.
- What are few tricks for making your wood flooring last longer?
Sweep regularly. Avoid abrasion. All wood is moisture-sensitive so avoid moister, including water spills. Put pads under the contact point of furniture that will be on the wood. And consider runners for areas of high traffic such as entry ways and hallways. Going shoeless in your house is another great way to avoid bringing in small rocks and other things that can scratch, stain, or negatively impact your flooring.
- What are a few tricks to making carpet last longer?
Vacuum-vacuum-vacuum. Remove spots promptly with a non-sudsy solution. Have the carpet professionally cleaned on a regular basis using industry approved methods. (This is often required in order to maintain the warranty.)
- What is your specific job?
I am a forensic flooring and carpet inspector. My job is to determine, through inspection and testing, if a flooring or carpet failure is due to consumer, installer, or manufacturer error. It may not sound exciting, but I have seen some pretty interesting things over the years.
- What is the most unusual warranty issue you were ever sent to investigate?
Flies hatching from a newly installed carpet.
- How did you get into this line of work?
I began my career as an assistant buyer in the carpet department at the May Company-Cleveland. The department used a carpet inspector for some of our complaints. While I was planning a move to Denver, Colorado, the inspection company asked me if I would like to learn the business and open an office in Denver. Over a forty year period, I branched into inspecting other types of flooring and now live in San Diego.
10. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a consumer before they shop for flooring or carpet?
Educate yourself. Know what your needs will be depending on what the surface demands are, as well as personal preference concerning aesthetics. And don’t go by price alone. Make sure what you are purchasing is good quality. Also, know the proper short and long term methods for cleaning and caring for your purchase.
If you’d like to learn more about Glenn, get answers to your questions, or to read Glenn’s Inspection Safari blog, feel free to visit his website here: http://allaboutcarpetsbook.com.
Check out a copy of Glenn’s book: All About Carpets: Everything You Need to Know–A Consumer Guide