Sunday, May 3, 2009

Congoleum DuraCeramic Reviews and Prices

Congoleum DuraCeramic continues to be the best selling groutable luxury vinyl tile on the market. It is a great alternative to hard, cold, and high maintenance ceramic tile. I monitor several DIY and installation related flooring forums and chat rooms to keep abreast of consumer problems and complaints about different types of flooring.

The most common complaints I read about DuraCeramic tile is installation related and mainly about cracking grout. This is usually caused by not enough grout and is easily corrected. For installation, it is essential only the correct adhesive and grout are used. Another complaint I see here and there are the ones of damage caused by dropping heavy objects or dragging heavy furniture accross the surface. To this I say, not even a concrete driveway is damage proof if precautions are not taken.

I have DuraCeramic tile in my kitchen, breakfast room, and laundry room. It has been down about 2 1/2 years. I have a dent by my cooking island caused by dropping a crock pot. Did I get mad at Congoleum? No, I was mad at myself for being clumsy. I also had some grout related problems right after installation which have been corrected. Did I get mad at Congoleum? No, I was mad at the installer for not following instructions. I also had a water issue in the laundry room that caused no damage.

We sell about 50,000 flooring products on a yearly basis and Congoleum's DuraCeramic Luxury Vinyl Tile has the fewest complaints of any product we sell. Consumers must remember that no floor, or any other product for that matter, is indestructible. I am proud to offer DuraCeramic tile to our customers that are considering this type of floor. So buy with confidence that your new floor will look great and be serviceable for years to come.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hartco Parquet Flooring by Armstrong

We sell several brands of wood parquet flooring but for our money and more importantly for the consumer's money, the best value and the best quality is the Armstrong Parquet Wood Flooring by Hartco. We have almost no complaints with this floor. Our customers have commended us on our suggestions that this is the product to use for dining areas, hallways, and entrance foyers, It is also a great floor to use in game rooms or family rooms and for do-it-yourself installations, nothing could be easier.

American Carpet Wholesalers Customer Reviews

Customer reviews about American Carpet Wholesalers of Georgia provided by Google. A reason to smile? Maybe not yet. Although we have a great rating (almost twice as good as any other online flooring retailer), I personally do not think we can smile until it is perfect. Every staff member at ACWG is committed to making sure our orders are shipped timely, accurate, and damage free. Occasionally something falls thru the cracks and we drop the ball, but those instances are rare and every time we find those cracks, they are sealed. American Carpet Wholesalers has been online for about 10 years and 7 with the current employee structure. Our experience has taught us not to make excuses for our mistakes, but to admit to them and not to make them again. One day soon I hope to report our rating has reached 5 out of 5.

Mannington Hardwood Flooring - New Lower Prices

We have always been a fan of Mannington Engineered Hardwood Flooring. But now we have negotiated lower pricing to pass on to our customers. Visit our site to see the selections we have to offer and then call us. We are sure you cannot find a better value on Mannington Wood Floors, than at American Carpet Wholesalers of Georgia. Pricing starting as low as $2.79 sf on a quality product such as Mannington Hardwood is almost unheard of, but you can find it at our place,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Foor Covering Installers

First, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not an installer. but I did stay at a "Holiday Inn Express" last night. Seriously, I am not an installer, but I am a dealer and over the course of my career I have dealt with thousands of installers. And for the most part, very good ones. The best one that I ever worked with was Frank Britton, when I worked in Bricktown, NJ. He has long since retired so there is no need to rush to the phone book and look up his number. He was a true artisan of his craft.

Frank could install any type of floor which brings me to the point of this post. There are many reputable installers in the business who can install just about any type of floor and have the necessary training and tools to do quality work. But there are many more carpet installers than hard surface installers. With the resurgence of hardwood and tile floors, some very good carpet installers are doing work in which they are not properly trained nor have the required equipment. Because of the state of the economy, the same can be said about hard surface installers. They're not going to turn down a carpet job if they are only booked about half the time.

My experience shows that about 85% of all consumer complaints for the failure of a floor covering is installation related. Whether the dealer sold a product not suitable for a particular application or a non-qualified installer was given the job.

OK, you are a dealer. You have an emergency situation. You are overbooked for your normal crews and need an installer. How do you know the person you are going to send is competent? He's clean cut, has a new van, and he's articulate. Does that qualify him? Hardly. So what is the answer? There is a new service in town or should I say the country.

When I attended the trade shows that Shaw and Mohawk held in Atlanta, I noticed a booth set up called "". I first noticed at Shaw. Then later in the day I noticed the booth at Mohawk's show. Being as curious as I am, I wondered over to check it out. I spoke with a gentleman named Aaron Johnson of Knoxville, TN. He explained the concept to me and shortly into the conversation I knew this could be a great service.

The concept is simple. installers sign up at list all their specialities, their equipment, etc. When a dealer needs an installer, they go to the website and sees a list of installers in their area. Dealer interaction with is critical. The installers are rated by all sorts of categories, such as quality of work, on time appointments, appearance, etc.
If a dealer who participates always rates the installer by all the categories, when that critical job comes up, there will be no guess work. There will be a rating provided by other dealers as to the qualification and level of craftsmanship a particular installer exhibits. Frankly, I am excited about this concept and really hope that all dealers embrace it.

For a more in depth presentation go to . I am not affiliated in any fashion with I just like the idea and thought I would tell you about it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mannington Adura Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile

I neglected to mention in my previous post that also included in the special purchase of Mannington Flooring are several patterns of Mannington Adura Luxury Vinyl Plank and Mannington Adura Luxury Vinyl Tile. These products can be found in the inventory clearance section "Tile Floors".

Mannington Laminate Flooring

American Carpet Wholesalers has just received a truckload of Mannington Laminate Flooring of various patterns I purchased at a great price while attending Surfaces 2009. Several shades of Mannington Laminate Revolutions Plank Flooring, Mannington Coordinations Laminate Flooring, and Mannington Revolutions Adirondack Tile. All patterns can be found in the "Laminate Floors" Clearance Center of our website at great laminate floor prices.

Anytime we find a deal like this we try to buy it to save our customers even more money on popular flooring.

Flooring Prices for 2008-2009

All of 2008 we saw unprecedented escalation of the price of oil, resulting in price increases in the flooring industry. Usually every 2-3 months price increases occurred. Now that the price of gasoline hovers anywhere from $1.60 - $1.80 per gallon (down from over $4.00), we have not seen any price roll backs with exception of Supreme Carpets. Manufacturer's have sporadically offered certain products at reduced prices for limited time. Usually some of their slow moving products.

Only Supreme has sent us a complete price list reflecting lower prices across the board. For that reason I am acknowledging my appreciation in this post. Supreme Carpet is a family owned mill for over 37 years. They manufacture both residential and commercial lines carpet. Not a huge line, but a line of great values. As of this post, we do not have all the products on our website. but we will in the near future.

Thank you Dan McIntire and Supreme Carpets, Inc.

Nafco Luxury Vinyl Elite Dealer Trip

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Breckenridge, Colorado sponsored by Nafco for their Elite customers. Everything was first class and all the employees of Nafco involved were extremely accommodating. It was a trip I am not likely to forget soon. Nafco Vinyl Tile customers were treated to skiing, snow mobiles, snow boarding, or just generally relaxing at the exquisite Beaver Run Resort. I spent time with old friends as well a made new ones.

I enjoyed one evening in particular. I was treated to a fabulous dinner with Pierre LeFort (GM and VP at Nafco), John Neugent (territory rep at Nafco), Dr. Gary Huckaby (motivational speaker for Nafco) along with John and Gary's wives. Good food and good conversation and not all business. I was humbled by the attention I was given.

A full presentation of Nafco by Tarkett's new products to my staff is scheduled for March 24th. John and Pierre graciously agreeing to come over from Florence, Alabama for the presentation.
Nafco's manufacturing facillities are located there. Worth mentioning is that all Nafco Vinyl Tile products are manufactured in the USA in Florence, AL.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meeting with Congoleum

On Tueday, even before the show started, I had an early morning meeting with my friends at Congoleum. Since American Carpet Wholesalers is the largest dealer in the world for Congoleum's DuraCeramic Luxury Vinyl Tile, I got an early preview of new introductions to the line.

Although I had previously been exposed to considerations, the new patterns were the final cut. The intros fall under the new line called DuraCeramic Plus. I was reading a forum post and the writer was wondering what the plus meant. It means the new patterns incorporate Scotchgard protector into the finish. The two patterns, DuraCeramic Polished Cement and DuraCeramic Rustic Stone, have a combined color line of seven new and exciting shades. These new patterns will quickly become top sellers in the product line. They are simply gorgeous.

All in all, the meeting went well. We discussed my sales figures for 2008 and projections for 2009. In such an unsettling economy projections are very difficult. Advertising support, sample support, and other topics I think proved fruitful. I am thankful for a supplier like Congoleum and the wonderful support personnel at their headquarters in Mercerville, NJ.

Floor Covering Trade Show - Surfaces 2009

I have just returned from the annual Surfaces floor covering trade show held in Las Vegas. This year I went a couple of days early to watch the Super Bowl with some of my friends at Quick-Step Laminate Floors. I had a nice meal, good conversation and a few laughs. Although Quick Step Flooring is one of my larger suppliers, nothing business was discussed here. we just enjoyed the game and relaxed a bit. This was on Sunday and with the show not starting until Tueday, I took advantage of the day off to find new ways to support the economy of Las Vegas.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Luxury Vinyl Tile Prices

Luxury vinyl tile prices have remained fairly stable over the last few months and we expect that trend to continue as long as oil prices stay at current levels.

Congoleum Duraceramic Tile Prices are the same as we offered 6 months ago. With the exception of a special purchase of excess inventory we made from one of our suppliers. These discount DuraCeramic tile prices are well below our normal low DuraCeramic prices. About a 25% discount on our everyday sales price. DuraStone Luxury Vinyl Tile is also available at great prices from American Carpet Wholesalers.

Nafco Luxury Vinyl Tile by Tarkett has experienced only a minimal increase. Our Nafco Luxury Vinyl Tile prices continue to be some of the lowest to be found anywhere. Look for us to carry more inventory in the near future. An order for this product already ships within 2-3 business days and with an inventory increase we will be able to ship an order usually the same day. Another great service from American Carpet Wholesalers that keep our customers coming back.

Again only slight increases have been seen for Mannington Adura Luxury Vinyl Tile and Mannington Luxury Vinyl Plank. These luxury vinyl tiles and planks are another area where we anticipate and inventory increase.

You can always count on American Carpet Wholesalers for the latest floor innovations at discount flooring prices.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Green Carpet gets Greener (or just more exposure)

I remember back in the early to mid 90's when Image Carpet Industries (later becoming part of Mohawk ) first starting reclaiming pop bottles and making beautiful carpets. Initially it was a tough sell. consumers somehow felt the carpets were inferior in some sort of way. But to the contrary, the new "P.E.T." carpets were in some ways superior to nylon carpets and equal in other ways. They were superior in stain resistance and wear ability was about equal. To answer consumers objections, I and most other sales people would use the line "have you ever seen a stain on a Coke bottle"? However, some of the carpets were made so dense and thick, it would take months and months for the loose staple fibers to completely shed. Consumers thought and complained their carpet was defective and coming apart. So the new polyester carpets were getting a bad rap. Over the last several years, more and more of the vendors are using continuous filament P.E.T. to solve the problem and with new technology, continuous filament fibers can be made just as dense and thick as a bulked staple fiber.

Philadelphia by Shaw and Bliss by Beaulieu have added to there Green Carpet Products. Shaw has added and reinforced their "Clear Touch by Philadelphia" and tout it as made from 100% recycled material. "Healthy Home" by Bliss has many beautiful styles and vibrant colors that only a polyester fiber can deliver.

Going green usually means the manufacturer will ask more for a green product. You buy a hybrid vehicle and you will pay $5000 to $10,000 more than the non green version. Not so with these carpets. On the average, they will run 10 to 20% less than a comparable nylon carpet. So you can go "Green" and keep some green for yourself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More About Mohawk and Shaw's Trade Show

As I mentioned before, I attended two trade shows last week in Atlanta. At the Shaw Industries' show I was particularly impressed with the addition to some of their green products line. Namely, Philadelphia Carpets' Clear Touch line and Queen Carpets' Anso Choice line. Both lines offer enviromentally friendly carpets and have added some new great looking carpets for more choices to the consumer. Both carpet brands (Queen Carpet and Philadelphia Carpet) have added new offerings to their commercial carpet tile line. Since American Carpet Wholesalers does a ton of commercial work, I was quite excited.

Shaw Industries acquired both the Anderson Hardwood and Zickgraf Hardwood companies and gave me the opportunity to visit with reps for these products (Calvin and Tony) as well as my reps from Shaw( Chris, Vickie and Jacob). Overall, for me it was a good show. New products, great friends, good conversation, and a terrific lunch on Shaw. The interest in the new products was upbeat and traffic seemed to be up from last year.

At the Mohawk show it was a little different story. Not nearly as upbeat and traffic seemed to be down. However, I did get to visit with my reps which is always a pleasure, especially Congoleum.
Congoleum has a distribution relationship with Mohawk and show their products at the Mohawk regional shows. DuraCeramic Tile by Congoleum is one of my top selling products and just to say hello to Pete and Mike is a reward in itself.

One thing I did take note of and was very interested in was a booth at both shows by a third party vendor. It is Their concept is new and unique and I certainly hope it takes off. I will post more on this subject once I spend a little more time with them at Surfaces.

It is Floor Covering Trade Show Season

Every year at this time floor covering manufacturers have regional and national trade shows to show new introductions and stimulate awareness of their products. Last week I attended Mohawk Industries and Shaw Industries regional show in Atlanta, Georgia (at separate locations). Neither Mohawk nor Shaw participate in the national convention (Surfaces) held in Las Vegas, Nevada. About 90-95% of the other manufacturers do. The Surfaces show is more convenient for the dealers because you have all the mills in one location. All the majors such as Beaulieu America (carpet), Quick-Step, Mannington Mills (Mannington Laminate, Mannington Hardwood, Mannington Adura, and Mannington Commercial Carpet), Anderson Hardwood, The Beaulieu Group (Berry Floor Laminate and Alloc Laminate), Nafco Luxury Vinyl Tile and many, many, more. Not only carpet manufacturers and flooring manufacturers, but related equipment producers, sundries producers, and carpet padding and laminate underlayment manufacturers. All showing their wares to about 40,000 retail floor covering dealers from across the USA as well as some international visitors.

All will offer special pricing concessions for show attendees. I always take advantage of as many of these carpet deals and flooring bargains as possible to pass on to the customers of American Carpet Wholesalers. This year will be no different except I expect to see more specials given the state of the housing market and the overall state of the economy.

This show is geared toward the residential flooring market. NEOCON is the commercial trade show held annually in Chicago, Illinois.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quick-Step Laminate Flooring

After venting my frustration about Quick Step Laminate's pricing policies, let me clarify what I think about the product. Fact: Quick Step is the best selling laminate floor on the market in our opinion. There are other brands that can claim this distinction because some of their products are placed in big box centers under different labels (mainly the lower quality products). However, we find that the majority of our sales come from the high quality laminate floors such as, Quick-Step Perspective Laminate, Quick-Step Eligna Hand Scraped (better known as Quick-Step Country Laminate) and Quick Step Quadra Tile Floors. Our customers for laminate floors represent a good cross section of home builders and the actual end user. Because most of them are looking for the best laminate floors at a good price, we generally include Quick-Step Flooring in our recommendations. As I previously stated, Quick Step is our best selling laminate flooring.

As a footnote, I will be joining Quick Step representatives at a Super Bowl event in Las Vegas on February 1st, followed with a free day on the 2nd and then attending Surfaces 2009 (the flooring industry's annual convention) on the 3rd and 4th and then back to Dalton, Georgia on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Buy Quick-Step Laminate Online?

Buy Quick Step Laminate floors online? Searching for Quick Step Laminate prices online is going to be harder if Unilin (Quick Step's parent, a Mohawk company) has their way. The manufacturer has increasingly been applying pressure to dealers to use minimum advertised prices. American Carpet Wholesalers is no exception. Because we are one of the top Quick-Step Laminate dealers in the country, and we value our relationship with Quick-Step, for now we have just removed our prices from the website. I say for now because there are 12-16 sites out there openly displaying less than minimum advertised prices. Why 12 or why not 16? One dealer has multiple websites with different marketing trchniques for the product and all below the minimum prices we are allowed to show. We mainatain a huge inventory(over $100,000) of Quick-Step Laminate Floors and if these sites do not comply soon, we will have no choice but to display competitive prices just to compete.

This is not to say American Carpet Wholesalers is not competitive now. What it means is that the consumer has to call us for our best pricing. Some sites are using a free shipping model to get around the pricing issue. We feel this is not consumer friendly that a customer 1000-1500 miles from the dealer would pay the same shipping cost as one say 100-200 miles away. Unless a dealer has dire need for cash flow, and wants to lose money on the sale, our prices for Quick-Step Laminate floors have consistently be some of the best to be found anywhere.

Sometimes the lowest price is not always the best. We have gone head to head with some competitors over price and won because of customer satisfaction. When the price diference is minimal, why would a customer buy from a dealer who has a consumer satisfaction of 1.5 to 2.0 when ours is usually 4.6 to 4.8 out of 5. We have worked hard to achieve this rating and feel American Carpet Wholesalers is a consumer friendly company. A little comfort of buying such a large purchase from a trusted company and recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing corporations in the country in 2007 and again in 2008.

For now we ask that our customers just pick up the phone and call us. We know convenience lies in the shopping cart and apologize openly that Quick Step Laminate cannot be ordered online at our site at this time.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 A Year of Challenges!

2008 was year of turmoil in the financial and housing markets. For most of us in the flooring industry it has kept us on our toes. For me 2007 was far more challenging. Fortunatley we adjusted our expenses and marketing and actually saw growth and profit for 2008.

Unfortunately, it was not to be for others. Banks, brokerage firms, automakers made almost daily headlines. So was it in the flooring market. One of the biggest failures was that of I have in the past had a business relationship with iFoor and was both stunned and disappointed.

Throughout the years the floor covering industry has had some true pioneers. Too many to mention by name. The same is to be said for Steve Simonson, the founder and CEO of iFloor.
Way back before I ventured online, Steve had a vision as to what consumers wanted and set out to provide a vauluable service to them. For this, Steve caught hell from manufacturers and competitors alike. I watched and learned from the constant evolving process of I was, and I am now, envious of their software and marketing efforts.

So why did they fail? I am not on the inside, but from the outside looking in I would say two things caused their failure. An ambitious expansion program at the wrong time in history. Second, is the that banks do not care who fails, or what they promised, as long as they can cover up their own lack of restraint. Funding or the lack of it was the major culprit.

Steve is a visionary, so he will be back. As to, they are in Chapter 11 and this competitor is pulling for them.

12.3 MM Piano Finish Laminate Floors

There have been some high gloss laminates around for a while. But only Lamett Laminate Floors and Alloc Laminate Floors have achieved what was the initial goal. The look, sound , and feel of a truly elegant hardwood floor.

Lamett Flooring is an up and coming supplier to the market. Based in Georgia, their laminate floor products are becoming more and more in demand. Their latest introduction is called "Charisma". It's a 12.3 mm high gloss (piano finish) laminate floor when installed has all the characteristics of a fine wood floor. We are pleased to have received inventory in 5 of the 6 shades. At $2.48 per sf, it is the best value for this type of laminate floor. We expect "Charisma" to quickly become one of our top sellers.

Cheap Laminate Floors or Laminate Floors Cheap!

Believe it or not, there is a difference. Not long ago I was talking with one of my suppliers about prices and why people drive long distances to the Dalton Georgia Carpet Outlets to buy laminate flooring. It was my observation that on the signage of a lot of stores was "Laminate Floors $.49 sf" or "Laminate Floors $.59 sf". I don't know where these floors come from. Maybe from China or maybe they are defective or discontinueds. Probably ok for rental property that needs to be replaced regularly. This is the defintion of "cheap laminate floors". We do not stock it or sell it.
The only time we offer discontinueds is if they are discontinued while we have inventory, in which case the warranties are still valid.

Our customers are usually looking for name brand laminate flooring. Such as Quick-Step Laminate floors (our number one selling laminate floor), Berry Floor Laminate, Lamett Laminate, Alloc Laminate, Tarkett Laminate and other laminate floors. Buying laminate floors long distance has to be rewarding. For instance, a $4.-$6. sf name brand laminate floor can be bought at American Carpet Wholesalers for $2.-$4. sf. This would be the defintion of "laminate floors cheap".

For consumers that want a serviceable, fully warranted product, I would recommend a quality name brand with a good reputation for years of trouble free performance. Buying a low quality laminate floor for a rental or institutional application on the assumption it would need replaced regularly does not hold water. A good laminate floor with proper installation and a good laminate underlayment will last for years and years. It will also save you money for the material replacement and the labor to replace it countless times. A little more intial investment is much more cost effective.
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