Mr. Don Karlin wrote to set me straight on a couple of items in my chapter on carpeting. Although I protested that my experiences were true at the time I wrote "How NOT to Build an Addition", I had to agree that things may have changed since its publication. In the spirit of open discourse I publish his polite but concerned letter below:
I ran across your website doing a search for something else. As Google came up with results, the following quote caught my eye:
"Carpet stores, by the way, measure their carpet by the square yard and sell it by the linear foot. Naturally, all the calculations you have made will be in square feet."
Your info on your site is humorous, but you are arming your audience with the wrong information.
Carpet stores traditionally post SQUARE YARD pricing, and recently also post SQUARE FOOT pricing. I travel the entire country visiting retailers, and I have never seen a price quoted or posted by the lineal foot.... except perhaps for roll runner at Home Depot.
I am also concerned about this quote:
"The carpet salesman will impress on you the need to buy more square feet of carpet than you have floor space. He will do this by showing you that too many seams will be the result if you don't buy an extra linear foot or two or three. He may have a point, but salespeople are not always good at figuring which way carpet should lay. Every extra linear foot they sell means more bucks for them and every extra bit of carpet you buy is an extra bit of carpet that you have to get rid of when the installers are finished. The installers will leave your scraps piled in the middle of the room like so many beaver pelts."
Mr. Rayment, the flooring business is EXTREMELY competitive. If a carpet salesman "pads" yardage into an invoice, he will lose the bid. Additionally, any salesperson that attempts to spend the time and explain seam layout is doing a GOOD job... at least then the consumer is not dissappointed when a seam ends up where she did not expect it.
As for the "beaver pelts" ... if this was your experience, your flooring contractor was simply the bottom of the barrel. EVERYONE removes scraps... in fact, most consumers complain that the installers don't leave enough behind for them to use as mats in front of their door.
I don't want to tell you how to explain things to your audience, but when you tell them information that is simply not pervasive in the industry, it reflects poorly on the industry.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Don Karlin Jr.
National Sales Manager
Hagaman Carpet Industries
208 2nd St.
Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga 30742
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