Carson Flooring is the area’s premiere flooring store. “We know carpet, hardwood, laminate, stone, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile and vinyl better than anybody – especially the “big box” stores. Dedication to customer service through our expertise is what truly sets us apart,” says Scott Carson, owner/founder of Carson Flooring, Inc.
From cutting edge technologies in the store to sustainable products and post-purchase follow-up, Carson Flooring is second to none in the area. “We want you to be 100% satisfied with your entire Carson Flooring experience. When you trust your flooring needs to us, you can be assured that we know this business; we will listen to your needs; we will figure your footages accurately to install your new floors properly – and we stand behind what we sell,” he says.
When you walk into the showroom, expect to be greeted by Connie Hinson, account specialist and receptionist. Connie has been with the company for ten years now. “I love working in this environment and with everyone at Carson Flooring,” she says. “I really enjoy meeting and greeting each customer too. When they come in the front door, I am their first impression so I really do try and make them feel welcome.”
Scott and his team get to know their customers so they can help them select the product that will work best for their home and lifestyle. “We want customers to be happy – not just with the appearance of what they choose but its functionality,” says Scott. “So, it helps to know a little about our customers so we can help them select the best flooring for their taste, budget, and lifestyle. For example, if you have red clay in your backyard or a big black dog, then we will help you choose flooring with character or color variation to make things easier for you over time. No one wants to work excessively hard maintaining their floors. Something as simple as whether vacuum marks will show is many times not discussed at box stores or online.”
In his own home, Scott chose Amendoim, an exotic hardwood from Brazil.
“I have three daughters and a golden retriever,” he says with a laugh. “I knew that my floors were going to take a little beating and I didn’t want to worry myself to death over it. So, I picked a floor that has a lot of character and natural colors – it is a beautiful floor – and very tough! You can buy the toughest wood in the world, but if it’s not going to hide things – you’ll still need to clean it every day. You have to have quality, as well as the right color and shades for your environment.”
Scott first started in the flooring business about 30 years ago while he was still a student in high school. “When I was 15 years old, I was making $25 or $35 a day on the weekends helping an excellent carpet installer and good friend (who has since passed away),” Scott remembers. “We worked in places like Kilmarnock, Irvington, and Reedville and that was exciting - seeing the big houses on the water – some with open stairs and balconies. That was rare and exciting to see in the 1980s.”
Today, the Tappahannock-based company services all of the Northern Neck as well as the Middle Peninsula and areas extending from Hampton Roads to Richmond, Fredericksburg and farther. Carson Flooring is known to travel to surrounding states as necessary to work for contractors and friends. At the time of this article, a contract was secured with the Toronto Blue Jays to install rubber flooring at their Spring Training Camp in Clearwater, Florida. Scott Carson, Aaron Beck, and a helper will be headed south the beginning of February for the 12 hour journey. As baseball fans, they are looking forward to the job.
At the moment, Carson Flooring’s hot sellers include hardwood, stone, ceramic tile, the new LVT, and Mokawk’s
“Carpet has stayed relatively strong throughout many trends coming and going, but many customers are switching their focus to hardwood and ceramic tile, and even stone. These hard surfaces are not exclusive to upper end homes anymore but are now sought after more by your average homeowner,” says Aaron Beck.
With today’s open concept living spaces, it is quite common to see hardwood throughout, ensuring consistency as one room flows into the next. With hardwood floors, the trends have gone toward larger planks and more exotic species. Distressed reclaimed looks are extremely popular, too.
“Some people confuse laminate – which is a faux wood – with engineered wood, which is a real wood that is laminated together,” Scott says. “And even though most people still prefer the real stuff, I must say that laminate flooring is looking better than ever. Many are even embossed where you can feel the texture and knotholes. It’s easier to care for and has nice character.”
Green, sustainable products are available at Carson’s as well. This includes eucalyptus hardwood grown in South America, and customers are sometimes surprised at the affordability of these exotic floors.
“When the eucalyptus trees are cut, the stumps are actually left several feet high,” according to Scott. “Then, they can bore into the stump and plant new seedlings into the cut stump that will benefit from the root system that is already in place giving the new trees a jump start to grow faster. It doesn’t disturb the ground because you are not pushing over stumps and you are creating less runoff.”
In terms of “green” carpets, Mohawk and DuPont have teamed up to create an eco-friendly product called SmartStrand that is made in part of renewable plant-based material derived from corn grown right here in the USA.
“It incorporates a new fiber called Sorona that uses less energy and substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” according to Cindy Hayes, sales and operations specialist. “And it has a super soft feel that wears really well. In the past, if you bought something that was durable, it felt rough and hard to the touch, and products that were soft didn’t wear very well. This new product is the complete package combining softness, durability, and stain resistance. Our customers that buy it, love it!”
Though not as high in demand as hardwood and ceramic tile, vinyl has come a long way with the emergence of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or luxury vinyl planks.
“There are several types of LVT, and we even offer a floating version with a rubbery, non-skid backing. You’d be surprised at how much this product looks like tile or wood yet more durable to heavier usage. It is almost impossible to dent or scratch” Scott says.
In the carpet realm, Berber woke things up a bit in the 1990s and the brand remains popular today. “California Berber is still my favorite carpet to this day,” Scott says. “It is actually a plush carpet but with the wearability of Berber. It has all kinds of little color flakes, and when you step back and look at it, it has the textured look of loops.”
If you think that choosing a floor from a small sample or swatch is hard, you’re correct. And if the array of choices
seems mind-boggling, it is. But Carson Flooring’s sales team can guide you through the process with the help of flat screen TV’s on the wall.
“I am excited about this,” Scott says. “We can utilize technology to show you a room scene using QR (Quick Response) codes printed on some samples. We scan the QR code on each sample with our smart phones and then the manufacturer’s website pops right up with the colors listed. By having a smart phone wirelessly connected to the flat screen, a customer can then simply choose their color and a nice big room scene emerges on the TV. However, all companies are not on board yet, as it is still new technology.”
“I think it works to our customer’s advantage that some of my sales team has installation experience and are seasoned installers,” Scott says. “Even the ones that are not hands on have plenty of knowledge they have learned throughout the years. Right now, we have the best installation guys in the history of the company, and most of them have been with us for over 10 years.”
Scott says that his store isn’t too big and it isn’t too small either.
“We have to be big enough to offer competitive pricing and handle big scale jobs but small enough to deliver great customer service. For instance, a big box store might install your carpet and promise a warranty. Then, let’s say six months or even years later, you have a problem. Well, get ready to fill out a form, stand in line, and cross your fingers. But if we handled your flooring and you call us with a problem – most times we can fix it right away and fight with the manufacturer later. I’m a fair man, and I don’t want something out there that is wrong. Keep in mind, if you are a do-it-yourselfer, Carson Flooring offers a 25% discount on any material in the store, ensuring it is the lowest possible price.”
Spanning 5500 square feet, Carson Flooring employs three sales people, a bookkeeper, and several installation crews. Each crew specializes in a specific type of flooring and possesses meticulous skills in their field. Carson Flooring is proud that most every employee has worked there for 10 or more years. Their goal – simply put – is to out-perform any other retailer when it comes to your satisfaction.
“We want customers to be happy for life,” Scott says. “In a small town, you are held accountable. I’m going to see my customers in the post office and the grocery store and I want them happy. We’ve worked very hard to build relationships with our customers and enjoy their repeat business.”
1415 Tappahannock Boulevard, Tappahannock, VA 22560, 804-443-5338 • http://www.carsonflooring.com