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The top three things every homeowner should know and ask before changing their floors in 2022.

Rav: Hello everyone, and welcome to the official podcast of BNI success link. Today, we will talk about the top three things every homeowner should know and ask before changing their floors in 2022.

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Hello again, everyone. I’m your host Rav Mendiratta from sociosquares, where landing leads is where my business leads. Today, we will talk about the top three things every homeowner should know and ask before changing their floors in 2022. And I have an expert in flooring with me today. Rob Bae, who owns the floor coverings International in Oakland. Rob, welcome. And thank you so much for doing this.

Rob: Thank you, Rav. Appreciate the opportunity.

Rav: Why don’t we start with you telling our audience a little bit about yourself and how you got into this?

Rob: Sure. So we started the business in 2017. My wife and I looked at various franchise offerings, and we were introduced to floor coverings International. And her family owns a lumberyard here in San Leandro. They’ve been here since 1882. So it’s a fourth-generation family-run business. And there’s a lot of synergies between installing new floor coverings in Lumberyard. So we source many materials from the Lumberyard like baseboards and plywood sheets that we need for subfloor repair. So it’s great synergy, and then the Lumberyard can take the commercial deliveries and unload the pallets of flooring, and yet there’s plenty of space for us to use as a warehouse. So it’s been a nice working relationship here because we spend a lot of money at the Lumberyard itself.

Rav: Wow, 1882 generations and flooring and use, I’m sure seeing it all from right from the trees to the customer’s home. That’s awesome. And I’m sure the audience can learn a lot today. So let’s start with what would you say are the top three trends in clothing in my show?

Rob: Okay, sure.

1) Waterproof and water-resistant flooring will continue to be a hot trend: Manufacturers are really upping their game in the various areas with luxury vinyl plank, the 3d printing technologies enable them to make luxury vinyl that’s waterproof that is almost distinguishable from real hardwood.

2) Advances in technologies for creating laminate flooring: Laminate is a wood recycled material. It typically was not friendly with water; you know water would spill on it. If we’d sat there for too long, it would suck it up and expand like a sponge. But now the technology is advanced and the laminates are very water-resistant. And then, even with carpet, one of our main partners, Shaw Floors, makes something called a lifeguard backing, and so this is carpet that has a rubberized back on it. And so liquid literally cannot seep through the carpet into the pad below it or into the subfloor. So when people have stains and carpets that keep coming back all the time, it’s because the liquid like the red wine or the coffee got through the carpet down into the pad. And even though they’ve steam cleaned it, that stain keeps coming back from them because it’s down inside the pad. So this rubberized backing called a lifeguard prevents any liquids from getting into the pad underneath. And so, if you do spill that red wine or coffee, you can have a professional steam cleaner come over and get rid of that stain right away. 

3) Eco-friendly forum: So people like to have materials that have been sustainably resource. So bamboo is a good offering, cork is another one, and Marmoleum is a material made out of plant materials. And then finally the biggest area it trends for the coming year is going to be pet-friendly floors. So car manufacturers are coming out with scratch-resistant flooring there. They’re putting a warranty behind which had not been there before. There’s increased Stain Protection technologies and easy Nate, and so they’re making carpets that are specifically designed to release pet hair during the vacuuming quickly. And so that’s one of the biggest areas that you know, I think they said consumers spend about $70 million a year on their pets. So the floor coverings are taking notice of that and coming out with new products specifically designed to be pet friendly.

Rav: That’s so cool. It sounds like 2022 is the year to change the floors. Right? And I think the number there is 70 billion. It can’t be 70 million. I’m sure Americans spend more than that. That’s a fascinating insight and thank you

Rob: Right, 70 billion, sorry.

Rav: No, I said let’s come to the next topic, which I wanted to ask you about: 

What are the top three things you would say that every homeowner should know? 

And ask before actually, they change their floors.

Rob: Okay, so yeah

1) The most frequent thing that I come across is people that have carpet that want to change it to a hard surface: whether it’s hardwood, or some, you know, waterproof type of flooring. And you know, they think they can pull up the carpet and install the new flooring. Hard surface flooring requires the subfloor to be flat within an eighth of an inch variance across an eight-foot span. And so the carpet is going to hide a lot of these potential issues, and you don’t see them until you pull that carpet up. And people should know that if they have carpet, you may find some unknown condition with the subfloor. It will be very costly to correct before properly installing the hard surface material.

2) A lot of people want to have carpet on the stairs: They want to put hardwood or other new types of hard surface on the stairs, which will be very expensive. It’s going to be $250 to $350 per step, materials and labor depending on the type of stairs we’re dealing with and their size.

3) People need to remember that it’s not just the floors: There’s going to be transition moldings. Will be needed for the doorways if you’re transitioning from one type of flooring to another. And then you’re also typically going to need to replace the baseboards as well. So those are probably the top three things that people should know before getting into their flooring project.

Rav: Thank you so much, Rob; let’s shift gears; you’ve been doing this for a while, your family has been in this for generations; what would you say are the top three things or the top things you wish you knew? Before getting into floor coverings internationally?

Rob: I think you know,

1) Just building on what we were talking about, with the sub floors:  just knowing a little more about subfloor requirements and the preparations that will be needed before we can properly install the floor. 

2) Better knowledge of installation methods and the options around : As there are various types of methods, so with hardwood, you can nail it to a soft wood floor, or you can glue it or you can float it, which means you don’t use any adhesives to fix the floor to the subfloor; you use glue for the tongue and groove. And then you put an underlayment, but you don’t actually nail or glue the floor down to the floor. So having a better knowledge of the methods and what was appropriate for those different methods would have been great. And it’s something I’ve learned over the years and, you know, obviously made some mistakes with it, especially at the beginning.

3) What to do with hazardous materials or when to recognize and know what to do with hazardous materials: A lot of the old homes in the Oakland area here have old flooring that has asbestos content in it. And so that requires a separate remediation company to come and safely remove that hazardous material. Though, depending on the situation, there are times when we leave it and install it right over the top of it. Asbestos is only dangerous when you demolish it and create dust. So if the old flooring that potentially has asbestos in it is in good shape, we don’t touch it, and we can just install it right over the top of it. And the other type of hazardous material we run into is just related to pets, pet excrement and urine. Some people out there, you know, they just let their dogs or cats run amok. And you’re dealing with carpet or wood that’s been damaged by the excrement or the urine. And, you know, that’s a hazardous material. And,  you know, knowing what to do with it and how to see appropriate compensation for removing that hazardous material from the homeowner is something that I wish I had a little bit more experience with when I got started.

Rav: That’s very interesting. I had no idea that material could also be hazardous. So thank you for sharing, and I’m sure anybody getting into this business would have quite a bit to think about now. Now, the final question I have is about digital marketing. And I got to ask this just because I’m in the field;

 What would you say is the best digital marketing strategy that has worked for your business?

Rob: And so we’ve got a couple. 

1) Paid + SEO Service We use paid services where we pay for the leads we get, but I think the best results have come from our search engine optimization. So one of the benefits of being with a national franchise is we have a national agreement with a company that does the search engine optimization for many of our locations.

2) User Friendly Website: So our websites have A very common look and feel and experience when you come to them. And the work we’ve done with the provider this year, we’ve seen, you know, the number of hits to our website, almost doubled year over year. So the search engine optimization has been the best because we are paying for those leads, right? So we’re paying for the optimization service, but that’s much less expensive than paying for the leads themselves.

Rav: Sure, yeah. That’s great to hear that SEO is working well for you. And I think the websites are floor covering international there. They have a very modern look and feel. So that helps the customer experience and the conversion as well. But kudos to your company for providing that service. And I’m so glad to hear that digital marketing helps your business. So thank you so much, Rob. Thanks for doing this. And I’m sure our audience can learn a lot and take away many things from the session. Thank you.

Rob: Thank you, Rav.

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