Otto's Blog

September 16, 2015
Mohawk Group's Scratch Art Design Contest will highlight a young designer’s artwork in a commercial carpet tile collection and award free carpet to the winning student’s school.

“Who better to create our next flooring design for the education market than talented students?” said Jackie Dettmar, Mohawk's vice president of product design and development. “The Scratch Art Design Contest provides an opportunity for students to submit designs that will serve as the flooring where they work and learn daily. It will showcase their personality, energy and creativity.”

The competition is open to all schools K-12. Contest entries will be accepted through Oct. 15. The winning design will inspire the newest pattern in Mohawk's Mixology Collection. Mixology, which combines a neutral background with vibrant color characteristics similar to that of scratch art, is the ideal palette for this project, according to Dettmar.

“It not only is dedicated to high-energy and inspiring design, but it also offers a true lesson in sustainability, flexibility and beauty,” she said. “Mixology floor tiles are crafted of a kaleidoscope of randomly chosen end-of-lot yarns. Instead of being down-cycled into other industry products, these multicolored yarns are diverted from excess yarn lots and given new life in strikingly beautiful carpet.”

For more information and contest rules, visit


Eight Common Cleaning Mistakes that Can Kill the Life of Your Carpet

The IICRC notes the longer a consumer waits to remove a stain, the tougher it will be to remove. By waiting for a spill to dry, the liquid is allowed to soak into the carpet fibers and be absorbed into the carpet padding, which can lead to wicking when the spot is attempted to be removed as well as odors and sometimes even mold growth.

July 1, 2015
Have you ever cleaned up a stain only to have it reappear the next day? If your answer is “yes,” then you didn’t remove it all the way. But don’t feel bad, this happens to millions of homeowners each year too: Simply because they don’t have the knowledge of a professional carpet cleaner. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has identified eight common carpet cleaning mistakes to help you extend the life of your carpet.

“There are many common mistakes homeowners make when performing do-it-yourself carpet cleaning,” said IICRC chairman Tony Wheelwright. “From reappearing stains to carpet odors, it’s important to be knowledgeable when caring for and maintaining your carpet.” In order to avoid carpet damage and extend the life of your carpet, the IICRC has identified the following eight common carpet cleaning mistakes:

1. Vigorously scrubbing a carpet stain. Vigorously scrubbing your carpet will damage carpet fibers. Not only is vigorous scrubbing an ineffective way to get stains out of carpet, doing so will most likely push the stain deeper into the carpet. Scrubbing also damages the carpet fibers by untwisting them and causing them to fray. It is much safer to use a blotting action.
2. Not acting fast enough. The longer you wait to remove a stain, the tougher it will be to remove. By waiting for a spill to dry, you are allowing the liquid to soak into the carpet fibers and be absorbed into the carpet padding. This can lead to wicking when you attempt to remove the spot, odors  and sometimes even mold growth.
3. Using the wrong cleaning product. Using the incorrect cleaning solution on your carpet can lead to permanent damage and even discoloration. Make sure to do your research before purchasing and using a cleaning solution on your carpet, which includes following guidelines from the manufacturer and reading the label on every product.
4. Not testing a new cleaning solution. When using a new cleaning solution for the first time, you should always prepare a test patch to assess how the chemical will react to your carpet. Depending on the solution’s strength, it’s better to try it out first on a hidden area to make sure it won’t bleach the color or damage the carpet’s fibers.
5. Using a deodorizing powder incorrectly. Even though deodorizing powders make your carpet smell nice, they are not a substitution for cleaning. Some deodorizing powders can even lead to a gunky build-up over time if your vacuum isn’t strong enough to remove it thoroughly.
6. Using too much chemical to clean. Contrary to the belief “more is better,” more carpet cleaning solution does not necessarily contribute to cleaner carpet. Over saturating your carpet with cleaning solution can lead to carpet damage and a buildup of dirt-attracting residue.
7. Never having your carpet professionally cleaned. Just like professional dental visits help to prevent plaque build-up, professional carpet cleanings are a necessary part of extending the life of your carpets. The majority of carpet manufacturers recommend carpets are cleaned every 12 to 18 months by an IICRC certified technician to maintain the warranty. Professional carpet cleaning will not only prolong the life of your carpets, it will help to promote a cleaner indoor environment.
8. Renting faulty carpet cleaning equipment. Even if you have the best of intentions when renting carpet cleaning equipment, some rental machines tend to do more harm than good. Frequently damaged or not serviced correctly, rental machines can damage your carpets and leave behind excess cleaning solution, resulting in rapid re-soiling and sometimes even mold damage.

When hiring a carpet cleaning professional in your area, make sure the technician is certified in the latest carpet cleaning standards, including the newly revised ANSI/IICRC S100 Standard for Professional Cleaning of Textile Floorcovering. Recently released, this standard identifies the best practices for professionals when performing commercial and residential floor covering maintenance and cleaning. For more information on carpet cleaning or how to locate a certified professional in your area, visit the IICRC website at


Commitment to Environmental Sustainability!!

Shaw Industries Group has opened a new Evergreen Ringgold facility, which can recycle nylon and polyester fiber.

According to the company, this investment of more than $20 million in carpet recycling illustrates the manufacturer's continued commitment to converting what has historically been seen as waste into a resource. Shaw will create at least 70 new full-time jobs as the facility reaches full capacity. With this scalable and flexible solution in operation, Shaw will retire its Evergreen Augusta facility in favor of new technology that better meets current and future market needs. 

“Shaw continues to innovate and expand our portfolio of carpet recycling solutions," said Vance Bell, Shaw chairman and CEO. "Evergreen Ringgold represents a significant step forward and is enhanced by what we’ve learned over the past decade at Evergreen Augusta—and from our strong working relationships with post-consumer carpet collectors throughout the country. Evergreen Augusta served Shaw and our industry well. Evergreen Ringgold enhances the long- term impact we can have, including the ability to recycle a wider array of materials.”  

Located in what was previously Shaw Plant 37—a rug distribution center, Evergreen Ringgold began operations in May and has processed nylon and polyester fibers showcasing opportunities for previously untapped markets for recycled material. Evergreen Augusta will cease operations on Sept. 1. DSM Chemicals North America operated the Evergreen Augusta facility. Shaw will work with its two associates employed at the plant to find other opportunities within the company. As a joint venture partner with DSM Chemicals North America in the operation of Georgia Monomers Co., Shaw remains committed to the relationship and the production of raw materials on the Augusta site.

Guided by Cradle to Cradle principles, Shaw has led the establishment of infrastructure to reclaim and recycle as much end-of-life carpet as possible. Shaw has reclaimed and recycled more than 800 million pounds (360 million kilograms) of post-consumer carpet since 2006, according to Bell. Over that time, Shaw has introduced a portfolio of products and processes to support its customers’ sustainability priorities.   

With the rise in demand for polyester carpet, new processes were paramount to Shaw’s ability to find viable solutions for carpet that has reached the end of its useful life. According to the company, Evergreen Ringgold creates a high purity post-consumer recycled material that can be used in a broad range of applications. Joining the company’s elutriation, carpet-to-energy and waste-to-energy processes, Evergreen Ringgold expands and diversifies Shaw’s portfolio of recycling solutions.  

“We will continue to invest in new sustainability innovations to support our robust reclamation and recycling program,” said Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw. “That includes maintaining our steadfast focus on designing with the end in mind and finding the best possible solutions for carpet already in the marketplace. “   

Shaw’s continued investment in recycling technology demonstrates this approach to sustainability, including the company’s commitment to Cradle to Cradle designed products and a more circular economy. As Shaw’s portfolio of recycling investments continues to expand, so does its portfolio of Cradle to Cradle certified products. In 2014, 66% of the sales of Shaw manufactured products are Cradle to Cradle Certified, according to Murray.

Shaw Hosts Local Dealers at HGTV’s Smart Home

hgtv Shaw’s Heather Yamada, director of consumer marketing and merchandising, talks about the company’s products featured in the HGTV Smart Home to a group of dealers the company hosted for a tour of the house.

Green Home / Smart Home!

Jack Thomasson, HGTV’s house planner, said the switch from the house being known as a green home to a smart one three years ago was a natural evolution as “we believe green is smart. This just gives us the ability to enhance the level of the house with technologies that can help you control your life.” He added, “the house is still built along environmental standards”, noting if it would qualify as a LEED Platinum home.

When it comes to smart technology, he said there is approximately $100,000 of it built into the home, including a remote controlled shower in the master suite so mom and dad can have the temperature as they like, windows which sense rain and close by themselves, and iPads and other remote devices throughout to control just about everything.

The 2,300-sq.-ft. home was built in the historic Zilker Park neighborhood in the heart of Austin and features every type of Shaw product from carpet to hardwood to resilient to tile and stone, including certain porcelain and metal products used for backsplashes and walls such as in the master bath.

Thomasson said Shaw’s products fit “perfectly” with the Smart Home concept, as “they are not only beautiful, they are smart choices for the situations for which they are being used.” For example, Shaw’s new Life Happens Carpet Protection System was used in the kid’s bedroom because it not only “looks great and feels wonderful, it has a purpose as kids—and adults—spill things.”

In the eight years since HGTV has been doing the Smart/Green home, this was the first that actually used Shaw’s carpet in a complete wall-to-wall fashion as technically intended. Up to now, all the carpets were binded and acted more like a room-sized rug.

“Because of its unique properties to keep spills from penetrating through the surface,” Thomasson said, “we felt this was the perfect time to use the carpet throughout the entire room.”

Another example of how HGTV used the flooring for both design and function is with Floorté, the mill’s new waterproof luxury vinyl, which was used in the laundry room. Beyond its practicality, or “smart application,” the product used—Premio in the color Duomo—transitioned perfectly with Shaw’s Epic hickory hardwood Winterset, which was used throughout the home.

That blending was important, noted the home’s designer, Linda Woodrum, who said, “We wanted to create a ‘wow’ factor in terms of a beautiful living space, but you also need things to be practical for everyday living.”

In fact, she noted how when the planning process begins for the home, “Shaw is our first stop, as it always has great selections for us. We were so overtaken by the Epic product we decided it would be the basis for our color theme throughout the house.”

Lisa Goodson and Mildred Hoffmann of Hoffmann Floors in New Braunfels, Texas, were “very impressed” with how the flooring products looked throughout the three-bedroom home.

“We stock Floorté and it has done really well for us,” Hoffmann said. “And the Epic floors look wonderful. Epic works great for our area because of the humidity and high temperatures.” The duo was also impressed with Shaw’s Napa Plank Tile & Mosaic glazed porcelain in the guest bathroom, “especially the tile on the walls and how it looks so much like wood.”

Heather Yamada, Shaw’s director of consumer marketing and merchandising, said, “All the products in the home are new styles,” noting the company’s goal with this sponsorship is to not just show the latest designs but to get as many of them featured as possible because of “HGTV’s broad reach of nearly 100 million viewers.”

Trey Thames, Shaw’s vice president of residential marketing and product management, added, while getting dealers in the local area to see how the products look in a real home is important, as with each HGTV house, Shaw provides a variety of in-store merchandising and marketing materials, so retailers around the country can showcase it for their customers who are familiar with the network. Shaw and HGTV also cross-promote the home and its products on their respective web sites. “It’s amazing the audience HGTV has and the enthusiasm people have to try and win these, so for us and our retailers it’s great exposure to showcase our great new designs as well as their ability to function as they’re supposed to because there is a trust factor with what [Thomasson] and his team have accomplished over the years. They know if it’s good enough for HGTV to use then it’s good enough for us.”

At the time of the tour, Thomasson said HGTV had already received over 50 million entries from viewers wanting to win the prize package featuring the Smart Home. The total package, which includes a 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class plus $100,000 in cash, is worth over $1 million. HGTV is expected to announce the lucky winner this month.


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