Maintenance free? According to Cary Woodfield, there’s no such thing.


Cary Woodfield continues to make an impact in the world of commercial flooring. His 4 decades of experience in carpet installation and maintenance are nearly unparalleled. In that time, he’s traveled the globe (6 continents, 20+ countries, 80+ cities) to troubleshoot and resolve flooring issues through better education.

With literally millions and millions of yards of carpet installed and cleaned under his supervision, Cary has seen it all, and he uses his expertise to inform the masses through social media. “Cary the Carpet Guy” shares real world experiences from his consulting business to nearly 4,000 followers, helping to spread the word about the positive results maintenance has on a floor’s life expectancy and the customer’s bottom line.

Every floor requires maintenance.

Carpet isn’t all Cary knows. In a recent post, he showcased the use of XLN’s product XL Matte Floor Finish on newly installed LVT flooring in high traffic retail stores. In the post, he mentioned the need for a sacrificial wear layer. Most who commented were in agreement, but some challenged the necessity of a finish on a “maintenance free” floor.

We’ve all heard the phrase “maintenance free” or “no maintenance”. It’s used often as a selling point for many customers when making their flooring purchase. But is “no maintenance” a possibility when it comes to floors? According to Cary, “There is no such thing as a maintenance free floor. Everything in our lives has to be cleaned and maintained.” Flooring, no matter the surface type, is certainly no exception.

Cary maintains the retail LVT floors nightly, six nights a week. Twice a year, Cary recommends a surface prep and re-coat. He remarks,“You’d be surprised at the amount of dirt we pull off the floor every night. We’re just amazed at how many of the scratches and mars scrub out, and that we’re able to protect the floor.” That level of protection, and the ability to keep the floor’s life expectancy intact, is why the sacrificial layer is so important. Cary notes, “If it didn’t have the wear layer, the pattern of the flooring would be changed. The textured grooves would trap the dirt, and it’d be very difficult to clean out.”

Working with the flooring manufacturer is critical in getting the right chemistry to protect your customer’s investment. Cary points out that you should only use manufacturer approved products to prevent voiding the floor’s warranty.

Buy carpet by the year, not the yard.

As a consultant, Cary works with clients to help them extend the life of their flooring. He assists at all stages of a floor’s life cycle, but prefers to start with the customer at the very beginning – design and specification. He offers his clients a 25 question survey where he asks about facility usage, foot traffic, and, most importantly, customer expectations.

Knowing how long a customer wants a floor to last is critical to product choice, and understanding what is needed to have the floor last that length of time is also key. Cary states, “Customers that want to extend the life of their flooring have to pick the right product for the space, but the most important part is making sure the customer understands they’ll need to maintain it.” He notes most bad flooring experiences are perfect storms created when the wrong product is sold and the wrong maintenance program is implemented.

To save and prolong the life expectancy of flooring, Cary the Carpet Guy says the best tool on the market is a counter-rotating brush machine. He reveals, “Encapsulation and pile lifting are crucial parts to greatly extending a carpet’s life, and CRB’s also work well on hard surfaces where you can pre-treat, scrub, and rinse.”

Learn More About Cary the Carpet Guy

“Cary the Carpet Guy” started his career in the carpet industry in 1978 when his family purchased a carpet cleaning franchise. Since then he has studied and been involved in every aspect of the industry. Cary is considered to be a leading expert in carpet performance, specification, inspection, and maintenance.

Cary has owned or managed cleaning, restoration, and carpet sales/installation companies and has been certified by the IICRC as a Senior Carpet Inspector and Master Cleaning Technician. For 10 years, Cary oversaw the carpet program for the LDS (Mormon) Church based in Salt Lake City, UT.

Cary is an author, writing white papers and industry related articles. He is often asked to speak at trade shows and conferences and present his data and research on carpet, carpet performance, and proper maintenance to facility managers, architects, designers, end-users, and industry related associations.

Today Cary owns a consulting business called Int. Carpet Consultants and specializes in teaching facilities how to extend carpet life cycle expectation and reduce total cost of ownership by specifying and engineering the right carpet for the application, along with teaching proper maintenance practices.

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Author:
Carrie Brown

Carrie Brown works with XL North as a marketing consultant. With experience in copywriting, graphic design, and web development, Carrie uses her skill set to create and implement effective marketing strategies and campaigns for clients.

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