January 19/26, 2015; Volume 28/Number 15
By Ken Ryan
Dalton—Shaw Floors has introduced an innovative carpet protection system for residential applications that covers the entire product, from face fiber to backing. Marketed under the brand LifeGuard, these carpets are treated with Shaw’s patented R2X stain and soil resistance protection, while a patented 100% thermoplastic commercial-grade backing provides a moisture barrier engineered to be highly resistant to liquids soaking into the carpet padding and subfloor.
This carpet protection system was previously only available for commercial floors but has now been adapted for residential use.
The product will be officially introduced at the Shaw Flooring Network convention in Orlando Jan. 20-22. Retailers who have display programs will receive demonstration kits beginning in March. “The reaction we are getting is amazing, especially when you see the demo,” Trey Thames, Shaw’s vice president of residential marketing and product management, told FCNews. “We have people who have been in the industry for a long time who say this is the best thing they have seen. Our demo really calls this out.”
The carpet protection system is being sold under the name H2O for Flooring America and Carpet One dealers. Retailers at both CCA Global groups’ winter conventions in early January (see stories on pages 40 and 44) were enthusiastic about the demonstrations that included pitchers of water being poured on the carpet without the liquid reaching the product’s bottom layer.
Among those impressed was Chris Green, president of Great Southeast Flooring America in Melbourne, Fla., who called LifeGuard/H2O “a game-changer within our industry.”
Thames said some carpets promise protection against liquid spills and other accidents, including those caused by pets, but don’t address the reality of what really happens when spills occur. “Liquids still soak through the carpet backing and spread, leaving stains and potential odors.”
The idea for LifeGuard arose about a year ago, Thames said. “There was a lot of talk about pets from a variety of people, but what we saw was a lot of new marketing and no new innovation. We could have done the same thing but we wanted to make something that was really better, not just for pets, but all liquids as well. We came up with a better system.”
Shaw said carpets with LifeGuard are easier to clean and maintain as the R2X protection keeps most liquid spills on the surface for easy removal. The LifeGuard backing prevents any excess moisture from reaching the padding and subfloor. Even spills that were initially overlooked can be later cleaned because of the total fiber and backing protection, the company said.
With a flexible backing system, LifeGuard allows installers to easily bend and manipulate the carpet to facilitate installation, and it slides 25% more easily over the pad, according to Shaw. LifeGuard’s backing is also easy to stretch and trim, and cold temperatures don’t affect the installation process. “Installers love it,” Thames said. “One installer said it’s like cutting through butter.”
Shaw is offering a lifetime delamination, edge ravel, tuft bind warranty on carpets treated with the LifeGuard carpet protection system.