Flooring comes first

With over 25 years of flooring experience, Scott Hargiss saw the need to open a showroom on Kauai to show off his new company’s flooring products.

“We wanted to give consumers a broader, upscale option and have a full-service flooring company,” said Hargiss, Kauai Flooring & Interiors general manager.

Opening on Monday, Kauai Flooring & Interiors has a showroom and provides homeowners with a flooring and carpeting installation service.

“Other stores have to hire out. With us, you only have to deal with one business,” said Nancy Smith, Kauai Flooring & Interiors president and co-owner. “We work with our other employees who do the installation and if there are any questions that deal with either the materials that they purchased or the installation, they only have to call one number.”

Hargiss said the new flooring company will provide consumers with products made to withstand Hawaii’s weather conditions.

“Waterproof is a big thing,” he said. “The carpet that we have is the most stain resistant carpet on the market.”

The line of hard-flooring products in the showroom is sold exclusively in Hawaii, Smith said.

“We have a lot of water around us. It helps protect the floor with appliance failure,” she said. “For the kids, if somebody left the water running, it helps so that homeowners don’t have to spend the money to replace the floor that’s damaged from the water.”

Homeowners with older homes have an extra incentive to remodel their flooring, Hargiss said.

“If (homeowners) have flooring they haven’t updated in 10-15 years, there’s been a ton of innovations in the industry, and they would get a lower maintenance floor, update the home and add value to the home,” he said.

Some of the modernized materials Hargiss suggests include vinyl plank and laminate flooring.

“A lot of the floors now are lower maintenance than the older floors: the carpets are more stain resistant, the hard surface floors are more scratch resistant,” Hargiss said.

Another convenience the flooring company offers is swift installation.

“We feature 100-plus products that are Honolulu stocked,” Hargiss said. “Rather than waiting four to six weeks for your product to come in, typically, if you find something in our Honolulu stock, we can get something in stock for you in a week or two.”

Businesses also have flooring options, Smith said.

“We have flooring for preschool — when kids are involved — we have flooring that’s applicable to, let’s say, a veterinarian’s office or doctor’s office.” Smith said.

Smith and Hargiss have been visiting Kauai for several years and purchased Lawrence Carpet Service Inc., founded by long-time owner Fred Lawrence, in January.

“Fred’s ready to retire and he wanted a buyer for this business,” Hargiss said.

Lawrence, a third-generation floor covering installer, moved to Kauai in October 1992, just after Hurricane Iniki and assisted with repair and rebuilding efforts on the island. In 2005, Lawrence became a licensed contractor and expanded his business in 2011 to include sales and installation.

Lawrence remains on staff as a consultant.

The new showroom on the corner of Kuhio Highway and Ahukini Road is about 1,825 square feet and has exclusively Kauai employees.

“We’re all about employing local people — all of our business is local,” Hargiss said. “We’re all about keeping the money here and feeding the economy.”

Hargiss said in the next several months, the showroom will display at least 50 percent more products than its current stock.

“We can help people beautify their homes,” Smith said. “We plan on getting involved with the community and helping to do our share. This is a small footprint that we’re on, so we want to grow to become a part of it.”

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