WORTHINGTON — Carpet Plus has been a fixture in downtown Worthington for nearly 30 years, and its owner has been in the business for far longer.



Mike DeWall, who’s in the process of selling the business to sons Tony and Matt, recalled starting work at Hanson’s Town & Country Furniture in Worthington back in 1966. Hanson’s was located in a building on Sherwood Street across from where Scholtes Motors is today.



Hanson’s closed in 1992, Mike said. Not long after that, he opened Carpet Plus.



“I always like floor covering better than the furniture,” Mike said. “We’d never really had a floor covering store in town, and it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.”



Tony remembered joining his dad right away in the new venture. After about a year or year and a half, Mike estimated, Carpet Plus moved into its current location at 408 10th St., and the business has continued to grow and flourish.



“It's still carpet and a lot of different floor covering, but we’re just selling more of it than we ever did before,” Tony said “We’re maybe selling a little more commercially than we have. Our ceramic tile business has also grown a fair amount.”



As is the case in many businesses, trends also change over time, Tony explained.



“Maybe eight to 10 years ago, we used to see a lot of laminate flooring for kitchen areas and dining rooms,” Tony said. “Now, it's gearing toward luxury vinyl planking. It's a material that doesn’t have any wood in it — it's an all plastic and composite-type material, and it's waterproof. When water gets on top of it … it's not going to delaminate or swell up. That's probably the fastest growing part of this industry right now and it has been for the last five years, I'd say.”



In terms of carpeting, Tony described a new type of product with synthetic padding attached that has proven to be increasingly popular. Carpet Plus carries Air.o, hailed as a new category of latex-free soft flooring known as Unified Soft Flooring. Air.o is manufactured by the flooring company Mohawk.



“We've been selling a lot of it in the last couple years for basements around the area,” Tony said. “You don’t have to stretch it in (during installation); you basically just tape or glue it down. It's very hypoallergenic — there's nothing in it that will promote the growth of any mold or mildew because of what it's made out of.”



Tony added that the Air.o product is more reusable than older, more traditional carpeting because water can often simply be sucked dry, eliminating the need to remove or lift up carpeting to rip out wet and damaged padding underneath.



“Air.o is also the first 100 percent recyclable carpet,” Tony said, adding that while many sales of the carpet have been for lower levels, there have main-floor installations as well.



Mattresses also continue to be an integral part of Carpet Plus’s business, and the store carries both the Symbol and Englander brands.



Staff from Carpet Plus will visit customers’ homes to measure floor spaces, and will also provide estimates and set up installations.



“We let them (customers) take samples home — hardwood, vinyl flooring, anything we’ve got in here that you can carry out the door,” Tony said. “That’s the only real way you can tell what it

looks like in the house.”



Tony added that folks interested in the ordering and installation of new flooring should keep in mind that the work won’t get done immediately,



“It varies a little bit through the year, but right now I’d say we’re about four to five weeks out,” he said.



Carpet Plus also has a location in Fairmont that opened four years ago. It’s similar to the Worthington store, although it doesn’t sell mattresses.



Carpet Plus in Worthington is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, phone 372-2966 or visit www.carpetplusinc.net.