For more than half of a century, Au’s Carpets & Designs in Canton has been, in a sense, a barometer of change in the trends of the flooring industry.
The business on Columbus Road NE was called Don Au’s Carpet Service when the current owner’s father opened the business in the 1960s. When Don’s son, Dan Au, and the younger Au’s wife, Pam, took the reins of the business, they expanded its flooring offerings, added retail services and began operating under the name Au’s Carpets & Designs.
“We took over 38 years ago and started the store 32 years ago,” Pam Au recalled. “We do all types of flooring. Ceramic tile, vinyl tile, sheet vinyl, hardwood and of course, carpeting.”
She also does rug binding and serging, “which a lot of people don’t do because it takes time.”
Installation of carpeting and other flooring is a specialty of Au’s Carpets & Designs, utilizing the skills of Dan Au and his son, Joe Au.
“That’s one of our strong points,” said Pam Au. “They do all the installing. We don’t hire outside installers.”
Although carpet remains, as the company name indicates, a major flooring product for the business, tile and hardwood surfaces have found enlarging niches in the flooring market.
“Ceramic tile is going to be your most expensive,” said Pam Au. “Hardwood would probably be next (in expense). About comparable would be vinyl planks and carpeting, but carpeting varies in cost and quality.”
Au said the store, at 3907 Columbus Road NE, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Customers can call 330-456-4280. Time of service varies depending upon the season, but Au said the business tries to install within a week or two of purchase.
Here are a handful of tips from Au for determining and deciding on your flooring needs:
CHOOSE for the future. “If you’re going to be staying in the house, buy what you like,” said Au. “If you are going to sell it, you might not want to put as much into it.”
DETERMINE your use. “Flooring depends upon the use of the room,” Au explained. “Ceramic tile works well in kitchens and bathrooms. A lot of people with pets are doing hard surfaces for the cleanability.”
FOLLOW traffic patterns. “What you buy often depends upon the traffic patterns in your home,” said Au. “In carpeting, we sell mostly nylon because we feel it’s more durable, with shorter loop patterns.”
CONSIDER your options in hardwood flooring. “You can choose between solid hardwood, which is solid wood all the way through, and engineered hardwood, which has a solid top layer,” said Au, who noted that the latter generally is more stable. “Vinyl planks look like wood, and they lock together.”