Over the years, a lot of transformations have occurred in terms of technology, textiles, motor vehicles, and much more. When thinking about innovation and technology change, we tend to think of electronic development exclusive of the other technological advances. For example, as a child my father brought home a “big screen” television, which measured 27 inches, and was quite an upgrade from our 19 inch television. Even the addition of an actual remote control (versus being the kid serving as the “channel changer”) was a great advancement. However, there have been other technology changes that are not as apparent or obvious. For example I was not always the best behaved student in school and many times I was required to stay after and clean the chalkboard. I still cough a little when I think of the chalk dust from clapping the erasers together. What do the ill-behaved students stay after and clean now? They may have cleaned the white board at one time, but with the proliferation of smart boards, even this is becoming rare.
And consider some of the first cell phones that came into the market. My first was the size of a brick, and I never shared the number since the minutes were priced like a scarce commodity. From there I moved to a flip phone, but I was sure to keep my pager in case the cell service was limited in the area. One month after I received my first blackberry, I could not understand how I ever lived without it, and I was obviously not alone since everyone nicknamed them “crackberries.” While I never owned one myself, the hottest phone 10 years ago was the motorola Razr. Even these once, highly popular phones are likely hard to find in the general public today, as the vast majority of cellular phone users have moved to smart phones. And smart phones themselves have improved significantly in the relatively short time since their introduction. Just place a new iPhone next to the original and you will wonder how you ever accepted the original as innovative.
Some product innovations are not as obvious as an iphone or a television, but have still experienced significant improvements and advancements over the years. An example of this is flooring. A combination of primary backing technology, fiber spinning, and tufting equipment improvements have allowed lower and lower face weights resulting in dematerialization without negatively impacting aesthetics and even improving performance. This has allowed manufacturers to be more cost competitive on carpet tile which, paired with changing tastes, have resulted in carpet tile outselling broadloom carpet 60% / 40% – completely unheard of just 5 years ago. Other performance attributes in carpet have also improved, like stain resistance which is now available as an inherent attribute rather than a topical, and near-zero VOC adhesives and carpet so that flooring can be replaced without negative impacts to indoor air quality.
So if you have been using the same flooring for more than 5 or 10 years, it may be time to look around and see what positive changes have occurred since your original purchase. If you look closely, it is quite possible you will like what you see.