KENNEWICK -- If you're replacing flooring, tile or countertops, it can mean hours of staring at samples in the store.
Instead, David Murley of Kennewick wants to bring the store to you.
His new business is a mobile floor covering, tile and laminate store. From behind the wheel of his SUV, Murley brings customers more than 30 years of experience in commercial and residential flooring and furniture sales.
He is a representative for Carpet Direct, which is based in Westcliffe, Colo., with regional offices dotted across the United States. Murley is the first Carpet Direct representative in Washington.
His territory stretches from Walla Walla nearly to Yakima, south to Pendleton and as far north as Spokane.
"What makes me unique is I work directly with the manufacturers, so I cut out the expenses of having employees and a showroom. Once you decide what you want, I place the order directly with the manufacturer, so you get the discount," he said.
Once an order is placed, the flooring, laminate or tile usually is delivered, ready to be installed, in a week to 10 days.
In addition to such carpet brands as Stainmaster, Shaw and Mohawk, Murley sells hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring, tile for floors and walls, granite and laminates for countertops.
"Since I work directly with the manufacturers, my colors, styles and stock are up to date with anything you see in stores," he said.
One advantage is that customers can see the samples at their own home with its lighting, furniture, appliances and cabinets, window treatments, wallpaper and paint, he said.
Instead of multiple trips from store to home, Murley said his customers usually only need one or two appointments to make their decisions and place an order.
Plus, because he's independent of any store, Murley's hours and days are flexible.
"I tailor my schedule to yours," he said. "It can be difficult and overwhelming to decide what you want, and with the average life span of carpeting nine to 12 years, you want to be happy with your choice."
Besides his samples, Murley also carries a laptop computer so he and his customers can go directly to manufacturers' websites to see the latest styles and colors. Many have virtual "rooms" showing what the carpeting, tile or other flooring will look like when installed.
"Sometimes it's hard to visualize from just a small sample what 20 square feet of carpet or tile will look like when it's down," he said. "These websites can help narrow your options."
To schedule an appointment, call 509-619-4606.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org