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Flooring store looks to keep with the trends

ELLENDALE — When it comes to floors, Floors 4-U in Ellendale has had homes and businesses in the area for over 10 years, but the business dates back even farther.

Business owner Scott Groth changed the name to Floors 4-U in 2007, but the third-generation business, at 302 Fifth Ave. W in Ellendale, has been serving the area for 65 years.

The business began in 1953, when Groth’s grandparents opened Groth Furniture. His parents took the helm in 1967, with Groth helping wherever he could. During the school year he would help with deliveries; in the summer he would assist in floor installations.

When it was his turn to run the family business, Groth decided it was time to change the focus of the company to floor coverings instead of furniture.

Groth said the change was made in response to buying trends at the time. His family focused on high-quality items, while the furniture market saw a surge in customers who were willing to buy a lower-quality products as long as they came with a cheaper price tag.

Floors 4-U offers bathroom and kitchen tile in addition to various flooring options. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

The switch seemed to be a step in the right direction, as Groth said he’s usually four weeks out on installation of his projects — currently he’s eight weeks out.

Groth’s father started a tradition of leaving notes on the subfloor underneath. He would write the date, a note regarding the weather or how well the Twins might be doing, and would then sign his name. Groth has continued the tradition, sometimes seeing multiple entries before his.

“I feel we’re treating them right when they invite us back,” Groth said.

Thanks to the internet, Groth said the sales process has changed. Most customers seem to know the brand name and style of carpet they want before they reach the door. It’s the feel and color of the carpet they’re looking for when they come in the store.

Groth’s daughter, Allison Muilenburg, usually takes care of the sales end of things. Groth said Muilenburg talks with customers about what the purpose of the rooms are as well as additional factors, such as if there are children or pets in the home. This is done to ensure the type of flooring the customer is looking at will meet their needs.

Within a few days, Groth comes to the customer’s home to measure the space and schedule a time for installation.

Groth said the most popular product he carries has been the Mohawk Smartstrand, which is made of corn and makes the carpet strands softer. The product is also more difficult to get dirty and easier to clean.

New to the store since December is the Ario line, which is made of recycled materials and comes with an attached pad. When a customer wants to replace carpeting, there is a number they can call and the carpet will be picked up to be recycled again.