By Dasha Morgan- To better service the area, Leicester Flooring opened their third retail operation at 224 Weaverville Highway in Woodfin a couple of years ago. Al Briggs is the manager there. For a number of years there has been a store on Leicester Highway in West Asheville and another one in Hendersonville. It was originally called Leicester Carpet but changed the name a few years ago. Leicester Flooring is unique in that it focuses on American made products and only deals with American made flooring items. You won’t find bamboo or cork, as these are not found in the USA. Brad Snelson during the 2008 economic crisis, made a decision to offer only American made products. Times were tough when the housing market went “south,” but he stuck to his guns and only sold American goods. He is proud of his decision to have backed the American economy by supporting American jobs and values. Therefore, you now find some well recognized names of American companies, such as Anderson, Armstrong, Shaw, Mohawk and Mannington.
Al Briggs has been with Leicester Flooring for approximately 3 years now. He once owned a barbershop in Erwin Hills, where he met Brad Snelson who asked him to join Leicester Flooring. Since then Al has asked his mother, Karen Bartlett, who had retired as a pediatric social worker from Mission Hospital, to help out on the weekends in Woodfin. She works in the store as needed, when she is not helping with her nine year old grandson. They enjoy working together and make a good team.
One project that Leicester Flooring is sponsoring is to help the North Buncombe High School Marching Band on their trip to France. Next year the Band of Blackhawks plans to go to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June, 2019. The band leaves for Paris on June 4th and returns home June 11th. They perform at the American Cemetery at Brittany, Omaha Beach, and on the D-Day Memorial Parade at the Musical Salute to Liberation. It is quite an honor to have been invited to perform there. Funds however are needed to make the trip successful and memorable. Leicester Flooring is helping to sponsor this trip. For more information, go to www.blackhawksband.com.
At first this Leicester Flooring store in Woodfin focused primarily on wood flooring, laminates, luxury vinyl, and tiles, but in order to be more of a “one-stop shop,” the Weaverville retail store began to increase the carpet sample selection. There are now two rooms full of carpeting samples. Samples of carpeting, wood, and laminates can be taken home or brought to the home or business to check color; free measurements by flooring experts can be taken; and with all the information in hand then cost estimates will be given. Once a client has made their selection, it should take approximately 10 days to have the flooring of their choice installed by professionals. In addition, there is a lifetime warranty on installation.
Wood flooring has become more popular in the last few years. The floors will stay beautiful and carefree for many years. A client can choose from quality oak, maple, cherry, hickory, pine and other woods in various board widths and finishes. In the past few years, laminates have gained more attention, as they don’t scratch and are considered water resistant. Many now look like real wood. Al Briggs estimates that this store sells close to 50/50 between real wood and laminates.
Leicester Flooring services the Western part of the state from Burnsville, Marion, to Brevard and Cashiers. The company has been a family owned business for 47 years, having opening in 1971 with Brad Snelson’s parents running it. For many years Leicester Carpet (which it was called then) was a “mom and pop” operation with Mrs. Snelson handling sales in the office while her husband, J.B., supervised installation. On their website they say, “The ‘Leicester difference’ that keeps customers coming back despite competition from chain stores and big box retailers is really quite simple. We have the best selection, the best installers, and the best warranty in the business. Combine these with our low pricing and you get the best value for your money.”
They often work with builders, architects and designers on their projects. In fact in mid-February the store plans to have a “meet and greet” with area architects and designers. In the past, they have had many commercial installations. They have had projects with the Grove Park Inn, the Biltmore House, the Pullian commercial properties, local schools, churches and government buildings. For more information go to www.leicesterflooringandcarpet.com, or stop by one of the stores. The Woodfin store at 224 Weaverville Highway is open from 9 – 5:30 during the week, 9 – 4:00 on Saturday, but closed for lunch. The phone number is 828 484-7203; fax 828 484-7205. the website is: www.leicesterflooringandcarpet.com.