Offering unique style, quality services, and total customer satisfaction are top goals at Piedmont Floors. Striving to provide customers with a positive flooring experience, Charles Snider, president and owner of Piedmont, says their showroom on Enterprise Drive in Forest is arranged by color and product to simplify the selection process, creating a customer-friendly atmosphere. Although carpet is their most common installation, Snider says they carry such a wide variety of decorative flooring options that is makes Piedmont “a total flooring supplier.”
Piedmont Floors offers hardwood, carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile, marble floors, custom showers and bathrooms, as well as exclusive products like designer area rugs, exotic hardwood, and custom-made rugs.
“We do a lot of pre-finished hardwood flooring, and we do a lot of ceramic, porcelain, and stone work,” Snider said. In October 2015, the company launched a new branch and refinishing hardwood floors was added to their list of services. Prior to this launch, though they had installed many pre-finished hardwood floors prior, they referred refinishing new hardwood floors to other companies. Now, they have the capability to offer refinishing services for new hardwood floors in-house.
“That’s kind of unique,” Snider said. “There isn’t another floor covering store that I am aware of that offers sand and finish.”
Piedmont Floors also offers free estimates and encourages potential customers to visit the store and see what they have to offer.
“We do a fair amount of new construction work with some really great builders in town, and we have a tremendous walk-in traffic business from the Mr. and Mrs. Smiths of the world that want to remodel their homes,” Snider said.
Small companies, individuals, and commercial spaces also comprise a large part of Piedmont’s business.
“We do what I call ‘Main Street’ commercial … the shops that you would find on Main Street—the hair salons, the dentist offices, items like that,” Snider said. Two of the local businesses they have serviced are Waterstone Pizza and Shoemakers American Grille in downtown Lynchburg.
The installation process is typically very simple and relatively quick, Snider says. To carpet an average four-bedroom home, it usually does not take longer than a day, and a hardwood refinish job averages about four days.
“Once the consumer selects a product and that product is received, it’s very quick to get the job done,” Snider said.
Piedmont Floors has their Class A Contractors license, which Snider says sets them apart from other typical flooring businesses.
“A lot of other floor covering stores don’t have A’s,” Snider said. “We also hold our BLB certificate, which is for building. We could technically build homes and businesses if we wanted to.”
The original company, Piedmont Floor Designs, began in 2003, and Snider purchased the business in 2007. In 2008, he shortened the name to Piedmont Floors.
“I wanted people to know that there was a change,” Snider said. “But it’s still the same business.”
Another change Snider ushered in was an entirely new line of modern products.
“We brought in a lot of specialty tile and stone accessories,” Snider said. “Women put on jewelry, right? I brought in the jewelry for floor covering, for ceramic tile, and stone.” He also introduced many types of decorative tiles for accenting and high-end, high-quality carpeting.
“To people in this town, it was really a specialty thing,” Snider said. At the time, most stores in the area were not offering specialty items, which gave Piedmont Floors a perfect opportunity to move away from traditional “cookie-cutter” flooring and expose the community to a whole new look.
“I really wanted to bring some different things to the table,” Snider said.
The new styles were so well received that many of Piedmont’s competitors are now also selling decorative and specialty flooring, but Snider said it has created healthy competition.
“We’ve had great success with what I call your ‘fashion-forward niche’ products,” Snider said. With many carpet stores going out of business in recent years, Snider is thankful to be running a thriving business.
“We’re very fortunate to still be in business and have the success rate that we have,” Snider said.
Piedmont Floors gives back to the community out of that success by donating to local charitable organizations.
“We donate to Habitat for Humanity. …We’ve provided floor covering for the battered women’s shelter,” Snider said. “Most of my advertising dollars are typically spent sponsoring youth sports.”
In addition to the priority placed on community and customer care, Snider says the service and installation warranties that Piedmont Floors offer to customers also sets them apart. For example, Virginia law requires a one-year warranty on shower systems but Piedmont Floors offers a 10-year warranty. They also offer a flooring maintenance program and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
Currently the company has 12 employees and seven independent contractors. The business is thriving and growing steadily, Snider says, partially due to the large need for housing and a solid economy in the Lynchburg area.
“Lynchburg’s dynamic, with the colleges and universities, I think is a little more sheltered from conventional economy lows,” he said. “We didn’t get hit as bad as some of the other areas.”
Although they have seen steady double digit growth, Snider expects even more growth to take place in 2016.
“With adding refinishing of hardwoods to our business offering, I would expect my growth next year would be even more,” Snider said.
By Megan L. House