Product Standards

Do confused customers buy more carpet? Apparently some building product manufacturers think so, because they resist the creation of standards in their industry. The following example is extracted from a blog post by Ron Geren, a specifier in Scottsdale, Arizona:

A Specifier's Rant: The "UN"standardized Carpet Industry

I just completed my umpteenth-hundredth carpet specification section and I’ve had it... As many of you may know... specifiers are typically tasked to include a minimum of three products in the specifications to ensure competition.  

...finding carpeting that has similar performance characteristics—it’s like asking someone to find three similar marbles in a barrel of marbles.  And to compound the problem, there is no standardization in the way carpeting information is presented—manufacturers' carpet data use inconsistent terminology and inconsistent units of measurement (if they even bother to provide the units of measurement).

For example, I see “tufted weight,” “face weight,” and “total weight.”  All have different meanings, but not all are provided in manufacturers’ literature...

So, how is a specifier (let alone a customer) supposed to compare the construction and performance of carpeting if the use of terminology by manufacturers is all over the map?  This specifier’s answer:  STANDARDIZE!
His complete rant is at, 2012/05/23.