From Dirty Rug & Angry Wife To Innovative Home Improvement Product
The Situation — In the winter of 1998, Brett Sneed walked into his Kansas City home from the garage, tracking winter slush all over his wife’s new white carpeting. Needless to say, she was not pleased. To rectify the situation, Brett spent the next two months searching for some type of garage floor covering—one that would protect the concrete from the dirt, grime, and oil that coats the floor of most garages. He also wanted a product he could easily wash, but came up empty handed.
Brett spent the next 6 months creating the perfect garage floor protection product. The most important objective was to control liquids and debris that fall from vehicles. He designed and patented a unique channeling system that can do just that. In addition, he created a product that is both functional and beautiful. His new product is compatible with acids and alkalis in concrete to last for years without breaking down yet can be installed in just minutes without requiring adhesives.
After his discoveries, he approached his father, Don Sneed, with his creation, and they began to brainstorm. Together, they invented the Parking Pad®—a mat and floor covering made of polyvinyl. The Parking Pad covers a garage floor, trapping dirt and other garage filth, and is slip-resistant. The Sneeds molded grooves into the soft material to channel liquid debris out of the door, controlling the flow and keeping the rest of the garage from getting soaked. The product led to their father-son company—Better Life Technology (BLT.)
The Challenge — The Parking Pad® was a completely new concept in floor coverings. Its predecessor in covering and protecting garage floors was epoxy paint, a method quite different from the inexpensive, easy to install Parking Pad.
“According to manufacturers (of epoxy paint), this labor-intensive process takes consumers 16 days to do properly, and believe me, virtually no one does it right, resulting in the epoxy coming up onto car tires within months,” said Don Sneed, now president of BLT. “Our product lets consumers transform their garage floor into something truly beautiful in minutes, and it will last for years, protecting new floors and making old floors look new.”
Because it hadn’t been done before, the Sneeds faced some doubt from investors and even friends. Once they eventually got the capital to start BLT and began manufacturing the product, they hit another wall: the most popular mat sizes are 8′ x 20′, 9′ x 20′ and 10′ x 22′, much too bulky for most retail floor space. Also, with a slow economy following the attacks on 9-11-2001, new products were increasingly difficult to place with mass retailers.
The Results — The G-Floor® Parking Pad® is inexpensive, starting at around $119, and is positioned as one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve a home. Since 2004, new color and pattern options have been added. G-Floor is now available in a variety of sizes up to 10 feet wide.
Since the first big break, BLT Roll-Out Garage Flooring® has become the best selling garage floor protector mat in the world. Also, G-Floor is the only garage floor mat available in sizes up to 10 feet wide. The product has been featured on many home improvement television shows.
Brett and Don Sneed recognized a great product and an innovative concept, and really built this business from one person to a staff of over thirty-five.