MOUND HOUSE, Nev. (KOLO) -- Mario Garzanelli has laid carpet for at least 50 years and says there's a big problem with a standard tool called the knee kicker. It stretches carpet across a floor to give it a tight fit, but requires the user to give it a hard kick with his knee.
The tool gave Mario an injury in 2007. He says, "My knee filled up with blood. It was problematic for a time and I decided that I would do something about it."
He went to the Carson City Library, where he studied high school physics books to design his own equipment. Then in 2014 he was awarded a patent for his triFORCE Carpet Stretcher design. The patented design is used in four tools.
The largest is the triFORCE Max. Three legs firmly grip the carpet with small needles that won't leave permanent punctures. One leg pushes gently and evenly away from the other two, as a handle on the machine is lowered. "And you just activate the stretcher and you can see here that it stretches a lot of carpet," Marion says during a demonstration. He says it's twice as fast as using the knee kicker method.
He also has a compact stretcher called the triFORCE Mini. It's smaller for the kind of tight spaces you would find in an RV or small closet.
The triFORCE Adapter attaches to most heads already in use today and finally Mario is selling the triFORCE Stair Max. It simply stretches carpet on the stairs.
He claims his invention stretches carpet tighter than the knee kicker method, which is widely used to lay carpet today.
He sold 1,000 products last year and is hoping to change the entire carpet-laying industry. He says the knee kicker method to stretch carpet is 80 years old and needs to be replaced with something better.
Mario hired Steven Nichols and made him president of his company. His job is to sell.
"Why hasn't someone thought of this already? It seems pretty simple," asked KOLO 8 News Now's Noah Bond. "I don't know. When I first saw it I couldn't believe that nobody thought of it before this," Steven said.
Mario is making the parts out of his garage at 9 Michael Court in Mount House. The basic parts are transported about a mile to Motogateway, Inc. where Derek Friedrichs sands, cuts and welds the parts together.
"It's pretty straight forward. It's a very clever design too. It's actually easy to put together," said Derek.
Next, the parts are transported to Alltizer Powder Coating. The parts are hung and grounded. Then charged red particles are sprayed on the equipment. The static pulls the red coating evenly on the metal equipment.
It's wheeled into a 400-degree oven, where it cooks for 30 minutes. The red particles are partially made of plastic, which allows them to melt evenly over the metal.
"I think it's awesome. It brings new business to the area. These guys are trying to grow their business. We're grateful to be here to help them out," said President and CEO of Alltizer Powder Coating Alan Alltizer.
Then the parts are assembled and the product is ready for sale.
The customer base spreads from the United States to the United Kingdom and Australia.
Click here to learn more about this product.