A new “Room Maker” tool that allows consumers to draw up floor plans of their rooms is slated to launch on the World Floor Covering Association consumer website during the Surfaces show in January. According to Mike Vogel, president and CEO of website design company Creating Your Space, the tool is one of many new features aimed at enhancing the WFCA’s consumer site at www.wfca.org.

“Using the Room Maker, a consumer can calculate the total square footage of a room,” Vogel said while giving this reporter a sneak peek of the program in action. “If she knows the estimated cost of the flooring, she can plug that number in and guesstimate the total cost.”

The Room Maker allows consumers to pick from pre-selected and custom room shapes, as well as map out the locations of stairs, furniture and appliances on a grid. A list of flooring types, from soft to hard surface, allows for further customization. Finished plans can be saved and printed.

The WFCA also plans to re-brand its “The Designer’s Corner” blog. With an eye toward drawing more flooring consumers, the blog will be renamed “Floor Talk” in the next month and its writers will look to “interact with consumers looking for flooring information on the web,” Vogel said.

Other changes in the works include “creating more link relationships” and “more visible links.” He noted that current changes – including streamlined links – have resulted in a “100 to 400 percent improvement in a number of different categories” across the site.

Vogel said his company will continue to focus on site improvements in the coming months.

“A company can have a great website but if it’s not getting customers to it, it doesn’t mean anything. Not only does the WFCA have a great website, but through these changes we’ll get more people to that site and get more people to link through,” Vogel said.

Surfaces is set for Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. WFCA sponsors the annual show. The group is slated to have exhibits at Booths #121-122, 128 and 1667.