He's thinking about making his home more beautiful and will only become confused if underlay is presented too early in the conversation.
Since the store allows customers to take rugs home for a few days to see how they look in the home, Doyle often telephones the prospective customer after the trial period and asks if they're happy with the rug, and if so, if they need underlay.
All major underlay manufacturers offer self-service racks -- many of which are part of overall programs that include educational signs, brochures, sample hangings and the like.
Kmart displays its underlay on peg boards and relies heavily on signs and packaging that stress the product's safety features and list its many benefits.
The company attributes about 25 percent of its sales to underlay to be used on top of carpeting--which, according to Dunphy, represents a sizable jump from three years ago.
The Swiss import, which the company calls WunderLock, retails for about 20 percent more than the supplier's WunderRug, another underlay for use on top of wall-to-wall carpeting.
At Homemaker, a New York manufacturer and importer of rugs that has manufactured underlay for 15 years, Jeffrey Cohen, senior vice president of sales, predicted, "The layering trend is absolutely here to stay.
There are two dynamics behind the continuing growth of underlay sales--the fact that area rugs are a very, very hot decorating item and the growing acceptance of layering," he said.
Underlay that is used on smooth floors is generally thinner, while underlay that goes on top of broadloom is usually thicker," noted Wyman.
In addition to the established underlay firms, a number of traditional area rug suppliers are peddling their own label underlay, usually made for them by underlay companies.
The firm's Step Stop underlay features educational packaging on the benefits of underlay, and is reversible.
Providing underlay is an important service to our retailers," said Joe Barkley, director of marketing for Dalyn.