Great Spaces: Step on it

Posted on 19 Apr 2012 at 5:20pm

This design showroom proves that art isn’t only for the walls

Floor-play

Steven Floyd uses his interior design background at Antique Floors to design unique creations on any flat surface. (Photo by Rich Lopez/Courtesy of Steven Floyd)

By Rich Lopez

Sometimes it’s difficult to find that just-right piece of art to hang over the mantle or to grace your entryway, but who ever thinks of looking to the floor? The people at Antique Floors, Inc. have been doing it in Dallas for more than 35 years. With materials from all over the country, even the world, they can help make most any floor into a gallery piece — albeit one that you walk on.

“Our focus is handmade artisan tile that can create decorative details and really special pieces,” representative Stephen Floyd says. “We make it a point to find what no one else has and offer an exclusive assortment of flooring.”

Antique Floors is a trade only showroom for industry professionals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a peek inside. Customers can make an appointment (the preferred way) and gander about the showroom’s space and gaze upon the selection of tiles and materials from England, Italy, Turkey and the U.S. They even work to focus on

American-based materials to assure clientele looking for that “Made in the U.S.A.” product for their home. But they don’t ignore that other countries offer some unique decorative motifs.

“We’re a big supporter of artisans right here in our own country,” Floyd says. “We do have a lot of clients with that in mind, but some designs will only come from those other

Steven-Floyd

Steven Floyd

countries.”

With more than 70 different lines of tile, AF has seen an increase in the past few years for glass materials, but really, there is no one particular trend he has noticed in sales.

With such a selection of obscure lines, he says it’s always unpredictable.

“Every job is so different, it would just be to difficult to determine, from our end, what the biggest sellers are,” he says.

But tile doesn’t stop and start at the floors. Their selection works for back splashes and entire walls. They even offer three-dimensional pieces that add a unique texture. Just don’t place that close to your front door without a disclaimer. And while they have worked with commercial properties, architects and designers usually come in to find the right materials for residential work.

“We’re a source for some of the most unique materials out there,” he says. “But keep in mind that floors are just part of the work. Our stuff has been used for pools, fountains, fireplaces — any flat surface will work in or out of water in or outside!”

There have been some special circumstances with their product. He finds he does have to educate people on ceramic versus porcelain and the benefits of stone. Coupled with informing clients how to maintain their countertop or bathroom floor, he has to take into account if people want to take the time just to clean it properly.

Just don’t ask them to design your project. They leave that to the creatives. But he will make sketches and have samples made to reassure the buyer of their potential purchase. However, they can exhibit a certain amount of creativity. Cutting stones or working with mosaics, a client can walk away with an original piece of art.

“If someone wants a crazy glass mosaic, we’ll have the designer do a section and we’ll turn around a sample,” Floyd says. “We can cut a material into a sort of flat sculpture as well. I did once have a young girl want a drawing of hers for her shower. So her parents brought her in and we worked with her on that.”

Because their name is Antique Flooring, people have gotten the misconception they do other things.

“We don’t do wood and we don’t do plumbing,” Floyd informs. “Some people might want flooring from an old basketball court or from old barns and that’s not our forte.”

Floyd, who was six months shy of finishing his degree for interior design, joined Antique Flooring six years ago and beams with pride talking about his experience there. And he feels he can still use his interest and talents in design to help with the product he sells.

“This is such a niche industry and we get to work with a unique group of people,” Floyd says. “Plus, we’re laid back even though we offer a very high-end product. I think that helps me have a great relationship with our clients. We even have cats in our showroom. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 20, 2012.

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