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Best Flooring Artisans, Installers, & Refinishers In Dallas

The best flooring artisans, installers, and refinishers in Dallas

 

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NEW THIS ISSUE: The Best Flooring Artisans, Installers, & Refinishers

Finding good home services is no easy feat. Our search began with mothers, friends, teachers – even the patients and staff at our dentists’ offices. Once we managed to compile a list, we researched the services, pricing, company history, and unique selling propositions of the most highly recommended. Then we contacted the Better Business Bureau to make certain these firms came up clean, with no complaints lodged. Finally, we checked references and asked ourselves if indeed these were people we’d want to do business with. If the answer was yes, they appear in the listing that follows.

WOOD FLOOR INSTALLERS/REFINISHERS & ALL-PURPOSE FLOORING INSTALLERS

Coker Floor Company
13656 Preston Rd. 972-919-1789.
www.cokerfloor.com.
At 58, Coker is one of Dallas oldest all-purpose flooring companies, and a good bet for inexpensive, reliable flooring. Their slogan, Our prices will floor you, reflects their practice of buying mill-direct and passing on savings to customers. They also offer 90-day to 12-month interest-free financing. When Chuck Massey and his daughter Michelle Massey Miller bought the business and the name in 1992, it was still essentially a mom-and-pop operation housed in a 2,000-square-foot combination office/warehouse. A dozen years later, they boast facilities in Dallas, Lewisville, Rockwall, and Frisco, are building in Southlake, and looking at Plano and Fort Worth. The original founder’s son, Gary Coker, still works for the company. They sell and install the gamut of flooring tiles, granites and stones, Pergo (a wood laminate), and carpets  – everything but stained concrete. You can also call on them to have carpets cleaned, marble polished, and wood stripped. They offer a one-year warranty on their installations, in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty. The bulk of their customer base is in Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounds. Miller attests that the trend in wood flooring is toward hand-scraped wood and stripped and processed bamboo. She says, “Big ornate rugs are out; unfussy natural-colored sisal or vividly colored rugs over wall-to-wall hardwood are in, as are really shaggy plush carpets.” Charges by the square foot are all-inclusive (product plus labor).

French-Brown Floors
7007 Greenville Ave. 214-363-4341.
www.french-brown.com.
The ne plus ultra of flooring companies, French-Brown celebrated its golden anniversary two years ago. This old Dallas reliable is a hard-surface dealer and distributor of custom hardwood flooring, ceramic floor tile, hand-painted wall tile, tumbled stone, parquet, and Amtico (customized vinyl), but the company itself installs only hardwood floors. “What’s new to some competitors is not new to us,” says principal Mitchell Brown, whose mother and father started the family business in 1952. “Take hand-scraped, Old World finishes. We’ve been doing them since the early 60s.” They do both kinds of hand-scraping “perpendicular to the grain for a homespun, rustic look or with the grain to imbue the wood with a little bit of texture and roll, giving the floors the same elegance and patina as those centuries-old floors at Versailles or Fontainebleau. Beyond Dallas and Texas, French-Brown has completed work in half the states in the Union, especially in Colorado, Virginia, and Oklahoma. A wood-floor installation costs $2.50 per square foot; the finishing process runs $2.50 to $4 per square foot, depending on the finish. Product costs range from a few dollars to materials that run $30 to $50 per square foot. The average installed product costs from $15 to $20 per square foot. Though they offer pre-finished flooring, the bulk of their work is custom-finished.

Hillcrest Floors Inc.
6915 Hillcrest Ave. 214-368-1257.

“Quality is what we specialize in, quality at a reasonable price,” says manager Diana George. “If you want cheap, do it yourself.” A staple in the Park Cities since 1947 and under current ownership since 1984, Hillcrest provides a full retail service for new and replacement hardwood floors for homes and offices. “We install only our own wood,” George says, “because it’s important to know where the wood comes from and how it’s been prepared it’s too expensive a process not to do it right.” They also install ceramic tile floors and custom-design and bind or serge area rugs. They will also teach you how to clean your quarry tiles should you require such instruction. Another option: pre-finished floors where the wood has already been sanded and glued down and finished with polyurethane in high, low, or medium gloss. For vinyl (by the yard) and wood (by the square foot), they charge anywhere from $8 to $40. Diana says there is a demand for hand-scraped looks from slight to very distressed and custom patterns for wood floors. “What’s favored now is a traditional look using stripwood, usually in oak, cherry, or walnut with a medium-brown stain.”

Massey Hardwood Floors
105 Industrial Dr., Forney. 972-329-1753.

Jeff Massey’s grandfather established the company as Dallas Floor Surfacing in 1932. He had a house on lower Greenville next to the Granada Theater and built an office on the street front, offering floor sanding and refinishing for Lakewood and Highland Park. After earning certification from the National Wood Flooring Association in 1981, Massey took over his grandfather’s business. He extended the trading area to cover all of Dallas and expanded the business to include the sale and installation of new hardwood floors, marble, ceramic tile, and high-end carpets for residential and commercial use. Although they contract out, most of their contractors have been with them for three generations – their grandfathers worked for Massey’s grandfather. His wife, Debbie, concurs that hand-scraped, distressed flooring is in as are the wider boards that came on the scene about five years ago. She’s also seeing wood floors accented with marble insets. Massey charges by the square foot for installations with prices ranging from $2.50 to $6.

Specialty Maintenance Inc.
10991 Petal St. 214-739-3335.

“Floors take more pounding than anything else in our homes, so believing that floors can be maintenance-free is like believing in the Easter Bunny. Even floors sealed with polyurethane need maintaining,” according to owner and maintenance specialist Danny Jenson. What distinguishes this hard-surface firm is that when they finish a floor, they don’t want not to hear from that customer ever again. “We want our customers to understand the procedures of maintenance.” They install and maintain hardwood floors; refinish brick, tile, and natural stones; fix water damage; and stain concrete floors. “When hardwood floors started enjoying a revival in the mid-70s, no one knew how to maintain them,” says Jenson. So he and former partner Larry Scott worked evenings and weekends cleaning, waxing, and buffing floors in private homes. They incorporated in 1980 and cut their teeth on an eight-floor housing complex on Ross Avenue. “Let me tell you,” Jenson said. “There was a huge difference between the first floor and the last.” The square-foot price covers only certain things – other elements are written up as separate charges. Prices start as low as 45 cents per square foot to clean, wax, and buff and run as high as $85 per square foot for special work such as the small-but-intricate kitchen floor in a high-rise on Lomo Alto that required laser-cut borders.

Trinity Floor Co.
1902 North Beckley Ave. 214-943-1157.
www.trinityfloors.com.
What you’re treading on at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Guadalupe Cathedral, or the gym of Ereckson Middle School in Allen are floors by Trinity, the oldest flooring contractor in Texas. But the enterprise handles residential projects as well. It all began 65 years ago in a Dallas garage, where founder Roy Gillette busied himself sanding and finishing flooring for friends. From wood they evolved into vinyl and vinyl composition tile, then into carpets in the 50s when the FHA approved carpeting for the home. Eventually they got into ceramic tile. Today Gillette’s grandson, Jon Roy Reid, and granddaughter, Linda Reid Ogden, oversee the company they joined 30 years ago. And, at 88, their dad, Harold Reid, is still active in the business. “We do just about any type of floor product for the home,” says John. Woods? “We do oak, maple, Brazilian cherry, pine – there isn’t a wood we don’t do.” And aside from standard patterns like herringbone, chevron, Bordeaux, and European Marie Antoinette they build floors in patterns that homeowners describe. Their own employees install wood floors; tiling is contracted out. Trinity Floor Co. mainly serves Dallas-Fort Worth, but they’ve done jobs all over Texas. Prices vary depending on the exigencies of the job. Installation of wood floors starts at $5.95 per square foot for pre-finished floors and goes as high as $30 per square foot for unfinished, hand-scraped, patterned floors.

Woodwright Company Inc.
7707 Sovereign Row.
214-630-8811.
The company name suits: These are masters of the craft of woodworking. They design, fabricate, and install unique wood floors for high-finish commercial and high-end residential projects. They also refinish existing floors. Because they are devoted exclusively to wood, they recruit and train apprentices as employees instead of using contract labor. “Our installation craftsmen typically only install the floors, and our finishing craftsmen typically only finish floors,” says owner Steve Welch. That shining floor on the Platinum Level of the American Airlines Center is the handiwork of Woodwright, as is the Santos Mahogany floor gracing a wedding chapel in Nagoya, Japan. Among their more out assignments: making a Southern Ute Indian seal that hangs in a lodge in Ignacio, Colorado, and re-creating the yoke for an antique stage coach. Their capabilities range from custom molding plank flooring to creating virtually any floor pattern a client can dream up. Steve Welch and Tom Peterson started Woodwright in 1984. Today Welch employs seven crews and owns 100 percent of Woodwright, including its offices and fabrication facility in the Brook Hollow section of Dallas. What’s the trend? Welch says, “Bamboo. With its short harvest cycle, it’s environmentally friendly and possesses a hardness similar to oak. We can cobblestone-finish the wood to project an Old World look, one more refined than any produced by hand-scraping.” As to cost, he says, “We provide lump-sum proposals. When we estimate a project we try to include realistic amounts of floor preparation and either include moldings, baseboards, and shoe mold or identify specific exclusions to leave no room for confusion.”

TILE INSTALLERS

Curtis McAnally
5816 Sidney, McKinney. 214-793-5501.

For artistic tiled flooring, Curtis McAnally is your man. Most of his work is in new construction and tiling floors, backsplashes, and bathrooms. Dallas homeowners have a taste for natural materials granite, marble, limestone, slate, travertine, and tumbled stone. The old-yet-new look of antique French terra cotta floor tiles has captured the market, along with intriguing combinations like onyx with crema marfil. Such delicate black-and-cream marble patterns are possible thanks to a water jet machine that precision-cuts anything the hand draws. Once cut, the pieces are taken to the job site and put together like a puzzle. McAnally also deals in glass mosaics in varying colors and textures that are set like tile. Their virtues: transparency and iridescence, a very different feeling than you get with ceramic. He started his company 18 years ago and now is laying tile in high-end homes, not out of plan but out of word-of-mouth, working for such tony builders as Douglas Scott and Bob Thompson.

Darco Design
1600 Fairview Dr., Rockwall.
972-567-5900.
They do all kinds of floor coverings except carpets, and they don’t shy away from extravagant projects. Consider one current installation: a master bathroom with 250 square feet of floor space abutting a 600-square-foot marble shower. (Labor and materials: $22,000.) Or a kitchen and breakfast area where the floor is picketed with five-inch-wide, hand-scraped red oak planks accented with antique travertine marble tiles laid on the diagonal. (Labor and materials: $27,000.) Thirteen years ago, owner David Rohe moved to Dallas and began installing tile in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, and North Dallas. Up-market homebuilders like George Lewis, Riley Homes, and White Rock Construction, as well as Dallas Design Group Interiors, all subcontract to Darco. The company doesn’t advertise: 100 percent of their work is repeat business or referrals. Beyond floors, they inlay countertops, ceilings, and fireplace surrounds. While they execute Old World Mediterranean looks using tumbled stones and antiqued tiles, they also create contemporary designs using glass tiles and more modular fabrications. Many of their tiles come from such specialty houses as Antique Floors, Ann Sacks, Dal-Tile, or French-Brown. They charge by the job. Generally, material costs are $6 or $7 per square foot.

Ceramic Tile Installations
1325 Whitlock Ln., Ste. 309, Carrollton.
972-236-9100. www.ceramictileinstallations.com.
With an MBA in hand, J. Gillum was hired in 1993 by a national company to run the tile products side of its Dallas branch. In 1999, he bought an existing company, 12-year-old Ceramic Tile Installations. They install residential and commercial tile as well as that of such leading suppliers as Marazzi, Verona Marble, IMC, Portobello, and Dal-Tile, for both new and updated construction. They employ four full-time workers and deploy 10 to 12 crews, with virtually all of them working exclusively for the company. Their specialty is custom-built installations for such large residential remodelers as Home Expo and Great Indoors, doing floors, tubs, showers, patios, countertops, backsplashes, fireplaces, custom borders, and kitchens. Gillum will lay glass tiles, too, but he finds glass tile mosaics usually don’t come out the way people picture them in their minds. Trading area? Dallas and Collin Counties from Plano and Frisco to Duncanville, DeSoto up to Prosper, and points north. Charges are from $2.50 to $6.50 per square foot for labor. Pricing is a function of time, says Gillum. A tile man with a helper can lay 700-1,000 feet a day in a big open room where the floor is simple and straight, whereas with an intricate backsplash we can probably only lay 30-35 feet a day, so the backsplash will cost more per square foot.

Fourth Generation Tile Creation & Stone Fabrication
7831 Colebrook Dr. 972-989-4134.
One customer, a female attorney, wanted a showpiece in her entryway. Artisan/owner Marco Garcia’s solution: a three-dimensional floor. He said, “It took three days to pick out the perfect stones, three days to cut and refinish the edge of each individual piece, and three days to install the floor.” But the result was amazing. “My dad believed in child labor,” says Marco, “so he started me working weekends at age 13.” Subsequently, he was featured in a father/son documentary on the craft. Marco performed the feat of cutting a section of glass tile perfectly. “Dad moved to Dallas and started his own business, and I worked for him all summer. From there I worked for a Plano company and became their top installer before going out on my own.” He does all his own work, strictly residential, no new construction. Garcia wants the work done right the first time, so will not hire anyone to work for him. Seventy percent of his business consists of repeat customers, 30 percent referrals. He’s usually booked one to two months in advance. He works in marble, porcelain, ceramic, and Saltillo tiles and granite slabs. People used to want a lot of ceramic, but now we’re stuck in the Stone Age the preference is for 12-by-12-inch granite and stone tiles perfectly straight with a perfectly flat surface.

Kemna Tile Inc.
2132 Cindy Ln. 972-488-8222.

Want your tile work done the old-school way? Contact Kemna Tile. Principal Barry Kemna started out in 1984 working on commercial projects for the union as a tile setter, following in his father’s footsteps. Manager Alan Parker came into the business as a general contractor, building customized homes in Southern California. Together they see to it that tiles are meticulously installed – over a mortar bed. Kemna says, “We mix up cement and sand and float the application on the walls and floors, so that it’s perfectly level.” More time-consuming, yes, but the net effect is a quality finished product. Kemna Tile uses employees, not subcontractors. The company tiles kitchens, bathrooms, and bars fabricated of granite, marble, soapstone, and other materials. One notable project, a limestone staircase rising from the basement to the second floor, was featured in Southern Accents. And Jocelyn White, emcee of the TV program Designing Texas, showcased another Kemna installation – a driveway embellished with an elaborate design created by water-jet-cut colored limestone. Because the company is also in the tile and stone business, they’re able to mix products such as 12-by-12-inch marble tiles with slabs and thicker and thinner materials such as 3/8-inch tiles with a 3/4-inch border of slab around it. The company will quote costs in advance after measuring space and discussing the desired look with the client.

Tim Corbett
2523 Salida, Irving. 214-763-9957.

He describes himself as East Texas slow, and says he had a real job 20 years ago before he metamorphosed into Tim the Tileman. The real job was in fashion (his family was in the apparel industry), so he laid tile between seasons. He found it fun and relaxing and a chance to activate his creative side. “I said to myself, ’I think I can make money doing this.’ So one day I went down to the Apparel Mart and quit.” His customers tend to be private individuals and celebrities – actors, golfers, and others whose grand estates are to be found in the rarefied regions of Highland Park and Preston Hollow. For 10 years he’s worked with Barcus Homes and with a number of decorators. Current project: Vaqueros in West Lake. Corbett says, “I remember when only white tile was available. Now there’s everything including marble, processed stone, imported stone, glass tile, and tile that is more expensive than stone. That wasn’t the case even eight years ago.” His customers are interested in Mediterranean looks, especially Spanish and Tuscan “tiling that was familiar in the 12th century but now offers fresh appeal. In his view, technology will never take over the business, and he discounts the new guys who just want to lick and stick. Corbett charges by the square foot, anywhere from $2.75 to $12 for installation; there are many variables, such as floor preparation. “Do I have to mud the floor? Is it a slab? Is there a pattern? If I have to turn it, I have to charge for it.”

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