Monday, December 12, 2011

Seattle simpleFLOORS recycling pallets

We at Seattle simpleFLOORS had accumulated a few hundred extra wooden pallets in our warehouse and were wondering what to do with them.

We donated all of the pallets to a homeless camp in Seattle called "Nickelsville". They will be used for firewood, making walkways, and as tent support to keep tents off the ground. Our friends at Pozzi Brothers Transportation were kind enough to deliver the pallets for us. They do all of our local deliveries and are a great company that we appreciate partnering with.

We are proud to help our local community in this creative manner!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Seattle simpleFLOORS Anniversary

This month is the 4th anniversary for Seattle simpleFLOORS!

Dave and Charlie have been with simpleFLOORS since the beginning and were integral in helping create the company we are today. Tammi worked with both of them previously and was happy to join the team about 3 years ago.

In spite of the current economic situation we are thriving, in part because our business model has not had to change. We have always believed in offering exciting flooring options for real people and businesses.... at a price they can afford. Luckily we have team members with an exceptional eye for color, style, and longevity to keep our offerings fresh and happy customers to keep the referrals coming.

Here is to another 4 years of helping the Seattle area maintain and increase the beauty of their homes!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Olio!: "Why is there a CORK on his fork?"

Olio!: "Why is there a CORK on his fork?": Please tell me you get this movie reference. Remember Dirty Rotten Scoundrels? Well, the mention of "cork" always reminds me of that HILARIOUS scene in that HILARIOUS movie.  But this post has nothing to do with "cork on his fork".

Monday, August 1, 2011

Friends & Family Discounts

How many times have you had this happen?

Shoppers call or come in to the store and say, “Hey I had a friend buy from here. They just installed it last weekend; it looks great!” And right away half your job is done for you. You’re authenticated, set up in their mind as a reliable, solid business that won’t let them down. But you don’t have to wait for this target group to come into the store. Go out and find them!

Every satisfied customer is an advertisement immeasurably more effective then your best Day-Glo orange banner. Their friends and relatives are your new potential customers. You’d be crazy not to build on that foundation. For example, simpleFLOORS Seattle recently sent out thank-you notes to some chosen customers, enclosing discount cards to be handed out when their new floors inspired compliments.

In today’s market, everyone’s a little proud of their coupon-clipping skills. Give your customer a little more push to brag about theirs; reach out to them with a reminder of just how successful their flooring purchase was. simpleFLOORS Bay Area emails previous customers noting several websites where store reviews are welcomed, so that others can benefit from their positive experience. This builds an online supply of personal recommendations, and also helps customers refine in their own mind what makes simpleFLOORS such a great company to work with.

simpleFLOORS Georgia suggested thanking the referring customer with a small gift card, and the referred with a 10% off (or similar) discount – which then encourages the new customer to spread the word likewise. Reach out to your existing customers and you’ll be an active participant in design conversations all over town!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Click Together vs Tongue and Groove Flooring

Many customers come in the store (Seattle simpleFLOORS) asking about click together hardwood and bamboo flooring. Dave put together a simple explanation for them to help understand the differences.

Click Together vs Tongue and Groove Flooring
Click together flooring is becoming more prevalent recently in the flooring industry. However do not let the marketing gimmicks that a lot of manufacturers have been dishing out fool you. The most common theme is that click together floors are much easier for installation. For a professional installer who uses the same lock system frequently, this may make installation 20% quicker. But for the average home owner click together floors typically take as long as or longer than standard tongue and groove. This is because a lot of the time when one is tapping the board into the next board, boards from previous rows comes loose. Ultimately a lot of people end up using blue painters tape just as they would if they were using glue with a tongue and groove system. The biggest fault on click together floors is that they force the installer to do a floating installation only. Certainly some people want to do a nail/staple or glue down applications. The locking systems used in click together floors do not hold as well as glue-together tongue and groove floors either. Thus they are not as “flexible” when in situations where there is a lot of expansion and contraction and will fail much easier. It is also not recommended to sand and refinish click together floors because the belt sanders put a lot of pressure on the lock system. This can loosen the lock system and leave gaps in between boards.
Tongue and groove floors tend to be cheaper as well. Flooring manufacturers typically pay between 8 to 15 cents per linear foot to use one of the two patented lock systems that must be used. This adds up quickly over the course of even a couple rooms. Tongue and groove floors that have been floated will not squeak due to the locking system loosening up. Also, tongue and groove floors that have been floated will provide much better moisture protection from spills and such. The glue acts as a barrier and does not allow the moisture to get under the flooring nearly as easy. When choosing your next flooring, please do not let the marketing gimmicks of some manufacturers sway you on making your correct choice.

Friday, March 18, 2011

In Perspective

simpleFLOORS has been, from the beginning, a family company.

In the apparent chaos of the world at the moment – the news from Japan, from Libya and Bahrain – it’s timely to remember what’s important in life. To know friends and loved ones are safe and within reach, to have access to food and clean water, to have a home at all – let alone be able to remodel or build one – these are incredible blessings. To live in a country that acknowledges its citizens’ right to select their leaders, is a blessing. To have choices - in food, in news sources, in education, in consumer products, in flooring! – is a blessing. We are reminded of that especially now, when a good portion of the world’s people are without either the resources or the liberty to control their basic surroundings.

As always, we’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of your home. Whether you choose bamboo or Brazilian Cherry, laminate or cork, to do the den or not, we’re happy that you have the chance to improve your home this way. We look forward to assisting you.

And! With all the money you’ll save at simpleFLOORS,

Monday, January 31, 2011

Shopping Tips From a Flooring Professional...

Choosing a new floor is a big decision. Most of us want a floor that suits both our home’s design and our lifestyle, one that complements our house and furniture without making us cringe every time somebody drops a fork or the dog skates in from outside. Add to that the choices in color and grain, handscraping methods, board widths, gloss level, and of course, price, and it’s no wonder some people search for years before fixing on their final choice.

As both a sales rep (at simpleFLOORS)and a customer, I’ve found that there are two methods of approach when shopping for flooring. You either wander at will and hope to fall in love with something, or do a little research and have a flexible plan. Generally the second approach is less frustrating, time consuming, and expensive. Think about what you want the floor to look like, and also what the floor will have to withstand.

For wearability, some hard and fast truths: A floor that is higher on the Janka scale (1300-3680) will dent less than a floor lower on the scale. Woods with more grain and variation of color will hide wear – dings, dents, scratches – better than a floor that’s more uniform. Medium colors hide dust and scratches much better than dark floors. Handscraping is not just a trend; it’s there to make the inevitable marks you and your family will make over time less noticeable.

For design ideas – well, I used magazines, design books, TV shows, online photos, and of course our very own Flickr page for photos of real-life homes. You don’t have to find the exact color or style that you want, just use these images to find out more about what feels comfortable for you and your household. Do you want a floor that stands out, a centerpiece? Or do you want it to be in the background, a wood that’s pretty but not the focal point? Do you like contrasting colors or do you prefer different shades of the same hue? Should you mix styles, or are you a purist?

When you come into a showroom to look seriously, bring samples of whatever else will be going in the room. Pull out cabinet drawers to bring, get swatches of existing paint color in your house from a home improvement store, grab a couch cushion or your favorite artwork, unscrew the leg from a dining room chair, etc. It’ll be easier to narrow down choices if you have the exact shades & styles you’ve already chosen for your rooms.

A follow-up step is to take samples of your top five choices home, so that you can see the colors in your own lighting. Many showrooms use fluorescent light bulbs, which can bring out the cooler tones in a color, and can dull reds and oranges. You’ll get a better idea of how a wood will look in your house if you place samples in different rooms and peek at them throughout the day, observing how they look in morning light, afternoon light, lamplight, etc. We also encourage our customers to drop everyday items on their take-home samples, to get an accurate idea of how floors wear. Even the hardest woods can be damaged with a sharp point and a lot of force; the question is, do you notice the damage when the sample’s not two inches from your nose?

In the end, you might find two or three ‘right’ choices. If that’s the case, my only advice is:
1. Listen to the house. Sometimes it’s just easier to really SEE one floor in your rooms. My house, built in the 1920s, was easier to picture with the dark brown floor that was my second choice, rather than the light floor that was my first. It’s more dramatic with the high ceilings, tall baseboards, white walls. Ultimately, the house chose the floor for me.
2. Listen to your gut. Is there one that you love-love-love? And if so, are you going to be in the house long enough to appreciate it? There was one floor on my list that I would’ve had a hard time leaving when I sell my house in a couple years. Most home buyers would frown on a seller hastily tearing up floorboards and shoving them in her purse before leaving town.
3. Hold your nose and jump in! After eliminating the definitely-nots, and just-not-for-mes, what’s left will be a lot of beautiful choices.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Next Cool Thing

The Next Cool Thing is coming to Atlanta January 14th-16th 2011. Simplefloors is hyped to be a part of this three-day event which showcases members of the creative community such as interior designers, event planners, architects, builders, lighting companies, performers, artisans and craftsmen who will be filling a 90,000 square feet building at 1235 Chattahoochee Avenue in Atlanta. An expected creative element is that the sets/environments are all based on a film or TV theme.

The visual tribute honors the work of Georgia Production Partnership (GPP) and the growing film industry in Georgia. With the help of GPP, Georgia has become one of the top five States in the country for movie and television production.

Georgia Production Partnership from Georgia Production Partnership on Vimeo.

Barbara English of TO THE TRADE ONLY recently said of the event that “We realized the need to bring the creative communities together to introduce them to each other when Craig Miller, of the Georgia Production Partnership (GPP) and I discussed the perception that the state is lacking adequate resources to accommodate new business being generated here from Los Angeles and New York,” Barbara adds, “There is nothing the entertainment industry needs that can’t be found locally.”

The Georgia Production Partnership and TO THE TRADE ONLY partnered to create national awareness of Georgia’s rich, local talent and our mild weather, diverse shooting locations and international airport.

Simplefloors will be installing a variety of our floors in spaces throughout the event. We intend to make good use of the time and shoot our own production of an installation video providing a easy to understand step by step guide of the basic types of flooring installation.