Truisms such as “lead by example” hold up over time. That’s what executives at FlorStar Sales, Inc., kept in mind when planning
their new office project. The floor covering wholesaler wanted to feature their main suppliers’ products throughout employee
office spaces in their new 444,000-square-foot warehouse and corporate headquarters. The goal being to demonstrate innovative
design and expert installation to inspire customers and staff. They more than achieved their objective with Armstrong linoleum,
vinyl sheet, vinyl composition tile, luxury vinyl tile, slip-retardant tile and commercial hardwood. The full portfolio of
products is used extensively throughout the building in eye-catching custom designs. Installation accessories, including Armstrong
color coordinated weld rod and wall base, complete the artistic endeavor. The end result is a testament to the owner’s vision,
the designer’s creativity, the installer’s expertise and Armstrong’s technical assistance. FlorStar owner Wade Cassidy and
designer Sandra Ditlove, vice president of interiors for the Ditlove Group, Inc., met to map out their ideas for the new facility.
As they worked through the project room by room, Ditlove envisioned multiple flooring insets and borders to complement the
large painted graphic patterns on the walls. Ditlove explains, “You need to get creative when you have such large areas to
fill up. Of course, I was greatly influenced by my client’s company name. I’m particularly pleased with the Stars and Stripes
‘area rug’ created with Armstrong™ MARMORETTE™ linoleum.” The star motif is repeated in the lunchroom using Armstrong PERSPECTIVES™.
Great design aside, the floors also need to stay good-looking over time with minimal maintenance. Ditlove says, “Midwest winters
mean that easy cleaning is a must. Resilient products in the higher-traffic areas, including corridors, offer a practical
solution for maintenance considerations. The commercial hardwood in executive spaces has a finishing system that improves
As the inspirational design concepts evolved, a team of experts including the building owner, the designer, the installer
and the Armstrong representative collaborated on the project. “Everyone was excited about doing something different and really
put their all into it. The installers came up with ideas and suggestions that made my designs better, and Armstrong provided
the technical information we needed to make the installation work. Yeah team!” exclaims Ditlove. The floor plan drawings were
extensive, including detailed paper patterns for the ‘area rugs’. The team worked together to coordinate the project and to
execute the area to- area, plus floor-to-floor transitions. Ditlove concludes, “Besides everyone making me look good, we are
all very pleased with the results in every way. The floors are beautiful, fun and practical. What more could you want?”
The Ditlove Group provides many types of design services including contact interiors, graphics, fine arts, photography and
landscaping. They believe that everything in our environment can be improved with good design solutions. To that end, they
wanted the floor covering to contribute to a warm and comfortable workspace. Clever combinations of floor products, patterns
and colors achieve the desired effect.
Each area in the building makes a statement. In the training room, PERSPECTIVES vinyl sheet in painted bronze, antiqued metal
and etched steel; TRANSLATIONS™ vinyl sheet in sage; and NATURAL OPTIONS™ luxury vinyl tile in rustic oak dark and rustic
oak medium, create a bordered diamond pattern. Color integrated vinyl wall base in gray green provides the floor-to-wall transition.
In the executive office common area, MARMORETTE™ linoleum in six complementary colors—gull gray, delft blue, cream, parchment
beige, yellow straw, goldenrod and silver mist— fool the eye in a series of ‘area rugs’. Whimsical fringes and sculpted effects
are created with a full color palette of linoleum weld rod including galleria gray, marigold, crème angora, ocean blue, maraschino
red, willow gray, prairie dog, toasted almond, banner blue, blonde and shrimp red. Administrative areas including the waiting
room and shipping office feature multiple vinyl composition tile products and colors for a creative as well as economical
design solution. The coordinating visuals include Standard EXCELON® Imperial Texture in lichen green and pearl white; MultiColor™ in coaster greige, and ARTEFFECTS™ in mezzo green, umber green, silver sable
and parchment beige. The warehouse area requires anti-slip flooring. SAFETY ZONE™ in slate black and earth stone provide the desired performance without sacrificing aesthetics.
A totally different flooring solution is used in executive, high profile spaces including offices for the company president
and chief operating officer, plus the executive conference room. In those areas, Armstrong commercial hardwood provides the
beauty of solid oak floors and excellent value. The oak flooring in natural, butterscotch and gunstock colors features a Permion®
finish that enhances durability while reducing maintenance and finishing costs.
Using all these Armstrong products in one facility proved easy for the designer. Ditlove comments, “The full color ranges
and pattern compatibility allowed me to continue the theme of insets throughout the building, and the consistent product gauges
gave me the flexibility to use more than one material in a room. I’ve never had a client so open to my ideas and I’m thrilled
to have worked on this project. For me, it has been a dream job!”