Ask Vicente: High Traffic Floors

Name: Linda Graveline
City: Los Angeles
State: CA
Country: USA

My client owns an animal hospital that I’m helping him update. The project will be done in stages, mostly this fall. One thing we’re planning is to replace the front office/lobby flooring – it’s currently a vinyl faux brick pattern. Since customers have been going to this neighborhood animal hospital for many generations, we want to retain the old school charm/humor that the previous owners infused and add some modern aspects as well. For example we’re going to keep the quirky church pew seating in the waiting room but add vinyl pads to make them more comfortable and add some color. I like the look of the flooring Vons recently used to update their produce departments. We want to make sure the cost of these updates don’t have to be passed on to his customers. Can you recommend some reliable flooring companies in the L.A. area who would have reasonable pricing and wood flooring suitable for a high-traffic animal hospital?


Vicente Responds:

No I don’t. Off the cuff I’d try concrete or self-levelers for the floors. These are easy to maintain and can come in a lot of different colors. I think, however, that our readers may just be the most helpful in this instance. Do any of you out there know of a good wood flooring supplier in the LA area? Please share that here. (Don’t you love that we can all learn from one another?)


  • Linda, I would talk to Michelle from Design Hardwood Flooring. I’ve been working with her for years and she is ON her game when it comes to floors. She knows Everthing about floors. And will work with all sorts of budgets and will refer you to great installers too. Good Luck !

    P.S. Vicente Wolf, you are right , there is so much we can learn from one another. You are awsome.

    June 30, 2010
  • Gary Nelling

    Linda – There are a variety of pre-finished wood laminate floors or engineered wood floors and that would handle traffic in the lobby and office areas of an animal hospital, be cleanable green materials made partly of recyclables and be less expensive than ¾” T&G oak floors finished in the field with polyurethane. These products have varying thicknesses of pre-finished solid wood laminated to composite materials that resist the contraction that opens joints between boards, as in solid wood plank floors. These products can be glue-installed over clean concrete or plywood sub-floors whereas hardwood floors must be nail installed. Armstrong Commercial Flooring and other manufacturers make a variety of each. I don’t know any LA dealers, but large volume discounters like Lumber Liquidators would probably give you good prices.

    I don’t know Vons, but our local supermarkets use sheet vinyl floors with integral wood grain in their produce departments because it doesn’t have joints like real wood that allow moisture penetration. Armstrong Floors had a product Timberline sheet vinyl, but it’s not made for treatment rooms. I don’t think the vinyl wood patterns look very natural, though some look better than others. I would look at Armstrong sheet vinyl Medintech, which I used in a surgery center, in solid colors for clean rooms like laboratories and treatment rooms. I would check with the manufacturer’s rep for technical info and then visit some dealers in your area. Good luck. – Gary

    June 30, 2010
  • I would look into Earthwerks Luxury Vinyl line, they have a wood plank collection that looks great installed, is rated for commercial installations, easy to maintain and is made w/ renewable materials. Here in the Seattle area it has been used in several upscale grocery installations as well as some Sephora stores.

    June 30, 2010
  • Gus

    My favorite place to go looking for flooring inspiration in LA is Linoleum City on Santa Monica Blvd. ( They have a large showroom with everything you can think of in terms of flooring, much more than just linoleum, though they have lots of fantastic linoleum as well. Linoleum is a good option at a good price point that comes in great colors and patterns as well as being very eco friendly. I have also found the people at Linoleum city to be very helpful.

    June 30, 2010

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