Pizza, anyone?

When it comes to pizza, I’m a big fan, especially DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies in New Jersey (you know the one – the pizza I import for special occasions).  But I have a new affinity for the stuff now that I’ve been quoted in Pizza Today magazine.  Writer DeAnn Owens asked me about the best flooring for pizzarias, which was great timing because we had just finished laying the floor for a Shakeys restaurant, so the info was fresh in my mind.

The link to DeAnn’s article is

I’ve also included the article below for those who want to hang out on my blog.

Happy reading!

Floor Dance

Lay flooring with safety and maintenance in mind

BY DeAnn Owens

With so many options available, upgrading or replacing a floor can be overwhelming. But, if an operator can identify the needs of the restaurant, flooring can be a perfect reflection of design and function.

“Restaurant floors should be planned and designed with practicality and safety as the top considerations,” says Restaurant Consultant Aaron Allen.

Allen recommends operators look for flooring that has easy to clean surfaces, high/durable base boards, is accessible to surface cleaning tools, holds up to chips and cracks, is resistant to stains and fading and offers a guarantee or warranty for its lifespan.

“Flooring at the restaurant entrance will have different considerations than flooring under the fry line in the kitchen, where oils are likely to splash and spill,” Allen says. “Carpeting areas with high humidity can result in mildew which may smell; likewise, high humidity can cause wood flooring to buckle and warp resulting in poor aesthetics and trip hazards. Flooring that may need to hold up to heavy equipment or weight strains has unique considerations.”

Eric Peters, a communications specialist with Acoustical Solutions, Inc., in Richmond, Virginia, advises operators to minimize noise.

“Customers appreciate the fact that they can hear each other as well as their servers, but with dishes clanging, servers scurrying about, conversations and sometimes multiple TVs on, it is very hard to hear anything,” Peters says.

To fight the noise, Peters suggests treating the floor with an acoustic floor underlayment to stop noise transferring to lower levels and reduce echoing.

Consider upkeep when choosing a floor, advises Doron Armony, president and CEO of Eden Flooring and Construction, Inc. in Orange County, California. He suggests textured quarry tiles for kitchens because they provide some traction and are easy to clean and maintain. Smooth quarry tile may be required under machinery.

“In high traffic areas of the restaurant, porcelain tiles that resemble wood and come in various colors and sizes are a good choice,” Armony says. “If you mix the sizes and the colors in each row (i.e. one row will have all 8-inch red tiles and the next row will have 4-inch brown tile and the next 6-inch yellow tile etc.), the untrained eye will easily mistake it for hardwood flooring.”

Armony warns operators against hardwood flooring because it is often cleaned incorrectly with water, which creates separation, gaps and eventual buckling. He suggests laminate flooring for dining room areas, but operators should take caution; too much spillage or water can penetrate the laminate and cause it to expand. For industrial use, he recommends concrete because it can handle forklift pressure, is very low maintenance and is easily repaired.

For operators who want waterproof and easy-to-clean flooring, Debbie Gartner, owner of Floor Coverings International in Elmsford, New York, suggests tile or vinyl.

“Tile will look nicer and cost more,” Gartner says. “The grout lines sometimes make it harder to clean, but it also helps if you have tighter grout lines. And, if you seal the grout (and reseal every year), it will last longer and look better. I would choose something with some texture rather than shiny/glossy, which can be more slippery. I would stay away from natural stone (unless it’s a very upscale store) as these are harder to clean and maintain.”

According to Gartner, vinyl offers many options. On the low-end, sheet vinyl and VCT (vinyl composite tile), which are 12-inch by 12-inch squares, are easy to clean but not as attractive. On the high end, luxury vinyl plank or tile offer the look of hardwood or tile.

For operators who want to go green, Allen suggests flooring made of sustainable materials. “Bamboo, unlike typical wood trees, replenishes at incredibly fast rates and is therefore a sustainable material now being used in flooring,” he says. “Crushed coconut is also on the horizon as a commercially viable material.” Then, of course, there are recycled materials, which are being transformed into all sorts of new restaurant flooring options.

With the hustle and bustle in restaurants, operators need flooring to be a safe foundation. “Both ceramic and quarry floor tile will be more slip resistant than the standard (lowest cost) VCT,” says Matt Vetter, president of River’s Edge Project Management, in Hamburg, Michigan. “There are options available for textured VCT designed to be more slip resistant, but in my experience it is very difficult to clean. There are also solid epoxy options available (much like what you would see in a residential garage), but I have not found many health departments that are on-board with this yet. ”

Armony recommends abrasion-resistant tiles to prevent slippage.

“Minimizing the height between different floor finishes will minimize safety hazards (i.e. don’t put ½-inch tile next to 3/8-inch marble without adjusting the height at the seam where the two meet),” Armony says.

Of course, an operator’s budget may have the final word in the flooring debate.

“If budget is the key priority, then I would say some sort of commercial carpet — one with a lot of color variation that will hide the dirt,” Gartner says. Nylons will hold up better than olefins/polyesters. The carpeting will cost less, but will need to be replaced more often.

Vetter suggests balancing budget with style.

“A worthwhile compromise that I suggest often when project budgets are very tight is to install ceramic tile in the lobby (most of my clients do not have any dine-in areas); install quarry tile in the walk-in coolers and around any wet areas, and fill in the rest of the kitchen with VCT,” Vetter says. “This presents the best look to the customer, keeps employees safer from slips, and controls budget.”

To get the most from their flooring investment, operators need to apply elbow grease.

“One, make sure the flooring is installed properly –– any flooring installed improperly will not produce the desired results and will most likely fail,” Vetter says. Two, keep it clean. Any flooring needs to be cleaned on a regular basis — doing so will prolong the life and look.

With so many options available, operators are sure to find flooring that meets their safety, maintenance, design and budget needs.



“Cause you’ve got, functionality…”

Don’t remember that one by the great Lloyd Price?  Well, maybe it didn’t go exactly like that.  But everyone wants rooms with functionality (personality too, for that matter).  Funny thing is, we often don’t understand how unfunctional a home is until after we’ve lived in it for a while.  Yet with home values down throughout Southern California and much of the country, the last thing many homeowners want to do is sell their home because it’s not as functional as they thought.

That’s where I come in. With some creativity, a little faith in your loyal home remodeling expert and some great materials, I help clients reorganize a single room or an entire house to make it work better for them.

Case in point: my recent project in Laguna Niguel.  Overall, the clients liked the home and loved the location, but the rooms just weren’t meeting their needs.  We did a lot of cosmetic upgrades to the home, which I’ll show you another time, but the real challenge was transforming the kitchen and second bedroom into rooms that had, well, “functionality.”

Sorry I don’t have the before photos for this one – you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Let’s start with the kitchen.  The biggest problem was that the washing machine and dryer had been installed right there in the epicenter of home.  Not only did they cut down on the valued workspace, but they also broke up the flow of the room.

We got them out of there, and in the open space that was left, we built these great, functional cabinets and relocated the fridge to where the washer and dryer used to be.


Then we built a 21-inch pantry where the fridge used to be, and put in the microwave and oven with warming drawer underneath, and cabinets up top.

With the washer and dryer out and the fridge moved over, that left a big working space where we put in granite countertops.


That big hole there is where we put a cooktop.  I installed a hidden hood under the cabinet with a fan.  You can’t see it, which makes it all the more aesthetic.

The clients didn’t like having two small sinks, so we put in one large one.

And we built a large island for added workspace.  The island has a built-in trash receptacle and lots of cabinet space.


Here’s the granite.  Notice how we finished the edges.  That’s good craftmanship.

You see the big, open space between the sink and the post?

There was a wall there, but it made the kitchen feel closed up and kept the light out.  We took the wall out, giving a much more spacious feel and bringing the light in.  The pole is structural, so we had to leave it, so to give it a designer’s touch, we refaced it with wood paneling.  Here it is from another angle.

The backsplash is made from edged subway tile.


It comes in a lot of colors and finishes.

For even more  of a modern flair, we raised the ceiling and installed recessed lights.


The other room we remodeled was the second bedroom, which the clients wanted to use as an office.  That meant they didn’t need the closet anymore.  We took it out and replaced it with upper and lower shelves with pull-out drawers that will be used as filing cabinets.

On the other side of the closet, I put in an art niche with glass shelves and lights to showcase the art pieces the clients will put there.  An elegant touch, wouldn’t you



And there you have it.  A kitchen and office that have a lot more functionality and style than before.

So what’s going on in Irvine?  Glad you asked.  Permits.  Often when we do major construction work, we have to get permits from the city to ensure that our building is up to code.  So that’s what we’re doing.  Building will continue next week.

Next time around I’ll try to come up with some more contemporary tunes – I may have to ask the kids about that.  Until then, stay tuned and stay functional.

Want a room with more functionality? Call Doron for great ideas and a free  estimate.  949-228-5218 or


Beverly Hills Wine Cellar + Getting Framed in Irvine

I’ve always appreciated a fine bottle of wine now and then, so when my client in Beverly Hills asked me to install flooring in his newly built wine cellar, I grabbed a bottle and did a little bit of research first.  That’s because the climate inside a wine cellar is different from the rest of your home.  It’s a lot more humid and typically cooler, so the flooring needs to be able to withstand these conditions.  It also has to be able to bear the weight of the wine bottles and racks, which can easily get up to several tons. This was my first-ever wine cellar, and I had to get it right.

I suggested to my client choices that work well in wine cellars: cork, porcelain tile or stone, sealed cement and hardwood.  He decided to go with the strong, exotic look of Tigerwood, a Brazilian species known for its, well, tiger-like appearance.  Tigerwood is a dense, heavy wood that wears well, so it’s a good choice for the wine cellar environment.

We started off by sealing the cement, then putting down a moisture barrier.  After the wood acclimated for a week, we spread a layer of glue, put down plywood, another layer of glue and finally the Tigerwood.

Et voilà!


A beautiful wine cellar that would be the pride of any connoisseur.  Now all that’s needed is to sit back and enjoy a good glass of red.

But of course when you run your own business, you never really sit back and relax, so it’s back to Irvine and our full-home renovation.  Things are moving along right on schedule. We’re done the demo and are now into Phase II, the remodeling.  We’re starting in that big, fourth bedroom upstairs.  You remember, the former studio with the soaring ceilings.


The clients are really after maximizing space and value (aren’t we all?), and with only one full bath and one ¾ bath on an upper level with four bedrooms, we decided to turn that big room into a suite with a bathroom of its own.  Thanks to the sink in the room and another bathroom on the other side of the wall, the plumbing is already in place, which makes the construction easier and less expensive for the client.  Their preteen will be using that  room, but once it’s done, it will also make a perfect, private guest room, or a nanny’s room if they were to resell to a family that needs one.  Options, versatility, that’s the name of the game.

With the sink and wardrobe gone, what you see below is the framing for what will be the bathroom and the laundry room which will be built on the opposite side of the bathroom.

We decided to move the laundry room upstairs to make room for a first floor office.  Don’t worry, we’ll insulate the walls real well so Mr. Preteen doesn’t get woken up
to the sound of his socks drying.  But more about that later.


With such high ceilings in this room, we’re making a loft over the bathroom and
laundry room which will be a fun place for Junior to hang out and read, listen
to tunes, or simply daydream…

We’re also working on the framing for the new living room space, which, if you recall, will have an expanded kitchen and extended dining room.

Until next time, grab yourself a glass of vino and enjoy life.

By the way, speaking of wine cellars, do you know where the biggest wine cellar in the world is located?  Post your answer below (no cheating all you Google-holics).  Winner gets a bottle of wine compliments of Eden Flooring and Construction, Inc.


Have you ever considered a wine cellar of your own?  Contact Doron at 949-279-2011 or