Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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3 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 2017 PRODUCT GUIDE FLOORING A former construction company owner who went on to become an architect, Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, founded DMAC Architecture P.C. in 1995. Based in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill., the company specializes in designer-led fabrication of architectural and interior components, furniture, and lighting as well as graphics and brand identity work. For flooring, he's a hard- woods loyalist at heart but admits to a recent crush on large-format tile. First things to think about when considering flooring options? DE: Durability is huge for restaurant projects. We always want to make sure that the products will look great from the day we open and ideally 10 years later, too. Acoustics are also important. Unfortunately, most of the harder surfaces that have great longevity aren't great for sound absorption. Light reflectivity is still another important consideration — how the flooring will help set the mood for the space. Ultimately, the decision rests on both functionality and aesthetics, but functionality weighs heavily. On your design stage, does flooring star or support? DE: It usually plays a supporting role, but that varies. Sometimes we'll do maybe a patterned custom mosaic tile in a smaller area and then move into natural hardwood for the main dining room, just to let the floor be more background than foreground in terms of design intent there. Some- times clients are tempted to try to make everything amazing, but it takes a bit of rigor and careful thinking about the role the flooring should play in the collective space. Everything can't be the star. It's kind of like music: If there's no space between the notes, it's just noise. Your first choice for flooring is often hardwoods. Why? DE: I'm a purist, and in general, we try to use real materials as much as possible. That's especially true in higher-end restaurants where I feel like if you're selling $60 steaks, you should be using real wood. As good as some of the faux wood products are, I like my wood to scratch and dent and have a life to it. Over time, it develops a patina, sort of like your favorite leather jacket. While many synthetic products are now actually really beautiful, you don't get that same rich look or feel as with real wood. OK, but what's one non-wood category you're drawn to right now? DE: Some of the new large-format stuff, especially porcelain tile, is gorgeous and holds up better than, say, real Carrara marble. It's been out for a while, but it's getting better and better, and the cost is competitive. The big issue with it is that installers aren't used to working with it. Trying to find a crew that knows how to work with it and can do a good job, par- ticularly with corners, is tough. It's not in the building culture yet. What's your top flooring maintenance tip for operators? DE: Train your staff to always use the right cleaning product for your specific type of flooring. Wood-Look Porcelain Tile Collection Nest is a new collection of domestically produced, wood-look porcelain tiles inspired by the authentic graining of olive and American oak species. Available in seven neutral hues and two unique grains, the collection invites mixing and matching to cre- ate custom patterns on floors and walls. Field tile size options are 6 by 36 inches, 8 by 36 inches, and 3 by 15 inches. Parquet-in- spired mosaics, mesh-mounted on 12-by-12-inch sheets, are also available and can be combined with planks for stunning floor pat- terns. Bullnose and cove base trim allow for beautifully completed installation. Green Squared certified. Crossville Inc. www.crossvilleinc.com FIVE MINUTES WITH: Dwayne MacEwen, DMAC Architecture P.C.

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