BUSINESS FEATURE Floor King New leaders carrying decor company forward F ounded in Northwest Austin in 1986, Floor King had been under the leadership of Kurt Wade and John Surko for
BY GREG PERLISKI
then maintenance, said Brown, who is Floor King’s chief nancial ocer. “It is almost like an education, and that’s the best way to have a happy customer, is for them to know what they are getting into,” he said. Working with customers in a personalized fashion has positioned Floor King to face challenges brought by big business in the oor covering industry, which has seen big-box home improvement stores come into the market selling carpeting and ooring products. But the array of retailers and oor- ing products often brings customers to Floor King with more questions than answers, Wanslow said. “We see it as an opportunity to educate,” she said. “If you are pulling it o the shelf, then there’s no one explaining it. Our team is there to educate you on what is right for you.” And what is right, even for a single customer, can change over time. Carpeting is now reserved more for the bedrooms of a home, and more durable vinyl plank ooring has come into vogue in the main living areas as families with busy schedules and pets need durability, she said. Ultimately, having product variety along with customer knowledge has enabled the Floor King team to manage the changes. “In dealing with dierent customers, you deal with dierent styles and dif- ferent wants and dierent priorities,” Surko-Guerra said. “The ability to kind of conform to what that person wants in the few hours we have with them has remained constant.”
much of its history. In January 2020 the home design, decor and oor covering company transferred to new leadership. Now the business, which later this summer opens its newest location in San Marcos, is led by a second generation of Surkos, Jack and Kelly Surko-Guerra, and longtime Floor King teammembers James Brown and KimWanslow. Wanslow, Floor King CEO, said the group working together through the decades has made Floor King seem like family, especially considering the years of service that also can be found among members of Floor King’s installation team. One member, Alfredo Renteria, passed his trade to his son, Jorge, who is also part of the team.“It’s a family unit that we have developed,” she said. “We’ve seen each other’s kids grow up.” Floor King oers not only ooring and installation but also works with both retail clients and homebuilders on design. The service is particularly important with retail customers, as in-house experts guide customers on what works best for their individual lifestyle, Kelly Surko-Guerra said. “We get to know their lifestyle,” she said. “So that’s an opportunity to make sure they are getting a product that they are going to love and that they can live with.” The process continues from design to product choice, installation and
Floor King’s current leadership team has worked together over the past 20 years. Pictured from left are: KimWanslow, Kelly Surko-Guerra, James Brown and Jack Surko. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
HOME DECOR TRENDS THROUGH THE YEARS The sales, design and installation team at Floor King has seen many changes in product trends over the years. 1990s • wallpaper used in bath, kitchen • backsplash built with 4x4 white tile • tiled oors are in entry, kitchen, bath • living areas carpeted in green, blue or burgundy 2000s • white-washed cabinets and wood ooring emerge as top choice • dark cabinets are popular along with travertine oors and walls 2010s • wallpaper fades in popularity • dark wood moves out of style • larger oor tiles require atter oors • bold-patterned oors are in vogue 2020s • durable vinyl and tile that appear like wood sweep market • digital design is common; customers see choices virtually
Today, carpet ismore commonly reserved for bedrooms. (Courtesy Floor King)
Vinyl plank ooring that looks likewood is nowpopular. (Courtesy Floor King)
Floor King 10961 Research Blvd., Austin 512-346-7034 www.oorking.net
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