FIVE MINUTES WITH: Dwayne MacEwen, DMAC Architecture P.C.

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 hardwoods loyalist at heart but admits to a recent crush on large-format tile.

dwayne macewen 1First 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. Sometimes 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, particularly 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.

crossville nest peaceful in olive

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 create 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-inspired mosaics, mesh-mounted on 12-by-12-inch sheets, are also available and can be combined with planks for stunning floor patterns. Bullnose and cove base trim allow for beautifully completed installation. Green Squared certified.

Crossville Inc.

mannington infused collection2

Mix and Match LVT

The Infused Collection is a modern interpretation of LVT. Made up of a mosaic of coordinating graphic patterns, it can be mixed and remixed to match any designer’s vision. Available in five patterns inspired by the cultures of Mexico City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and New York, they’re connected through line quality and shared colorways. A combination of brights and neutrals, each has a subtle luster, giving the tiles a refined yet striking character. Available in 9-by-9-inch and 2½-by-36-inch formats, they’re manufactured with Mannington’s patented Quantum Guard HP for scratch, stain and slip resistance.

Mannington Commercial

vangelder porticosystems natures view style rustique

Luxury Vinyl Planks

Sophisticated style and performance meet the ease and durability of luxury vinyl. Washed in deep hues and a contemporary color palette, Natures View Style Rustique 7-by-48-inch luxury 40-mil vinyl plank provides long-lasting beauty with ease of maintenance. The line is available in 13 exotic wood patterns and cuts brought to life with registered embossing. With ceramic-bead technology that makes it forgiving and able to withstand heavy wear, Natures View Style Rustique luxury vinyl plank is a long-term commercial flooring solution.

van Gelder Inc. | Portico Systems
www.vangelder-inc.com | www.porticosystems.com

tesselle safari savanna 4x4 layout random

Cement Tile on Safari

The Safari collection of hexagonal cement tiles from Tesselle is inspired by the always-classic leopard print. The tiles are handmade and stocked in three colorways, Jasper, Rain and Savanna; they can also be customized to match any choice of colors in small production runs. Designed by Karin Jeske, the Safari pattern can be matched up in any orientation, mimicking nature by creating a random pattern across the surface. Dimensions are 9-by-8-by-5/8-inches.


rapid weld gun

New Blue Rapid Weld Option

Protect-All has added a new blue color option to its Rapid Weld flooring installation system. Formulated to precisely match the company’s flooring panels, the system’s colors create a finished product that is functional and aesthetically appealing. The Rapid Weld system utilizes a chemical welding process that reduces the amount of required labor and creates a watertight seal between flooring panels, per the manufacturer. In addition to blue, the product is available in brown, light gray, dark gray, black and terra cotta.

Protect-All Flooring

duchateau concrete deluxe

Concrete DeLuxe

DuChâteau Concrete DeLuxe offers the strength, durability and low maintenance of concrete in wide-plank, simulated wood flooring. All DuChâteau Concrete DeLuxe floors are handmade in natural matte finishes, covering a broad spectrum of commercial applications from interior to exterior. Available in 10 warm, natural hues.


architectural systems americarrara porcelain

Marble-Like Porcelain Tile

Embody old-world essence in the time-worn, marble-like appearance of the AmeriCarrara Porcelain line from Architectural Systems. Made in the U.S., these porcelain tiles are Greenguard Gold Certified and available in polished or honed/skid-resistant finishes in several sizes and five nature-inspired colors. The collection offers a classic yet modern stone-look flooring option.

Architectural Systems

metroflor aspectaone ornamental lvt

LVT Overlay Motifs

Aspecta One Ornamental LVT flooring collection features three overlay motifs, Damask, Masquerade and Malta, that offer an array of custom options without going through the entire custom design process. Evoking Asian, Arabic and sub-Saharan cultures, or art nouveau and rococo style, these decorative overprints can be layered randomly on select plank and tile designs. The collection is ideal for restaurant/hospitality projects with all the benefits that LVT provides: stunning design and embossings coupled with easy care and maintenance. Biophilic design was a major part of the collection’s design logic, and many of the motifs reflect and were inspired by natural elements.

Metroflor Corporation

havwoods intl versailles driftwood

Versailles Pattern Hardwood

Ever since King Louis XIV of France replaced marble floors with intricate wood patterns inside the Palace of Versailles, this hardwood flooring pattern has been a design classic. Traditionally time-consuming and expensive to install, Havwoods International’s Versailles collection, recently introduced to the North American market, consists of pre-finished, pre-assembled engineered panels that make installation fast, easy and affordable. The collection is available in five oak styles —natural rustic, antique rustic, drift rustic, natural and white.

Havwoods International

armstrong flooring natural creations2

Natural Creations Luxury Flooring

The Natural Creations line offers high levels of scratch, stain and scuff resistance. The collection is available in an array of modular shapes, sizes and patterns and is organized into three collections: ArborArt, EarthCuts, and Mystix, inspired by the natural beauty of wood, the colors and organic variations of stone, and the distinctive woven-like appearance of textiles, respectively.

Armstrong Flooring Inc.

emsertile casserowhite

Large-Format Porcelain Tile

Delivering a flexible, modern solution for hospitality interiors, Hangar merges the contemporary appeal of concrete with a clean linear pattern offered in four natural hues: ash, sand, smoke and coal. Available in a variety of large-format tile sizes, including 63 by 126 inches, 31 by 31 inches, 24 by 47 inches, and 12 by 24 inches, Hangar tiles can contribute to a wide range of on-trend design applications from elevated industrial to casual contemporary.

Emser Tile

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