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Floor & Decor: Af-floor-dable Design 

Floor & Decor offers more than 40 styles of solid wood flooring, as well and marble and wall tiles, to lend the finishing touch to home projects

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General manager Lindsay Swenson says when first-time customers enter Floor & Decor Design Gallery (4 Westside Shopping Center, Gretna, 361-0501; 2801 Magazine St., 891-3005; www.flooranddecoroutlets.com), their initial reactions tend to go a bit like this: "Oh wow, this store is so beautiful. Look at this pine and look at this backsplash." After customers look more closely at price tags, though, the reactions change. "Later on, they say, 'These prices are so low,'" Swenson says. "(We're) lower than places that are supposed to be inexpensive."

  Because Floor & Decor has an inventory of more than 70 ceramic tiles, more than 30 types of marble and more than 50 wall tiles, customers can find their dream color or style. There are 15 styles of locking vinyl planks that look like wood and more than 120 laminate designs.

  "We offer the largest in-stock volume at the lowest prices," Swenson says. "Ninety percent of what we have in the showroom is available to take home the same day." In addition to providing floor and wall surfaces, Floor & Decor also sells the tools needed to install these and other trimmings to complete the look, including moldings, underlayment and marble accessories.

  Though Floor & Decor is a chain, each location's manager tailors the store's inventory to its customers' preferences. In keeping with the inventory of neighboring furniture retailers and the tastes of Magazine Street shoppers, Swenson stocks her store's showroom with high-end brands including Ken Mason, Alys Edwards, Bon Ton Tile Artistry and Ceramic Tile Trends. More than 40 styles of solid wood flooring are available, including reclaimed pine and cypress from Louisiana, and hand-scraped woods like oak, birch and mahogany.

  Floor & Decor also offers free how-to clinics and design services. "Designers will work with anyone start to finish, from the blueprint stage out," Swenson says. "The team has helped design multimillion-dollar homes and commercial properties but also has helped do-it-yourselfers and others with significantly smaller budgets."

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