“Old, sad homes … run down and beat up. We beautified the soul of the house, we made someone’s day and bettered their life.” These are the words of Daniel Gonzales who said he fell in love with the flooring business as a young man. Gonzales and wife Christina celebrate his birthday and the 30th anniversary of Dan’s Carpet, Tile and Window Coverings (7237 Highway 518 in Ranchos de Taos) on August 1. Jeremiah is the son of Dan and Christina and was part of this interview.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your relation to Taos?
I am from Clovis. I moved to Taos 40 years ago. My wife was born and raised here in Taos; we’ve been married for 38 years and are blessed with five wonderful children.
How long have you been in business and what have been your latest projects?
This year we will celebrate 30 years in business. It has been quite an experience. We have repeat customers that shop with us, and some who have been with us from the beginning. They do one project a year, from carpet to wood, to window coverings, and custom area rugs.
What’s special about the way you do business?
Because we are versatile, we stay busy. Our customer base extends beyond the community of Taos County to Angel Fire, Red River Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We do a lot of residential and commercial projects and work with many contractors. They appreciate the convenience of our stocked showroom to send their clients to. We completed a flooring installation at the Taos Living Center and have many projects scheduled for the rest of the year.
Why should Taos look to you as opposed to a box store or anywhere else?
One word. Experience. We have worked with every type of floor, cabinet and window installation imaginable. We know how to work with you or your interior decorator and find what you are looking for: carpet, tile, stone, luxury vinyl, linoleum, cabinets, and shutters. We do it all. There is also a cash and carry side of our business, so if you do the job yourself, we can assist there too.
Is there anything specific to the area (climate, altitude, sustainability, etc.) that people should think about before installing a floor?
We have a dry arid climate here, so there are not the challenges of humidity which affect many floorings. Saltillo tiles, common in adobe homes, are difficult to remove. We have a process that levels the floor with a resin-like material creating a uniform platform. All this can be done without removing the tiles. Interior flooring is as old as history and the layman may not think of it as a business that sees much change.
Can you bring us up to speed on the latest technology and trends?
Cork flooring. Green consumers love it; there are no trees killed in the process and it is a two- in-one kinda thing. It’s warmer to the touch than tile, with shock absorption qualities, is a great insulator and keeps heat well. Vinyl has evolved since its market introduction in the 1930s. There are now options that look and feel so real. Many think they are hardwood. Luxury vinyl tiles and planks offer design and durability. With wood-style planks, you can enjoy the wood classics like walnut, maple, and jatoba, or go with a trendy weathered barn wood look or exotics like amendoim.
How should we be thinking about flooring in the greater context of design?
Light, space, color, texture, pattern, feeling, functionality. Floors lay the foundation for the look of the space. You need a surface underfoot that reflects the activity the room will see. If you’re a gourmet cook who spends hours standing at a stove, tile may not be the most comfortable choice. If you practice yoga in the study, pick a material comfortable and durable. Unless you plan on redecorating you’ll want to choose floors that complement the furniture and accessories you own. Other considerations for material choice are children and pets, consider a waterproof more durable flooring like tile or a luxury vinyl in high traffic areas. Your floor choice is about balancing lifestyle with aesthetics.
How can flooring and window coverings change the mood or feeling of a space?
Flooring can warm up space or cool it down depending on the materials texture color, shape and pattern. Wood flooring adds a natural beauty, and there are many types of wood to choose from depending on what you’re going for. Oak, pine, birch, cherry, and maple are popular. Luxury vinyl offers a wood experience without the maintenance issues. Carpet provides soundproofing, warmth, and is a good choice in bedrooms or places where you are barefoot. Tile can add a dramatic creative feel. Shutters and window coverings enhance the space with dramatic lighting and energy saving options. We have a beautiful light in Northern New Mexico which can be hard on home interiors. Custom window coverings offer protection from the elements.
Can you tell us about one of your favorite or most memorable projects?
We worked on a home in Angel Fire a few years ago, the client used solid cherry on the floor and Hunter Douglas brand shutters. I love the look and feel of cherry… It was beautiful to see so much of it on one project. A more recent project is Annabelle Medina’s family home, of Robert Medina and Sons Concrete and Sand. We used an engineered floor with a cypress veneer on solid plywood. It matched the vigas and transformed the space.