By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, MN After more than 20 years in the home remodeling business, Greg Bartz was “floored” with an idea for expansion, and thus, Floor Value & Bartz Construction of Howard Lake began.
“It seemed like a natural extension of that business,” Bartz said.
As a licensed contractor, Bartz, who lives in Maple Lake, has done many kitchen and bathroom remodels.
Owning a store that offers cabinetry, counter tops, bathroom fixtures, kitchen appliances, and a large selection of flooring was a way for Bartz to offer his customers the products they need for their home projects.
Floor Value has grown since Bartz started it a few years ago on the north side of Highway 12 in Howard Lake.
In August, he moved the business to a new spot, on the corner of Highway 12 and 7th Avenue.
“It’s a great location,” he said. Prior to the move, Floor Value had been in a smaller building about two blocks away.
The business had been “on and off” because Bartz had heart surgery two years ago.
“That slowed things down,” he said. “It caught me off guard, because I felt really pretty good.”
Now, Floor Value is up and running again, with a larger selection of vinyl, ceramic, and carpet remnants.
“The remnants can help us get customers a better deal,” Bartz said.
With the added space, Bartz has also been able to expand the showroom and add a shop. Many of the displays had been in the other building, but space was limited.
“I couldn’t believe how much we had shoved into that small building,” he said.
For now, Bartz said he is keeping the small building on the north side of Highway 12 and is hoping to rent it out. There is someone who is interested in starting a bakery and catering business in it, but that wouldn’t be happening until next spring.
“It’s fitting, because that building used to be a bakery years and years ago,” Bartz said.
Originally, Bartz purchased the small building to store equipment for his construction business. When he added the flooring aspect, the building didn’t have enough room for both a showroom and a shop.
“The showroom was very small,” he said. “We were so crowded we couldn’t do both.”
In his new location, Bartz is in the process of creating a shop. There is also plenty of space for storage of many types of flooring.
“I think leather flooring looks interesting,” said store manager Kristin Curry. Her father, Jerry Walter, also works at Floor Value.
“Leather is durable, and it’s unique,” Bartz said. Other interesting choices include bamboo and cork flooring.
“Cork flooring was a little slow to catch on, but it’s becoming a lot more popular,” Bartz said. His favorite flooring, however, is carpet.
“There’s so much variety,” he said.
With the wide selection of remnant flooring, Floor Value is a store people can shop at to save money, Bartz said.
“I know people are struggling,” he said.
For Bartz, the best part of the business is the connections he’s made in Howard Lake.
“You get to meet local people you wouldn’t otherwise get to know,” he said.
For more information about Floor Value, go to www.floorvalue.com.