The Guhde family showcases its talent inside the Lake County YMCA Dream House

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After generations of offering some of the finest flooring selections in the industry, Guhde Flooring America showcases its talents once again inside the Lake County YMCA Dream House. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studios)

By Patricia Nugent

Dating back to the 1950s, from one generation to the next, each member of the Guhde family has played a part in the success of Guhde Flooring America

At the roots of this family tree is grandfather Donald Guhde. He liked to take his little boy Michael along to jobs with him, helping with the measuring, and teaching him to always shake hands with the customer.

Michael grew up taking that passion for connecting with the customer to new heights as president of Guhde Flooring America. His wife Diane married into the business in 1976 working in the showroom. On any given day, you’ll still find Michael manning the phones, warmly greeting customers and helping with the installation on jobs.

Along the way, he and Diane welcomed daughter Monica and son Mike Jr. Even though they didn’t necessarily plan to when they went away to college, upon return, Monica and Mike became the extended branches of the tree. Today, he is general manager and she is the office manager.

Monica met and married Shawn Rosa, who calls upon his extensive background in the flooring business as sales manager at the showroom.

Although the next gen ranges in age from two to 13, the family is optimistic that their traditions will be carried on.

As the family grew, so too did their facilities—moving from the original Euclid shop to a larger showroom in Painesville Township—as well as their offerings, expanding from carpeting and hard surface flooring into cabinetry, countertops, faucets, sinks, backsplashes, lighting and mirrors, with its new kitchen and bath department.

Take A Peek Inside the Dream House 
When it comes to community involvement, the Guhde family has always followed the mantra, “go big or go home,” acting as a sponsor of the Lake County YMCA Dream House for almost all of its 25 years.

“For the second year in a row, we are thrilled to make a 100 percent donation of everything we install in the home,” says Monica. “It gives us a chance to show what’s possible and debut all of the latest trends in home decor. And we love working with the super creative team of designers, who we began planning with back in January.” 

Monica was kind enough to take me behind closed doors to reveal the fabulous top-secret designer selections they have made for the Dream House, which is set to officially open its doors to tours starting Saturday, June 30.

Here’s a sneak peek:

• The first floor is all hardwood flooring in a rustic, distressed finish called European Oak. “Although it’s engineered hardwood, it’s easy to rejuvenate if you get scratches with a maintenance regimen using a special oil,” says Monica. “We laid it in wider, seven-inch planks to make the rooms appear larger.”

• To complement the double-waterfall treatment on the kitchen island, they created a quietly intriguing backsplash of elongated hexagon-shaped tiles.

• On the second floor, they kept things simple, opting for a COREtec floor in a distressed pine with natural-look beveled edges separating the wide planks.

• A rich texture somewhere between parchment and burlap is featured in the soft, sand-colored, 12-by-24-inch and 24-by-24-inch tiles in the master bath. Working with designer Gregory Mononen, of Gregory Todd Interiors, they also created a border effect with smaller rectangular tiles that lend the appearance of a rug beneath the sculptured freestanding tub.

• In the hall bathroom upstairs, they created a vanity wall of ledges of rough, textured, marble stone in shades of white and grays. “We chose random sizes of stone tiles for visual interest,” she says. 

• It is the flooring on the lower level that Monica reports has already caused the biggest excitement among the designers who’ve seen it. “We laid eight-inch planks with a rich patina of colors in a herringbone pattern throughout this level,” she says. “There’s so much variation of color. This is the perfect luxury vinyl tile to lay this way. Plus, it’s ideal for a lower level. The Downs H2O is our most popular style. It looks like ultra distressed wood yet is 100 percent waterproof and scratch resistant.”

Come see the final results firsthand of Guhde Flooring America’s hard work—from inspiration to installation—at the 2018 Lake County YMCA Dream House, 5360 Highland Way, in Mentor. Tours run Saturday, June 30, through Sunday, August 5. Check out LakeCountyYMCA.org for details and to buy tickets. 

Guhde Flooring America is located at 1880 Mentor Avenue in Painesville Township. Hours are Monday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Call 440-639-1990, or visit GuhdeFlooringAmerica.com for more information.