For 53 years, Nick Allegretta has been “living and breathing” flooring and tile. Now, less than five years after selling his Wilton-based flooring business, he’s reopened the shop as Nick’s Fashion Tile & Flooring at 200 Danbury Road.
“I apprenticed beginning in 1960, did my four years, and got my state certification,” Mr. Allegretta said by phone, “I’ve been doing this ever since.”
For more than two decades, Mr. Allegretta had been the owner of his own flooring business. He was the owner of Fashion Flooring & Tile for 22 years when he sold the business to Bud Boucher, of Wilton, in 2009.
“I sold to Bud Boucher in 2009, and he gave it up in 2013, so I took it back,” he said. “The store has worked for me for all these years, but it just didn’t work for him. I’m happy that I’m getting it back, and I want to let people know it’s mine again and that we are here.”
The owner said his shop’s flooring specialty makes it stand out from any big box store that may try and offer flooring supplies.
“Generally, the fact that we are a specialty place means we’re trained and warranted with the factory. In particular, anyone can put tile down, but do they really know why they’re putting it down that way?” he said. “Is it the correct product? There are so many technicalities today, you have to be real careful about how you install.”
He likened the difference between his knowledge of flooring and the average big box worker’s knowledge to the difference between going to a specialist doctor and a general practitioner.
“Their reps are trained people, but only to a certain degree,” he said. “They don’t live and breathe tile and flooring. They do this as a job. We, as specialty people, have more to offer in the way of our expertise on the subject. It’s like going to a doctor that specializes, compared to going to a general doctor that does anything. Or maybe [going to a big box store] is more like to going to the local witch doctor,” he added with a laugh.
In addition, Mr. Allegretta’s store is a one-stop shop for everything needed for flooring, from the materials to the installation.
“We do installation, materials and design,” he said. “If someone comes in and wants a backsplash, we’ll help design that backsplash. I’ve designed bathrooms, shower areas, and inlaid rugs on a bathroom floor. We do all kinds of things like that. You don’t find that at Home Depot. Here it’s a little more hands-on and a lot more personal.”
Even though Nick’s Fashion Tile & Flooring is a local business, it is a large operation with a large stock of different supplies, the owner said. The store even carries a wide range of eco-friendly, or green, materials.
“There are so many options for green products right now,” he said. “We have all-natural products like stone, wood, cork, and bamboo. And then there are other products that are man-made that follow a certain technical setup that makes them as safe for the environment as possible.”
Plus, every tile floor installed by Nick’s is helping the local business economy as a whole, Mr. Allegretta noted, which helps sustain the very warranties the store offers.
“You should support locally because — No. 1 — we’re here, and we expect to stay here. Our warranties are here. The big box stores are not going to warranty the carpet guys who are their subcontracted installers. When you’ve got a problem there, it doesn’t mean you have someone to go back to. They may give you new material, but our installation and materials come with factory warranties.”