flooring recommendation for commercial space?

I have a 1200sf storefront unit for office or retail, that needs new flooring. I don't want to use carpet at all, and I want to go a little more upscale than the traditional vinyl square tile that is is so many stores. I'm not sure that something like hardwood floors can withstand the furniture dragging, moisture, and other abuses that tend to happen in a commercial lease. I figure most dealers are going to push whatever they happen to sell, rather than what is best for the application. Anyone know of a website that covers a pretty wide range of possibilities?
thanks bill
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Since we do not know if you are in Maine or Oregon or Texas, you might get better advice locally.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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If you go to a truly good flooring dealer he will recommend what is best. Look at what he has in his own store also. I'd rather go with a pro that a bunch of people in a newsgroup with little practical experience.
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bill a wrote:

Are you the owner of the storefront and will be leasing it to others? If so, how about leaving the flooring undone until you get someone to rent it, and then ask them what they would like to have installed on the floor before they move in? Perhaps they'll have a specific motif, material, or color in mind.
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As Pawlowski suggests, a local pro is a good idea. I wouldn't believe the first pebrson I speak to.
In the mean time, some more information would be useful: Is this slab on grade? Is the climate cold or warm? Is the style modern or traditional? What is the budget?
There are a lot of upscale vinyl products; ceramic, quarry, & stone tile; cork; parquet floorings. TB
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The building is from about 1910 (in St. Louis) and looks all original, and the storefront has the original embossed metal ceiling. The storefront space has tongue & groove softwood flooring over 1X subflooring (pretty common on this vintage), and was later covered with vinyl, etc. Softwood flooring, of course, degrades very quickly.
I've seen some nice ceramic tile installations, but I'm doubting that I go the cost. Quarry tile, however, probably would be a pretty good visual fit.
I don't think hardwood floors are durable enough for a leased space.
I've seen some interesting vinyl in larger commercial spaces, but I don't know who the manufacturers are.
I'm just trying to research as much as possible before talking to sales people.
bill

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