Burr Ridge flooring company, and its products, made in the USA
Dominic J. Reda shows a recent type of flooring that will hold itself together in a tight seam that reduces any squeaks after installation. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Right under your feet
Name: Merle B. Smith
Specializing in: all types of floor covering, wholesale and retail
Address: 121 Tower Dr., Ste. I, Burr Ridge
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Contact: (630) 325-0770, merlebsmith.com
Updated: March 12, 2013 11:32AM
BURR RIDGE — There’s nothing from the outside to indicate that the building at 161 Tower Drive houses one of the village’s biggest sources of sales tax dollars.
But inside the outwardly non-descript warehouse space is the Merle B. Smith flooring company, which has consistently placed among the village’s top 10 sales tax generators for the last decade.
“We were No. 1 for a number of years,” said Dominic Reda, who joined founder Smith, of Burr Ridge, as partner 17 years ago.
The wholesale distributor of flooring products and supplies started in 1971 and moved to Tower Drive from a location on Madison Street 12 years ago.
Inside is a showroom where customers, including retail shoppers, can view a large variety of flooring options, from high-quality vinyl to exotic woods. Along with wood flooring and laminates of every color and species, Merle B. Smith recently began offering Mohawk carpets.
“We think they have the best quality and best variety of product,” Reda said.
The bulk of the company’s business comes from contractors, builders, remodelers and designers. But they recently opened their doors and expertise to the retailing public, as well.
“They can get near wholesale prices,” Reda said.
The longtime member of the community believes in giving back. Ten percent of all retail sales is being donated to the American Cancer Society.
Reda said the company also believes in supporting American-made products and companies. Eighty percent of the flooring in Merle B. Smith’s 14,000-square-foot warehouse is made in the United States.
Among the newest products is a tongue-and-groove wood flooring from Maine Traditions. It creates a smooth floor with tight seams and little need for sanding, Reda said. The flooring comes in various woods and can be stained to nearly any color. Pre-finished products also are available.
Merle B. Smith makes sure every contractor who buys their products is an expert. During demo days, contractors are invited to the Burr Ridge warehouse to learn from vendors about the latest products and techniques.
They also can help retail customers find a qualified company to install their new floors.