Starnet Member: Consolidated Flooring of Chicago
Starnet Preferred Vendors: J+J Flooring, Johnsonite By Tarkett, Milliken Commercial, Uzin Utz North America, Inc., XL Brands
Being a museum, the real focus belongs on the artifacts and exhibits. As you will read in our “Single Source Specification” statement, the most important decisions when it comes to floorcovering in a museum revolve around performance and longevity, and in those cases, we recommend Milliken and J&J Kinetex. Fortunately, there are a plethora of styles in those lines that offer great design possibilities. In the Chicago Night Sky gallery, Adler has selected products that are reminiscent of space, sticking with cool blues and greys. It didn’t hurt that Milliken’s Colorfield color name was Comet ... it was meant to be! With the historic building’s curvilinear architecture, finding the right carpet to fit the space could be challenging but by breaking up the space with 60/40 splits of light/dark color in the installation and leaning into the angles that are created when installing linear products in curvilinear spaces, the finished product has a dynamic feel leading patrons around the space from exhibit to exhibit. In the Café and Upper Gallery, the 18x36 Kinetex Carpet tiles mirror the large format of the surrounding windows where the Chicago sky, lake and skyline steal the show. Finally, in the lower level administration, the Milliken Edge Lit carpet tile adds fun and interest to the space that had previously been a solid color broadloom, breathing new life into the area and hopefully enticing some of the hybrid workers to prefer the workspace at work over the workspace at home. As a flooring contractor by trade and a designer by education, we help Adler specify products that strike that perfect balance between long-term performance, comfort, acoustics and aesthetics.
Adler Planetarium is America\'s first planetarium and is a top destination for tourists and Chicagoans alike. When designing for a museum, product longevity is of utmost importance. Striking the balance between performing for decades to come and looking beautiful along the way can be a challenge, and this is the essence of our dealer partnership with Adler Planetarium. As a flooring contractor by trade and a designer by education, I strive to provide that much needed balance between performance and aesthetics.
For a number of years, Adler had been installing a vinyl back carpet tile and would have been happy to continue using that type of product, but I am of the belief that carpet fiber withstands the abuse of foot traffic better and longer when installed over an attached cushion and the added acoustic benefits and comfort underfoot are a huge bonus - especially in a museum environment. Adler agreed and after installing Milliken Colorfield in their Chicago\'s Night Sky gallery there was no turning back to a hard back carpet. The Milliken installation was a snap. With Milliken\'s non-reactive backing and adhesive system, we were able to remove the old hard back and install the new one without troweling down one bag of floor prep. Just old carpet coming up and new carpet going down and off to the next project.
That next project was the 1st Floor Café and Upper Level Gallery where the planetarium holds a number of weddings and events, so a product that would be supremely cleanable was vitally important. For this reason, it would seem that an LVT would be the right solution, but with the massive glass windows that surround the entire area, adding more hard surfaces on the floor would have been an acoustic disaster. With these challenges, we felt that J&J Kinetex was the perfect solution. We had specified Kinetex in Soldier Field a few years prior and we knew that the product\'s cleanability was superior to any other flooring product and with J&J’s acoustic testing and literature Adler felt confident that it would keep the noise down and clean up easily. After a few mockups, we were off to the races and another wing of the planetarium was refreshed beautifully.
The final project was one that had been in need of attention for a number of years: the Administration Area. Being back of house in a public space, it makes sense that the galleries would get the first priority, but with the new covid-induced hybrid work model, the time was perfect to tackle this project. Part of the reason it has been put off was the sheer complication of the project. The existing carpet was stretched in over padding, but being packed with furniture a carpet tile installation was the only way to go and with any product but Milliken’s non-reactive backing the floor prep alone would have blown the budget. Fortunately, we were able save significant time and money to bring the project in within budget with Milliken’s gorgeous Edge Lit carpet tile and the employees of the planetarium have been enjoying beautiful carpet ever since.
We have enjoyed our relationship with Adler Planetarium and are absolutely delighted that we are their trusted resource for all things flooring. Adler is truly one of our most prized clients as we know that we’re bringing a better museum experience to Chicago and the world.