Stepping Out

With a diverse client base and new showroom ­facility on tap, Flatout Flooring engineers a raised profile

Photo: Flatout Flooring’s Tom and Ola Butryn

TOM BUTRYN BELIEVES it takes more than technical skill to lay a great floor. “You have to take pride in your work and have heart,” he says.

Butryn learned the art of hardwood flooring installation from his father. By the age of 17, he was completing ­flooring projects on his own. As the demand for his services grew, he decided to open a flooring business instead of pursuing a career in teaching.

Butryn founded Flatout Flooring in 2004 with one set of tools, a corner in his dad’s shed and a four-door sedan. His ­philosophy of “out-servicing the competition” quickly made him the flooring contractor of choice for some of London’s largest commercial and residential landlords.

“Besides giving us the ability to showcase our full range of flooring products, we want it to be a space for inspiration. I’m always looking for something different, whether it’s the width or a particular finish” —Tom Butryn

Today, Flatout Flooring has 30 employees and offers complete ­residential and commercial flooring services. The company is ready to break ground on a new 14,500-square-foot showroom, office and warehouse located on Oxford Street near Clarke Road. The facility should be open to the public this fall.

“Besides giving us the ability to showcase our full range of flooring products, we want it to be a space for inspiration,” says Butryn, adding that the business stocks a number of Canadian-made lines as well as products from Europe. “I’m always looking for something different, whether it’s the width or a particular finish.”

The new showroom will give ­residential and commercial clients the opportunity to view flooring samples under a variety of different lights and test stains so they can get a feel for what the finished product will look like once it’s installed.

“When it comes to sales, we ask a lot of questions about how the space is used,” Butryn notes. “We want our customers to have floors that will last, as well as be visually pleasing.”

In addition to providing residential and commercial flooring services, Flatout Flooring has been laying sports fitness flooring since Butryn first got a phone call from GoodLife Fitness in 2006.

Ola and Tom Butryn

“I had never installed sports ­fitness flooring before, but I did what I needed to get the technical knowledge and made it happen,” he recalls. At the height of GoodLife’s nationwide expansion, Flatout Flooring had a crew of 27 working right across Canada. The health club is still a client.

With his expertise in hardwood, it made sense to add basketball and squash courts to the Flatout Flooring mix. Locally, Butryn and his team have refurbished gymnasiums at Fanshawe College and Saunders Secondary School, among others. In addition, he says the demand for residential sports flooring is a growing trend as ­homeowners look to enhance their living space with indoor basketball courts, turf zones and synthetic ice.

Butryn attributes much of his ­success to his wife, Ola, who joined

Flatout Flooring full-time in 2015. She brings a background in office ­administration and a self-described “love of paperwork” to the business, and has been instrumental in raising the company profile.

“We flew under the radar for the first 12 years,” Butryn says. “Ola has really facilitated the growth of the residential side of the business.”
“Today, most customers do their homework,” she observes. “They go online, read reviews, research the product—and then decide to work with you.”  Nicole Laidler

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