January 1, 2020

A Step In Stone Celebrates 15th Anniversary As It Continues to Offer High Quality Tile

FAMILY TIES: “We have thousands of different tiles in the showroom, and we also have exclusive lines that are available to us in the area. Tile is very durable, and its easy maintenance is another advantage.” Jack (left) and Darlene Flood, owners of A Step in Stone, are shown with their son Brian, who is operations manager. A display of glass and stone mosaic tiles is featured in the background.

Tile can be a wonderful addition to your home. It is handsome, durable, and versatile. Appropriate for many rooms in the house — from bathroom to foyer to kitchen and beyond, it is both eye-catching and functional.

Enhancing both floors and walls, its myriad designs and styles offer choices for everyone’s taste. For sure, tile is a winning decorative choice.

No one knows this better than A Step In Stone. Recently marking its 15th anniversary, this special tile emporium, with its spacious showroom, is known both for its superior selection of tile from all over the world and its exceptional customer service.

Every style, size, design, color, and texture is on display. Ceramic tile, stone, glass, mosaic, porcelain, and metal are among the categories available, all conveniently arranged for customer accessibility.

Pre-War Elegance

Walking into the gallery-like showroom, “customers will find collections that evoke everything from the pre-war elegance of New York City stone hexagons to leaves cut from stained glass,” says co-owner Jack Flood. “The showroom is interspersed with colors from light gray to natural blue, and our carefully-selected natural stone comes in a variety of visually stunning natural patterns.”

In addition, A Step in Stone is a family-owned and operated establishment — something less and less common in today’s shopping scene.

Located at 38 East Broad Street in Hopewell, it is an important resource for customers from all over the area. Owners Darlene and Jack Flood have made a priority of offering not only the latest trends in tile design, but also their knowledge and experience.

“Darlene’s long experience, her knowledge of what is appropriate for walls and floors, where to put porcelain or ceramic, and her ability to help with color and style are very helpful to customers,” points out Jack Flood.

Indeed, Darlene Flood is indispensable to the store’s success. Her role in assisting customers to find just the right tile to suit their style and to blend with their home decor is valuable asset.

She is passionate about her work, and wants to share her enthusiasm with everyone. “One of the things I’ve learned is to know what your passion is. If you want to be successful, you have to find the passion,” she explains. “My background was in corporate America, and it happened that I helped out a friend in a tile store. After two days, I realized this was my passion, and within six months, we had our own business.

“Now, we have the expertise to help customers find the right color and material to help them become happier in their home.”

Selection Process

Helping customers navigate the tile and stone choices is a very important part of her job, she reports. “Tile choices have grown exponentially in the past few years. Every year, there are more, and such exciting patterns, relief, and dimension. With all these choices in color, texture, and style, you can spend hours trying to figure out what you like. I think the key for us is making the selection process easier. Clients can be very confused when they see all the choices.

“We don’t overburden them with too many options,” she continues. “We try to find out what the end result would be and work from that. In addition, we provide not only a wide range of custom lines, but the design savvy gained from years of project experience from waterfront mansions to town homes. We can help you mix and match a beautiful backsplash to complement your cabinets, or a gorgeous bathroom design that you will love and appreciate for years to come. We work with kitchen designers, architects, builders, lighting representatives, and homeowners.”

Both indoor and outdoor living spaces can be enhanced by tile and stone, she adds. Shower walls; shower stalls; backsplash; foyers; mud, laundry, and sun rooms; cabanas; fireplace surrounds and hearths; patios; and walkways are some of the areas well-suited for stone and tile.

Even household pets can benefit from tile, points out Jack Flood. “We have provided tile for doggie showers, including tile walls and floors, with a drain in the middle of the floor.”

Loyal Customers

The Floods have customers from all over the country — from east to west, says Jack Flood. “We have provided tile for houses in Seattle to an island off of Maine, to Arizona, Florida, Chicago, New York City, Delaware, and all along the shore.

“We really do work all over the country, but we have a very strong focus in Princeton and also, clients in Hopewell, East Windsor, Hillsborough, Bordentown, and Bucks County. Many are loyal customers who have been with us over the years. Also, Darlene works with and is a consultant with a number of interior designers in the area.”

Whether one’s choice is ceramic, marble, glass, sandstone, limestone, or porcelain, A Step In Stone can provide it, and the products come from many sources. “We get a lot of tiles from Italy, porcelain from all over, and ceramic from California, including lines exclusive to us,” point out the Floods.

As in anything, trends come and go, and tile is no exception, they continue. “Decorative patterns are especially popular today, and they are often seen in powder rooms. Also, large format tile is favored, including large tiles that look like wood.”

The Floods are proud of their excellent reputation developed over more than a decade. “It has been a 15-year evolution. We have to keep up with all the changes, and we are constantly educating ourselves, and adding new merchandise. We believe we are set apart by our exclusive lines, our design knowledge, and our warm welcoming environment.”

Family Focus

A Step In Stone is also set apart by its family focus. The Floods are proud and pleased that their son Brian has joined the family business, and the feeling is mutual.
“I love the business,” he says. “I love the culture — helping customers and working with contractors. Tile is a great business, and we offer customers a great experience.”

Selecting tile for your home is an important investment, and of course, in addition to color, texture, and design, budget is key. A Step In Stone has choices in a range of budgets, points out Darlene Flood. “We offer a wide range of prices, and with tile, you can take a small space and make it pop with color, design, and style — even with a small budget.

“We are a true showroom, where your imagination and inspiration join our design ideas. Everything is customized for each client, and we can meet any budget.

“We like helping the customers, working with them to find the perfect tile for their needs and their home. This work is a way to make people happy and feel good about their surroundings. We love doing this, and we look forward to continuing it for a long time.”

A Step In Stone is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. (609) 333-0610. Website: astepinstone.com.