19.06.2020People and Stories

Moving? Imagine taking your beloved wood flooring along


+ Helping Genoa-based Fratelli Villa move to a new showroom

+ The unusual aspect? They wanted to take their mafi natural wood floors with them.

Reading time: 2.5 min

Living and working in an environmentally sustainable way is very important to us. So we wanted to reuse a lot of what we already had.



Fratelli Villa creates exclusive bathrooms and works closely with high-end architects and designers.

Imagine moving and taking your floor with you. That's exactly what Fratelli Villa decided to when they moved their showroom to the center of Genoa. The floor had already been in use for 13 years and served the company well. It had even survived two floods, including one with almost two feet of water in their old showroom.

We're sharing this story because it shows what high-quality floors can do and the options that they can offer our customers. Are new products always necessary or could the products of the future be durable, reusable, and repairable?

Fratelli Villa creates exclusive bathrooms and works closely with high-end architects and designers. Their products run the gamut from tiles, flooring, and furniture to heated towel racks and complete fittings for bathroom concepts.

Sound expert advice is the focus of their work. In order to guarantee customers optimal service and reliable delivery times, the Italian company relies on long-term, close supplier relationships such as with mafi and its natural wood floors. With over 60 years' experience, Fratelli Villa offers custom solutions for every budget.

Mauro Valsecchi (Showroom Manager) and Fabio Galetti (Sales Manager) tell us how the move to the center of Genoa went, how the idea came to take the wood floors along, and, especially, how this project was achieved.

Moving is exhausting, especially when you're moving an entire company. How did it go?

As in all our projects, good planning is everything. As soon as the decision was made to close a branch in the suburbs and concentrate on the headquarters in the center of Genoa, the move took place within a short timeframe. The aim was to move quickly without significantly affecting ongoing operations. And we did it.

What elements from the previous store did you want to take to the city center location?

Living and working in an environmentally sustainable way is very important to us. So we wanted to reuse a lot of what we already had. We moved a large part of our product displays and showroom materials. Likewise, the desks, mafi furniture, and the mafi wooden floor.

You moved a wooden floor? How did you come up with that idea?

We had had the mafi floor for 13 years and we still like it. To be honest, the patina had made it even more beautiful over the years. After all, the floor had survived two floods without any major damage. We could easily repair the occasional flaw. We just didn't want to part with it.

Why do mafi wooden floors cope so much better with water than other products?

This is due to the combination of board structure and surface. The boards are constructed symmetrically. The same wood is used in the same initial thickness for both the top and bottom layers. This greatly reduces the swelling and shrinkage of the wood.

As a surface finish, mafi treats the wood with linseed oil and lets it air dry slowly. This causes the oil to penetrate the wood, but leaves the pores open so that the wood surface can breathe. This way, the wood can absorb water, but it can also return it back to the ambient air.

Discolorations such as those that occurred as a result of the floods at Fratelli Villa can be easily removed.

How did moving the floor go?

Surprisingly straightforward. First, we discussed our project with the area manager at mafi. Then he recommended a qualified mafi partner to do the work. We dismantled the floor almost without any loss and the reinstallation went very quickly. Due to the different room sizes, we had no issues having enough flooring to use in the new space.

Tell us something about the new location.

There are four rooms with a corridor and offices for admin, purchasing, marketing, and the management.

What trends in workplace design did you taken into account in its design?

When people feel good, they are more efficient and better rested. We have therefore tried to strive for a homelike character. Curtains, plants, sofas, and upholstery are more reminiscent of a home than an office. Of course, the wooden floors also exude their warm charm and do their part in creating healthy indoor air and reducing electrosmog.

New mindfulness with products

We are all familiar with modern products whose shelf life is relatively short or has even been artificially shortened, such as printers. In other words: planned obsolescence. mafi follows exactly the opposite of this questionable approach. We want to offer timeless products that ideally last for generations.

Of course, this includes the product quality, but also the possibility of repairing it and, as seen here, even reusing it. You need to think about the effects of disposing of products no longer used. mafi wooden floors don't count as hazardous waste like so many other floor products, but can be disposed like plain wood waste.

Environmentally conscious action will shape future product development. More and more customers and the market are demanding this, but it is also the duty of all of us. Sustainability is not an end in itself. We firmly believe that optimal use of resources in production and long-term satisfied customers will have an extremely positive impact on the company's growth, certainly more positively than any product with a short useful life.

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