Ralph's Blog

The passionate birdhouse builder.

Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 20:03 PM

I was at a dinner party recently when one of the guests started talking to me about birdhouses. “Birdhouses?” I thought. “I don’t care about birdhouses.” I’ve got nothing against them; I’ve always liked them, as far as that goes. But birdhouses certainly wouldn’t have been my choice for conversation. 

But my friend kept talking about his passion for birdhouses and how he loved to build them. You know what? Before long, I was getting pretty interested in birdhouses myself!

In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever think of them in the same way again. The more he passionately articulated his love of building birdhouses, the more I came to appreciate the creativity and craftsmanship that can go into them.

Are You Passionate About Your Flooring?

I doubt my birdhouse building friend shares my passion for flooring, but if that had been what we were talking about at the dinner party, I’m pretty sure he would have gone home with a new appreciation for the subject—particularly hardwood flooring, which is my specialty.

Why? Because passion, combined with knowledge, usually produces enthusiasm, no matter what the topic.

If you’re in the market for new hardwood flooring, why not get enthusiastic about it? Choosing your hardwood flooring can be a thrilling experience. If you don’t feel that way yet, I suspect it’s because you haven’t been exposed to what makes people like me so passionate about it.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to visit our showroom. I’m not the only one at Ralph’s Hardwoods who is passionate and knowledgeable about hardwood flooring—having that passion and knowledge is a prerequisite for becoming part of our team.

If you drop by, not only will you get to see all our samples, you’ll give us a chance to pass on our enthusiasm and educate you about hardwood flooring, so that the experience of selecting your flooring becomes something you profoundly enjoy.

In our experience, the more we explain the intricacies and possibilities of hardwood flooring, the more excited our customers become about the opportunity to creatively express themselves and get great value.

A Conversation Among Friends

You might think that going into a showroom exposes you to getting a “hard sell.” That’s not how we operate. For us, it’s more like the guy talking to me about birdhouses. We love hardwood flooring, and we want you to love it to. When you’re passionate about something, spreading that passion is just the natural thing to do.


Photo by Dèsirèe Tonus. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Tags: stories, about Ralph's

Free Shipping From the North Pole

Posted on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 @ 10:03 AM

Not long before Christmas, my 7-year-old daughter was playing on the Internet, looking at the website of Build-a-Bear Workshop, which lets kids customize stuffed animals.

She looked up at me told me the site was “awesome” because she could pick exactly the teddy bear she wanted Santa to bring her.

“Oh, and it has free shipping,” she added.

free shipping I thought that was very cute. And also quite interesting. I wondered why a 7-year-old would care whether the shipping was free. Didn’t she expect to get it delivered for free by Santa anyway?

I decided it was simply the notion of “free” that caused her to comment on the shipping. Even little children know that free is good.

But in the world of commerce, is anything really ever free? Whatever’s “free” is always built into the price. If you can find a product cheaper with shipping included than the same product with “free” shipping, aren’t you’re going to decide that “free” isn’t free after all and buy the cheaper product?

Real Value Is in Quality Service

In the finished hardwood flooring industry, you may find hardwood floor companies that offer various “free” products or services along with a purchase, but don’t let those sway your decision more than they should. Your total cost is the bottom line, not how much “free” stuff you get.

Instead, look at the truly free things you should receive from a hardwood floor company—personal attention, commitment to customer satisfaction, and devotion to getting all the details right. At Ralph’s Hardwoods, we’ve been providing this free value for two generations, as we’ve installed more than 5 million square feet of finished hardwood flooring.

Our dedication to our customers and to quality craftsmanship won’t show up in the price, so they really are free. They’re also critical in getting the best value for the money you do spend.

The Personal Touch

My daughter’s remarks also got me thinking about how pleased she was that she could put together her own teddy bear. Not only will it look like she wants, there’s just something about being part of the creative process that makes people enjoy the finished product more.

Custom hardwood floors provide the same kind of thrill.  To get the look you want, you can chose every detail—species, color, grain, finish, texture, and more.  We can provide expert assistance and advice as you make your decisions, but they’re your decisions.

Takeaway Point

When selecting a hardwood flooring company, don’t be misled by promotional offers. The free value that matters is excellent customer service, hardwood floor expertise, and a wide range of custom options.

Tags: the value of hardwood floors, custom hardwood flooring, about Ralph's

How Hardwood Floors Are Used to Help Sell Homes

Posted on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 18:03 PM

Point2Homes recently analyzed 300,000 real estate listings from 2012 to find out what words are most often used to describe homes for sale.

"Beautiful Hardwood Floors"

Not surprisingly, “beautiful” topped the list, but in the second spot was “hardwood floors.” That’s not surprising either—people love finished hardwood flooring, and it’s a great selling point. The fact that “hardwood floors” ranked second in Point2Homes’ list clearly shows that real estate agents have seen how much value home buyers place on hardwood flooring.

But hardwood floors’ contribution to a home’s value has many variables. Here are four to consider.

1. A lot of the value depends on where you live. For example, in areas where finished hardwood flooring is common, not having it could lower resale value. But in places where hardwood flooring isn’t expected, it might not add much value because home buyers looking in that area won’t (or can’t) pay extra for them.

2. A primary attraction of custom hardwood floors is that you can express your personality and taste. But if you chose an uncommon hardwood floor, you should realize that not all home buyers will share your taste, possibly increasing time on the market as you wait for just the right buyer to come along. On the other hand, a distinct floor can really pay off if you find a buyer who falls in love with that particular look and is willing to pay for it.

3. The value you get from your floors can’t always be quantified in the sales price. In many cases, finished hardwood flooring doesn’t make a home sell for more—but it does make it sell faster, which can have immense value.

4. Make sure you buy quality hardwood floors. Low-quality floors can go downhill to the point that the best option before a sale is complete replacement—and there goes your “investment.”


In some cases, the primary advantage of finished hardwood flooring in terms of home sales may be that you can sell your home faster, which is nothing to scoff at. But, although it’s not a given, you can most likely also offset some of the cost of hardwood floors when you sell your home. 

Tags: the value of hardwood floors

Latest Posts