Ralph's Blog

Does Your Hardwood Floor Look Like It Hasn’t Been Finished in 50 Years?

Posted on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 @ 07:12 AM


In 2015, Ralph’s Hardwood Floors marks its 50th anniversary! To celebrate, we’re looking for the ugliest floor around—one that looks like it hasn’t been finished since we opened our doors.

“Why?” you might ask. Shouldn’t we be looking for the most beautiful floor if we want to celebrate something?

Well, we’ve been restoring ugly floors for homeowners in northeast Wisconsin for 50 years, so we figured what better way to honor our anniversary than by bringing another unsightly floor back to life—on the house!

If you’ve got a floor that you consider to be an eyesore, you can get it re-sanded and refinished for free by winning the Ralph’s Hardwood Floor Ugliest Floor Contest.

Simply take pictures of your unattractive floor and submit them by January 15. Voters on Facebook will view the entries and vote for the winner  by Feb. 5th. We’ll announce the winner on Feb. 15th.

Since we began in1965, we’ve dedicated ourselves to pleasing customers. Not only is that good business, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the look on homeowners’ faces when they see the new floors we’ve painstakingly installed or restored. They are usually blown away by the remarkable transformation the new flooring brings to the whole appearance of their home.

We can’t wait to see that look on the face of our Ugliest Floor Contest winner! Don’t try to hide that ugly floor any longer—show it off in our contest to get rid of it forever!

To enter or get more details about the contest, visit our Facebook page now!

Ralph's Hardwood Floors Ugliest Floor Photo Contest

Tags: Ralph's news & events

Christmas trees and hardwood floors: Don’t settle for less than perfect

Posted on Sun, Dec 21, 2014 @ 07:12 AM

15879522541_1d17ff3b5a_z-smEvery Christmas, I take my family out to cut down a Christmas tree. It’s a tradition that really gets me in the holiday spirit and has given us a lot of great memories.

One of the best times we had didn’t start out so good, though.

For several years, we had been going to the same Christmas tree farm near our house, but one year we decided to make a little drive instead. We had been disappointed by the selection at our regular farm the year before, and we had had heard that a farm only about an hour’s drive away had great trees.

It had begun to snow as we got ready to leave, and there were other tree farms closer, but we all wanted to see the farm we had heard about. So off we went.

When we got there, our anticipation turned to disappointment. We spent an hour or so searching for just the right tree for our home—the snow picking up all the time, the cold moving in—but we couldn’t find one we wanted.

Discouraged but still optimistic, we decided to head back and find a tree at one of the tree farms nearer home. 

It wasn’t our day. We stopped at one place, but they had no blue spruce, and for our family, a Christmas tree must be a blue spruce!

The snow was really getting heavy now, and everyone was thinking of how warm and cozy it would be at home, but we weren’t ready to give up. We wanted to go home with the perfect tree! We knew what it looked like; we just hadn’t seen it yet.

So we tried a third farm. What a waste of time! The trees were huge. It was like walking in a forest.

Thoroughly frustrated, already away from home for more than three hours, we finally called it a day and I steered directly toward home. My kids, who had been bouncing around with excitement earlier, were sad-faced and thoroughly dejected. My wife and I weren’t too happy, either.

Then as we neared home, a vague memory came to me. Years ago, I had heard about a very small tree farm nearby, not even two miles from where we now lived. I had never been there and had forgotten knowing about it—until this moment. I headed toward where I remembered hearing it was, and we found it.

We started looking around, and within five minutes, we came across what we were looking for—the perfect tree for us, the blue spruce we envisioned. It had just the right height, fullness, and shape for our tastes and for where we planned to put it.

We had driven for hours in the cold and snow only to find what we were looking for right in our own backyard!

But that journey—together as a family—made that Christmas tree one of the most special we’ve ever had. The dejection of going home empty-handed turned into joy, and that’s a feeling I’ll always cherish.

When I think back to that day, it always strikes me that I would be remembering it as bad experience if we had settled for a tree that wasn’t what we were looking for.

It’s the same with hardwood floors. At Ralph’s Hardwoods Floors, we constantly caution homeowners not to settle for floors that aren’t what they’re envisioning for their home. We know they’ll be a lot happier if they insist on getting what they truly want.

There are so many options and possibilities with hardwood flooring that you can always find the flooring that’s just right for you. There’s no need to settle.

And, unlike my family in search of the perfect tree, you don’t have to drive around the world to find what you’re looking for. Just point your car toward Ralph’s!

Wherever you’re headed this holiday season, whatever you’re doing, all of us at Ralph’s wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases.

Ralph's 50th Anniversary Flooring Specials


Photo courtesy of Chrisopher Graham. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Tags: stories, custom hardwood flooring

Ralph’s Celebrates Milestone Anniversary with Special Pricing

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 @ 14:12 PM

Ralph’s Hardwoods Floors is turning 50!

In 1965, Ralph Lorenz, opened our doors, and half a century later, we’re still serving homeowners in northeast Wisconsin. In all those years, we’ve never wavered from our commitment to providing first-class customer service and the best possible hardwood floors.

We’re now in our second generation of leadership. Our president, Rod Lorenz—who was born the same year his father started Ralph’s—took over the reins in 1992, after spending his youth working in the business.

Ralph’s one-man shop has evolved into a leading employer in the Black Creek area and we’ve installed or restored hardwood floors for thousands of homeowners and businesses in the region.

In 1993, we opened a beautiful new showroom—where you can see your dreams come to life, or find inspiration for new ideas. We also opened a large warehouse in 2005, allowing us to more efficiently serve our customers.

Ralph's 50th Anniversary Flooring Specials

Join in the Celebration!

To celebrate our first half a century, and to start off the next 50 years with a bang, we’re going to be offering some fantastic deals throughout the year!

Our kick-off specials are super prices on Preverco’s new EDGE flooring and the Chateau Collection from DuChateau floors.

The Preverco EDGE flooring is Prefinished Maple or Red Oak, 5” wide and has a matte finish that’s been made to look stylishly timeworn. Regularly priced at $7.95 per sq.ft., Ralph’s is offering EDGE floors for only $6.75 per sq.ft. until February 28, 2015. learn more.

To create an authentic, rustic effect, EDGE floors feature randomized saw and distress marks on most floorboards, combined with various irregularities. Maple is available in Chamonix, Vail, and Aspen colors; Red Oak is available in Innsbruck, Dolomites, Jermatt, and St. Moritz.

The Chateau Collection from DuChateau Floors are engineered European wide-plank flooring (7 7/16” wide x 72” long), prefinished with a hard-wax oil finish. Regularly priced from $8.85 - $10.40 per sq.ft., you can get them through February 28, 2015 for only $7.10 - $7.60 per sq.ft.! learn more.

DuChateau floors have a dull sheen, come in light-to-medium colors, and showcase modest natural grain patterns to create exceptional character and beauty. Available styles are Natural, Olde Dutch, Windsor, White Oil, and Antique White.

Looking Forward to 50 More

We’re very proud to have made it for 50 years. It tells us we’re doing things right and making our customers happy.

That’s exactly what we’re going to keep doing for the next 50 years. We’d love for you to be a part of it!


Tags: Ralph's news & events

Hardwood Floors Guard Against the Wrath of Old Man Winter

Posted on Sat, Dec 06, 2014 @ 08:12 AM

15879522541_1d17ff3b5a_z-smI love living in Wisconsin, but I have to admit, I don’t look forward to the long winters. Last year Old Man Winter was in a particularly bad mood, and I expect more of the same this year.

The Old Farmer's Almanac is calling for less snow this year than average, which is good. But it’s also predicting lower than normal temperatures, which isn’t at all what I want to hear.

I’ve lived in Wisconsin all my life, and I can put up with the cold with the best of them, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it when the cold gets extreme! A nice, bracing cold is one thing; a bitter cold that leaves you wanting only one thing—to get inside—is another story.

However, there is an upside to being chased indoors by the cold—you get that great snug feeling that comes with being warm and safe inside while the cold wind and snow is howling outside. You know what I’m talking about; you come in the door and the heat snuggles you like a toasty blanket. It’s a feeling that really makes you thankful for the home you have!

Hardwood floors can play a big role in creating that warm look.

Interior design also has a lot to do with that comfy feeling. Some homes just look warm, and that makes you feel warm. When I talk to people about what they like in hardwood floors, I often hear “warmth.” There’s nothing cold and sterile about the look of hardwood floors; their natural tones innately create an inviting, cozy atmosphere. 

Think about the idyllic image of a family sitting around the Christmas tree on a cold December night with a fire roaring in the fireplace and the dog lounging in front of it. If you’re like me, that image includes hardwood floors. Of all types of flooring, they have the best character to complement such a cheerfully warm scene.

Dark-colored hardwood floors tend to create more cozy feels than light-colored floors—and sheen, texture, board size, and other hardwood floor characteristic can be selected to create a warmer look. But all types of hardwood flooring will contribute to a sense of coziness in the cold winter months. That’s just what hardwood floors do.

If you’re dreading the short winter days, the biting cold, and cabin fever, you can take some of that dread away with hardwood floors that add a little warmth to the winter.

Ralph's 2014 Idea Book

Photo courtesy of Lana Tomaszewski, Don McCullough. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Tags: hardwood floors & interior design, why choose hardwood floors?, Wisconsin

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