Ralph's Blog

Bye, bye winter; hello, new hardwood floors

Posted on Sat, Apr 25, 2015 @ 09:04 AM


This time of year, we always get a lot of traffic in our showroom.

That makes sense to me. The long winter is ending, nature is coming alive, and people want to get out. Visiting a hardwood floor showroom is a pretty fun way to spend a few hours for people who are into interior design, wood, or home improvement. And so we get a lot of people just popping in—which we love.

Some of these folks aren't just looking. They're already ready to refurbish their old, worn-out hardwood floors—or to begin the process of replacing carpet, vinyl, or other flooring they’re sick and tired of. They're ready for hardwood flooring that brightens their day every time they see it (and might get some “oohs and aahs”).

Why does spring have this effect on people? I think the season brings out a desire for renewal. That's what nature is doing, and we want to do the same. Isn't that a big part of what spring cleaning is about? It's our way of reinvigorating our homes.

Cleaning is great, but if you really want to bring new life to your home, it’s hard to beat installing new hardwood floors—as the homeowners visiting our showroom each spring seem to realize.

I think the interest in hardwood flooring this time of year also relates to the cabin fever that sets in over the short, cold, dark days of winter. We've all been stuck inside staring at the walls (and floors) and we're weary of the view! New hardwood flooring is just the thing to freshen up the scene!

One other reason I think spring is a busy season for us is that people tend to have lots of guests during the summer—sometimes for events such as graduation parties, family reunions, or wedding receptions. If they’re ready to replace their floors, they’d like to do it before the summer entertaining.

How about you? Are you feeling like sprucing up your home this spring? If so, I encourage you to pay us a visit. Whether it’s just to see what you can do with hardwood flooring—or you’re ready to start talking about your project—you’ll have come to the right place.


Ralph's 50th Anniversary Flooring Specials



Photo courtesy of sue teso



Tags: about Ralph's, remodeling

A Ralph's Makeover

Posted on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 07:04 AM



In February, Ralph’s Hardwood Floors announced the winner of our “Ugliest Floor” contest on Facebook.

Now the winner, Sara Dorn-McGuire, and her family are enjoying her prize—a free refinishing of her hardwood floors. More than 1,900 people chose her flooring as the most in need of refinishing among the many entries we received. We recently completed the job—338 square feet in her kitchen, dining room, hallway, and foyer.

Sara was aware of our reputation for quality, but as with most of our customers, she was delightfully surprised at how great her floors now look. After we refinished them with our experienced, craftsman’s touch, they went from being floors that bothered her to floors that give her pleasure every day and that she’s now proud to show off.

Dorn-McGuire_USE“They turned out better than I ever imagined,” she told us. “I’m very happy with them. People who have stopped by say, “Wow, they really look great!”

Sara was also happy to find that dust wasn’t a problem. Using our state-of-the-art Dust Containment System, we were able to extract the dust directly from our sanding machines outside Sara’s home.

“You left everything very clean,” Sara said. “You were great to work with.”

The Ugliest Floor contest was part of our year-long celebration of our 50th year in business. Since 1965, we’ve been providing homeowners across northeast Wisconsin with the same high level of satisfaction that Sara has with her beautiful new floors.

If you’d like to keep up with Ralph’s as we announce other exciting events and specials during our 50th anniversary celebration, please visit our Facebook page and give us a like.

If you’re ready to give your old, beat-up hardwood floors a makeover—or you want to install brand-new hardwood flooring—please get in touch with us. Even if you’re just thinking about it, we can provide you with useful advice.

Tags: restoring hardwood floors, dustless sanding, stories, Ralph's news & events, remodeling

How far will Ralph’s go to please customers? All the way to Alaska.

Posted on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 09:04 AM


I got a call recently from a homeowner who had heard good things about Ralph’s Hardwood Floors but was afraid we wouldn’t travel to work on the floors in her home, which is a couple of hours drive away from our location in Black Creek.

I assured her that we would. We take every job on a case-by-case basis—it has to make economic sense for us, of course—but our goal is to make as many customers happy as possible. If that means driving a few extra miles, we’ll always try to make it work out.

That call reminded me of a time, in the early days of Ralph’s Hardwood Floors, when we traveled all the way to Alaska to get a job done!

My father, Ralph, who started our company, got a call one day from a friend who was also in the hardwood floor business and had somehow taken on a gymnasium floor in Alaska. 

It wasn’t going well for him, and he desperately needed the help of an expert in sanding and installing gym floors—like my Dad. So Dad agreed to come to the rescue.

I don’t know exactly what Dad’s motivations were. I’m sure helping out a friend was part of it.  He also took my mother along, so maybe they saw it as a good way to mix some business with pleasure by checking out the natural wonders of Alaska.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t work out as Dad had hoped. Mom and Dad flew up to Alaska, but once they got there, Dad’s buddy threw his back out. Dad was able to finish the job, and the client and Dad’s friend were both pleased and grateful with how beautiful it turned out. But there was a problem—how to get the friend’s truck full of installation equipment back to the lower 48? He couldn’t drive it himself because of his back.

Mom and Dad ended up driving the truck back down the Alaska Highway (through the Yukon) and then all the way to Wisconsin across western Canada and the U.S.  Dad said the Alaska Highway was a terrible road, sometimes not even paved and full of potholes. They often had to pull over to the side to allow oncoming trucks to pass because the roads were so narrow.

But it was an adventure—and every day they sent us a postcard. We didn’t start getting them until after they were home, but it was cool to see where they had been—all in the name of pleasing a customer with a great hardwood floor installation.

So if you’re thinking about installing or refinishing hardwood floors, and you’ve heard about us but aren’t sure we’d travel from Black Creek to your home, there’s a good chance we would. It’s in our blood to travel.

Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we’ll be glad to talk about the possibilities..


Ralph's 50th Anniversary Flooring Specials



Photo courtesy of JLS Photography - Alaska



Tags: stories, about Ralph's

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