Ralph's Blog

Ralph’s wins another award for its customer service

Posted on Sat, Feb 27, 2016 @ 08:02 AM

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about us winning a Best of Customer Service Award from the Houzz website.

I guess when it rains, it pours, because we’ve won another award that confirms that we’re fulfilling our commitment to providing the best customer service possible. Angie’s List, the well-known online transaction and consumer-review website, chose us to receive its Super Service Award.

The award reflects “an exemplary year of service provided to members” of its site, according to Angie’s List.

“Only about 5 percent of the flooring companies in the Green Bay/Fox Cities market have performed well enough, so consistently, to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, and companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

In winning the Super Service Award, Ralph’s met strict eligibility requirements. Award winners must:

- have an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade.

- be in good standing with Angie’s List.

- pass a background check.

- abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Fulfilling the “A” rating requirement is what really gets us excited at Ralph’s.

“Nothing makes us happier than delighting our customers,” says Jackie Archambeau, a member of our sales team since 2007. “Our goal is not simply to satisfy our customers; it’s to blow them away with our level of service and quality. Our crew members take tremendous pride in their work and our sales team goes out of its way to be exceptionally helpful.”

Jackie is a perfect example of the type of team member we hire—she knows hardwood floors well, and she’s a people person. That makes her great at helping customers select the flooring that’s just right for them and will keep them happy for years.

And, like all our team members, she is driven to give customers a wonderful experience in all stages of their hardwood floor project.

Every day I come to work, I can tell that this attitude of going the extra mile to delight customers has taken hold at Ralph’s. We didn’t need to win the Angie’s List and Houzz awards to realize that.

But it sure is nice to get these awards! It’s always rewarding to know that our devotion to customer service is being noticed and appreciated.

Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and it offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Tags: Ralph's news & events

Hardwood Floor Trends: Long Boards

Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 15:02 PM

Long plank hardwood flooring is back in style!A recent trend in hardwood flooring is the use of long boards. Homeowners, home builders, and interior designers—inspired by European styles— have been increasingly attracted to the look created by length.

Long boards are actually nothing new. Before shorter boards came into style in the mid-20th century, long planks were common in the U.S.

For the rest of the century, however, most hardwood floor planks were less than 9 inches long. Some were as short as 2 inches.

Now boards from 9 inches to 8 feet are common, and some homeowners even want planks as long as 12 feet or more. As a design element, long boards are striking the right chord with many people.

I think the increased popularity of prefinished hardwood flooring is also a factor.

Unlike hardwood flooring finished on site by professional installers who can sand boards to make them an even height, most prefinished hardwood floors have a beveled edge to compensate for slight irregularities in the subfloor and small differences in milling thicknesses. With short (and narrow) boards, the beveled edges become very apparent and make a floor look too busy in many people’s eyes. Longer and wider boards help “hide” the beveled edges to create a more seamless look.

Whatever the reasons for this trend, there’s no denying that long boards are back in style! Are they right for you?

To see samples of long hardwood floor boards, please visit our showroom. Call 920.984.3383 or 800.354.9902 for an appointment, or just stop by. We’ll be glad to talk with you about the use of long boards or any other aspect of hardwood flooring.

Tags: prefinished hardwood flooring, hardwood floors & interior design, hardwood flooring trends

The Romance of Hardwood Floors

Posted on Sat, Feb 13, 2016 @ 08:02 AM

 

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Like many people, I find myself thinking about romance as Valentine’s Day approaches. It’s time to celebrate that special person in your life in a special way.

My wife certainly never complains of a nice dinner at a restaurant known for its romantic atmosphere. But going out isn’t necessary. You can have a wonderfully romantic night in your own home—with the right atmosphere.

I picture dim lights, a lovingly cooked meal, candles on the table, roses in a vase … and hardwood floors.

Now don’t get me wrong. During a Valentine Day’s dinner, I’m going to be looking at my wife, not our hardwood floors!

But atmosphere isn’t something you always have to be thinking about. It’s just something that’s there, helping to set a mood. And hardwood floors have an innate romanticism to them that helps create just the right atmosphere for a Valentine’s Day dinner—or for any romantic evening, for that matter. 

In case you’re thinking I’ve been working around hardwood floors too much, let me explain what I mean.

For one thing, hardwood flooring has a very “warm” feel to it, particularly dark hardwood flooring. Maybe it’s because we think of other uses of wood, such as building a house for shelter or burning a fire to keep warm. Wood and warmth have gone together since prehistoric times, so it seems only natural we still make the connection.

Whatever the reason, I know many of our customers also get the same warm feeling I do, because they tell me so.

 Other words our customers often use to explain their attraction to hardwood flooring are “elegant,” “luxurious,” “refined,” “unique,” and “beautiful”—all of which could be used to describe a perfect candlelight dinner.

In my opinion, these inherent qualities of hardwood floors make them more “romantic” than other types of flooring—and I think most folks would agree with me. And while Valentine’s Day brought all this to my mind, the romantic nature of hardwood floors isn’t limited to that one day.  

All year long, hardwood flooring can help create the right atmosphere for love.

Image courtesy of juriyrus

Tags: stories

Hardwood Flooring Trends: It’s A Wide World

Posted on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 @ 15:02 PM

Wide planks are increasingly popular as a hardwood floor option.Hardwood flooring planks are growing wider.

Planks just a little over 2” used to be standard, but now planks wider than 5” are common, and many homeowners are even choosing planks as wide as 10” or greater. Wide hardwood flooring has become fashionable interior design.

This trend isn’t a matter of a specific design style. Whatever look you’re after— casual or formal, contemporary or rustic—wide hardwood floors can help you achieve it.  Many people simply love the appearance of wide planks, regardless of their other stylistic preferences.

And that love is spreading. Homeowners are seeing wide hardwood floors in other families’ homes and deciding they want them in their own.

Many interior designers, as well as home design magazines and websites, have helped to spur and spread this trend toward wide hardwood floors. But, ultimately, the trend wouldn’t be a trend if large numbers of homeowners didn’t like the way wide hardwood floors look. 

Are You Okay with Engineered Flooring?

If you’re one of those enamored with wide planks, an important consideration is that wide hardwood flooring typically performs best when it’s engineered rather than solid wood.

It’s possible to use solid wood cut wide, but the wider the cut, the less stable the hardwood flooring will be. That means it’s more likely to cup or gap over time.

Engineered wide-plank hardwood flooring, on the other hand, has greater stability because of how it’s manufactured. For narrower planks, this usually isn’t a big issue. But for planks wider than 5” or so, we generally recommend engineered hardwood flooring.

Large or small room?

Another consideration is the size of the room(s) where the wide hardwood flooring will be installed. Wide planks look great in large rooms, making them seem even more spacious and open. But in small rooms, a smaller width might be the best choice.

Not only do wide planks usually fail to make a small room look bigger, they tend to overwhelm it, highlighting its smallness. You might want to think twice about wide boards in a small foyer or powder room, for instance.

To see samples of wide hardwood flooring, please visit our showroom. Call 920.984.3383 or 800.354.9902 for an appointment, or just stop by. We’ll be glad to talk with you about the use of wide planks or any other aspect of hardwood flooring.

Tags: hardwood floors & interior design, engineered hardwood flooring, custom hardwood flooring, hardwood flooring trends

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