Ralph's Blog

With gratitude at Thanksgiving

Posted on Wed, Nov 23, 2016 @ 19:11 PM

As Americans prepare to gather around the dinner table tomorrow and give thanks for the good things in their lives, we at Ralph's want to take a minute to tell you how grateful we are for all we have.

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Our Customers

Without our customers there is no Ralph's. We keenly understand how important they are to everything we do and take this opportunity to thank them for choosing us for their hardwood floors.

Our Community

We feel privileged to live in Northeastern Wisconsin. It is a fantastic place for families, blessed with abundant natural beauty, and an ideal location to live, work and play. We are thankful for everything our community has to offer and couldn't imagine a better place for our business.

Our Great Team

We are thankful all year long for our amazing team of hardwood flooring experts but this time of year gives us a chance to specifically express our appreciation of everything they do. We thank everyone one of our over 30 employees for their commitment, dedication and willingness to go the extra mile to make sure Ralph’s is a great place to work.

Our History

In 1965 my father took the courageous step of leaving his job at a hardwood flooring company in Appleton to start his own hardwood floor business in Black Creek. He built this business by ensuring every customer was satisfied and every floor amazing. We are so very thankful for this legacy and the opportunity to build on it.

Our Success

It is important for us to celebrate the success we have been given. We are the largest residential wood floor company in northern Wisconsin and thankful for everything that has contributed to that.

Our Families

Working at Ralph's is being part of a family. We are there for each other and it shows but without the support of our families at home we can't do any of the things we do. We are thankful for both of these families.

Enjoy your holiday and take a moment to remember some of things you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Ralph's.

Tags: stories, about Ralph's

Hardwood Floor Artisan - A great job and we`re hiring!

Posted on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 11:11 AM

The demand for hardwood flooring installers is growing. I know this firsthand because here at Ralph's we are actively looking for creative, talented people to join our team. So when I read a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that carpenters, including wood floor layers, could expect a 6% employment growth during 2014-2024, which is about as fast as the average of all occupations, I was not at all surprised.

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Hardwood floor installers are craftsmen.

I see the role of hardwood installer somewhat different than most. I think the role has as much in common with artists as it does laborers. I see our installers out in the field and while I know they bring a creative mindset, problem-solving, and interpersonal charm to their job and not enough other people know.

A Ralph's hardwood floor installer is a skilled and adept worker who can be highly creative when developing a custom idea, or follow specific instructions when using specialist products. A Ralph's hardwood floor installer is both physically fit and mentally sharp enough to handle kneeling and heavy lifting while making precise calculations and exact measurements.

A Ralph`s installer is a master craftsman who takes pride in their work and it shows.

This is a great job.

I wonder if our industry is doing a good enough job helping young people understand the opportunities we have to offer for installers. A growing number of millennials are pursing jobs more associated with craftsmanship and physical labor than offices and cubicles. These jobs have competitive salaries, benefits, and plenty of openings.

Unfortunately not many of these jobs are as hardwood floor installers.

This is too bad because if more people saw the installer job the way I see it, we would have no trouble finding the people we need. I am making a concerted effort to raise the profile of hardwood floor installer not only as a job but as a career.

We offer a great place to work but more importantly we offer the chance to work with master craftsmen and gain the experience necessary to become one. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about becoming a hardwood floor artisan, contact us or visit our careers page.

Tags: about Ralph's

Showroom Transformation - A Photo Blog

Posted on Sat, Nov 12, 2016 @ 07:11 AM

Our showroom renovation has been an exciting project and as much as we could tell you all about it, we think showing you a few photos is even better. None of these photos do justice to the real thing, so you will have to come in visit us to get the whole effect but in the meantime, take a look at these:

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It is amazing how much seeing helps a homeowner better understand the impact of widths and textures. We are really pleased with displays like this that show many options in a single area and really help customers visualize the options available to them.

 

A little constuction in our "house" reminded us just how our customers feel when our installation teams work in theirs. And just like with our customers, the outcome made it worth the minor hassles.

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These photos show how we are creating new, unique spaces in the showroom. Our interior design team could hardly wait for the walls to get finished so they could start to work their magic.

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With the transformation of this space almost complete, we can see the our vision coming to life.

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We are going to be displaying more pre-finished hardwood flooring than ever before. While our specialty is sand-on-site hardwood, we understand it isn't perfect for every situation and customer. Our goal is to help you get your dream hardwood floor and there are many ways to make that happen.

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One of the really important elements of our showroom reno is to be able to showcase more new an innovative products. This is a display of some of the new hardwood look luxury vinyl tile we are introducing. It is an amazing product and we are really excited to offer it as a wood look alternative.

The new showroom is very exciting for us and we can't think of a better way to help you see all the amazing hardwood floor options available from Ralph's.

Tags: remodeling, about Ralph's

The benefits of letting professionals install your hardwood floor

Posted on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 @ 11:11 AM

 

installation-hardwood-floor-resized-162.jpgHere at Ralph's, we believe you should take any opportunity you can to put hardwood flooring in your home. It looks great, adds warmth to your home and when installed correctly, it can exceed the lifetime of many other aspects of your home. All in all hardwood is a win-win.

The key phrase here is "when installed correctly". In order to get the most out of your investment in hardwood flooring you need it to be installed right and unlike some Do-It-Yourself home projects, hardwood flooring can be complicated.

Save time and money by using a professional installer.

Some homeowners think they can save money by installing their own hardwood. It isn’t impossible for this to be true but there are real benefits to letting professional installers handle the job - real benefits that can save you time and money.  It will also save you the frustration of making your way back and forth from the big box store, buying and returning unnecessary tools.  Using a professional installer will help make sure you don’t.

Get the job done on time.

DIY projects can have the unintended consequence of never really getting done. A professional installer not only knows just how long a project will take but how to get it done on schedule.

Sub-floors need love.

Proper preparation of your sub-floor prior to installing hardwood is essential to ensuring your floor looks great. If the subfloor is not properly cleaned, not dry, or not flat, your hardwood floor may end up needing future repairs or even reinstallation.

Saws, hammers…and a few other things.

A professional hardwood floor install requires a wide range of tools and most homeowners don't have these tools readily available. Here is a list of just some of the tools a professional hardwood floor installer uses:

Saws of all types (i.e. Circular, Table, Jig, Miter, etc) for getting the right dimensions of boards and planks

Moisture meter for testing moisture levels in wood – very important

- Level

- Air compressor

- Nail gun

- Stapler

- Sanders

- Buffer

Experience and skill mean a lot.

Installers at Ralph's have, on average, 10 years of experience. They understand hardwood floor installation is a craft and spent the time to make sure they know what they are doing. It is a career and they are committed to being the very best at theirs.

This isn't to say you shouldn't read blogs like this, spend time on YouTube and watch home improvement TV shows because it is always good to be knowledgeable but that isn't the same as actually undertaking a hardwood floor install project.

Our installers have seen just about every situation imaginable and know just how to manage them. Let their experience be your benefit and ensure your floor lasts a lifetime.

Tags: about hardwood floors, installation

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