Ralph's Blog

The Deadmans

Posted on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 @ 23:04 PM

technology-3216744_1920-611641-editedBruce Deadman first met my father, Ralph Lorenz, at a home show in 1984, where he could see firsthand what finished hardwood flooring from Ralph’s looks like. 

“I was impressed by Ralph’s product, and the way you did things,” Bruce said in a recent interview.  

And he liked my dad, who founded Ralph’s. So, Bruce—who is an attorney for Davis and Kuelthau in Green Bay—hired us to install oak hardwood floors in the first home he ever built, in the Bay Highlands neighborhood in Green Bay. 

Since then, whenever Bruce has moved and needed hardwood floor work, we don’t even call anybody else,” he said. “Ralph’s is cordial, professional, and you have a great product.” 

In 1994, the Deadmans built another new home, in Hobart. They again chose us to install oak floors, but with a little lighter color. It was also our first time working with that contractor, who liked our work enough to give us continued work over the years. 

And when Bruce’s mother was building a home on Green Bay in Dyckesville, he recommended us to her, and we installed maple hardwood flooring in the kitchen and family room.  

She lived there for almost 20 years, until she had to go to an assisted living facility and has since passed away. The Deadmans have lived in that house for several years now, but for awhile, it wasn’t permanently occupied.  

Deadman remembers one weekend during that time when he and his wife were hoping to attend the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. They had won the Green Bay season ticket holders lottery to be able to get tickets if Green Bay made the Super Bowl, and Green Bay was favored to do just that. But then New York beat them in the playoffs, and the disappointed Deadmans decided to spend the weekend instead at their mother’s former home on the Bay. 

Now Bruce is very glad that it worked out that way, because when they arrived, they quickly heard water running. The icemaker had malfunctioned and had been running water all week. 

“It had basically wrecked all the hardwood floors,” Deadman said, so he called us to fix the damage. 

“All I had to do was call you,” he said. “You had all the plans. Your team didn’t even have to come take measurements. They just came out and got the job done. In a very stressful situation, they were outstanding.” 

While the Deadmans were living in Hobart, we also refinished their floors for them, using the Swedish finish that they love.  

“We were very happy with that, and I would certainly recommend using the dustless option,” Bruce said. 

Bruce, who used to do some legal work for me and so knows me that way as well, said it’s comforting that we’ve continued the customer-focused philosophy that Dad created. 

“I don’t have any plans to ever call anyone else,” Bruce said, adding that it might not be long from now, as the Deadmans are seriously considering replacing some carpeting with hardwood flooring. 

One thing’s for sure: When they call, we’ll be ready!  

Thanks, Bruce and Sandy, for being such great and loyal customers. You’re the type of customers that make it a pleasure to be in the hardwood floor business.  

Tags: Wisconsin, Ralph's news & events, about Ralph's, stories

You’re Under Arrest! … Say What?!

Posted on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 23:03 PM

 

police-378255_1920-267653-edited.jpg

April Fool’s Day is a day you shouldn’t forget about. If you do, you might get got.

I found that out the hard way a few years ago when some co-workers at Ralph’s pulled a classic April Fool’s gag on me.

It wasn’t planned. It just came about because local Black Creek police officers made an innocent mistake.

Ralph’s was in the process of expanding and remodeling our facility in Black Creek , and an area that used to be a parking lot was now muddy ground waiting to become a pretty lawn. While turning around, the officers pulled into this area and quickly realized it wasn’t a parking lot anymore.

The next day they honorably returned to apologize for the ruts they left and to see if they needed to compensate Ralph’s for damages. But before they reached me, they were intercepted by some of my devious colleagues, who realized very well that it was April Fool’s Day.

When the officers did find me, I wasn’t at all prepared for what they had to say:

“Are you the son of Ralph Lorenz?”

“Yes.” (Is Dad alright? What has happened?)

“Well then, Mr. Lorenz, we have a warrant for your arrest.” (Warrant?)

“For what?” I stammered out. (Huh?)

They started explaining how this was a special warrant that didn’t require them to tell me the charge, which didn’t make sense to me. I kept asking questions, getting a bit upset. Then I noticed the giggles from Shirley and Tracy.

Oh, yeah, it’s April Fool’s Day!

It only lasted about a minute, but I was fooled. They got me!

And someday I will find a way to repay their “kindness.”

I love this kind of playfulness among the Ralph’s team. It reassures me that we are a real team.  We enjoy working together—and our customers see that. Genuine teamwork results in stress-free, better-than-expected experiences.

When sports teams play well together, they call it “chemistry.” The Ralph’s team has that.

Tags: Wisconsin, Ralph's news & events, about Ralph's, stories

In Search of a Few Good People

Posted on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

Some people are just “good with their hands.”

turnkey-hardwood-installation.png

We’re looking for these people.

Ralph’s is hiring hardwood floor installers, and we want them to have a natural aptitude for working with tools, fixing things, and putting stuff together. We want them to inherently possess the attitude of a craftsman, with a keen eye for detail and a drive for quality in all the work they do.

Does this describe you? Or does it describe someone you know who is looking for employment, or better employment?

We’re holding two Career Fairs this month: on Tuesday, March 14, from 4-6 pm, or Saturday, March 18, from 8 am-noon.

Join us to learn why Ralph’s Hardwoods Flooring could be a life-changing opportunity.

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. We will train our new installers to be expert specialists in the craft.

We are offering the opportunity to do rewarding work with a company that’s been doing business in Black Creek for more than 50 years and is known as a rewarding employer—with competitive salaries, solid benefits, a great work environment, and on-the-job training. The average time of employment for our installers is 10 years, and we have a crew member who is nearing his 30th anniversary.

Folks who join us usually like it here!

The job involves installing, sanding, and finishing new and used hardwood flooring. Installers cut, glue, nail, stain, and finish. They need to be creative when developing a custom idea but also able to follow exact specifications when necessary. They need to be able to do physical work and to be accurate in calculations and measurements.

At the Career Fair, we’ll explain what’s involved in becoming a master hardwood floor installer. We’ll talk about what a typical day is like, what our company is all about, and how the right people can enjoy a long-term career with us. We’ll be conducting interviews during the Fairs, so anyone interested should bring a resume and a completed application.

Surely you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, who would appreciate this opportunity. Do them a favor and share this blog with them!

Learn more about the Career Fairs.

Hear what our installers have to say about working at Ralph’s.

 

Tags: about Ralph's, installation, Ralph's news & events

Time to Renovate our Showroom

Posted on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 @ 15:09 PM

 

Showroom-2.jpgWe really love our hardwood floor showroom. Not only is it a great place to see amazing hardwood, it also is the place where many of our best customer relationships have started. We understand it isn't always easy to visualize how your dream floor is going to come together and sometimes you need to see the colors and feel the textures to really make the right choice.

It is because we believe so strongly in our showroom that we are going to change it. It has been over 11 years since our last major overhaul of the showroom and we think the timing is just right. While hardwood has a timelessness to it, when I think about interior design trends, furniture styles and innovations in our industry, it is amazing the change we have seen over the past decade.

We have been thinking about this for a while and after six months of planning we are ready to get started. Our plan is to showcase both products you have asked for and to highlight some you may not know so well. Our new showroom will include:

More widths and lengths

Most buyers are looking for wider and longer planks to create more spacious visuals and dramatic looks. However, we still do many standard floors which are usually matching up to existing floors.

More colors

Natural browns still top the list of popular colors but not as much as they used to. We want to showcase some of the latest color trends from unique browns and beiges to eye catching whites and greys.

Lower glosses

Less-shiny, low-gloss flooring is continuing to gain popularity. They are excellent for high traffic areas and really highlight the color and texture of the wood.

Prefinished options

While we are known at Ralph's as site finished experts, the world of prefinished hardwood has dramatically expanded in the past decade. We want to raise awareness of some amazing new products that consumers are asking for.

Hand-picked alternatives

We love wood and want to showcase select “wood like” products that have specific applications. A great example is vinyl wood flooring. It provides a beautiful wood look but has all the easy maintenance and water-resistance benefits of vinyl.

Over the coming months we will continue to update you on our plans and progress with the new showroom. We will blog about the process and post pictures. In a way it is a chance for us to show you how we approach our own flooring projects and given you a real sense of how we approach yours.

The showroom will be open while we do our updates and so you can come and check on us any time.

Tags: remodeling, about Ralph's, Ralph's news & events

Ralph’s is hiring! Do you know someone who’s the right fit for a great job?

Posted on Sat, Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:04 AM

Now_Hiring.png

I’m happy to say that Ralph’s is busier than ever.

However, new business makes it a challenge to maintain our high-quality standards. We need enough hardwood floor technicians to do the work, and those technicians must all be able to deliver the Ralph’s experience we’ve become known for.

That presents a challenge because—when we hire technicians (or any other position) to help us handle more work—we’re looking for a very particular type of person to join the Ralph’s family. And that type of person isn’t easy to find.

It’s great if they have hardwood floor experience, but it’s not necessary. We can train the right person in the trade of installing and finishing hardwood floors. The difficulty is finding someone with the right character, who reflects the values Ralph’s has always held as a company.

We’re searching now. Below are the specific qualities we’re looking for. If this description fits you, or someone you know, we’d love to hear from you (or them).

Mechanically inclined

While specific technical hardwood floor knowledge isn’t necessary to be hired, you do need to like to work with your hands, use tools, and put things together.

Driven to always do their best

If you’re satisfied with “so-so” as long as you get paid, Ralph’s isn’t the place for you. We want people who consider the quality of their work a point of personal pride.

Loves to please customers

We want the type of person who is not only willing to go the extra mile to give a customer a great experience, but who truly enjoys doing it. At Ralph’s, we take pleasure in serving customers.

Friendly

This doesn’t mean forced politeness. We look for team members who genuinely enjoy interacting with people—and show it.  Customers and colleagues notice!

Trustworthy

This covers a lot, including being honest with customers and Ralph’s team members, being punctual, and being consistent with your work. We count on our team members to the right thing in all areas of the job.

Hard-working

Our team members are self-starters. We don’t have to prod them to get going or stay on task. They don’t mind sweating and enjoy the feel of a “good tired.” They take satisfaction in getting things done.

Eager to learn

We have a ton of experience and accumulated knowledge at Ralph’s that we make a point of passing down. We want team members who enthusiastically take advantage of every opportunity to improve their skills.

Team player

At Ralph’s, we don’t care who gets the credit, we respect each other, and we help each other out however we can. To work at Ralph’s, you must be able to function well as part of a team.

I realize this isn’t exactly a unique list. A fast-food joint might list many of these same traits as important. But at Ralph’s these aren’t just “like-to-haves.” They are qualities we absolutely insist upon in the people we hire.

Ralph’s doesn’t have much turnover at all, and many of our team members have been here for decades. I think that’s because we’ve learned it’s best to be patient until we find the right person, no matter how much we need immediate help.

They’re usually well worth the wait!

If you are interested in joining the Ralph’s family, please call us at 920.984.3383 or 800.354.9902. If you know someone you think might be a good fit for us, please share this with them. They may be thanking you for years to come!

Tags: Ralph's news & events

Ralph’s wins another award for its customer service

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

Angies_List.png

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

A Ralph's Makeover

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

Saras_floor_before_USE

Saras_Floor_After_USE

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

The voting is in, and the ugliest floor in northeast Wisconsin is…

Posted on Sun, Feb 15, 2015 @ 08:02 AM

Sara_Dorn-McGuire_WinnerRalph’s Hardwoods Floors recently held a contest on Facebook to find the “Ugliest Floor” in northeast Wisconsin. The prize was a free refinishing of the floor!

The contest has ended, and after a heated race, the winner is Sara Dorn-McGuire, whose engineered oak floor’s finish was in really bad shape. She received 1,930 votes from Facebook users, outpacing the runner-up’s 1,780 votes.

We’ll be sanding and refinishing the floors in Sara’s kitchen, dining room, hallway, and foyer—338 square feet in all—at no cost to Sara.

Winner-Dinette_FloorWe recently visited Sara’s home to make sure there was enough wear layer (i.e., sandable wood) on the engineered flooring to sand. Some engineered floors don’t have enough, but fortunately Sara’s do.

It was clear, though, that Sara’s floors were in desperate need of new finish—the old finish was virtually gone.

“We built our home in 1997, and we’ve had dogs and our three kids grew up on them, so they are just beat,” Sara told us.

Sara_Dorn-McGuire_Winner_floor_closeupSara said she first started thinking about refinishing the floors about a year ago. Her husband is a handy guy and has done home projects before, so her original idea was that he would do it himself. But he never quite got around to it.

So when Sara heard about our contest, she figured, why not enter?

“I took pictures of the floor and put it on Facebook and just shared it with friends and family,” Sara said. “They supported me and shared it on their wall. People just began voting and sharing it with other people.”

Winner_-_Kitchen_Floor

In Sara’s case, winning the free refinishing isn’t about saving money.

“It saved my husband a lot of work,” she laughed.

We’ll be refinishing the floors in the few weeks, and Sara is eagerly awaiting the new look for her home.

 “I know Ralph’s has an excellent reputation, so I’m sure they’re going to be beautiful,” she said.

get inspired with ralph's hardwood floor idea book

Tags: restoring hardwood floors, Ralph's news & events

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

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

Ralphs-Ugly-Floor-pic-sm

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

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

Latest Posts

25b4f528-4a5c-4092-b6df-bdc7f2c6c952