Customer Update - Bridge Wood Floors
Arboritec recently had the pleasure of speaking to Tom Bridge, owner and operator of Bridge Wood Floors to get his take on the flooring trade, the development of waterborne finishes, and to learn about his experience working with our line in particular. Tom has operated out of the small central Massachusetts town of Douglas, MA for decades. He was first made aware of Arboritec's ceramic-fortified products through his longtime friend and distributor Brian Salatiello over at Wood Pro, Inc in Auburn, MA.
"I started in the wood floor trade in 1982 when I was invited to be a member of an installation crew for a wood block flooring company", said Tom. His work within the flooring trade provided him opportunities to travel the world as he worked in such far flung places as Australia and South Korea.
Tom picked up his application techniques, tips and tricks of the trade for working efficiently with waterborne finishes from consultant and trainer Howard Brickman. Over the years, Tom has tried and tested many waterborne wood floor finishes. "For me, Avenue is by far the easiest product I've work with to apply, it level's out better, and is more forgiving than competing finishes."
Tom recently applied Arboritec's Avenue ceramic-fortified waterborne finish on a significantly dated floor at the Greek Consulate offices in Boston. Tom helped bring the hundred year old floor back to life. "It was challenging. Whoever sanded it last had left large gouges in the floor and nails were exposed everywhere." The herringbone pattern can be challenging at times as well. Tom and his customer were quite pleased with the results. "I like that your finish lets the true color of each board stand on its own merit and that I can feel good about providing an extremely durable finish to my customers."
For his customers that really want to achieve an amberized look, Tom has had good luck with pairing Arboritec's Avenue commercial grade finish with a wax free sanding sealer. Fortunately, Arboritec's line of ceramic-fortified finishes work well in conjunction with a huge variety of stains and sealers on the market allowing contractor's to achieve a wide variety of different looks.
Finally, we asked Tom to think about the market niche that he likes most, where he really wants to spend his time and energy. Tom was clear that the residential market servicing the needs of homeowners is his focus. "The construction trade doesn't always have the best reputation with homeowners at times," he said. "Everything from showing up late or not at all for estimates to generally under-delivering - is far too commonplace." It was clear that Tom takes pride in his work and keeps the needs and wishes of his homeowner customers uppermost in his mind. "Offering my customers the option of applying a ceramic-fortified commercial grade finish at a reasonable rate has been an important differentiator for my business," he said. "And...people love it!"
I had the pleasure of meeting with Tom for a breakfast in a cozy little restaurant close to Wood Pro in Auburn MA a few weeks ago. What a great person and talented craftsman! Best of luck to Tom and his son Jeremy for continuing to deliver great looking hardwood floors.