Customer Update - Olson Floor Supply
Arboritec recently had the opportunity to visit with NYC area
supplier Ken Nygaard of Olson Floor Supply. Olson Floor Supply is a
family-owned and operated supplier of wood flooring, tools and machinery, technical
support services, and of course the full spectrum of floor finishes. They are well
situated in a well trafficked industrial section of Jamaica, New York. Olson Floors is about five miles from JFK International
Airport and close to the bridges and tunnels leading into Manhattan.
Jamaica, NY itself is a culturally-rich area of the US. Olson Floor Supply is frequented by hard-working Americans with roots in a variety of countries and cultures across South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. You are just as likely to hear a foreign language being spoken as you are to hear English when you walk through their doors.
Ken’s staff is multi-lingual and they make sure every item in the store down to how products are displayed is configured to work well for their customers. Anne Bajno has been helping customers out at Olson’s for many years. She, like everyone on their staff, know the wood flooring trade inside and out. They provide handy advice and counsel on tougher jobs and contractor challenges.
Olson’s is a brisk business under Ken Nygaard’s leadership. Ken is a no-nonsense business man whose handshake is as firm as his word. He grew up in the flooring trade, and wouldn’t change it for the world! Because of Ken’s industry leadership and history of innovation, he was one of the first customers Arboritec approached to introduce to UVElite, our new site-cured UV finish:
Thanks for taking the time to work with us and speak today about our new site-cured UV finishes Ken. We’re glad you are as excited as we are by the potential of this new product to address customer needs for minimal downtime. What are your initial thoughts about UVElite?
I'd say that Arboritec is an innovative company that continues to bring innovative products to market. A few of the contractors I work with have UV machines for use in the retail and commercial markets, and I'm sure more are interested in the opportunity that UV represents. With UVElite, you seem to have combined the workability your products are known for with the ability to significantly reduce potential downtime in commercial and residential markets. This product has the potential to make a lot of customers very happy.
Thanks for that Ken. Please share a little of your history working with water-borne finishes with us. What's your take on the water-borne market?
I’ve been working with water-borne for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a steady increase in the percent of our business made up by water-borne products. Oil-based polyurethanes still dominate the greater NYC metro market, but water-borne finishes are doing nicely. We usually see it specified in higher-end jobs coming from designers and architects. We also see a number of the residential buildings downtown opting for water-borne finishes for their low-odor qualities. Often residents do not want to be in the building while oil-based finishes cure. Wise building-management companies and owners are turning to low-odor water-borne finishes like those from Arboritec to keep residents happy.
That’s interesting. What is the status of air quality legislation in your area?
Rumors are that we may be lowering VOC levels to 275 g/l but it isn’t clear. New York is still a fairly heavy oil-based environment, but it is slowly changing. You know, it can be difficult to convince craftsman like my customers that have tested methods down pat to try out new products. It is often only when there is an issue with a job that an opportunity to talk about a potential better way presents itself.
That makes sense. We all develop habits from things that work for us over and over. Only when they suddenly don’t work do we think to change the process. What is your take on Arboritec’s finishes?
Arboritec is definitely one of the best out there – as a product and as a company – you folks seem to understand what people are looking for and you are trying your best to give it to them. Case in point, the new UVElite finish is a perfect solution for property owners who cannot wait to get back on their wood floors to continue commercial operations or home life. Your products are both about as cutting-edge as they can be while still being easy-to-use. I would say one of the advantages of all your finishes is how easily it goes down. It spreads really well, and stays open and workable for a good long time. The people who buy Arboritec, buy it again and again. That is the best sign I know that it is working well for my customers.
The new UV-cured finish is a very innovative technology and I’m excited to be a part of supplying it and supporting its introduction and adoption into the greater metropolitan NYC market. I think quite a few of my customers will want to suit up like moon men and offer lightning quick turnaround to their customers with UVElite. The future of quick site-cured wood floors seems very bright!