The Professional’s Choice

Tools4Flooring

Tools4Flooring.com started in 2003 as an online supplier for flooring needs. With one click, professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike have access to hundreds of flooring and plumbing tools, from a $2 drill bit to a $40,000 ride-on floor removal machine.
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“We’re offering solutions to installers to save them time and money and a trip to the store. We are one of the few places that is able to do it and deliver stocked items within a week,” says Tools4Flooring.com’s General Manager Nick Jannett. Jannett oversees the customer service team, works with vendors, and procures products.

Tools4Flooring.com provides a vast selection of items, from the most popular to niche tools like the dustless ceramic tile saw. “One of the reasons we are so successful is because we have many different tool vendors, and we provide solutions for every type of installer in the flooring industry. We have tools for carpet, vinyl, tile, hardwood, floor preps, heat welding, and we even get into shower systems and plumbing.” In each category, Tools4Flooring.com offers between twenty-five to fifty products from major brands like Bullet Tools, Crain Tool, Gundlach, Powernail, and more.

Jannett and his team curate products by attending the latest trade shows and talking to vendors and professionals in person. But some of their best insights have been from the company’s growing online community. Tools4Flooring.com handles over 50,000 online accounts, many of which stay in contact over social media long after their first purchase.

“We’ve really upped our game with Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. And that’s another area where we can connect with our customers and get a ton of feedback from our customers,” explains Jannett. “What I love about the social media piece is that you get the most excited installers and contractors using tools in the field and sharing experiences with each other, bouncing ideas back and forth, sharing the tools they use.”

On Tools4Flooring’s Instagram page, many customers use the #Tools4Flooring hashtag to show how they are using their newest items. “It’s not only a great resource for our customers to see the latest and greatest tools, but it’s also a great resource for me to see what these guys are using in the field. What they like, what they don’t like. That’s been really big for us, especially in the last two years.” As reflected in a twenty-three percent growth in sales last year, the online dialogue has been working.

Tools4Flooring.com’s online presence has also widened to circle the globe. “We’ve shipped to over one hundred countries. We’ve shipped to every continent, excluding Antarctica… There are certain customers in Australia or the United Kingdom where it’s tough for them to get some of the tools we have or things that they see in the marketplace; so, us being able to ship worldwide is very big for our customers.” Shipping a wide selection of items globally is impressive for a company that was started by just one person only a few years ago.

Tools4Flooring.com had humble beginnings. Jon Dapron, the current director of e-commerce, realized the potential for e-commerce in the flooring industry and started Tools4Flooring.com in 2003. “It started with just him, and now we’ve grown into a fully-staffed operation shipping products from twenty-five different facilities across the United States.”

Jannett worked in one of the facilities and, “when a position for a general manager opened, I saw the potential in e-commerce sales for our business and jumped right in.” This is how Tools4Flooring.com has grown. “For years, our staff were five people in the same room and a couple of warehouse workers. We were really, really close.”

Now, Tools4Flooring.com handles fifty thousand online accounts, as well as countless guest purchases. Incredibly, it is a small staff that gets those orders out to the world. “As large as our presence is online, we get a lot done with a fairly small staff. We’ve got twelve employees in-house,” says Jannett.

The company can stay lean and successful because the staff members are continually learning about new products and have experience in the flooring industry. “A big thing for us is that training piece. We can get everybody in the same room together and make sure we’re on the same page and have similar goals.”

Passionate and highly-trained employees are the first contact point for buyers. For those browsing the site who just have a few questions, Tools4Flooring.com has a chat feature which makes it easy to instantly communicate without the need to use an email account or fill in a long online form. Alternatively, people are available over the phone to discuss needs between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Central Time.

“We still have that strong communication with our customers that a lot of old-school installers and contractors are used to. They want to talk to someone and know about what they’re buying, and we offer that. We field a ton of phone calls every day, and that’s something that we take a lot of pride in – the training of our customer service agents.”

The training includes helping clients decide what tools to use for complicated jobs. Some who have been in the business for years are not always up-to-date on how the latest technologies can save them time and money.

Customers can browse through items, view related items, and read product reviews. An account can be created using an email address, or they can purchase as a guest. Orders over $75 are shipped for free inside the U.S., usually within a couple of days, although larger orders that are shipped by freight may take longer, with a variety of shipping options.

“At that point, once you’ve checked out you’ll get an email confirming your order with an invoice. Then we ship in one to two business days. It’s almost always the next business day. You will get a second email just with your tracking and the order status,” explains Jannett.

But what happens if an item is not quite right for the job, or if there is a defect? Tools4Flooring.com will work with the customer to fix the situation, even for customers who did not discuss their purchase beforehand with customer service. “You can either email, chat or call us and we are readily available… You’re going to get a person talk to and work it out with, and we’ll find a way to take care of you, whether we have to return the item, refund you, or get you something new.”

Part of the small staff advantage is that people take pride in what they are doing, and they remember clients. “We do a lot of training together to get product knowledge, and I think the staff together sees the growth and the opportunity we have in this industry,” explains Jannett. “I think that’s what keeps us motivated, and the staff is growing as the company grows, and that’s what’s so great.” Employees are not just doing training together, they are always networking with flooring professionals and training new ones at tradeshows and schools.

Tools4Flooring.com works with Certified Flooring Installers Association, Inc. (CFI), National Wood and Flooring Association (NWFA), and The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), providing tools for workshops and seminars and instructional videos and webinars. “We do some presentations at their shows and webinars showing off some of the newest tools, to make sure these guys understand what the latest tools in the industry are. Things that are going to save them time and then also keep them safe.” Already having a massive online presence, Tools4Flooring.com plans to expand on its webinars in the future to reach a broader audience.

The twelve employees are always engaging with the industry, which helps the company select the hundreds of items provided on Tools4Flooring.com. Through relationships with CFI, NWFA, and FCICA it is always getting feedback from people in the business. “We take a lot of time in taking tools that we know are going to get the job done that are going to be quality tools that last a long time and that professional installers are going to be satisfied with.” For professionals and amateurs who want to purchase high-quality tools, online or over the phone, Tools4Flooring.com is the place.

Industry Changemakers

The construction industry has historically been slow to evolve, drawn to tradition over technology. As the industry is in a state of rapid innovation and advancement, organizations like the Toronto Construction Association (TCA) are working tirelessly to build strong member businesses that won’t fall behind.

June 26, 2019, 12:51 AM EDT