About Bill's Floor Sanding, West Hartford, CT


floor sanding

"I can recommend Bill's Floor Sanding without reservation."

~ Donald J. Hannan
Rector, Grace Episcopal Church

dustless floor sanding connecticut
Bona Atomic DCS Dust Collection System

In 1910 at the turn of the century, Mr. Cardinal, my grandfather, was doing what knew best. Carrying on the trade which had originated in Europe, he hauled, installed, hand scraped and painstakingly finished by hand, wood floors. Before the days of electrical equipment, he labored at the work he loved and took pride in. Back then the wood floor was different than today. Most were hand hewn, and by 1920, manufactured floors of the earliest kind could be seen in some homes. But the wood still had to be worked by hand. And to have that final sheen and luster meant many hours of hard waxing or shellacking final coats.

By the 1940's Mr. Cardinal had introduced his son to the trade who learned all the skills that made his father successful in Western Massachusetts. By then, the chain driven belt-sander, which had been introduced some 10-15 years earlier, developed into a better machine by using belts instead of chains. It was also more affordable. So Mr. Cardinal invested in the first electrical tool of the trade. It helped speed up sanding of the center of the floor, but all the rest still had to be done by hand.

After the war and by 1950. Mr. Cardinal Jr. continued to develop a successful family business. Sometime during those years, investment was made in a full fledged "Floor Sanding Machine". Floor sanding and refinishing needed to compete with the introduction of "Broadloom", so new technology was necessary; but the success of the business was still in the detail—fine hand work that machines could only prepare for.

By the 1960's Mr. Cardinal Jr was training his son to carry on the trade, which had now become the family profession, but he needed more help. It seems impossible that it's been over 50 years since I started going around to flooring jobs with my stepfather. Those trips were the beginning of the third generation of my grandfather's legacy—I just didn't realize it at the time. I remember how proud I was after mastering each of the many tasks involved. I took great pride in the family business and the attention to detail that my grandfather insisted made "all the difference". Our customers thought so too, as they often told us we were the "best around".

We did all the sanding and finishing work at U Mass, Amherst, Smith and Mt. Holyoke colleges. We did homes throughout Western MA and the Pioneer Valley. I learned the trade from the old timers, from a time gone by, where pride in our work was the greatest lesson of all.

By 1974, I expanded the business to the greater Hartford area. I had been asked to work on a couple of new mall developments, and found a good market as home building was on the increase. Bill's Floor Sanding was established and our work product became well known. Our services received special attention throughout West Hartford because attention to detail was evident in the quality of our work. I didn't need to advertise because my grandfather's lessons made us "The Best Around".

Innovations in materials and equipment in the last twenty years have helped compliment the specialized techniques used in the business for 75 years. From lamb's wool applicators used to replace brush applications of finish coats on hands and knees, to innovators in multi-speed edgers, small portable sanders, and initial dust collection equipment.

In the mid 90's I began taking my sons around to flooring jobs, just like my stepfather had done with me, so many years ago. I showed them what my grandfather had taught us, that no matter how good the equipment or products we use, attention to detail is what really matters the most—except, perhaps, the pride in our work. As is turns out, they learned quickly. I don't know if it was my ability to teach or my grandfather's whispering words of wisdom through he ages. Maybe, a little bit of both.

My sons, Matt and Dan are now the owners of Bill's Floor Sanding. The fourth generation, dedicated to their great grandfather's art of detail and customer satisfaction. They often work on the same houses I did, with new owners. And they've invested in the best, state-of-the-art technology developed in the last eight years: The Bona Atomic Dust Containment System. It's our contribution to keeping your environment healthy, clean and green.

Our Motto: Good-Better-Best, never let it rest, until good is better, and better best!

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