Bob Olah Sr. & Jr.
Father & Son of Flooring
FUN FACT: Bob Olah Sr. learned his trade from his father. Grandfather Olah was in the carpet business in Lithuania and brought his trade to America. When Bob Olah Sr. was 16 years old he started in the trade, working with, and learning from, his father. Back then carpets were hand-sewn together when you had a seam. Carpet tiles had not yet been invented. Vinyl flooring was years away.
FUN FACT #2: Bob Olah Jr. had a minor league baseball career, drafted right out of Notre Dame High School in Bridgeport, CT, when he graduated in 1986. He enjoyed five years in the minors playing for the NY Mets organization. His lifetime batting average is .256 with 178 RBIs and 23 home runs. He maintains a great interest in baseball, still coaching and teaching. Check out his website: Hitting Answers dot com.
“Junior” is a big guy, athletic still. (If you get to know him well enough he’ll tell you about a few post-baseball years when he was bodyguard security for some big name entertainers.)
All the same, Bob Olah Jr grew up stretching carpets and installing hardwood and vinyl floors. Working in the family business was a great summer job all through school. Like his father and grandfather before him, he thrived in the flooring business. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Growing His Flooring Business
In 1964 Bob Olah Sr. went into business for himself, starting Fairfield Carpet Center in Fairfield, CT. Back then he worked mostly in carpet and vinyl. At first, he rented a one car garage to store carpet and vinyl rolls.
As his reputation — and his business — grew, Bob Sr. moved to bigger and bigger stores. About 20 years ago he acquired the Milford, CT warehouse and offices where Fairfield County Floor Covering is now headquartered. The warehouse offers climate-controlled storage for the many kinds of flooring Olah father and son now carry. Also important is a large area where they “build” floors ahead of installation.
Customers Support 50 Years of Success
Flooring stores have changed dramatically in the last 50 years, like everything else. Bob Olah Sr. stayed in business all these years by understanding what does not change. “Take care of the customer. Flooring decor, like wall coverings and furniture, is a very personal thing. I always put myself in the customer’s shoes. I treat them like I want to be treated. I make sure they get the look, function, budget, and result they want.” Olah Sr. said.
“You’d be surprised how often simple things matter most. We call you back. Go ahead and get multiple estimates. I encourage it. We are practical. If your existing padding is good, we won’t try to sell you a new one. Our company can sell you materials from every major flooring manufacturer. That said, we will also install flooring material you purchased elsewhere. Got a good deal at Home Depot or Lowes or another carpet store but want to be sure of a quality installation? Call us,” he added.
Over the years the name and location have changed. Bob Olah Sr.’s been at the heart of it all. Since 1993 his son Bob Jr. has been working by his side full time.
Launch of Fairfield County Floor Covering
Bob Olah’s Carpeting, took a leap forward in 2014 when father and son merged with another flooring company. Fairfield County Floor Covering launched with a retail flooring store in Monroe, CT. They continued to use the Milford warehouse to store materials and prepare jobs.
However, the flooring sales and installation business changed dramatically with emergence of big box stores and internet shopping. Over time the Olahs saw less walk-in and retail business. At the same time, their house calls increased dramatically. “People like to shop in the convenience of their own home. More and more, we were taking sample books out to home and business owners,” Olah Sr. explained.
“We always had great accounts. Our business grew mostly by word of mouth and referrals. The walk-in retail business was not enough to justify a brick-and-mortar store in Monroe. So we closed the store — NOT THE BUSINESS,” Olah Jr. added. “We added office space to the Milford warehouse and continue to meet customers, show samples and build floors there.” (Some Google searches show the Monroe store as closed.)
Bob Olah Sr. & Jr. Adapt & Thrive
“Our current configuration better matches flooring sales in the present market,” Bob Olah Jr., explained. “People now do a lot of their initial shopping on the internet. Still, flooring is a tactile product. You want to see and feel a sample. With everyone so busy these days, the convenience of in-home or at-your-business shopping is more important than ever. You can come to our warehouse or we can bring our flooring samples to you.”
Just as important, floor covering is a complex product. There is a wide range of quality and durability in materials. There are near infinite choices. The Olahs gladly offer their expertise in sorting out the best options.
Next is installation. Beautiful materials can be ruined with poor installation. Essentially flooring is “manufactured” in place.
“Having the warehouse improves our capabilities,” Olah Jr. added. “Over the years I’ve seen too many operators cutting carpet in driveways and parking lots. With the warehouse we cut, build and edge custom rug and carpet sizes indoors. Creating stair and hallway runners is a specialty of ours. We store and assemble flooring materials in our secure, climate-controlled warehouse.”
Accurate measurement and assessment of the existing floor substrate is critical to getting a reliable cost estimate. The Olahs offer this evaluation at no cost, no obligation. For a quick job quote or just to ask a question, give them a call or fill out the contact form. An Olah will get back to you!
Bob Olah Jr.’s cell phone: 203-260-4937
Bob Olah Sr.’s cell phone: 203-258-3691