Built to Last
For nearly 30 years, Applegate Wood Floors has been offering distinctive flooring solutions of the highest quality and craftsmanship
by Mindy Toran

Like the sturdy oak planks used in so many of its renovation projects, Applegate Wood Floors has endured. For nearly 30 years, through challenging economic times and personal hardships, the company has been maintaining its focus on integrity, “24-karat service” and best-in-class hardwood flooring fitted with painstaking craftsmanship.

The husband-and-wife team of Brian and MaryAnne Applegate founded this New Hope-based hardwood flooring company in 1987, built on a foundation of talent, artful design and flawless execution. Both lifelong residents of Bucks County, Brian and MaryAnne inherited an old-fashioned work ethic from their parents, who taught them the importance of character and persistence, and that “doing your best” should be the rule rather than the exception.

Applegate Wood Floors has since established itself as a leading full-service hardwood flooring company with a reputation for bringing inspired design, exceptional quality and tremendous value to each project, be it residential, commercial or institutional. As co-owners in the business, Brian and MaryAnne share an uncommon mutual respect for one another and a penchant for collaboration, which for them is essential to the company’s sustainable growth, while maintaining meaningful and long-lasting relationships within the community.

“We truly enjoy finding the best flooring solutions for our clients and aim to exceed their expectations on every job we do,” says MaryAnne. “I love helping people conceptualize the job and watching it take form, making their ideas become a reality.”

At one point, the Applegates had six crews working on any given day and eventually opened a number of boutique showrooms throughout Bucks County. Things changed in early 2008, however, when Brian and MaryAnne made a decision to return to their grassroots business model. The reason: Their oldest daughter, Brianne, then 22, suffered catastrophic injuries in a near-fatal automobile accident that required almost two years of intense rehabilitation. At the time, she had been working part-time for the family business while attending Rider University as a dean’s list student.

“Life changed in a blink, and so did our personal and professional priorities,” MaryAnne recalls.

Buoyed by the love and support of her family, Brianne began her lifelong journey, recovering from her injuries by graduating magna cum laude from Rider and then doing some art and design work while living in Cape Town, South Africa. She has since established her reputation locally as an accomplished artist while working for a global technical fashion startup in Philadelphia. In addition, she volunteers at the new St. Mary Rehabilitation Hospital in Langhorne, where she shares her story and also leads art and music therapy sessions to assist patients in their own recovery from life-altering brain injuries.

Throughout Brianne’s ordeal, as well as the economic downturn that began in late 2008, the Applegates’ customer-centric philosophy and ability to deliver the highest-quality wood flooring at reasonable prices never wavered. In fact, they only grew stronger.

“We went back to the basics—specifically, doing more with less,” MaryAnne says. “Less overhead translated into even sharper pricing for our clients. We successfully navigated the economic storm that hit the global markets by intuitively and effectively trimming our sails determined to meet the challenge.”

As a result, Applegate Wood Floors emerged from its challenges as a company redefined—stronger and even more focused on exceeding clients’ expectations. By leveraging its longevity and reputation for excellence, offering even more value and expertise, the company has been able to sustain an ever-expanding client base in the tri-state area, including hundreds of repeat customers.

Clients who call the office now deal directly with the owners, benefiting from the more than 55 years of combined experience Brian and MaryAnne bring to the table. When the two owners, and now their son, Brian David, come to clients’ homes or businesses, they bring customer-specific samples and often return for follow-up visits to ensure complete client satisfaction. Although the company relies on a team of top-notch installers and finishers, the Applegates make themselves available for “whatever it takes” to ensure each job is completed in a precise and timely manner. 

“The value and quality of workmanship we deliver far exceeds our reasonable prices,” says Brian.

‘Extremely Satisfied’

In addition to the custom fitting and finishing of unfinished products, Applegate Wood Floors offers an extensive selection of prefinished solid and engineered products. Clients can choose from almost any species of wood in a wide range of widths, finishes and grades to suit any individual taste, lifestyle or budget.

Such variety, flexibility and attention to detail are what first attracted Jerry Paley, a homeowner in Buckingham, to Applegate Wood Floors. Paley was considering a home remodeling project when he first met MaryAnne and Brian. MaryAnne showed him some projects they had done and he was impressed with the quality of workmanship.

Rather than renovate their existing home, the Paley family decided to purchase a new 6,000-square-foot home, and hired Applegate Wood Floors to replace 3,200 square feet of the existing builder’s quality prefinished strip hardwood floors and carpeting. With MaryAnne’s guidance, Paley decided on custom-milled unfinished 6" to 9" random width select white oak, with lengths of up to 12 feet. The flooring was installed throughout the first and second floors of the home and finished with a custom blended light-brown stain. The new flooring “completely changed the look of our home,” Paley says.

“MaryAnne closely oversaw the project and had her hands in every step of the installation and finishing,” he says. “This was a highly customized project designed to meet our unique needs, and we were extremely satisfied with the results.”

Another homeowner, Kathleen Crane of Washington Crossing, recently hired Applegate Wood Floors to replace laminate floors and carpeting throughout her 29-year-old house, with matching solid and engineered prefinished wide-plank floors.

“We chose oak with a distressed look in 6" wide planks,” says Crane. “MaryAnne brought in a variety of samples and helped us decide on a wood color that complemented the granite countertops in our kitchen. They were able to create a smooth transition between each room and repair some uneven spots on the slab without having to put a threshold in between certain rooms. The floors look like they were original, and the wood makes the house feel warm and inviting.”

As Crane suggests, homeowners today are seeking distinctive hardwood flooring that, like a piece of art, “can tell a story.” In addition, they are discovering that investing in high-quality hardwood flooring can yield significant long-term benefits. Properly installed and maintained wood flooring can last a lifetime and also increase the value of one’s home, according to MaryAnne.

“We embrace the challenges and rewards of the personal collaboration with customers, creating something of beauty and value that’s going to last and that they are going to appreciate for years to come,” she says. “It’s truly rewarding that what we do makes such a positive difference in the look and comfort of so many homes.”

The team at Applegate Wood Floors strives to make a positive difference beyond its clients’ homes. For example, they sponsor many athletic events in their hometown of Yardley and throughout Bucks County. They also support nearby philanthropic organizations, including The Rock, a Kensington-based ministry that reaches at-risk teens through boxing, and Overington House, a transitional living facility in Philadelphia offering shelter and other life-skills services to homeless women and their children.

This commitment to “giving back” is yet another example of the hard work and sense of family that has been the driving force behind Applegate Wood Floors for nearly three decades.

“The fact that we’re still in business after almost 30 years, doing what we love and satisfying our customers’ needs is a testament to our commitment to a job well done,” says MaryAnne. “There’s nothing like the bright smile and shake of the hand when a job is done right and the customer is happy.”
For more information on Applegate Wood Floors, call 215-598-8708 or visit www.applegatewoodfloors.com.

Photograph courtesy of
Carlisle Wood Plank Floors