About Barnum Floors


Barnum Floors reminds
 its customers that:

 “The bitterness of poor quality
 remains long  after the sweetness
 of low price is forgotten”

 - Anonymous

Barnum Floors was started by father and son, Al & Gary Barnum. Gary had been working in carpentry for several years, but desired the benefits of owning his own business. At that same time, Al was retiring after 35 years as a stock broker. Although Al was ready to leave the demands of the financial industry, he was not truly ready to retire.

As the story goes, in 1994 Al was sitting at a resort in Costa Rica visiting his youngest daughter, Kelly, who was serving in the Peace Corp. He began conversing with another American who was in the business of exporting teak. He told Al, “Hardwood flooring is coming back in style. There will be a need for quality hardwood experts”. This gentleman planted the seed for entering into the hardwood flooring business. In 1995, Barnum Floors was born.

For the first two years, Al & Gary worked night & day. Gary took every hardwood installation and sanding course offered by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). He practiced in the homes of friends and relatives. Often Al would join him on-site to try to help as he could. Al set up the books for the company and began a marketing campaign to local builders. They set up their first office with leased floor space in the Westport Home Center. From the beginning, their commitment to excellence and customer service was the driving force.

By 1997, business was quickly beginning to pick up. Al was trying the run the office on his own, including scheduling jobs, typing quotes, invoicing, ordering, payroll and marketing. Although three additional employees were now in place, Gary was still sanding or installing most all jobs, handling new sales and meeting with customers. The company was growing faster than they could handle.

In the spring of 1998, additional family members joined the ranks. Kathy, Al's eldest and Austin, Gary's stepson joined the company. Austin grabbed a hold of sanders and didn't let go for years. He became a master at his skill and trained numerous additional sanders. The majority of these sanders still remain with Barnum Floors today, including Austin.

Kathy left her job at The Principal Financial Group and joined forces with Al in the office where they implemented payroll schedules, work orders, quote sheets, benefits & inventory guidelines. Today she manages the office, as well as, marketing and sales. Gary moved almost exclusively to outside sales and several more employees were added. From 1998 to 2000, Barnum Floors exploded, with sales increasing by 300%.

In 2000, Barnum Floors moved into their own showroom at 9379 Swanson Blvd in Clive. For a few years, they added carpet & tile to the repertoire. In 2005, after ten years in business, the decision was made to return to the core business of hardwood only, specializing in custom installation. At that time, they bought the concrete building across the street at 9460 Swanson Blvd from Taylor Ball and began extensive renovation, including a 1,500 sq ft showroom & 7,500 sq ft of warehouse space.

Today Al, Gary, & Kathy remain at Barnum Floors along with 18 additional dedicated employees & craftsman. Barnum Floors continues to specialize in custom hardwood flooring, installed and finished on-site while consistently setting the standard for restoration of existing hardwood floors. This family owned & operated company repeatedly demonstrates their commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.