In 1946 L.W. (“Andy”) Anderson founded his own facility, Standard Plywoods, Inc., the parent corporation of Anderson Hardwood Floors. Then, in 1958, Standard Plywoods purchased Modernwood’s manufacturing plant in Clinton, South Carolina.
At first, simple parquet blocks were manufactured for use in tract houses with poured grade-level concrete floors. Concrete slabs were the perfect test-site for engineered floors because it went against sound logic to install wood flooring over a potential moisture-laden subfloor. Returning war veterans figured, however, if the process produced PT boats that could withstand the damaging effects of the ocean’s salt water, it certainly would be ideal for their floors at home.
Further experience and experimentation led to the development of longer length planks. These had the same durability and stability as block floors, attributes that had made the earlier floors so popular.
As time progressed and wood floors improved, what was once a commodity product became a fashion statement for discriminating homeowners of all income levels. With the advent of commercial grade flooring, Anderson became a formidable player in the commercial building market.
Much of Anderson’s success over the years is attributable to its manufacture of consistent quality flooring. In fact, since the beginning Quality has been an Anderson tradition. L.W. Anderson’s son, Robert W. Anderson, joined L.W. (Andy) Anderson the company in 1950 upon graduation from Northwestern University. Robert was Chairman of the Board of Standard Plywoods until his death in 2001. Don Finkell, Robert’s son-in-law, has been President of the company since 1988. In 2007 Anderson was acquired by one of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway companies and is now operated as a independent operating division of Shaw Industries.
During the last half-century, competitors have come and gone. Some were industrial giants, while others weren’t really equipped to compete in a meaningful way. Few of our competitors have experienced the long term success that Anderson has enjoyed.