CAMPBELL – Bob Van Briggle may have entered the flooring industry by happenstance, but once he was in, he quickly progressed from one sphere to another, ultimately settling upon hardwood flooring. “I got into this business as a young man while working as a carpet cleaner,” he recounts. “I was looking to make more money, so I decided to learn how to lay carpet. From there, I got into vinyl and linoleum installation. A little while later, I realized there was a shortage of contractors in the hardwood flooring industry, which I viewed as a wide-open opportunity. I started doing hardwood floor installation, and in 1970, I founded Van Briggle Floors.”
Today, Bob says his favorite part about working with hardwood floors is their enduring quality. “I like the fact that the floors I put in are going to outlive me. When we install a solid wood floor, we expect it to last for the lifespan of the house. Many of the first floors I ever installed are still there, so it’s very rewarding to know my work is going to stand the test of time.”
A resident of the Santa Cruz Mountains (where he lives with his life, Laurie), Bob expresses his appreciation for the diversity of the South Bay Area. “I’ve lived in the South Bay my whole life, so I’ve seen it grow and become more diverse. Today, we serve customers of all nationalities and walks of life, which gives us an opportunity to learn a lot about different cultures.”
Outside of work, Bob engages in a variety of active pastimes, including fishing and going on road trips with his wife in their motorhome. He also enjoys spending time with his four grown children and five grandchildren, most of whom are local.
In regard to his professional career, Bob embraces a concise yet profound motto: Be it big or be it small, do it right or not at all. “That’s what my father instilled in me, and that’s what we do at Van Briggle Floors,” he affirms. “We pride ourselves on our quality workmanship and service, so if something isn’t right, I’m not happy. I think that’s a big reason our company has continued to be successful all these years.”
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Bob says he plans to stay active. “I’m the kind of guy who gets up early and is going right away—I just have to be busy. So, when I retire, I can’t just sit around. Of course, I’ll travel and go fishing, but you can’t do that all the time, so I’ll have to find other ways of keeping myself occupied. I’m sure I’ll think of something.”