Rochester Hardwood Floors of Utica Celebrates 100 Years in Business

Rochester Hardwood Floors of Utica is celebrating the company’s 100th anniversary this year. The company is a fourth generation, family-owned, hardwood flooring company that was initially founded by brothers Cameil and Jules Claeys in 1918 in Utica, New York, as Rochester Flooring Co.

The brothers were immigrants from Belgium and brought with them the knowledge of installing all types of hardwoods including the “Rochester” style floors. The duo also specialized in the scraping and refinishing of floors already in existence.

Around 1932, the brothers decided to part ways, and Cameil began operating under the Rochester Hardwood Floor Co. Cameil had two sons, Bob and Donald, who grew up learning the trait from their father. After Cameil’s passing in 1947, Bob and Don took over the ownership of the flooring company and ran it together for some years.

After Donald decided to pursue other opportunities, Bob kept the business in operation and renamed the company Robert F. Claeys Floors. Along with his wife Vicky, Bob serviced Utica and surrounding areas, as well as expanding into areas such as Oneida, Little Falls, and Old Forge. He was able to take the business to new levels despite many changes to the flooring industry.

Bob retired in 1982, and handed over ownership of the flooring company to his sons Jerry and Bill. They renamed the company Rochester Hardwood Floors of Utica, Inc., under which the company still operates today. After parting ways in 2003 with his brother, Jerry ran the floor company with his wife Sandy for the next few years. In 2006, their son Kevin started at the company on a full-time basis. Shortly after that their daughter Kimberly also joined into the business.

Now a fourth generation floor company, Jerry still runs the floor company along with the help of his son, Kevin, wife Sandy, daughter-in-law Shilo, and daughter Kim.

Learn more about the company at

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