For over 40 years, innovation has lead the way for family flooring firm, McKay Flooring. And there are no signs of slowing down yet.
The former schoolhouse on Glasgow’s Southside has been home to McKay flooring for years but the history of the company goes back further than that. Archie McKay began his career at McDougal’s, a long since defunct business that fitted flooring throughout Glasgow and the West of Scotland in the 1960’s and 70’s. Moving from office boy to fitter allowed Archie to gain the skills needed to take advantage of McDougals liquidation when he offered to finish on-going flooring jobs for various contractors left in the lurch by the company’s closure. This opportunity was to be the catalyst that helped create McKay Flooring, one of the UK’s leading flooring specialists.
Although quite rare at the time, focusing on wood flooring and the supply and installation of sports flooring allowed the company to grow in its own right.
McKay Flooring still supply and fit sports flooring today but they have also been able to take advantage of the popularity of wood for the domestic market. This has helped them expand into a multi-million pound organisation that supplies and fits specialist floor coverings throughout the length and breadth of the UK.
Today, the company is now under the management of Richard, son of Archie and one of the family’s second generation that help run the business today
McKay Flooring Q&A
Q: How long have you worked for the family business?
Archie McKay: I’ve been with the family firm since 1998. Originally I trained and worked as a Quantity Surveyor, working with companies such as Bonningtons and Medlock in Glasgow. I was looking for a change and an opportunity arose at McKay. I wasn’t sure if it would work but it must have as I’ve been here for 18 years.
Q: What services do you offer?
A: We supply and fit a number of flooring types including wood, reclaimed wood, LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles), parquet, Aquastep and specialist sports flooring and vinyl. We also offer sanding and sealing services for both domestic and commercial clients when required.
Q: What makes your company unique?
A: We truly are a family business, with my sisters and I running the business today, but we have managed to make it a commercial success where other family organisations have sometimes faltered. We don’t rest on our laurels and we strive to innovate wherever possible. We were at the forefront of the whisky barrel-flooring trend and also launched a number of unique products such as coloured parquet that helped establish our name in the flooring industry.
But rest assured, Archie is still in the background helping out with the management of the business. He has taken a step back but it will always be his baby to some extent.
Q: What innovations are you most proud of?
A: The word brand is often used incorrectly but we are proud of turning the McKay name into a respected brand in the flooring industry. We have also developed a number of products that have evolved into standalone brands in their own right.
We create our marketing in-house as well as the websites that promote them. Something we are extremely proud of, especially when we can see the impact they make when promoting and selling our products.
Q: Do you have any products or services you would recommend for bathroom flooring?
A: LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) and Aquastep, a specialist floor covering for wet and humid areas are great choices. We also supply new and reclaimed flooring for bathrooms as well. As long as the wood is sanded and then sealed on site you won’t get any of the problems that might arise with pre-treated wood. Lots of products work for bathrooms but you can’t beat the warm, natural feeling of wood, underfoot.
Q: What plans does McKay Flooring have for the future?
A: We are always trying to innovate. When your products are a bit different they travel well on social media and blogs, which in turn allows us to control and drive traffic through our own sites. Our latest growth area is through our sub-brand, faither.co.uk where we design and make unique wall and floor coverings. Products like photo luminescent parquet and coloured reclaimed flooring. They’re quirky and are bringing in a lot of enquiries from the commercial and leisure market along with interior designers looking to provide something new and different. Anything that becomes popular in the commercial design world usually filters down into the domestic market.
We are always working on new ideas so it’s just a case of finding the time to implement everything alongside delivering our existing products and services. But as long as we continue to move forward we can continue to grow, as it won’t be long before the next generation of McKay’s are ready to take the reins.
McKay Flooring Ltd.
8 Harmony Square, Govan