Case Studies

Jack Laurie Group

The Evolution of a Company

Jack Laurie Group (JLG) today is a large, diverse contracting company specializing in every aspect of interior flooring and finishes; however, it wasn’t always that way. The company has evolved to become what it is today over the past 63 years, since its founding in Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1950 by namesake Jack Laurie.

Jack was a commercial floor covering installer who worked primarily with asphalt tile; at that time it was just him, one part-time helper and an old Chesterfield cigarette truck. The company was able to generously expand and become Indiana’s premier interior contractor due to John Laurie, owner and CEO, as well as Dave Foellinger, president and COO.

Today tile is only one of a multitude of floor covering options available to JLG customers. Additionally, the company’s offerings now extend beyond floors to include interior finishes, such as walls and ceilings, as well as floor maintenance services and sports and specialty surfaces. To support such broad activities, JLG has five locations in three cities throughout Indiana – Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Lafayette – and consists of six entities: Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs, JL Commercial Floors, JL Cleaning Services, JL Specialty Surfaces, JL Interiors Contracting, as well as United Flooring Inc.

Once strictly a commercial contractor, JLG now serves residential and industrial customers, as well. Above all else, the goal is to be the one source for its customers; how many needs are being met is a good indicator of success for the company. “We ask ourselves, how deep into a customer we are,” explains Dave. “Are we providing only one of the services we offer to a customer, or are we providing all?”

From Modest Beginnings to Leading the Industry

Though John is the son of Jack, his path to ownership was not direct. In the early 1990s, Jack sold the business to outside owners who struggled to stay afloat. John, after earning a bachelor’s degree at Purdue and a master’s degree at Harvard, came on as a consultant for the owners, and ended up a buyer. With ownership back in the Laurie family, the company began its aggressive pursuit of growth and perfection.

In order to do so, John sought out Dave. “John was a client,” Dave explains. “I was working for a small consulting firm after graduate school. He had an exciting vision for the company, as well as an impressive plan to grow. The timing and the opportunity all seemed to line up and fall into place; we literally first started sketching out my job description on a napkin over breakfast. “

Joining the team in early 1999, Dave’s hire marked a crucial turning point for JLG. By 2001, Dave was charged with the responsibility of driving the growth of the company’s outlet in Indianapolis. A fledgling operation, Dave turned the location into the largest arm of the business, which now employs between 200 and 250 people as the seasons demand.

Four years ago, Dave stepped into his current role. With a large part of his job being driving growth and profitability by developing his team, and successfully integrating external partners through mergers, acquisitions and/or joint ventures, he is truly invested with JLG.

Indeed, the company has been able to broaden its scope through absorbing other well-respected local companies. In order to create JL Interiors Contracting, JLG purchased Delagrange Decorating, an interiors company established in 1971. Additionally in January the company created Jack Laurie Specialty Surfaces, which offers and installs basketball courts, running tracks, as well as gym floors. The new division added epoxy and resinous flooring to the company’s capability with the acquisition of long-established, Engineered Flooring Inc. The company now offers solutions for warehouses, industrial facilities and food processing plants.

It is in this way that JLG has become the full service contractor it is today and one of the Edward Lowe Foundation’s Indiana Companies to Watch. The company is also a three-time recipient of the Inc. Magazine Inner City 100 Award, in addition to receiving the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award, the Indiana Growth 100 Award and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Doing it All, and Doing it Well

In order to be a one-stop interior shop, JLG is committed to selling, installing and maintaining its interior finishes. To cover the selling aspect, the company offers the most comprehensive line of flooring products made by the top manufacturers in the industry for every square inch of a building – foyers, kitchens, restrooms, garages, gyms, conference rooms, living rooms – which includes hardwood, carpet, stone, tile, sheet vinyl and synthetic rubber. New residential showrooms in Carmel, Ind., and Fort Wayne, Ind., provide an inspiring setting in which customers can visualize whether wood or porcelain tile is right for the home.

“Our showrooms also allow customers to ponder what type of carpet is best,” he continues. “The showrooms have many installations of products in different environments to serve as jumping off points for a customer’s imagination.”

JLG is first and foremost a contractor, so installation is at the core of its being. Employing hundreds of installers, JLG is capable of self-performing all of the work that it sells. When customers require union signatory installation, the work falls to independently owned United Flooring Inc., a signatory to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the International Union of Bricklayers. With access to a team with a vast amount of experience, installation has been the crux of the business for six decades.

Due to the company’s extensive and unique abilities, JLG has traveled to jobs far from Indiana, including Central America and Canada. However, JLG generally sticks to work within a 100-mile radius of each of its three locations.

Dave goes on to note that one specialty job the team tackled was a new 30,200-square-foot maple basketball floor for Ice Way Field House, which was completed in March 2013. Past flooring installations for general contractors include work at all the major Indiana universities, including Notre Dame, Butler, Indiana University and Purdue; at Purdue alone, the company completed the physics building, engineering lab, technology center and Stewart Center. In mid-2013, the company completed a $1 million project for Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis that included the flooring for the main hospital and the adjacent medical offices.

After installation is complete, JL Cleaning Services offers floor care and cleaning services. In fact, JLG will extend installation warranties indefinitely for as long as JL Cleaning Services maintains the products. This enables JLG to close the ring and truly provide a cradle to grave to cradle service expertise.

Always About the Customer

In the end, customer satisfaction is the ultimate focus at JLG, and the company controls quality through keeping what it offers in-house as much as it can. “Every service we offer we offer in-house and we prefer to do it that way,” explains Dave. “We utilize subcontractors due to capacity on occasion, but not specialty.” After all, JLG has been specifically designed to handle all things interior and is made up of a dedicated bunch of industry professionals with a passion for the craft.

The company also employs personnel with a background in manufacturing, which allows JLG to incorporate manufacturing best practices and continuous process improvement not often found in the construction industry. “What sets the company apart further is sophistication of, and dedication to, process,” Dave explains.

JLG is confident that it has the most comprehensive product offerings, unmatched installation expertise and outstanding customer service. The team backs up its confidence with full-coverage warranties.

According to Dave, the next few years will continue to bring growth to the company. “Whether that’s another geographic location or touching more customers in existing markets,” he details. “We will continue to drive our growth through our focus on service delivery and continuous process improvement. We’ve really been blessed that we’ve been able to continue to grow every single year and show a profit through that growth.”

Together, maintaining a legacy, Dave and John will keep a keen eye on opportunity and uphold the company’s focus on continuous improvement. The duo will steer Jack Laurie Group further upward on an already impressive course.

Published on: March 14, 2014

Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


Spring 2018



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.