A short history of wood flooring

When wooden flooring was first used it was reserved for very wealthy people and years could be spent finishing a single floor. Most people could not afford to have anything more than dirt on their floors and it would be a long time before average homes could enjoy the warmth and ‘luxury’ of wood flooring.

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The very first owners of wood floors were royalty, and by around 1625, intricate designs were being cut to make mosaic, parquet and herringbone. Each piece was cut by hand and the floors were smoothed by being scrubbed with sand. This is where the term sanding originally came from – floors were literally sanded with sand.

Boom in wood supply

As settlers started to call North America home, the supply of wood increased and wooden floors became popular on both sides of the Atlantic as a result. The masses started to enjoy the benefits of wood plank flooring during the Colonial era. Find out more about Colonial times at http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/colonial/jb_colonial_subj.html.

In England, tongue and groove flooring became popular among the middle classes between 1901 and 1914. Hot tar was used as an adhesive and hardwood was laid onto a flat concrete surface.

Wooden flooring lost some market share during the 1920s and 1930s as linoleum and cork became popular and wooden flooring was a choice for mainly wealthy people once again. This time also saw a major fall in the price of carpet, making this a viable flooring choice for a much wider group of people who had previously found the cost prohibitive.

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Wooden floors today

As a result of the availability of engineered wood flooring and other choices, wood floors are once again popular amongst all sorts of people. All types of wooden flooring, such as those available from companies like http://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/engineered-wood-flooring.html, are now viewed as a long-lasting, durable and fashionable flooring solution. There is also lots of pricing choice to enable floors to be chosen depending on budget.

At the start, wooden flooring was not finished. It was simply worn smooth over generations of use. In later years, wax, shellac, varnish and polyurethane have all been used as forms of finish.

Today, there has never been more choice in terms of the wooden flooring available, choice of the type of wood used and also the overall finish of the product.