Hard wood floors have come a long way since its inception and the variety available now is immense. From its humble beginnings in the 17th Century to what it has become nowadays, it’s safe to say that without those initial steps it would never have become the industry it is today. Hard wood floors are very popular in America and around the world. Natural wood adds elegance and sophistication to any home and transforms the overall look. In this article shall take you along to a brief tour through the history of wood floors and how they came to be in America.
The first ever Wood Floors – 17th Century
The first wood floors started to surface in the 17th century when America began to settle into the colonial era. The forests were plentiful back then and wood was utilized for lots of things like walls, floors and frames. The use of wood for flooring became very common among the many settlers that came from various parts of the world. The wood was acquired from big old trees that were sawed by hand. Wood was in great supply, which rendered the use of anything else just impractical and left the boards pretty big due to its massive size.
In Europe however simple planks were quite common, but once the Baroque era came about the artistic marquet and parquet designs were seen in wealthy homes. Intricate designs were cut out by hand and placed in contrasting patterns/colors to create the final look. This particular style of flooring took lots of painstaking hours to complete and required good craftsman as well.
18th Century (Wood Floors)
In the 18th Century is was common to see painted wooden floors, as the practice of using paint for walls began then. A very popular pattern back then was a geometric design that resembled a checkerboard.
Another thing that caught on was covering up the wooden floors with carpeting. When the industrial age finally started it brought even more choices and potential. The development of electric and steam power during the 18th century led to the demand of even better material for flooring. Oak was the wood of choice back then because of its abundant availability. When power loom came into focus middle class families began carpeting their homes as that was more affordable.
19th Century (wood Floors)
This is the era when steam woodworking machinery came into full function, thereby enabling wooden floors to be more accessible to people. These wood floors appeared to have a better finish to them when compared to earlier standards.
It was during this time that people began polishing their wooden floors with things such as orange shellac, wax etc. When this eventually wore off, it would be removed and reapplied once again.
20th Century (Wood Floors)
This Century really defined wooden floors when ‘groove and tongue’ boards were made available. This allowed planks to be leveled prior to installation. This is the type of flooring being used even today with the addition of polyurethane. Polyurethane provides a non-wax finish and does a much better job in sealing and protecting the wood.
In 1980 lots of American homes began using wood floors as more people discovered the various benefits, as well as the beauty and elegance, that wood floors offer.
House Remodeling Center specializes in hardwood flooring in Suffolk County NY and the surroundings.