A Brief Look at Hardwood Floors and It’s Importance

Nothing compares to the richness and warmth of when you install hardwood floors. While hardwood selections can vary from vinyl plank flooring to engineered hardwood flooring, you can also choose from a wide variety of finishes, and a range of wood species from the familiar Maple, Oak, and Beech, Australian Jarrah, or even exotics like Cocobolo and Bocote. You can even install laminate flooring that looks so close to hardwood you would never know the difference. Wherever you want to install hardwood floors, it can help create the atmosphere you want, calm or lively, warm or modern, or anything else in between.

While today the idea to install hardwood floors is far from lacking in popularity, in the past, they have not always been an instant hit. In medieval times hardwood floors were used for multi-story buildings and usually consisted of two-foot wide planks of elm or oak. Parquet wood flooring became very popular, but its labor-intensive process made its price beyond most of the middle class. When Europeans began developing North America with its plentiful forests, it became more common to install hardwood floors and they were offered to the colonies at a much fairer price. However, at this time unsanded unfinished pine planks were most common.

By the early 19th-century plank floors remained the norm and were usually treated with paint. More modest houses would have random width boards simply face nailed to the joists. The introduction of tongue and grove brought the standards of common hardwood floors to a new level, with the introduction of mass production in the 1920s making this more affordable flooring and introducing a boom to those industries that install hardwood floors. At the same time, in the 1920s and 30s wooden floors came into competition with linoleum and cork floors, which offered a more basic geometry, and less maintenance.

All of this changed at the close of World War Two when housing built for vets could have the broadloom cost included in the loan. Carpet quickly overtook hardwood flooring in the market and was commonly installed over hardwood. For about 30 years (1950-1980) the wood flooring industry struggled just for survival. Over the years, hardwood installation techniques have been refined and innovative sealers and finishes have been introduced to the market. The result is that whenever you install hardwood floors, you can be sure that they will last a lifetime when properly installed and cared for. That, combined with a modern-day consumer’s desire for an easier-to-clean alternative to carpet, has led to hardwood flooring’s popularity. Also- with the variety of easy-to-use methods, refinishing hardwood floors is simpler than ever.

With tons of different species, shades, and other unique characteristics available, you can use the beauty of classic hardwood flooring to complement nearly any décor.