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The evolution of wood flooring

Hard wood flooring is a coveted commodity in any home. Many people consider it a traditional mode of flooring that adds value to the home and outlasts many of our more modern solutions. Wood flooring has been around for thousands of years. In fact, it was one of the first flooring solutions ever discovered. It was a ready alternative to dirt floors, and provided some sort of barrier against the elements. Taking a trip through the history of wood flooring shows that it was initially a design created out of necessity. The original settlers who decided to create permanent places to live needed a way to protect their floors and to insulate their homes. They chose to use the Older hardwood trees that grew around them.

Because these woods were much older, they had to work towards the centre of the trees using what was called heartwood. This translated in to a tightly grained and wide planked flooring design that was actually more durable than the flooring that we use today. This was because of the age of the wood and in the lack of excessive cutting.

The planks were initially left at a more uniformed thickness. This means that the wood itself lost less of its strength in the process of preparing it to become the floor. Most of our products today are created from the younger trees and polished to the point of losing some of their thickness. The majority of the flooring types that we currently use aren’t going to last for hundreds of years like their original predecessors.

The very first floor planks were roughhewn and definitely not pretty. They weren’t anything like the beautifully polished floors we’re used to today. They were often split by hand because the craftsmen did not have access to things like circular saws. While this was a sufficient, it also left gaps in between the boards as the temperatures fluctuated. This led to drafts and other issues as the boards expanded and shrank. Eventually, the carpenters took a page from the Sailors, and started overlapping the planks. This is very different than the flooring installation in London that we know of today.

In the 18th century, the idea of decorative wood flooring became very popular. People began to arrange the planks in such a way as to form different patterns. They would often do things like checkerboards, stars, and other designs that showed off the different types of woods. This is where they first began to understand the beauty and the value of different types of wood grain. They also began to experiment with different colours of wood. They would often put different types of wood together to create a contrast that added to the overall design.

It wasn’t long after this and that they begin to polish and enrich the flooring. It became very important to take care of the hardwood flooring, and this showed in activities such as waxing and laying down imported carpeting. To avoid the roughhewn look of the original hardwood flooring, people were known to paint their floors.

They either did this, or they would cover them with large and decorative rugs. If the floors themselves when not decorative, then the homeowner found ways to make them so. They would sometimes lay a rug in the centre of the room, and then paint the area around the outside of the rug to cover any imperfections in the wood.

Hardwood flooring has come an incredibly long way from where it began. It’s now a gorgeous addition to any home, and definitely something worth looking into.

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