The Little Known History Of Wood Flooring: Part One

What do you picture when you think of a house in Europe during the 1600s? You probably picture a beautiful home covered in lavish wood flooring right? Well, this is completely historically inaccurate. Here at Floorless Floors, we have a passion for educating and promoting our products so that you, the customer, can know every detail of your home. Over the course of the next few months, we will be detailing the history of wood floors and how they became known for becoming such a predominant material in the flooring industry and how it led to becoming a popular look for laminate flooring such as ours. 

Show Me The Money

The history of wood flooring dates back to the 1600s during the Baroque period which lasted from 1625-1714. This period of time had a wide gap between the rich and the poor. In order to show off how wealthy the rich were, they would do things to their home to show off the money that had obtained. One of the ways that they did this was wood flooring. The amount of wood needed to craft wooden floors was extremely costly which is why the lower class was not able to afford it. 

The flooring of this time period was not simply planks of wood laid down side by side. They would hand-cut and fitted together in three-dimensional designs. After this, they would be rubbed with sand and then stained to have a slick polished finish. This craftsmanship is something that has stood the test of time. You are able to see examples of this flooring in places like Versailles to this day.

New World, New Floors

The history of wood flooring, as being able to be obtained by every class did not truly start until 1607 when the 13 colonies came to be. The abundance of wood in the new world allowed the colonists to use wood to construct everything that they possibly could. You see before this period of time, many homes would not have flooring at all and would instead be the leveled dirt. During the wintertime, they would lay down hay to gain a bit of insulation.

The wood flooring that was crafted for many of these homes was not nearly as nice as you would often see in the lavish homes back in Europe though. The cut that would come from the tree would be uneven in both length and width leading it to look more humble than the way wood flooring looks now. These planks of wood typically lack staining but would eventually get that shine from years of use. 

As the pieces were laid down, they would often not be put into perfect order as one would expect from many floor types like high-gloss laminate flooring, and would instead be butted together as tightly as possible. This would leave many gaps within the wood which would allow the wood to slowly open more in time because of the fluctuations of temperature and humidity. It would not provide a good amount of insulation either allowing cold air to pass through the entire house from the basement below. 

This eventually led to a technique called “Ship-Lapping” which is what you see on all wood flooring nowadays. This simple technique allows for an interlocking cut in each piece of wood so that the plank can be more closely tied to the adjacent board. This was to combat the gap that would usually present itself when it would shrink.

The Flooring You Need

Wood flooring is what helped lead the way for flooring to become a necessity for anyone building a home so that it would be warm during the wintertime. Not only that, but it became a piece in your home that could tie the room together and give you the lavish look that you wanted. This is why Floorless Floors has become dedicated to giving you a high-gloss laminate flooring that is not only easy to install but also is extremely beautiful. Contact us today to learn more about our flooring and we look forward to seeing you read part two of the little known history of wooden floors!

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