ROOTS: WHEN DID WOOD FLOORING BEGIN?
Wood has been used as flooring for more than 400 decades. As a flooring material, it had been shaped by the challenges it had to confront, but there are lots of reasons why it’s stood the test of time.
THE COLONIAL ERA (1607-1780)
The humble beginnings of timber flooring were in the kind of thick tight-grained planks roughly cut from the abundant ancient forests of America during the Colonial Era. These enormous trees (mainly old-growth Pine) were laboriously cut and fashioned by hand into very large rustic floorboards which were left unprotected by any finishes.
There were early efforts to complete wood with wax out of the mid-1700s. This soft finish managed to withstand water and wear, but it needed to be frequently reapplied since it wore off so quickly.
BAROQUE ERA (1625-1714)
The Baroque Era saw the coming of timber flooring in European houses. Ordinarily, these were put very simply in houses that previously had beaten ground floors.
Originating in the homes of French nobility, a new type of floors appeared in Versailles, France, during this moment. Skilled craftsmen hand cut small pieces of various coloured hardwoods into artistic geometric patterns. These complex Parquet floors designs became popular with society’s elite circles. The craftsmen began experimenting with finishes and stains, and these elaborate fashions became trendy with the very wealthy, which makes a considerable mark on the world of interior design.
VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN ERAS (1837 — 1914)
During the Victorian Era, technological advances of the industrial age introduced machines which elegant the timber milling process. This result in a considerable increase in wood production.
The industrial revolution and the need for greater housing resulted in an increased demand for timber flooring materials. Oak was broadly available and became popular after due to its strength, workability, and natural beauty. Alternatives were still restricted to local species of shrub currently, and since hardwoods became harder to supply, softwoods were sometimes used as a less expensive choice.
The fashion of European parquet floors spread across the Atlantic and could be found in a few of the most lavish and lavish homes.
Varnishes found from the mid-eighteenth century came into use on wood flooring soon after. Penetrating varnish oils such as Tung and Linseed oils became more popular about 1865.
Wood milling technology progressed quickly, bringing higher quality goods to market. Vast improvements in the timber flooring arrived between 1885-1898, with the development of machines called the side-matcher and the end-matcher. These machines allowed mills to add tongue and groove joints to floorboards. This meant that they can be fitted more quickly and efficiently than previously and concealed nail holes to make a much more uniform, refined appearance. It soon became the most common domestic floor in the Edwardian Era. Herringbone patterns with membranes and tongue also became more common.
A broader variety of national hardwoods were now being used, and much more exotic species began to be imported to their aesthetic and structural properties.
After controlling the residential floor marketplace centuries, hardwood floors eventually had any competition from linoleum and cork from the 1920s. These brand new floors stuff immediately became popular because they’re inexpensive, easy to fit, and simple to keep.
From the 1930s improvements in protective endings, like the debut of Polyurethane, higher durability of timber flooring. Because of this, timber continued to battle increasingly hard competition from newer products on the marketplace. On the other hand, the tendency for more economical resilient flooring lasted.
POST-WORLD WAR II
Following World War II, rugs became a much more affordable option because of mass production of synthetic fibres. Carpets were currently a prevalent option. This marked the start of a thirty-year decline in the use of timber floors in national properties.
Polyurethane pushed apart poor wood finishes such as natural shellacs and varnishes. It supplied a hard, protective surface which made wood floors much easier to clean and maintain.
Unfortunately, the standing of wood flooring as a luxury alternative was tarnished due to widespread corner-cutting in the wood flooring industry because it fought hard to endure. Pay cuts for flooring fitters led to a fall in the standard of workmanship, especially in parquet floors. This damaged the public perception of a hardwood floor.
Luckily, the mid-80s brought a timber flooring revival, and customers rediscovered the classic warmth and natural beauty of wood.
Generation improvements as well as the availability of engineered flooring increased the affordability and flexibility of hardwood floors. It also made it a much more sustainable option. Pre-finished floorboards also gained popularity, allowing clients to prevent the hassle and costs of onsite finishing.
Technology in the world of wood floors has come on leaps and bounds over time. It’s currently an extremely versatile flooring choice, and there are an infinite number of texture, tone, and style choices available.
Chaunceys’ range of engineered timber flooring is constructed using 6mm solid wood veneer that’s secured to a core board made from high-grade birch plywood. It is a really stable board acceptable for any area, such as areas with underfloor heating.
Employing innovative manufacturing methods, we could make wood flooring to your exact specifications. Our hardwood flooring finishes are now more durable than ever and are available in a vast selection of tones and sheen degrees to match all preferences.