Hardwood was first used for flooring in the medieval period, but in those early days the wood was installed in massive planks up to two feet wide. The big leap forward came in the 1600’s when Louis XIV constructed his huge palace at Versailles. Craftsmen created ornate floors with complex patterns out of small pieces of various species of wood. This style of flooring remained the preserve of the very rich for another couple of centuries, as all work had to be done by hand and so the labour costs were very high. More humble homes both in Europe and the Americas had plank floors, usually of softer pine which wore down easily. The Industrial Revolution changed all that. By the 1880s, steam-powered machines could cut and plane hardwood strips for use as floorboards. At the same time the new tongue-and-groove method made it possible to easily achieve a level floor surface without extensive scraping and sanding after installation. This began the great era of hardwood flooring, lasting well into the 1950s post-war building boom. Then, alternatives such as vinyl and wall-to-wall carpeting became increasingly popular. While some hardwood floors got buried under layers of padding and carpet or vinyl, new construction often only installed plywood subfloors before going for the new floor coverings.
Today, many homeowners- and buyers! want the classic look of a gleaming hardwood floor. You might be lucky, especially if your home was built prior to 1960. Try peeling back your carpet or vinyl and see what’s underneath. If there’s an intact hardwood floor there, all you need to do is remove the current floor covering, repair any bad spots, and then refinish the wood floor. The great thing about a good hardwood floor is that it can last for a very long time, as long as it is maintained properly. It’s probably a good idea to hire a professional to refinish your floor. They have the equipment and expertise to sand down your floor until it is smooth and flawless, and then apply the finish for a stunning final look which will last for years with minimal maintenance!
A new hardwood floor is easily installed and can instantly upgrade your home!
If your home was built after 1960, there’s a good chance that you don’t have hardwood floors already. Your existing carpet or vinyl is probably covering up a plywood subfloor. However, a new hardwood floor is easily installed and can instantly upgrade your home! Today’s hardwood flooring has a great advantage over earlier ones- planks are available prefinished, so once they are nailed down, there’s no messy sanding or finishing to live through before you can use your floor. As well, many modern hardwood floorboards are wider than the classic narrow strips of the twentieth century. Most are available in planks from five to seven inches wide. This makes them faster to install and creates a less busy-looking floor because there are fewer lines running across. While eventually you will have to get the floor refinished, the factory finishes are so durable that, depending on how much traffic the floor takes, you could wait up to twenty years or more before refinishing is required!
A hardwood floor is a classic choice for a living room. A gleaming wood floor, in either light or dark tones, will look perfect on its own or when matched with an attractive area rug to soften the space. It works well with both modern or traditional décor, and if the tone is neutral enough, such as maple or oak, it can easily accommodate a change in colours in the furnishings and paint. A new hardwood floor can turn your living room into a showplace-worthy space! Hardwood flooring used to be a NO for kitchens, but a factory finished hardwood floor is very water-resistant and durable. Especially if you have an open kitchen/living room combination, don’t be afraid to use the same flooring throughout the space! In fact, with the possible exception of the bathroom and laundry room, modern hardwood flooring is a perfect option for every room in the house! Especially in a smaller home, using one floor surface throughout can make it seem more spacious. Whether you’re upgrading an existing house, or building a new one, installing hardwood flooring will lift your home from standard to deluxe. Affordable and easy to maintain, it’s a flooring option that has stood the test of time!
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Surely we’re all familiar with what can happen if you don’t have flooring that can withstand water. No matter how fast you can wipe it up, the liquid will quickly seep down into the floor, leading to staining, warping, mold and even damaging the ceilings below in extreme circumstances. If you’re looking at installing new flooring, consider the options available to you in both traditional and newly developed surfaces! You may end up waterproofing your whole house!