The History of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a classic style choice in many modern homes, but you might be wondering about their history. You might be surprised to learn that hardwood flooring dates back to the 1600s, keep reading to find out more!

Baroque Hardwood Floors

The rise of wooden flooring began in the early 17th Century, during the Baroque period. This is a time when arts such as architecture, sculpture and music flourished in Europe.

During the Baroque period, artistic hardwood floors such as the French Parquet style started to appear in grand buildings such as mansions. Initially limited to royalty and other wealthy individuals, these floors utilised high levels of workmanship by skilled craftsmen. With each stave of wood being hand-cut and carefully arranged to form the correct pattern, it would take an incredibly long time to complete. Once installed, the floor would be smoothed out using hand tools and loose sand, very different to the floor sanding process we use today. 

A few Baroque floors still exist today, which highlights how durable hardwood flooring can be. It is also a testament to the hard work and craftsmanship of those who installed the flooring hundreds of years ago. 

Softwood and Hardwood Floors

Hardwood is the more durable option for wooden flooring, making it the preferred choice. There was a period when hardwoods became more difficult to obtain in the UK, causing people to turn to softwoods as a cost-effective solution. Softwoods include pine and cedar and are still used today as a cheaper alternative to hardwood flooring (making up 80% of the UK timber market). Many would have their softwood floors painted to create the illusion of hardwood floors, or by covering them up with carpets and rugs.

Post-War Hardwood Flooring

After the Second World War, flooring choices changed drastically. Hardwood flooring became an outdated option, with people opting for carpets as a more affordable option. Many would cover their hardwood floors with carpet, and softwood was the preferred choice for subflooring. 

The hardwood flooring industry struggled in this period, with installers being overworked and overpaid to cope with the reduction in demand. This led to lower quality workmanship and, as a result, a negative impact on the reputation of hardwood floors. The beauty of hardwood flooring was rediscovered in the early nineties and is still seen in the modern-day. 

Modern Hardwood Floors

With the development of technology and skilled workmanship, hardwood floors are a viable option for many modern homes. With efficient, professional installation at a reasonable price, many people are choosing to invest in hardwood flooring. As well as this, engineered hardwood boards are a more affordable option. These combine cheaper materials with a layer of hardwood to produce a floor with the appearance and durability of a hardwood floor at a reduced cost. 

With an incredibly wide range of hardwood flooring options, you’re sure to find the perfect option for your home. 

Your Hardwood Flooring

Thinking of having a hardwood floor installed in your home? You’ve come to the right place! Here at RYANS, we can help you create your ideal floor. With styles such as herringbone, plank, wide plank and 2-strip, you can find the right option for your space. You’ll also have the opportunity to customise your floor with stains and finishes. 

Choosing to invest in a hardwood floor not only gives you an extremely stylish, durable floor, it also increases the value of your property. We can find a floor to fit your budget and complement your home. 

Alternatively, if you already have hardwood floors, you might want to consider having them restored. As previously discussed, hardwood floors can last hundreds of years! Through the process of floor sanding, we can bring back your floor’s shine, removing any imperfections or damages in the wood. This process can take our expert team as little as three days to complete. 

Interested in our floor installation or sanding services? We’re happy to help! Chat to our team today by giving us a call on 01823 674562 or by visiting our contact page