Many people choose hardwood for its timeless appeal. But beyond its prevalence in vintage homes, do you know the real history behind hardwood floors? Don’t worry if you don’t, because today, Floor Coverings International Shallotte wants to share a brief history of hardwood flooring with you! And we’ll end with some modern trends to get you inspired for the future to boot.
Early Stylized Hardwood Floors
The practice of using trees as construction material likely dates far beyond recorded history. But the history of hardwood starts to get juicy in mid-1600’s France, where we see the first known attempt at beautifying hardwood floors in the form of parquet. Parquet is essentially patterned flooring and can reveal itself as either isolated geometric shapes or a consistent pattern laid out across an entire floor space.
While the French were making pretty parquet floors in the safety of France, the settlers of the new world, which would soon become America, were far more focused on surviving the rugged wilderness which they inhabited. Thus, parquetry came to America a full 200 years after it came to France, having appeared as a product of the industrial revolution, which made flooring cheaper and made floor makers more open to experimentation.
While parquet, or geometric, flooring has stayed in use, it occupies a niche today, and stylists consider it something that makes a strong statement.
The Inception of Modern Hardwood
When you think of “hardwood flooring,” a certain image probably comes to mind of neat planks arranged in straight rows with a nice, glossy finish. This image can actually be traced back to its inception, which came about thanks to the invention of a flooring technique known as tongue-and-groove installation. Tongue-and-groove simply describes a method of connecting planks together which proved itself faster and better than other flooring installation methods of the time. While it may have been invented in 1920, it was so genius that flooring professionals still use the technique today, despite modern advances in technology!
Modern Trends in Hardwood Flooring
Since the tongue-and-groove technique, subsequent advances in hardwood flooring mostly fell into the category of glossing and finishing techniques, as well as the invention of materials which can imitate hardwood’s appearance, such as vinyl and laminate flooring. There’s a lot to cover within a huge topic like modern hardwood flooring. But there’s no time like the present to dive in!
To that end, here are some current trends in flooring that are sure to stay on the rise:
- Gray Hardwood – Gray hardwood offers a contemporary, modern, and chic look, which leaves a space open to being accented by other colors.
- Wide Planks – Wide-plank flooring stands out as trendy, especially when combined with cutting-edge finishes like gray or jet-black. The wider planks allow more of the wood’s natural grain pattern to show through, which also makes them easy on the eyes.
- Red or White Oak – Oak is stylistically unobtrusive, and can therefore instantly elevate the atmosphere of any existing space. It is also one of the cheapest hardwoods, which contributes to its popularity in no small way.
- Laminate and Vinyl – These alternatives offer the appearance of hardwood and often do so at a lower cost than true hardwood. The low cost is not a reflection of their quality, though. In fact, they can offer advantages over hardwood, such as being more resistant to water damage and easier to maintain over time.
Are you captured by any particular styles? From classic to modern, Floor Coverings International Shallotte can help you decide which style might be best. Give us a call to schedule an appointment with our mobile showroom. Or, just come into our store and check out the different styles for yourself! We are proud to serve our Shallotte, Ocean Isle Beach, Southport & St. James customers!
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