Hardwood Floors: A History

As most homeowners will tell you, hardwood flooring is highly desirable. In fact, data gathered by the National Association of Realtors reveals that 54% of people buying homes are willing to pay more for a house if it has hardwood floors. Now, there are many advantages of hardwood flooring, but why exactly are they so highly coveted?

Hardwood Floors Through History
Although hardwood floors came onto the scene at the very beginning of the 17th century, it wasn’t until 1625 that they started to integrate common aesthetic concepts that you might find today. Geometric patterns and veneer pieced designs were handcrafted in French styles, then installed in the richest European homes.

This prestigious type of flooring made its way to American elites by the mid 19th century, when early colonists started to utilize the land’s massive natural forest resources. Hardwood flooring first came to the masses toward the end of the 19th century with the not so great invention of the wood carpet. This was essentially hardwood planks attached to a rolled-up canvas. As one might imagine, it wasn’t durable at all.

The beginning of the 20th century marks the mass-market adoption of tongue and groove hardwood floors. This made planks able to be pre-polished, made installation easier, but still relied on handcrafters and installation. The tongue and groove pattern, though, is something that’s still with us today.

Most styles of hardwood flooring in the late 20th and 21st centuries followed a more plain and conservative look, doing away with intricate and austere geometric patterns. In the last year, though, a trend toward rekindling the love of high minded design has emerged. Many individuals are looking into old accent hardwood floors in the modern world.

This all goes to show that ever since the first rich European decided to walk on wooden planks inside, the value society assigns to hardwood flooring has been anything but inconsistent. We covet this type of floor for the status, sure, but also for the aesthetic and natural virtues it exemplifies.

Hardwood floors are beautiful, prestigious, and bring character to any room. That is where they get their value.