Hardwood floors are a beautiful staple in many American homes, giving these homes a classic and elegant look. Wood flooring has long been a part of American home-building, and has an interesting history in the United States.
The hardwood floors that we know in the United States today have roots in Europe, where originally hardwood flooring could only be afforded by royalty and the ultra-wealthy. This was due in part to the fact that wood flooring was incredibly labor-intensive, and thus very expensive. These early wood floors were very literally “sanded,” or worn smooth by being scraped with handfuls of sand by laborers on their hands and knees.
Early wood floors also required an exorbitant amount of work, as most of them were sealed with wax, which needed to be buffed away and re-applied regularly.
Settlers in Colonial America greatly expanded the use of hardwood in flooring, because wood was so readily available, and thus more affordable. To get around sanding the floor, colonists and early Americans simply allowed years of foot traffic to wear down and smooth the boards on its own. This meant avoiding the rigorous sanding process, but also required socks and shoes be worn in the house constantly to avoid getting a splinter in your foot!
For early Americans, having wood floors was well worth the effort. Wood is a natural insulator, and kept homes warmer than stone or dirt floors. Additionally, hardwood floors did not allow the same dust and mud to invade the home as dirt floors did. Finally, these floors were resilient, as a properly-cared-for hardwood floor can last for hundreds of years.
Not only were wood floors practical, but they were used to beautify homes as well. The practice of parquetry, which involved intricately arranging small pieces of wood together to form elegant patterns, became a popular choice in early America.
The end of WWII brought with it a surge in technological advancements, including the ability to more easily produce affordable carpeting, which in turn resulted in a decline in the popularity of hardwood flooring. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the classic hardwood look returned to popularity.
No matter how long you have had your hardwood floor, N-Hance can keep it looking beautiful, so your home feels both classic and comfortable for years to come.