History of Wood Floors

Wood floors have always been the domain of only the wealthiest people, including kings, queens, museums and churches in the world for centuries. Expert craftsmen labored for years on the same floor, meticulously cutting each intricate inlay or pattern by hand. The only other wood floors in existence were the rough, hand-hewn planks wood floors that formed the surface of some commoners' residences. Either way, each wood floor was the result of a painstaking hand-cutting process. The wood flooring industry more closely resembling the one we know today began just before the turn of the 20th century.

In 1885, the side-matcher was developed, creating flooring with a groove on one long side and a tongue on the other. This new milling allowed wood floors to be blind-nailed. The flooring was 7/8 inch thick, 2 1/2 or 3 1/4 inch wide, and most pieces were at least eight feet long. Thirteen years later, in 1898, the end matcher appeared. Until that point, all flooring ends of each
piece had to be on joists, as subfloors were not commonly used.

As the 20th century began, several important changes occurred in the industry. The side-matcher could allow hollow-backing on the boards, making them lighter and allowing them to conform better to subfloors, which were beginning to be commonplace. Flooring dimensions slimmed down: 5/16 inch, square -edge flooring and 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch flooring were introduced, helping to decrease hefty freight charges. Central heating was coming on the scene and wreaking havoc with wood floors, but the advent of the dry kiln gave flooring a better chance to succeed in normal living conditions.



While flooring mills were burning their own waste to generate the own electricity and heat, installers in the field had nothing but their own physical strength and a few tools to get the job done - typically a hatchet, hand saw, hammer, pry bar, block plane and string. Perhaps the most labor-intensive aspect of the job was the scraping process. Instead of sanding the floor, men would go down on their knees and pull scraper blades across the floor. It didn't take long for floor men to find an
easier way to smooth the floor, and in the 1920s, a machine scraper was invented.

With the advent of World War II, wood flooring production went into overdrive, with government flooring projects measured by the acre instead of the square foot. The 1940s also saw the introduction of the sanding machine, with power nailers and power saws introduced during the 1950s. Finishes changed and improved during this time as well, with lacquer coming on the scene.

After the war, the country experienced a building boom, and an increasing demand for wood flooring. In 1955, wood flooring reached its peak production at more than 1.2 billion board feet that year. In some areas, contractor companies were installing floors in as many as 50 houses per day.

In 1966, the Federal Housing Authority, along with other leading agencies, began approving carpet as part of a 30-year mortgage. Hardwood floors were no longer a necessity, and the industry experienced a significant set-back. It was not uncommon for companies to go from installing 30,000 feet per week to 4,000 a week in just six months. This trend continued into the 70s and early 80s, with the industry bottoming out in 1982. Since then, the numbers have climbed steadily, presently at more than six times the level they were in the early 80s.

FREE WOOD FLOOR QUOTESToday's market has diversified to an extraordinary level. Professional installers enjoy a variety of specialized pneumatic and power tools that eliminate much of the hard labor associated with the industry's humble beginnings, while consumers can choose from a multitude of species from across the globe, a variety of finishes, including waterborne finishes that appears on the scene in the 1980s.

Custom Wood Floors have made it possible to have a 1-of-A-Kind wood floor in your home, office, or common areas as well as many public and private buildings. They include, but NOT limited to:
Installation of Wood Floor Accents, Borders, Crest or Medallions, Mixed Media involving stones, and metals, Ornamental Wood Floors, Parquets and Painted Wood Floors. These mediums often use many types of Domestic & Imported Exotic Wood Floor Species. And with today modern WoodCustom Wood Floors-job site finished Floor Finishes, many sheen levels, as well hardness levels, and custom finishes are available. Maintenance and care has never been easier. Wood Floors are a life time investment that should be dealt with seriously from the technical aspects to the wide variety of wood floor products and their specific application.

Today's Construction Methods

Saw Cut vs Knife Cut

Installing Wood Floors

Installing Wood Floors

Step by step procedures, layout, design, specialty installation, handling, storage of material & proper nail sequence

Custom Wood Floors:

Installing Wood Floors

Step by step procedures, layout, design, specialty installation, handling, storage of material & proper nail sequence

Painted Wood Floors

Installing Wood Floors

Custom 1-of-a-kind, faux finishes painted onto wood floors, faux marble, brass inlays, exotic wood floor species, and painted oriental carpets

Finishing Wood Floors

Finishing Wood Floors

Step by step how to refinish old & new wood floors, types of finishes, application techniques, do's & don'ts

Exotic Wood Floors

Exotic Wood Floors

Imported exotic wood floors with more than 90 species, hardness, color samples

Plank Wood Floors

Plank Wood Floors

An old American tradition, wide plank wood floors of many species from 3" - 10" planks

Prefinished Wood Floors

Installing Wood Floors

gives you an insight of this factory finished product vs unfinished hardwood flooring, room setting photo gallery

Bamboo Floors

Installing Wood Floors

This wood floor product that can be laid on any proper subfloor including concrete. Prefinished or unfinished.

Engineered Wood Floors

This wood floor product that can be laid on any proper subfloor including concrete. Prefinished or unfinished.

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Hardwood Floors
Online Directory

Accents

Borders

Choosing a Wood Floor Contractor

Domestic Species

Exotic Imported Species

FAQ when Buying

Finishing Wood Floors

Hardwood Floors
Online Directory

History of Wood Floors

Imported Hardwoods- Exotics

Inlays- Feature Strip

Installing Wood Floors

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Maintenance

Medallions

Hardwood Floors
Online Directory

Moldings, Trim, Stairs

Pricing

Purchasing Direct

Quote-Pricing

Recoating Wood Floors

Specialty Products

Styles/Types of Hardwood Floors

Problems & Cures
Online Directory

Crowning - Cupping

Flooded Hardwood Floors

Gaps: Abnormal & Normal

Grading Problem

Greenhouse Effect

Insects in Hardwood Floors

Picture Framing ("Halo")

Radiant Heat Under Hardwood Floors

Problems & Cures
Online Directory

Shellout/Dishing

Slivers/Splinters

Squeaky - Loose Floors ("Popping")

Sticker Stain

Types of Finishes

Wood Cuts & Grades

Wood & Water

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