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The History of Hardwood Flooring

The history of hardwood flooring dates as far back as the Baroque Era (1625-1714). Of course, in Chicago the first permanent settlement wasn’t until the late 1770s, so the hardwood flooring in Chicago had no existence even at that time. But during this Baroque Era, wooden floors became an elegant feature and a decorative surface to the upper class. Since hardwood floors were expensive, only the wealthy people of Europe could afford this.

It wasn’t until the Colonial Era (1607-1780) that the American hardwood flooring industry was born. At this time, wooden floors were still an expensive commodity and exclusive to the rich. The process of cutting down timber and transforming them to planks was tedious but increasingly popular because of their improved quality.

Moving onto the glorious days: the Victorian Era (1840-1910). These were glorious times because the hardwood flooring industry benefited from the shift into the industrial society. This included factories with steam driven machines that were able to mass produce hardwood floors. Hardwood floors were referenced as “wood carpeting” and perfected with techniques that gave a smooth, even, and polished hardwood finish. Unlike the previous eras, America’s middle class was now able to afford this luxury.

During the Edwardian Era (1901-1941) and Modern Era (1920-1950), tongue and groove floor boards became popular in domestic flooring. When needed, hot tar was used as an adhesive and the herringbone pattern became a popular pattern in this era. The wood floor during this time blossomed with the help of varnishes because they improved the look and feel of the hardwood.

Unfortunately great things do come and go; post-World War II (1940-1950) the hardwood flooring industry faced a drastic change resulting in the downfall in the wood floor trade. The industry was now facing hard times and struggling for survival because of the affordability that carpeting had compared to hardwood. Most hardwood companies had to convert to installing carpet to stay in business at all.

Today, hardwood flooring industries like the Pureza Hardwood Flooring Company located in Bucktown, Chicago lead the industry by delivering high quality products to their Chicago hardwood flooring consumers. For generations, no other material parallels to a durable and long-lasting option like hardwood.

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