Hardwood Floor History in America

by Sorin Giurca on May 29, 2017

Hardwood Floor History in Americahardwood floor history

The true hardwood floor history in America is not one of Oriental throw rugs, tongue & groove planks and polished mosaic percales. Until the late 19th century, finished hardwood floors and throw rugs were too rare to mention.

Hardwoods have been used for flooring since men discovered that thresh lasted longer on wood than it did over bare dirt.  (If you ever wondered how “threshold” became the name of a doorway and something the bride must be “carried over,” it was the low board which kept the thresh inside the house.)

American Hardwoods Were Originally Sawn by Hand

One of the main resources in Colonial America was many square miles of old growth forest. The trees we originally used for building and flooring had enormous diameters. The heartwood was tightly grained, which made the wood more durable and much harder, compared to the woods in use today.

For the longest time, converting raw wood into functional lumber was a labor intensive process. There were no circular saws in the sawmills at the time, so it took two men to pit-saw the logs into planks. One guy above, one guy below in the Pit.

Painted Hardwood Floors Were a Thing

Historically, painted interiors became trendy in the late 18th century. In American hardwood floor history, the preservative method was also applied to the floors. The colors would be anything from chess patterns to bright primary colors. Whitewash was of course the least expensive product available, which made it the most popular choice. The use of varnish or stain was uncommon at the time, because the idea was to get away from looking like bare wood.

That trend changed in the first half of the 19th century when the Power-loom was invented. Mass-produced carpets were suddenly affordable for the emerging middle class, and so themselves became a sign of growing affluence.  Wall-to-wall carpeting offered insulation and warmth for bare feet. (They were, and are, also a home for dust mites and allergens, which we discuss here.)

Then Hardwood Floors Made a Comeback

Sometime in the mid 19th century, the wealthiest homes would have parquet installed in the more publicly accessible rooms. The installation took a lot of man power, because each piece of wood had to be cut and fixed by hand. Fortunately, the industrial revolution in America allowed production of finished hardwood planks in large quantities, changing the history of flooring forever. Lumber could be milled in fixed widths and lengths, accelerating the process of manufacturing and installation.

Hardwood Floors in America Today Are Works of Art

Especially here in the Reno/Tahoe area, the right hardwood flooring makes exactly the statement you want in your home or office. At Artisan Hardwood Floors, all we do is hardwood floors. Let us help you make your home a part of American history by installing the perfect hardwood floor. Why don’t you contact me right now, while the idea is still fresh in your mind?

Sorin Giurca

Master Craftsman, Owner, Artisan

Hardwood Floor Messes | Reno, Tahoe, NV

by Sorin Giurca on April 24, 2017

hardwood floor messesHardwood Floor Messes Don’t Need To Be a Nightmare

Hardwood floor messes need dealing with immediately, and they often show up unexpectedly, no matter how much we try to avoid them. Extending the life and luster of our wood flooring simply requires we deal with these accidents as they happen in our Reno/Tahoe homes. I’ve made a list of common messes, and some great solutions for dealing with them.

Everyday Dust

Regular dusting or damp-mopping helps to maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors. Several products and floor cleaning systems are available at your local grocery store for just such a purpose. Leaving everyday dust to accumulate on your hardwood floors can result in micro-scratches which dull the luster, especially in high traffic areas.

Liquid Spills

Liquid spills should be wiped up soonest with a dry or slightly damp cloth, particularly puddles. Wet rugs and mats should be removed, then cleaned and dried according to their manufacturer’s guidelines. Several cleaners designed for hardwood floors can be used to restore planks stained by liquid hardwood floor messes, if you don’t catch them soon enough. Always remember to wipe your floors dry after cleaning.

Dry Spills

A soft-headed broom or vacuum with felt-tipped wands and attachments is the best way to remove dry spills. Hardwood flooring comes with a durable finish which protects the wood from the effects of most dry spills.

Animal Messes

Hardwood floor messes caused by animals can contain chemicals which are really bad for your hardwood floor surfaces. Clean them up immediately to save yourself more work and expense in the future. A soft, clean cloth and your favorite hardwood flooring cleaner should do the trick. Just remember that dealing with those messes fast is critical.

Crayon and Chalk Marks

Gently and thoroughly remove spots left by crayons or chalk with mineral spirits. Use a clean cloth and carefully try to lift the marks. You may also find it  necessary to use a wood flooring cleaner afterward. As always, dry the area thoroughly when done cleaning.  Enlisting the help of the little person responsible for drawing on your hardwood floors with crayons and chalk might also be advised.

Heel Marks

If you’ve tried to wipe the mark away with a clean cloth without success, a small amount of mineral spirits added to the cloth should do the trick. It is perfectly acceptable to ask folks to remove their shoes at your entryway.

If you have trouble dealing with any other hardwood floor messes you might find on your Reno/Tahoe hardwood floors, do please contact us here at Artisan Hardwood Floors, immediately. Not only are we experts at installing and repairing hardwood flooring, we know all the best tricks for keeping them beautiful for a lifetime.

Sorin Giurca


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