A History of Flooring
If you’re familiar with flooring, then you’ll be all too aware that options such as hardwood are often described as ‘timeless’ or ‘classical’. A lot of the time, this is used to make it sound appealing when really, it’s completely true if you’re looking at it from a historical angle. So what flooring did our ancestors really walk on? If you’re a big fan of history and are looking at purchasing your next floor, then read on.
The Very First Floors
This article would be pointless unless we mentioned the very first floors that ever existed but it’s not as exciting as you might think – the very first floors were actually the ground itself. In most cases, the floors of huts were complete mud and straw, or planks of wood placed down if you were lucky. A far cry from the luxurious oiled wood floors we’re used to today right? You also have to remember that our ancestors shared their huts with their animals and all sorts being left on the floor, which would then get trodden down and make the surface as hard as concrete.
In hotter climates like the tribal people in America, sand was a common practise. Although not the most pleasant thing to have as flooring, it would collect waste and absorb moisture, eventually resulting in a mucky clump which would get swept away and replaced with a fresh layer. Another common practise was to use shells and seeds as a protective layer. Pretty but we’d still rather have laminate!
Stone’s Vast History
With stone being use for structure and tools by humans since the beginning of time, it’s no surprise that it was made use of for floors too. There’s plenty of evidence that the Romans used it in their bath houses, to medieval castles and lots of use in the Dark Ages. This then developed into colourful stones such as mosaics that are still used today. Marble was another common material too, often used a symbol of wealth and prestige.
If you’re into your ancient history, then you’ll likely know that the Romans were very sophisticated and advanced for their time and a lot of their inventions are still used to this day. They took stone flooring to a whole new level and created a floor that was heated from below and thus underfloor heating was born. This was made so that the tiles were propped up to make a gap between the surfaces of the floor, so that the heat was able to fill this gap. This abstract invention was used only in homes of the wealthy and communal buildings and is still seen as a luxury today.
Moving on from ancient times, wood flooring has an extensive history too. A beautiful and classical choice, we can’t ever see wood flooring going out of fashion any time soon. Although wood flooring has always been popular, sales have soared in the last decade or so and is probably the most fashionable choice at the moment. With the world becoming increasingly more modern, perhaps we’re looking for a taste of something from a bygone era. Not only this, but wood is incredible durable and is likely to last longer than a life-time. Many Victorian and Edwardian homes still have the original wood flooring!
Wood flooring’s origin can be traced back to the 15th century, with a lot of old palaces and manor houses boasting wood that was laid when the building was built. Parquet and herringbone are often associated in old houses, with many of us enjoying its luxurious and interesting pattern in our homes today.
What About the Floors of Today?
Have Your Say
Do you have any knowledge of the history of flooring? Let us know in the comments down below!
The image features our: Brimham Antique Chocolate Oak (SO1032).