by James Bodnar
Commercial establishments use wood flooring to achieve a warm, non-commercial look. In this
hair salon, the architects specified oak strip flooring.
Specifying wood for high-traffic floors
requires knowledge of tree types,
finishes, and special treatments
Over the centuries wood has been one
of the most abundant flooring products,
from the intricate, artistic parquet
floors of Europe, to the hand-cut floor
planks of early American homes.
Until the introduction of synthetic
floors, wood, stone, marble, and handknotted
wool rugs were primarily underfoot.
In 1863 Frederick Walton invented
linoleum, the first synthetic
floorcovering. By the 1940s — and especially
after the Second World War—
building booms in America found wood
floors being bypassed in favor of