The History & Development Of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Posted: August 12, 2022

Hardwood flooring has been a popular choice for homeowners for centuries. The usage of wood as a flooring option is widely believed to have started in Europe during the Middle Ages.

The Baroque period during the early 17th century saw the emergence of wooden flooring installation as a status symbol. It became a display of taste and prosperity in the mansions of French royalty, with many floors created by French craftsmen, typically in beautiful and elaborate designs. Because of the time and labour involved, these flooring options were only found in the residences of royalty and the social elite.

The Development Of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Today, engineered hardwood flooring is made up of alternating layers of plywood and unpolished white wood that have been bonded together and then laid out in various ways. This innovation stems directly from the early 19th century, which saw the development of hardwood Parquet patterns featured in the most affluent households at the time.

The industrial revolution introduced machines for finer timber and hardwood processing. During this period, the advent of steam and electric power increased the demand for better housing, resulting in an increased demand for more accessible wood flooring material. Because of its availability, low cost, durability and aesthetic, oak quickly became the preferred choice for hardwood flooring.

Innovation Inspired By Growing Demand

Engineered flooring was developed during the 1960s specifically for basements and first floors of concrete slab-built homes. Because traditional hardwood flooring was difficult to install in certain spaces, manufacturers developed engineered flooring to offer a comparable appearance that required a lot less labour.

The introduction of water-based urethanes simplified finishing and provided consumers with more alternatives, including:

  • Traditional hardwood
  • Prefinished hardwood
  • Solid hardwood
  • Floating hardwood
  • Nail-down & glue-down hardwood
  • Exotic hardwood.

But the Industrial Revolution also brought a new wave of ever-changing design trends and new flooring options, including carpeting, ceramic, stone, tile and bare concrete options. Naturally, this created a lot of competition in the hardwood flooring industry.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring Today

Despite this, the product’s popularity has skyrocketed, and you can now find engineered hardwood floors in almost any interior setting. Engineered hardwood flooring accounts for 30% of all hardwood flooring sold today.

Originally, engineered floorboards were only available in a single thickness. Engineered floorboards today are available in three-eighths to three-fourths inch thicknesses, with up to 12 layers. Thicker floorboards are of higher quality and more useful in a number of applications; they can be installed over timber subfloor in the same way that a standard plank floor is installed.

Engineered floorboards less than three-fourths of an inch thick are less adaptable, although they can be glued down similar to vinyl flooring or floated and joined using a click-in-place technology, making it an affordable flooring option suitable for DIY applications.

Your All-In-One Flooring Solution

A long and fascinating history has followed the development of engineered hardwood flooring to bring you the wide range of options available today. Wood Craft Flooring is a Geelong-based flooring company passionate about providing a one-stop flooring solution that carries the traditions and innovations of engineered hardwood flooring into the future.

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To learn more about engineered hardwood flooring options, floor cleaning products or flooring installation, get in touch today.


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