5 Interesting Facts about Wooden Floors
Step & Wall stands out for its passion for wood. We create a final product, of quality, with an entirely Spanish manufacture, and with the supervision of a wood company that has been in the world market for several decades, among the most important positions in the sector in Spain. It is therefore clear that we share a dream, that of transmitting our affection from our products to all homes, through a warm and comfortable material such as wood, which has an incredible past and we are sure it will also have a brilliant future.
When did wood come into homes?
In the beginning, working with wood for floor coverings was a very laborious process. Very large and wide pieces of raw wood were used. The planks were carved by hand and nailed directly onto the floors of palaces and stately homes.With the arrival of the 19th century, these individually handcrafted planks were divided into small or medium-sized pieces, more similar to the way we work them today, making them easier to install, as well as designing floors that were more homogeneous than those known up to that time.
Another of the factors that favoured the establishment of wooden floors beyond the wealthy homes was the appearance of the steam engine. This helped to industrialise the manufacture of natural wood floors, making them much more affordable.
At this time, surfaces were still treated by hand sanding and varnish was replaced by a mixture of oil and wax.The new designs that appeared such as "Chevron" or "Herringbone", much simpler than the elaborate designs of the old palaces, made their installation much easier, favouring the great apogee of wooden floors which, due to their warmth, beauty and technical characteristics, ended up dethroning stone floors forever.
The first natural wood floors
To be faithful to history when talking about wooden floors in terms of antiquity, we would have to go back to the time of the Vikings. As documented throughout history, we could consider them along with the Greeks or the Egyptians as the great forerunners of wooden floors, as they were already used as deck coverings on their ships.
If we dock on dry land, the first traces of wooden floors can be found in Jerusalem between the 8th and 4th centuries, almost 1000 BC and 480 years after the Israelites had left Egypt. It was at this ancient date that King Solomon's temple was ordered to be built, the floor of which was entirely covered with pine wood. Cedar wood was reserved for the great central hall, known as Hekal. Also known as the Temple of Jerusalem, this building was the most important sanctuary of the Judean kingdom and of Judaism until its complete destruction in the year 70.
One floor through many generations
We have often praised the strength and durability of wood, but with the right care, floors made of this noble material are capable of accompanying us for more than a lifetime. Why else would wooden floors be chosen for the cladding of large architectural constructions such as castles or palaces?
With the right treatment and proper maintenance, natural solid wood floors can last for years to come. This can be seen in the floors of some of Europe's most emblematic buildings, such as the Palace of Versailles or the Château de Chantilly, whose enormous influence is still referred to today as "Versailles parquet" and "Chantilly parquet".
In Europe, the beautiful wooden floors of the Royal Palace of Turin in Italy, Pommersfelden Castle in Bavaria (Germany) or Schöbrunn Palace in Vienna also stand out.
As far as historical buildings are concerned, in Spain we have the impressive wooden floors of the Royal Palace in Madrid or those of the El Escorial Palace in the same community.
Do you know where the woodworking process begins?
In fact, it is the felling of the wood. We all know that wood is obtained from the felling of trees, but what else do you know about it? We are going to tell you a little more about the process of obtaining wood.
Depending on the felling process, we can talk about clear felling or selective felling. Clear felling is when an entire forest is cut down, usually with the aim of transforming the area in question into a field for cultivation, for example. However, when we refer to selective logging, we are talking about the felling of larger trees that will then be replaced by new ones.
Once the tree has been felled, the next step is to cut off all the branches and the bark part, thus obtaining the part of the trunk from which the raw material for your soils will be extracted.
Once the trunks have been obtained, they are transported to the sawmills, where they are cut and stacked to be conditioned for use and thus to obtain stable, durable and resistant wooden planks.
To be able to start working with the wood, no special treatment is necessary, we simply have to let it "dry" either naturally or mechanically, as when the tree is felled and cut, the wood we obtain has a lot of water, so we have to wait until it reaches the ideal levels of humidity to be able to work with it, these levels are between 12% and 14% humidity.
Each of our designs is unique. No two natural wood floors will ever be the same, just as no two trees are exactly alike. Although they may look similar to each other, each natural wood floor offers exclusive designs because wood is a natural, living and unrepeatable material.
Wood is a beautiful, noble, durable and very resistant material, which makes it the perfect material for the construction of floors. Also, by choosing one of our natural wood floors you will be supporting the environment, helping to prevent the abandonment of forests and promoting sustainable forest management.