In days gone by, floors were made almost entirely of wood, ends being pegged with wooden pegs into the joists. Boards were wide and thick. And now, by that queer quirk of style, the same type of flooring is one of the latest to make its appearance, though the pegs are ornamental rather than utilitarian.
The efforts of master designers are being bent to make floors of all materials so beautiful and durable that the competition of other manufacturers and materials may be met and conquered.
1 "Floors Keep Step with Progress," American Builder and Building Age (formerly Building Age), April, 1929.
As a consequence, particularly within the past few years, great advances have been made in flooring.
Borders of all sorts are now sold ready assembled, providing not only an artistic effect but a lowering of cost in laying that is not the least satisfactory part of their use.
Newer materials have invaded the flooring market, many of them basing much of their appeal on the richness of their coloring and the various pleasing patterns in which they can be bought.
To-day linoleum, once considered a kitchen material, has found itself, through improved methods of manufacture and better design, invited to the front of the house. Now it is used in entrance halls of the most expensive houses, .... the breakfast nook and nursery particularly find it a suitable material.
Rubber tiles have also come into widespread use, particularly in kitchens. They also are being made in bright colors that harmonize with the finest type of decoration.
Cement floors, far from presenting the cold gray surface of a few years back, now revel in a riot of color. They can now be finished up to look like gayly-colored tile, marked off into gay patterns of fascinating types that suit them for all parts of the house.
Tile, too, has won a place as a flooring material that was hardly thought of when its use was confined to bathrooms. Like the other flooring materials, it is being used all over the house with effects undreamed of a generation ago.
Slate, for centuries a roofing material, has found itself being employed first for entrance walks, then for outside porches, later for enclosed porches, and finally finds itself on the inside of the house, where it fits into many a decorative scheme as if it had always been so used in this country.
Various kinds of composition flooring have come into wide use since the beginning of the present century, ....
Other flooring materials are being used, too numerous to mention in a short article such as this. They have in their entirety, however, opened up a choice of flooring materials that is without rival in the history of building. Not only the new, but the very oldest materials, have set a style pace and a quality of product that were unthought of even as late as the beginning of this century.
Color, natural finishes, the realization of even the beauty of knotty and stained cheaper grades of lumber, have all brought to the modern home a floor beauty that answers every taste and suits every purse.
"What do you sell when you sell a building?" an enthusiastic flooring dealer asked one day. "Floors, of course. When you sell a building you sell it by the square foot of floor. Walls are built to surround the floor, a roof to protect it, a foundation to support it!"
Discounting somewhat this enthusiasm, the fact remains that floors are most subject to wear of any part of a structure, and for this reason should receive most careful and thoughtful attention from the builder. The past fifty years have been years of progress and of remarkable development in the field.