History of Engineered Wooden Flooring
The beginnings of mass-produced wood flooring can be dated as far back as 1903, when an E. L. Roberts mail-order catalogue offered “wood carpeting.” This flooring consisted of 1½ x 5/16-inch wooden strips that were glued to heavy canvas that was then installed by tacking it down with brads. The wood was then sanded and finished. The varnishes used were usually slow-curing Tung oils from China. These were not durable in themselves, so the floors were hot-waxed and buffed to a shine with a floor brush. Early examples of the “wood carpet” eventually evolved into more modern iterations, such as laminate flooring, which consists of melamine-infused paper as its upper layer, and wood-chip composite beneath. Laminate flooring typically features a printed or embossed top layer meant to approximate the look of real hardwood. The current incarnation of engineered wood flooring has been available since the 1960s, and has steadily increased in quality, leading to improved advantages over traditional hardwood flooring.