Hardwood Floors Through the Ages

Rod Lorenz

In the 80’s, some would say I was missing the six-pack abs that many of my athletic friends demonstrated. I would joke that being out of shape would become the trendy look of the 90’s.

That never happened, but other trends sure did. In interior design, fashion, music, automobile styles, and much more, the trends of the 90’s were different than those of any other decade.

Of course, there’s overlap between decades, but looking back, it’s not too hard to see the trends of the times. If something involves style, trends will come and go.

Hardwood floors are no exception.

The 60’s

When my father founded Ralph’s Hardwood Floors in 1965—in the age of ranch homes—anyone who wanted to get an FHA loan had to have some hardwood flooring in the home. To reduce cost, many buyers wanted that hardwood to be in their bedrooms, not in the larger living room and dining room.

Hardwood floors of that time typically had a very light-colored stain or no stain at all.

We’re now extending the hardwood flooring throughout homes built in this era, and we’re refinishing hardwood flooring found under old carpeting.

The 70’s

The 70’s was essentially a lost decade for hardwood floors. New floor coverings were introduced, and most homeowners were going with carpet or vinyl flooring. It was a tough time for hardwood floor companies.

The work we did get was mostly refinishing floors or installing less-expensive parquet flooring.

Now we’re doing the same thing we do for floors from the 60’s—refinishing and extending the hardwood. In numerous cases, we’ve added completely new flooring because many homes from this time had no hardwood in them at all.

What’s happened since then? I’ll look back at the 80’s and 90’s in the next Out of the Woodwork.

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