As early as the 17th century, species of wood from Quebec were very much in demand and exported by ship to England. Because of the Nordic climate, indigenous trees grew more slowly and the wood harvested was particularly hard. However, in the wake of years of massive export of wood overseas, the government decided to regulate logging and oblige lumberjacks to fell trees 30.48 cm (12 in) or less from the ground in order to optimize the quantity of wood harvested. One can only imagine the effort deployed by lumberjacks who worked with axes and two-handed saws when compared to the much faster harvesting methods of today.
History of Hardwood Flooring
Five hundred years ago, First Nations split logs for use as boards. Ever in tune with nature, Natives sought to optimize their use of natural resources. The triangular-shaped boards sometimes found in very old dwellings bear witness to this habit of making maximum use of raw materials.
Until the 1900s, wood flooring in homes was made of softwood 38.10 mm to 50.80 mm (1 1/2 to 2 in) thick, to which a coating was applied. Hardwood was reserved for prestigious constructions such as manor houses, presbyteries, hotels, etc.
After the First World War, however, hardwood flooring became very popular. Efficient sawmills reduced costs, and hardwood flooring became more readily accessible to a wider range of consumers. Since the technique for making 19.8 mm (3/4 in) boards for walls was well established, sawmills began selling 19,8 mm (3/4 in) flooring boards. This was truly a happy coincidence, since this thickness turned out to be the ideal thickness for flooring boards! However, finished flooring did not exist at the time, and boards required maintenance using waxes and oils. Consumers whose lifestyle had become faster paced then turned to carpeting and linoleum.
In the 1980s, heightened environmental concerns and awareness of causes underlying allergies breathed new life into hardwood flooring board sales. Increasing numbers of consumers began replacing their worn carpeting with 19.8 mm (3/4 in) hardwood boards.
In the 1990s, innovative, high-performance varnishes made their debut and factory-finished flooring boards progressively began to garner a larger market share in the hardwood flooring industry.
By the early 2000s, prefinished flooring boards dominated the market. In a world where speed and perfection are watchwords, these boards offer the ideal solution for installers.