In the Middle Ages ordinary people used to put straw on their floors for added warmth and as a way to keep the floor clean.
Churches used to lay rushes on the floors for the same reason. Rushes are sweet smelling grasses usually the Juncus (sedge grass) or sweet flag. Sometimes further herbs were added to create a pleasant smell, probably to mask the body odour of the congregation!
An uncarpeted wooden staircase looks great in the home but if you ever think sweeping it is a chore spare a thought for a small hamlet in Norway called Florli, home to the biggest wooden stairway in the world. It numbers 4.444 wooden steps and today is a hiking destination. Luckily nobody is required to sweep it.
Parquet flooring was first used in the Palace of Versailles in 1664. Louis the 14th, known as the Sun King was renowned as a leader of fashion and his court a byword for style, elegance and excess. He ruled for 72 years so he obviously wanted some long lasting flooring in the palace.
Parquet flooring did not really become popular in domestic homes in the UK until the 1930s. This means that if you ever buy an old house built in this era, it is a good idea to take a look at what may be hidden beneath the carpet. You could find a hidden gem of design.
The Romans were the first people to come up with the Herringbone design that became a later feature of parquet flooring. This design was used in early road building and later adapted for flooring.
If you never vacuumed your carpet it would gain around 8 lbs of weight over the year because of all the dust and dirt it would accumulate.
The bathroom floor is the most germ ridden place in the house. On average there are 764 different strains of bacteria per inch so choosing flooring that is easy to clean is important for health.
Solid wood flooring dates back to the 1600s. It was usually constructed from solid wooden planks supported by joists and laid over the natural soil or stone.
The world’s most expensive flooring is manufactured by a company called Pietra Firma. It comprises of hand cut tiles inlaid with diamonds and abalone and costs one million dollars per square metres.
The sprung wooden ballroom floor at Blackpool Tower Ballroom was created in 1884 and is still in regular use. It is considered one of the best surfaces for dancing in the world. The Tower Ballroom it isn’t just about the glitter ball and all the razzmatazz of Strictly! The main reason it is popular is that the ballroom floor is just great for dancers!
Sprung wooden floors are important for indoor contact sports such as basket ball. The oldest basket ball court in the world to feature a spring wooden floor is in the Paris YMCA. It was constructed in 1895 and is still in regular use.
Rolling out the red carpet for a VIP may seem like a modern trend but this was first mentioned by the Ancient Greeks and dates back to 458 BC