A Brief History Of Wood Floors


Step back in time and walk the fascinating path of wood’s timeless appeal. From the opulent palace floors of Versailles to the wide plank, modern designs of today, this timeline explores the charm, craftsmanship, and enduring appeal of wood floors that have made them a beloved choice in interior design for hundreds of years.

TUDOR 1485-1603

Typically, houses featured flagstone, brick, or tiled flooring on their lower levels, while the upper stories had wooden floors.

turdor history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


In Tudor England, the type of flooring in a home often reflected the social status of the occupants and the craftsmanship of the era.


Wide oak planks were laid in mixed widths parallel to one another across the floor with varying dimensions up to 60cm wide.


Oak was most used, occasionally elm, and in some wealthier households, exotic hardwoods such as walnut was used to create decorative flooring patterns.

Baslow mixed width plank swatch image
FLOOR INSPIRATION: Baslow, Aged French Oak, random width plank.

JACOBEAN 1603-1625

The Jacobean era marked a transition from the elaborate and ornate Elizabethan style to a more restrained and sophisticated design aesthetic.

jacobean history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


Not only seen in grand country estates but also in more modest homes, Jacobean wood flooring and panelling added a sense of order and symmetry to interior spaces.


Defined by dark stains or finishes, Jacobean wood flooring featured simple geometric patterns like squares, rectangles, and diamonds..


Oak, which was abundant and known for its durability was often sourced locally making it a popular choice for flooring.

FLOOR INSPIRATION: Jacobin, European Oak, Parquet de Versailles panel.

BAROQUE 1625-1714

Characterised by its opulence, grandeur and a focus on intricate details, wood flooring during the Baroque period played a significant role in interior design and architecture.

baroque history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


The Palace of Versailles in France, built during the Baroque era, greatly impacted interior design, especially wood flooring. The famous Versailles pattern, with its interlocking squares and diagonal parquet, became a symbol of the era.


Herringbone and Versailles patterns were particularly fashionable during this time and featured intricate inlays made of contrasting wood species, metals, or even precious stones.


Exotic woods like ebony and rosewood were also used to create intricate patterns and designs. Oak, walnut, and cherry were popular choices due to their durability and rich, warm tones.

FLOOR INSPIRATION: Ruskin, Antique French Oak, Parquet de Versailles panel.

GEORGIAN 1714-1830

Wood flooring during the Georgian period underwent significant changes and developments that reflect the design trends of the time.

georgian history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


The Georgian era was characterised by various architectural styles, such as Palladian, Neoclassical, and Georgian Gothic. Wood flooring designs often mirrored these, adapting to the changing tastes of the time.


Wide plank flooring was prevalent during the early Georgian period. These planks were often hand-hewn and varied in width, giving a rustic, yet elegant look. Over time, boards became narrower, and fixed-width planks were also introduced.


In grand homes and public buildings, mahogany was a luxury choice due to its rich, dark colour and elegant appearance. In less formal or more modest homes, Baltic fir and pine was also used due to its affordability.

Livingstone Plank, Antique Swatch
FLOOR INSPIRATION: Livingstone, Antique French Oak, random width plank.


Wood flooring gained popularity in both residential and commercial spaces. Many Victorian homes still have their original wood flooring, often restored to preserve historical character.

victorian history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


Victorian wood floors had high-gloss finishes and dark stains, emphasising opulence. The Arts & Crafts movement preferred natural, matt finishes and lighter wood tones to align with craftsmanship and nature.


Victorian homes favoured intricate inlaid patterns, while the Arts & Crafts movement opted for straightforward plank and strip layouts to showcase the wood’s natural beauty.


In the Victorian era, oak, mahogany, and walnut hardwoods were used for their durability and rich, dark tones. In the Arts & Crafts movement, which emerged later, oak and pine became popular for their simplicity.

Haling Plank
FLOOR INSPIRATION: Haling, European Oak, wide plank.

EDWARDIAN 1901-1914

The Edwardian era is known for its emphasis on elegance, craftsmanship, and a desire to create more comfortable living spaces.

edwardian history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


Influenced by variousdesign movements of the time, Edwardian era wood flooring continues to inspire homeowners and designers who seek to capture the timeless beauty and sophistication of wood floors in their own spaces.


The Edwardian period marked the transition from handcrafted to machine-produced wood flooring. Parquet designs featured decorative inlays and borders.


Oak, mahogany and pine remained popular choices for floors depending on the setting.

Ollerton Plank wood flooring swatch
FLOOR INSPIRATION: Ollerton, European Oak, wide plank.

20TH CENTURY 1901-2000

The 20th century saw a wide range of wood floor styles, materials, and trends. From traditional hardwoods to engineered options and sustainable choices, the industry evolved to meet the changing needs and preferences of home owners and designers.

20th century history hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


The mid-20th century saw the rise of engineered wood flooring which emerged as a more practical and cost-effective alternative to solid hardwood. The mid-century modern design movement also influenced interior decor, including flooring.


This era saw the use of bold, contrasting wood stains and finishes. Parquet flooring also gained popularity. As historic preservation gained importance, efforts were made to restore and maintain older wood floors.


Lighter wood species, such as birch and beech, were preferred for their clean, minimalist look. Traditional hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry were also used.

Brindle Herringbone Project Collection
FLOOR INSPIRATION: Brindle, European Oak, narrow herringbone.

21ST CENTURY 2001-2100

In the 21st century, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainability in the wood flooring industry. Consumers and businesses alike have become more conscious of the environmental impact of their choices.

21st century hexagons, exterior, roomshot and floor swatch


The range of choices continues to evolve with a floor to suit every taste and style. Technological advancements are also making their way into the industry with floors that can regulate temperature, provide lighting, and even charge devices wirelessly.


Wide plank wood flooring, natural and low-sheen finishes, and bespoke options are all design trends seen so far in the 21st century. End grain planks and hexagonal wood flooring are on the rise in 2024.


Sustainable wood species like certified oak and reclaimed wood offer environmentally consciouschoices. Karta’s exclusive upcoming 2024 range, will be constructed from reusable materials – such as denim rescued from fast fashion landfill, and leather from time worn shoes.

FLOOR INSPIRATION: Old War Office 1904.04, diamond panel design.