For centuries, we as a species have been in love with wood! It has adorned the palaces of the kings and served the paupers alike, albeit in different forms though. It’s natural beauty and versatility has lead it to be used from simply a fuel to the most elegant and intricate wood floors.
Coming to our subject, use of wood for the purpose of flooring has been extremely popular in Europe, Americas and Japan just as stones has been in our subcontinent. Reasons vary from availability to suitability in the local context and from personal choice to design requirements internationally.
Lately, however, wood floors have seen a tremendous rise in popularity in our part of the world as well and have become a fashion statement of sort.
It all started in the early 90,s when our honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh (then the finance minister) decided that enough was enough and we Indians deserved better thus opening the Indian economy to imports. In India a few enterprising cos. took lead and a few European laminate flooring products were introduced to the market for the first time ever. Though not strictly a pure wood floor, it’s core board, called the High density fiberboard or HDF in short, is essentially saw dust, a waste from the wood working industry. The surface layer (which we see and walk on) is basically printed paper with a layer on top (aluminum oxide) which protects the paper from being damaged from foot traffic.
The product caught on like wildfire! Maybe the Indian populace was bored of using the usual marble and stone and wanted a break. In the hands of Interior designers, this became a tool for really expressing their creativity and they started using it to create beautiful floors in homes and commercial spaces, the likes that we have been admiring in international design magazines and TV soaps till now.
Today, the wood flooring market has moved on to a more specialized level. Besides laminate floors, which look like wood, you have a great variety available in real wood flooring products too. Real wood floors are just that, Real wood made into a flooring plank or a tile in various shapes and sizes covered with easy to maintain finishes with warranties as high as 25 years. This product is really for the connessiour, who want nothing but the best!
Coming to a conclusion, the reason why we Indian’s along with our brethren in rest of the world, have fallen in love with wood floors (both laminate and real wood) are basically the same! They are great to look at, come in huge variety of different colors, textures and styles, are extremely easy to maintain and fall within all manner of budgets.
P.S. I would be going in more details about each kind of wood floor (in my future blogs for those of you who want to explore the subject in more depth)