Floor coverings

In the Georgian and Victorian periods most upper floors were covered with square edged boards. These were usually made from softwood although hardwoods such as oak were sometimes found in the reception rooms of grander houses. At the end of the Victorian period the introduction of better woodworking machinery meant that tongued and grooved boards became more readily available. An alternative form of construction, sometimes found in better quality housing, used grooved boards (grooved both sides) secured with continuous metal tongues. In the 20th century square edged boarding and tongued and grooved boarding were both common although, since the 1970s, chipboard has become the most popular material.

Square edged boards, if correctly nailed, provide a reasonable surface for carpets and, sometimes, even vinyl sheet. However, where boards are re-laid or replaced following wiring or central heating installation gaps are often created which can easily damage floor coverings.

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