In high standing residences, it’s fundamental to choose the perfect luxury floor. The material has to be refined, it must match the colours and style of the entire apartment and should be sincerely and deeply appreciated by the homeowners and the guests.
Keep on reading if you wish to choose wisely among the luxury floors available on the market.
Luxury floors: which materials are used
Historically, aristocracy palaces were always finished with floors of an extraordinary elegance that made the property unique and lent prestige to the owners.
As in the past, the materials par excellence used for luxury floors are polished stones (especially marble and granite) and wood.
Marble floors can be made of white statuary marble, a highly valuable historic material, used in slabs, or coloured granite. There are many possibilities for creating the perfect luxury cladding.
Luxury and artisan mastery combine to give birth to extremely elegant, valuable and stunning stone inlays. This elaborate cladding clearly becomes the protagonist of the room.
Among luxury floors, we mustn’t forget about the mosaic, great protagonist since Ancient Rome and still used nowadays, reinterpreted with new materials and innovative glass production methods. Moreover, these new production techniques allow the creation of new beautiful illustrations, also customisable, thanks to image digitization.
Solid wood parquet
The other great protagonist in the field of luxury floors is undoubtedly parquet, that is nowadays made with different technologies, from bolted solid wood planks, that lend a hint of retro to the room, to composite wood planks.
From multi-material inlaying to parquets made of refined wood, there is a wide selection of luxury floors from which you can choose nowadays.
The luxury floors par excellence that are gaining ground are made of wood and old oak.
Keep on reading to find out why.
A little history: the “escalation” of floors made of fine wood
A brief historical digression can help us understand why these materials are so appreciated and believed to be of very high standing.
The very first proofs that wood was used to clad floors in houses date back to the Neolithic, when nordic populations used to cover their floors with rough-hewn pieces of wood. Their houses were made entirely out of wood and were suspended from the ground by wood beams that prevented humidity from penetrating inside the house.
Shortly before the year 1000, the use of wooden floors had already spread in the majority of nordic countries, most of all because of the large availability of raw materials in those areas, rich in firs, larches and pines.
It wasn’t until the 17th century (shortly after the Renaissance, name assigned by historians for the period between the 14th and the 17th century) that artisans began to improve the wood inlaying technique, using both European woods and wood imported from the newly discovered lands to create unprecedented colours and decorations. That was an important historic divide. The planks were fixed with natural glues, such as egg white or isinglass, that gave an excellent shiny finish to the final product.
The history of parquet, therefore, is intertwined with the evolution of the protective materials used to preserve the beauty of this peculiar floor. It’s no coincidence that, before protective glaze was invented, those who possessed these wonderful wooden floors used to cover them with refined carpets, to preserve the parquet from wearing out and being affected by light, that inevitably changed the wood’s initial colour.
Another important innovation dates back to the 1850s, when each artisan began to produce his own protective glaze from shellac. These glazes replaced over time the natural waxes and oils that had been used until then.
The second, and fundamental, divide in the evolution of luxury wooden floors dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Plank parquets become more and more common as well as floating parquets. In the latter, the planks are attached one another with male-female joints that allow new parquets to be installed over preexisting floors. A peculiar technique that has caught on quickly consists of wood planks placed following a ship’s deck pattern, attached one another with male joints.
Lastly, in the 1980s prefinished parquets were very common. They consist of a layer of refined wood and a layer of ordinary wood as support. During this historical period, friezes and decorations on luxury floors made a comeback, partly thanks to the aid of new industrial technologies.
The combination of classical (patterns with great artistic relevance) and modern (new technologies), while using refined and selected raw materials, has left a significant mark in the 80s history.
We are witnessing nowadays a greater attention to the context (exteriors and interiors of locations) and an increase in a “minimalist” trend. Parquets are still a synonym for luxury floor and refined finish, but with regard for the style of the house. Fine woods and furniture of rare beauty do the rest.
Which wood type is the most common for a luxury parquet?
One of the most common woods for luxury floors is oak.
Oak wood is in fact extremely resistant and, along with larch, one of the most long-lasting of European woods.
It’s a very fine and resistant wood. It’s a particularly suitable material for contrasting the formation of mould and bacteria, and can considerably absorb water and humidity.
Because of these features, which are much appreciated in wood, oak is a very expensive material.
A curiosity: apart from being used for beautiful parquets, this wood type is also used to make barrels for the ageing of fine wines.
Its light colour is perfect for luxury floors. In a house where light colours, whites, a minimalist style and clean lines prevail, an oak parquet is the perfect finish to lend a precious look to the rooms, yet matching the neutral colours and maintaining the simple elegance of the house.
Oak wood and exposure to light
All types of wood usually undergo a colour variation when exposed to sunlight, but specific products for the treatment of wood (from wax surface finishes to nanotechnologies inserted directly into the wood) guarantee not only its complete waterproofing, but also its unalterability to sunlight exposure.
Moreover, modern technologies for wood waterproofing allow parquets to be installed in any room of the house, without having to worry that such a beautiful luxury floor might be ruined by accidentally spilling some water on it.
Are you looking for luxury apartments in Lugano with beautiful oak parquets? You will find all of these features at the Nizza Paradise Residence. Find out more and ask for further information. Our staff is always available.