Published at Saturday, 02 February 2019. Kitchen Floors. By Gerda Andersen.
A means to re-creating the appearance of carpet, floorcloths and flooring stencils have been documented in early homes from about 1740 through well into the 19th century. Patterns can be surprisingly detailed and intricate, incorporating design elements such as flowers and leaves, pinwheels, and starbursts.
Mosaic tile came on the scene in the United States in the 1860s and remained popular well into the 20th century. Most commonly seen in bathrooms, it is also a legitimate choice for kitchens. Choices range from classic 1" hexagons and penny rounds (often with inlays or borders) to more sophisticated patterns such as herringbone, double basketweave, and pentagon. Think of them as tile rugs and you have got the idea. For the most authentic look and a slip-resistant surface, choose mosaic tiles with a matte finish.
Wood floors are an old-house staple—but in the harsh environment of the kitchen, wood will splinter, flake, and warp when exposed repeatedly to water. That's why early Americans quickly learned to seal wood floors with whatever was available, from homemade paint to wax and tung oil. Similarly, Victorian homeowners jumped at the chance to install water-resistant materials like linoleum and mosaic tile as soon as they became widely available in the last quarter of the 19th century.
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