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Smoked Hardwood Flooring

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Fumed / Smoked Hardwood Flooring

When you hear the terms “smoked” or “fumed” to describe a flooring process, you’re probably thinking “well this can’t be healthy!” Keep in mind that those descriptions were coined many years ago, before society was as concerned with air quality, the environment, and semantics. However, despite their sound, fumed or smoked hardwood flooring describes an eco-friendly process that produces some amazing looking flooring.

Why Fumed / Smoked Wood Floors?

First, let’s start with what these terms mean. Smoked wood flooring (also called fumed oak flooring, as that is the most popular species to receive the treatment) was introduced by Gustav Stickley, the leader of the Craftsman movement, back in the late 1800’s. Stickley discovered that by briefly enclosing wood in an environment in which organic substances are introduced into the atmosphere, the wood will take on a unique look that fit perfectly with his craftsman aesthetic.

Stickley would leave the wood in the environment just long enough for the tannins to be brought to the surface, thus darkening the wood naturally from within. This meaning that no substance is actually applied to the wood during the process, and the organic compounds used did not contain actual smoke or harsh fumes.

Fast forward to today, where consumers don’t want to compromise between stunning looks and better air quality when it comes to their flooring choices. Fortunately, they don’t have to. Wood flooring manufacturers have perfected the process so that fumed oak hardwood floors look better than ever and are still environmentally-friendly. They have also given fumed and/or smoked engineered hardwood flooring the new name of “organic reactive process” to better describe what Gustav Stickley knew all along.