Flooring Used in Craftsman Homes


Inspired by brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, the Craftsman style home originated in southern California. It was the most popular style for smaller homes built in the first two and a half decades of the 1900s. The popularity of Craftsman homes spread across the country due to the overall style and coverage in magazines. Craftsman homes included intricate detailing and features previously found only in upscale homes as well as several flooring types.


  • Craftsman homes are identified by their unique interior characteristics, such as built-in cabinets, thick plaster walls and oak moldings. Exterior trademarks include low-pitched, gabled or hipped roofs; an unenclosed eave overhang; exposed rafters; square, tapered porch supports; porch pedestals for column support; decorative dormers; wide window and door casings; ornamental foundation walls and large or partial width porches. Craftsman homes were popular in single- and two-story styles.


  • Bare wood flooring was common in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By the 1920s, painted pine floors were in fashion. Popular colors included shades of brown, gray, orange and maroon. For upscale homes, strip and plank hardwood flooring made of red oak was the norm. Frequent cleaning and monthly waxing were common practices to keep the floors clean and germ free. Today, painted floors are popular in Craftsman home restorations, especially when stained wood cannot be restored, according to Star Craft Custom Builders.


  • Linoleum was a fashionable flooring material in Craftsman homes, especially for high-moisture areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Linoleum patterns in the 1920s and 1930s featured several different colors, such as blue, yellow, white and rust. The colors were duplicated in other parts of the kitchen to create a unified, decorating theme. With a few exceptions, vintage linoleum patterns are no longer available. For restoration purposes, modern linoleum or vinyl sheet flooring is sometimes used as replicas.

Ceramic Tile

  • Ceramic tiles were in demand due to their distinctive coloring, designs and glossy finishes. In some Craftsman homes, stone tiles or stone slates were used. Some companies still manufacture the ceramic tile styles of the early 1900s, making authentic restorations much easier. For many, the cost of redoing entire floors or walls in the period tiles is cost prohibitive. For this reason, some involve the use of authentic tiles in border designs and whole floor replacements in modern materials.

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