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Readers Respond: What Would Surprise Wood Floor Pros From the 1930s Most?

9 15 Respond 1930sWe asked followers on WFB Facebook and Instagram to put themselves in the old-timey shoes of wood floor pros from the 1930s and answer: If wood flooring pros from the ’30s came to a job site today, what would surprise them most? Here’s what they said: 

Mark Hootselle

How long it takes us to install a floor.

Andrew Cory Boyd

How many tools it takes to make it look just as good.

Robert Edginton Jr.

How much of all their work that's been covered over with new wood/laminate flooring.

Smithwood Floors

Industry calling #1 common boards select and better now.

Sean Michael

All the gizmos and gadgets we think we need.

James Dole

Water-based finishes.

Karla Contreras

How lazy your helpers are. I believe back In the days everyone worked so hard and there were not lazy people even when work was tough. My grandfather always said men are built from working.

Shana Marie McFarland

The cell phones that occupy the young workers time...

Jeffrey Gray

No boards longer than 7 feet.

Richard Conway

Lack of dust, how clean we are when we go home. I have memories.

Jesika Peterson

A woman sanding the floor.

Bruce Folk

Lack of quality and work ethic.

Andrew Dreis

Lack of people still willing to do this kind of work.

Brian Cosgrove

Still pay the same, huh?

Jason Duron

The Fein saw. #mindblown

Carsten Olsen

Strap-on knee protectors...

Tchardwood Floors

How we aren't drinking or smoking on the job.

Bill Hoover

The absolute lack of scheduling and the total lack of knowledge and experience of builders and remodelers in today's industry.

Jeff Foster

The price of plywood!!!

Wesley Elliott

Dust collection!

Michael Todd Inmon

Backpack vac.

Jeff Herrick

Pneumatic nailers.

Phillip Jim Blake


Carlos J. Garcia


Mitchell Canter

My work truck.

Matheus Leonel

Rubber mallets.

Jose Zuniga

I’m pretty sure cell phones. Lol

Ed Johnson

Prefinished hardwood floors and the price of materials.

Tim Mikels

The Bona Power Drive.

David Beags

The helper walking around with a computer in his hand. Or maroon pads.

Justin Singler

Can y’all imagine all the “back in my day” speeches?

Van A Stahl

How fast I am!

Cody Rhodes

How easy we actually have it.

Daniel Caffo

Water-popping would blow their minds. We weren't allowed to get a floor wet for any reason.

Cheryl Hallman Phillips

The cost of materials. My father was sanding in 1941, he talked about how far a sheet of sandpaper would go. He said they could sand an entire house with one sheet of edger disc. It wasn't polyurethane or moisture cure, either.


Efficiency and innovation.


Posting TikTok videos on Instagram.


Underfloor heating.


I would say women sanding floors. In the 1930’s if you got married by law you were supposed to stay home and if you were not married you were considered a spinster and probably working in a factory. Crazy right? So unfortunately I’m sure they would be impressed by our slew of products, but they would be more amazed seeing women sand floors better than them.


The picky customers.


Short boards and soft oak...




All of the phone calls/texts that I take during the day.


How easy it is to buy alcohol!


How much “pros” get paid per day.


The sanders have not changed! And yes, women on jobs.


All the Monster cans left by the drywall guys.


Plastic wood floors, yuck.


Ah, everything! No hand nailing, no hand sawing.


They wouldn’t know how to act when they see the Pallmann Spider.


Noise-cancelling headphones.


Super 7’ are still the same! 


Pneumatics and electric tools existed so these would not be that surprising. Cordless anything would seem magical.


“Wow, fake wood floors?!??”


Nailing guns. It was a big game changer. The man that I was sent out with as a kid of 12 was Guy Vought born 1898. He was the hand nailing king. He preferred to hand-nail over a power nail gun. A hand hatchet was a tool he used to rip boards. He wore overalls, work boots and a long sleeve button up shirt. He was a wiry man that talked few words. Never heard him say a bad word. Told me he rode a horse for the first 25 years of his life. What a man. I worked with his boys, who were awesome floor layers. His last boy died in the 1980s. Always remember him saying to me, shorts are only good for burning the stove. What a memory!


Most floor guys have a hammer more for decoration, and don’t know what it is used for.


Top-nailing the last row and not the last 3 rows. Running the BM only once.


All the finish options.


Air Conditioning.


No young guys working … all old guys!!!


That we still hand-scrape corners.


The lack of smoking on the job site.


The ridiculous amount of nails we use today compared to their 24s on center.


Dust containment.


Sanding past 40 grit lmao.


Instagram breaks.

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