Let's switch gears and talk about one of the basics now - flooring! Flooring is on my mind today because I really need to replace the carpet in my house. And of course I have to share all my thought processes on this!
Currently I have plain ol' regular carpet, the kind that you get when they are building your house and they say, "Alright, pick a color". And you say, "Um, OK, I'll take that one" and you point to some 2x3" square on a cardboard display, and hope the color looks tolerable with your stuff.
And in my case, I picked (please remember this was almost 9 years ago) ... are you ready? ...
I know, I know! It was fun for a while, and it served its purpose in that it covered up almost 9 years worth of cat disasters and coffee spills, very successfully actually. But now the pets have pretty much beaten it into submission, and it is starting to look worn, and maybe most importantly, I have learned a whole lot about flooring since that February day in 1997.
So, when we are shopping for new flooring, here are a few things to remember, so you don't end up with your version of my worn looking raspberry carpet in a few years.
First of all, if you have allergies, definitely look for hard surface flooring. Great choices include linoleum, which is a simple time tested material made of linseed oil, sawdust, and pigments, basically. New linoleum has come a long way from the stuff that made us want to scream and run in our parents' kitchens. The benefits of linoleum are many and varied: the color goes all the way through, for one thing, so it wears extremely well. It also has almost no "off-gassing", which is the industry term for "nasty stuff it releases into the air that will bother you if you have asthma or bad allergies". It comes in an almost inlimited array of colors, and you can do really artistic things with it. Check it out: Marmoleum brand linoleum ideas in use.
Another super cool flooring option is cork. Made from material that is peeled off the cork tree (relative of the oak), cork is totally renewable. Compare that with the 20-30 years it takes for hardwoods to grow to a harvest-able size. Wow! Plus it comes in all kinds of groovy patterns and colors. Cork is very resilient, so you can stand on it all day long and it helps keep the fatigue down. Cork is also water resistant, and is very durable. A cork floor is made up of bazillions of tiny plant cells, so essentially it is like a latex foam mattress in that it does keep impressions. It will spring back to shape, resisting furniture marks. Check out how beautiful cork can be!
More good options include bamboo, ceramic or stone tile, and traditional hardwoods, all coming up next!