Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What my Flooring Taught Me

Over the past few months, my flooring has taught me acceptance.  I had to accept that my 5 year-old builders grade carpeting was stained, ripping at the seams, and full of mold and allergens.  I had to accept that these were my options over cement sub-flooring:

Cork and Hardwood: No-because of cement sweating. The one available hardwood, altered ash, is harvested here and shipped to Europe for an intensive heating process and shipped back. This process obviously has a huge carbon footprint and results in the very high price of $11/yard uninstalled. Times 1800 square feet? I don't think so!
More carpet: No-environmental and health impact
Engineered wood or Linoleum: No-environmental impact, concrete sweating, and chemicals in home.
Professionally repair and refinish cement: No- Over $10,000 for my home.

The water and mold sitting in the padding under the carpet

This was the point I had to sit down and have a heart to heart with myself. I wanted it all. Beautiful flooring that wouldn't hurt the world, our pocketbook, or our health. I was being unreasonable and unrealistic. This was a lesson for me in compromise and priorities. And when I was honest, I realized that beauty came in a distant third to our heath, my values, and our financial stability.

I accepted a compromise.  In this case, my husband patched holes (from carpet trim) with quickkrete and painted a border with low VOC Valspar from Lowe's (color: La Fonda Jalapeno).

Is it perfect? No, but nothing is.  Is it ever going to make the magazines? Nope.  But it is growing on me.  I love the simplicity, the fact that it is saving us money and keeping us healthy, the fact that it is an outward symbol of our inward values.  I accept my cement floors.  And I accept myself as being the kind of person who has cement floors.


Christina said...

I love the floors and I'm glad that you're accepting them! :)

Patti said...

You've given my a good idea for our home. We've been trying to decide what to do with the old carpet in our house. As always money is an issue so concrete floor my be just the way to go for now. Thanks!

Colleen Hapshatt said...

I think your basement floors look great. In fact, I think painted floors are becoming a trend so I wouldn't count on not appearing in the magazines. See here and here. The area rug warms up the room and the painted floor looks great and is good for you.

Don't feel bad about not getting exactly what you want. (although it's good to realize that you can't have everything as that's true too) What you have is pretty good.


Willo said...

Colleen, it is my bedroom (not my basement) floor. We don't actually have a basement, hence the concrete subfloor.

Colleen Hapshatt said...

Ah I see. I don't know how I got that mixed up. Still looks great though. :-)