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.