For many years people simply used the ground under his, her, feet as their floor. The dirt was tramped down and occasionally swept clean with a broom made from a tree branch. However, as we well know, at least in America, most homes no longer choose dirt for their flooring. In fact, in America, there are many, many, ideas to choose from when it comes to deciding what type of floor and their covering to use. In Part 1 of this series we will look at some of the considerations necessary to make the right choice. In Parts 2 and 3 we will look at a few of the most popular floors and coverings and why and how they should be used. So, what are some of the things you should consider before making your flooring choice?
Type and Age of Occupants: Who will be living in the home? Will it be a single person dwelling or a home filled with children and pets? And, if children are a part of the occupant dynamic, what ages are they? As is well known, young children tend to create a lot of potential stains and damage to whatever type of flooring is used. For example, carpets, finely polished wood, and decorative tile can be ruined from spills, sharp toys, and such items as crayons, magic markers, and permanent markers. Pets too can cause havoc on the above type flooring. Puppies are especially noted for their destructive powers when it comes to chewing and the results of pre-housebreaking.
Living Habits: But, even if it is a single adult or a couple, their living habits should be looked at. Do they smoke? Are they careful to take their shoes off at the front door or likely to come in bringing the outside in with them? Do they need a quiet environment where carpet would be wise or do they prefer the type of flooring less quiet but easy to keep clean? And what about feet? If shoes are left at the door, do the occupants want the warmth and softness of carpet or do they prefer the coolness of tile or wood?
Location of the Home: While this may sound strange, it is an important consideration as some of the outside will eventually come inside. Is the home located in a city or basically cement neighborhood? If so, dirt, (mud) grass clippings, leaf debris, and water will not be much of an issue. However, If the home is located where there are lots of “outdoors” to come in on the bottom of shoes and feet the flooring should be able to withstand the incoming elements. And what about sand? There are parts of the country where sand is everywhere. Sand is notorious for coming in on a regular basis whether it is blown in or brought in. Think about what kind of flooring will best withstand the mess and eventual grinding away that sand entails.
Lifestyle of the Occupants: Are the people living in the home retired or are they working full time? Do they travel a lot, entertain a lot, or are involved in a multitude of activities? In other words, how much time do the occupants have to keep the floor and coverings clean? Do they carry food and drink around the home, allow children and pets free reign? Are they the type to pick up as they go or do they leave things lying around to spill on and sometimes damage their floors? Does anyone living there enjoy housekeeping, and if not, can they afford professional cleaners?
The above questions need to be answered honestly before deciding what type of floor and the coverings are a wise choice. To be able to truly enjoy a home, its occupants should have floors and floor coverings suited to the way they enjoy living while at the same time the type of floors and their coverings they are able to care for and able to keep in good condition. Floors and their coverings are an essential part of a home—take time to choose yours wisely.