Saturday, June 30, 2007

Times Change

I have always loved old houses. I've always wanted to live in one. I've always wanted hardwood floors, and great woodwork and high ceilings.

I can remember telling someone once that when I bought a house I wanted hardwood floors. This was years ago and they looked at me like I was from another planet.

"You don't want carpet?!?"

"No! No carpet. Nasty stuff."

"Of course you want carpet. You just don't know..."

"Trust me, I know... it's nasty... put a rug down and walk on it for a week and it's filthy. Why do you think tacking it down on the edges so you can't clean it makes it get less dirty?"

"Oh, you want carpet... you'll see... you won't be happy without it..."

"No. I want hardwood."

Well, if like me you've been a long time lover of hardwood floors and other "old fashioned" ideas, are you not enjoying the fact that these same people who have sung the praises of carpet are pulling it out and slapping down plastic faux wood floors now? I can barely control my chuckles each time I hear that story. Yet again.

My sunporch downstairs didn't have hardwood - it was just subfloor. I was thinking about getting real wood to go in there - not plastic made to look like wood - but splurging for real wood. When I went shopping for it, every salesperson warned me not to - that if you could see old hardwood from the room with the new you'd never be happy with it. And these were people who stood to make some money from selling me the stuff.

They were in consensus so I put down slate tile instead. I'm very happy with it. It's a natural product - like the wood. And I think they're probably right. My old hardwood has a beautiful patina of age.

Everytime I walk on my hardwood floors that creak a bit here and there, and have imperfections after 100 years of use, I smile because I always knew they were the thing to have. The rest of the country is just catching up with those of us who have been in love with such things for a long time.

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