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Floors In Your Home
( Originally Published 1935 )
Most floors in homes are made of hard or soft wood, but many new kinds of composition flooring are appearing on the market. Oak is the usual choice for wooden floors, but maple is used where durability is most important. Of the soft woods, pine is used considerably. Among some of the best architects there is a reaction against narrow-boarded, hardwood floors, particularly for simple houses. All wooden floors should be stained with walnut or a similar stain. Even in light bedrooms it is necessary to apply some tone, because the floor should be the darkest part of the room. Downstairs floors should be definitely dark. A stained floor must be protected by special varnish and shellac made particularly for floors. Where there are children or old people, waxed floors should be avoided on account of their slipperiness. Painted floors are sometimes desirable in dining rooms, bedrooms, halls, kitchens, or unconventional living rooms. They may be painted rich dark colors such as dark green, dull blue, black, dark Indian red, or spattered with many colors as they were in some Early American homes. One or two coats of varnish should be put on over the floor paint to protect it. The colored floor paint can be mixed with the floor varnish if desired.
Linoleum is made of ground cork and boiled linseed oil with a backing of burlap or felt paper. It is a very comfortable surface to walk on, and is being used more and more for other floors besides kitchens. In plain dull colors it is suitable for use in dining rooms, bedrooms, and halls, in certain houses. When waxed it looks like a painted floor. It can be cut to hold insets of special designs that suit some particular rooms. It is undesirable to imitate marble or tile in linoleum. Printed linoleum has the design on its surface; the inlaid patterns and the jaspe effects extend through the linoleum.
Ceramic tile floors are desirable in bathrooms but not in kitchens because they are too tiring to stand on steadily. In certain types of houses, such as the Mediterranean, glazed earthenware tiles are used in many rooms. Tiles should be kept inconspicuous in a small house.