Wall to Wall

floorRemember when wall-to-wall carpet was all the rage? Rugs were out, the kind that could be turned around to even out the wear and sent out to be cleaned when dirty. I remember having a 9×12 rug in my first apartment. When the corners became raveled, we simply rolled it up and sent it out to be bound.

Ah, those where the good old days.

Then wall-to-wall carpet came along. Everyone had to have the luxury of carpets that were nailed to the floor. We liked these carpets so much that we covered up beautiful hardwood floors to install them.

I remember having a perfectly good hardwood floor in my home and having it covered up with wall-to-wall carpet — green shag carpet, at that. Oh, the luxury of deep green shag all over the house, like walking through grass we thought.

We liked wall-to-wall carpet so much that we even put it in the kitchen. It wasn’t green shag, of course, it was some sort of carpet that was supposedly resistant to spills. The kitchen carpet trend didn’t seem to last too long. Regardless of how resistant to stains the carpet was supposed to be, a hard floor was much more practical in an area like a kitchen.

When I moved into my current home, the bathroom was carpeted — wall-to-wall, what else? It wasn’t long before water leakage took its toll, the floor rotted, and that particular luxury was exchanged for a more durable ceramic tile.

And so it has gone thru the years. You name it, and it has been carpeted, whether it was the basement, the patio, or even the garage at one point, crazy as that sounds. I must have been out of my mind.

Builders wised up about flooring. Looking to save a buck, they quit putting hardwood floors in new homes and put wall-to-wall carpeting right over the plywood subfloor. Who cared if there was hardwood under it? No one was ever going to pull it up anyhow.

And that’s what I was stuck with, carpeting over a plywood subfloor, carpeting that gathered dust to aggravate my allergies, carpeting that had to be cleaned by paying a professional  or with do-it-yourself backbreaking labor, carpeting that never seems to stay clean, that shows wear in traffic areas, that has historic stains left by accidents that I’d rather not recall, carpeting with a nostalgic tear made when the dog decided to bury a bone inside the house, carpeting that never quite fit right after the bathroom floor was replaced, carpeting that was horrible and needed to be replaced.

But what did I decide to do instead?

Well, the new trend is, guess what? Hardwood. Wood that can be cleaned and will not harbor germs, dirt, dust and grime. There are new engineered hardwood flooring materials now that are easy to install and don’t require the maintenance that the old wood flooring required.

I am burned out with carpet. I want engineered hardwood, even in the kitchen, even in the bedrooms. I saw it in a magazine and it looks great. If I have a spot that needs covering, I’ll get an area rug. Imagine getting rid of the years of dust, grime, and allergens imbedded in the carpet. Imagine cleaning with a dust mop instead of having to drag a heavy vacuum cleaner around.

Yes, wall-to-wall carpeting is out, and hardwood is back in. Somehow I can’t help but notice that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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5 Responses to Wall to Wall

  1. Lois Hunter says:

    I agree with you Sheila. I don’t mind carpet in the bedroom, just to avoid a cold floor when getting out of bed, but hardwood is beautiful.

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    • Sheila Moss says:

      Yes, when you hit that cold floor in the winter with bare feet, it really wakes you up in a hurry. I’ve learned to keep some slippers nearby to avoid the shock.

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  2. Authoress51 says:

    Having cats, I prefer flooring. It’s much easier to clean. But, I remember in High School, I was probably one of the first to have a carpeted locker.

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  3. cat9984 says:

    My brother installs floors, and he says the manufactured wood floors are amazing

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