Thursday, 11 February 2010

The joy of tiled floors.

Just as I found tiled floors cold and unhomely when I first came to France, J found the extensive carpet usage in my parents' house unhygienic and dirty.

I've just spent a good two hours moving all the furniture, sweeping, mopping the floor and waiting it to dry and the putting al the furniture back and I was thinking about the pros and cons of the French love of tiled floors. I'm used to it now but still don't think it's very homely. True, it's more hygienic than carpets - just sweeping then mopping proves that - the water is diiiiirty, but it's such a pain having to move all the furniture and then wait forever for the floor to dry when with a hoover you can just lift up chairs briefly while you hoover under them, and of course, no drying time is necessary.

When I'm at my parents' house, I love nothing more than lying on the carpet in front of the fire but that simply doesn't happen here in France. As I'm used to carpets underfoot I still find it difficult to wear slippers all the time in France and if I ever walk barefoot in front of my MIL she freaks out big time 'You'll catch a cold walking barefoot you know' she muses. This comes from a woman who practically wears snowboots in the winter in the house. Of course with carpets, no need for snowboots.

Do you have tiled floors? Love them or hate them?

9 comments:

MilkJam said...

I miss thick carpets where you don't need slippers. At home my mom's got hardwood floors downstairs and carpet upstairs. When planning the house MG was all for tile downstairs and i turned my nose up to it - until he pointed out that since we're putting in underfloor heating the tile would be the best conductor of heat! so we have all tile downstairs and faux-wood floors upstairs (parquet flottant). I wanted carpet upstairs but he's got a major dust allergy so that was a no go.

Jennie said...

I hate tiled floors because they're so cold and you have to wash them all the damn time. I really miss carpet! I love lying on the floor and not having to wear slippers everywhere. Plus they're not dirtier than tile floors if you vacuum and steam clean them regularly.

L said...

Hahahah!! My in-laws are convinced I'm going to die if I don't wear slippers, but they try to hide it by saying I should wear them because of the dog hair. My parents' house is half tile half carpet, but it's also industrial style carpet, so a really short shag that's not at all plush. Having my own place now (with all tile/linoleum) and seeing how we need to vacuum once a week, I kind of wonder about my parents who vacuum more like once every 3 or 4 weeks.
I remember my mom saying that when she was growing up no one had "wall-to-wall" carpeting, but just large area rugs instead. I think area rugs are kind of the solution. You can mop under the dining room table, but then put a nice rug in front of the couch.
If we ever get to re-do our own place, I might be tempted to put carpet in the bedroom. I'm sure my French in-laws will think I'm crazy.

Leah said...

I have tiled floors in the sdb, toilettes and cuisine, I find them cold, but very practical for cleaning. I have wood floors everywhere else which, I feel, is in between tile and carpeted floors and I like because they're not too cold and if you throw a rug down, voila, they become homey! I think it all depends what you're used to as I grew up with that exact combo back home in the states, so I definitely prefer it. Although, I would definitely choose carpet over tile over lino if I had to choose!


PS-My word verif is herbe, have you ever looked into grass flooring? ;)

Crystal said...

tiled floors become your best friends when you have pets...if someone pukes or pees, all it takes is a paper towel or two. I don't even want to know what this place would look like with carpet (although I do have thin, rough carpet laid down in my miniscule bedroom...it's more of a pain in the ass than anything and if I vacuumed up all the pet hair, I could make a new pet)

Amber said...

We've got "planché" in our house.. large planks of what used to be trees sliced up and layed out. They are uneven, they creak, there are gaping holes, but we love them. It gives our apartment a kind of charm, I guess. I completely agree with Crystal about the pets -- it is SO much easier to clean up messes off of wood or tiles! I definitely don't miss the cheap industrial carpet that we had in our first place in Caen.
We've got area rugs in our living room and office to warm the place up a little bit.

Zhu said...

Do you think tiled floor are a French thing? I never noticed before.

I like carpets and old plancher, although I always get splinters when I walk bare feet.

And I'd rather vacuum than mop!

Emmina said...

I live in Italy and here it's exactly the same. Italians are convinced that carpets are terribly unhygenic, no matter how much you vacuum! And barefoot is a big no-no - colds, flu, even bronchitis are all lurking in those tiles waiting to jump on your foot and travel to your lungs!! Even worse than opening a window between october and march...

susan said...

The answer is cork floors; natural insulation so your barefeet are always warm but you can dust mop, damp mop or vac it to clean ! I did a test with cork; laminate, hardwood and bamboo wood samples -- put them next to my bed and did a touch test in bare feet getting out of bed on a January morning -- the cork was skin temp and the rest felt like ice. Alas, I left my lovely sustainable cork floor in Oregon but someday I will have cork in my french home -- anyway, my Oregon flooring came from a manufacturer called WECork in an EU country -- google them there are many patterns and applications. Cork is also accoustical insulator and room sound does not bounce around as with lino, wood and tile; I love underfloor heating but have never been able to afford it; In Oregon the cork floor cut my electric heat bill in half ! I do not miss carpets at all -- especially since I have a large black lab/great dane -- by the way the cork floor did fine under the dog's feet since I took care to keep his nails trimmed. PS -- My big dog loves Paris and keeps a close watch on his street below from our 5th floor balcon.

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