A beautiful floor that stands the test of everyday life

When you are about to move to a new home, selecting the floor material is one of the most difficult interior decoration decisions. It is even more so in the case of homes where not only adults, but also children and pets will be trotting on the floor. At this point, people usually only start deliberating how durable the material is and how easy it is to clean and maintain. Aesthetics and other values are completely forgotten.

Thump, swoosh, stumble, splash, and splurt. Without going into any details, this is what the floor has to withstand in a family with children and dogs. That is often precisely the reason why people end up selecting a floor on the basis of its low price. The decision is justified by the fact that it does not matter if the inexpensive material is damaged and that it is only a temporary solution and the floor will be replaced as soon as… In other words, most of us spend the most wonderful years of our life living with an ‘as soon as’ floor that is almost always displeasing, at least for the part of its appearance.

People do not often stop to think that the inexpensive material may pose a health risk particularly to the children and pets living in the house, even though the health aspect should always be the most important selection criterium. The adhesive fumes coming through the floor cracks or the odorous floor material itself are likely to block up the nose of the child crawling on the floor or the pet liking and sniffing the floor. We all understand the damage that can cause to a tiny human, but what about a dog, for example?

Sense of smell is the most powerful and important sense of a dog. If you have a pet, such as a working dog, living in your home, is it sensible to damage its sense of smell, which is hundreds of thousands of times more accurate than a human’s, with thoughtlessness? Moreover, if puppies can get an allergic reaction from the ink on the papers they pee on or scented floor detergent, what are the effects of a continuous exposure to odours emitted by the floor?

Another aspect that is not often taken into account in homes with pets is the possible slipperiness of the floor. When an animal skidding on a smooth surface strains itself, the consequences can be unpleasant. Back and foot pain are ailments that are very commonly treated by veterinarians, osteopaths, and massage therapists. In the worst case, slipping may cause chronic and painful conditions that the animals are not even able to tell their owners about.

When selecting a suitable floor material for a household with animals, attention should always be paid to how easy the floor is to maintain and renovate. The ability to endure occasional strain is one of the strengths of an appropriately maintained natural material. Pee-related accidents, mud from outdoors, or a tipped water bowl do not damage a floor with a wooden surface if the floor has been cleaned and maintained appropriately.

After having endured years of wear and tear, even top-quality floors look like they have reached the end of their lifecycle. Or not, since this what separates the wheat from the chaff, once and for all. The best floors endure sanding and protective treatment, which provide the most important surface in the home with many more years of use.

Thus, it is not sensible to pinch pennies when selecting the floor material, right?

The writer Jutta Rissanen lives in the countryside in a detached house with eight long-haired dachshunds, and the Timberwise single plank wooden floor, which stands the test of everyday life, is her floor of choice. Now, after 15 years of use, the Timberwise floor that was selected for all of the rooms has been sanded and treated and is as good as new.

Jutta Rissanen
Editor in Chief

MediaExtra Oy

jutta.rissanen@mediaextra.fi

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