Monday, July 31, 2006

"Battleship Flooring"

"Its Battleship Flooring," said the Plumber who had come over to help us with all the leaking faucets in the house (and there were many). I had never heard that phrase, never had this stuff in any home I lived in, and found it fascinating. Real linoleum--as seen on This Old House, made out of flax seed oil, and all sorts of fairly natural materials. The interesting thing to me--it was 70 to 90 years old, depending on which room we were looking at.

The first weeks we lived in our home were fascinating. Our oldest son (now 6) was 2 weeks old when we moved in. My mother was here from Iowa, lending a hand with him and with trying to get the house improved a bit. One of the first things she encouraged me to do was to rip up the nasty carpet in the kitchen & bathroom on the main floor. The kitchen carpet (gross enough) was encrusted with the residue from 30 years of cooking. We really didn't know what color(s) it was until we moved the stove, and I realized it was orange, brown and yellow. The newspapers underneath it were dated 1973. The brown carpet in the bathroom was of the same vintage. What we found underneath in the kitchen was so odd--an intact floor that just needed cleaning. After cleaning, it literally shone. We soon learned linoleum is also incredible at hiding dirty spots.

The linoleum in the halls--and in the floors of the closets--older, and with a strong pattern. It wasn't my favorite, but it sure had a historic look. We found a "cheap version" of linoleum later on in a bedroom. It has "bitten the dust." The kitchen linoleum, on the other hand, still is acting as our "battleship floor," surviving 4 kids, a cat, lots of cooking, etc. Sort of a 2nd round of punishment.