19 February 2004
Arse over teakettle
Apparently the British are as obsessed with home-improvement television shows as we are, and thousands of Brits, motivated by the tube, have ripped out their carpeting to reveal the wooden floors beneath. (My daughter, when she bought her house, did exactly the same thing; it's unclear how far the family tree extends into England.)
Unfortunately, just because you can walk on carpeting doesn't mean you can walk the same way on wood, especially highly polished wood: the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is reporting that injuries due to falls on indoor floors have quadrupled in the last five years.
Two words: "area rugs."
Posted at 7:25 AM to Dyssynergy
Huh. I grew up in a house with hardwood floors in the main part of the house -- uncarpeted ones, by the way -- and floors made of some sort of marble tile in the porch and the dining room that my father later turned into my bedroom. The only room with fifties-era linoleum was the kitchen. (The house was an old Florida "Boomer" house, built in 1925.) I got a fluffy green shag (it was the Seventies) area rug for my room, but it didn't cover the entire floor. We did slip and fall a few times, but thought of it as part of life.
Now I wish I could dispense with wall-to-wall carpeting. No matter how often I vacuum, it seems that I am always having problems with allergies. Darn dust mites.
In my new digs there are real parquet floors (except kitchen and bathroom, which appear to have been freshly tiled). I don't miss the crappy carpeting I had over on Shabby Road, though I have admittedly been slow in accumulating my own area rugs. (Master bedroom, of course, was first.)
Area rugs can be even more dangerous than slick hardwood. Make sure you don't forget the carpet pads. (They allegedly keep rugs from doing that "skid" thingie -- though don't go by me, I can trip over a flat sidewalk.)
In my experience, they reduce though do not entirely eliminate the possibility of slippage. Still, doing without them is asking for trouble, as I found out when I put down a rug by itself to see how it would look before I plopped the furniture back around it and promptly slid into a bad Tony Hawk impersonation.