Happily, when we come to floors we find that those which may be depended upon to endure and to give their share of home comfort are also the best to look upon. It would be agreeable to say, further, that they cost least, but that would be misleading. This book fails to say not a few things that would be interesting but which wouldn't be of much real use to the homemaker, because they aren't so.
Leaving the everlastingly pestiferous question of cost aside, what is the best all-around flooring? Well, so far no one has been able to suggest anything that seems so appropriate as a good quality of hard wood - which means oak or maple, or both - properly treated and, above all, laid down as it should be. The flooring is a permanent part of the house, or, if it isn't, we'll certainly wish it had been. As it is subject to harder and more constant usage than any other part of the structure, it must be strong, and it must have a surface that will resist wear, or we shall simply store up trouble for the future. It is also a part of the decorative scheme, and as such must help to furnish the keynote of our plans. All these requirements are met by hard wood.
It is possible, we may admit, to have a happy and comfortable home with cheaper flooring; but the price that is not paid in money will be afterwards collected with interest in effort and sacrifice of satisfaction. Doubtless it is not wise, as some one suggests, to put so much money into our floors that we cannot afford to buy anything to put on them; but in many instances the appearance of our house interiors would be much more pleasing if fewer pieces of superfluous furniture were brought in to cover the floors. At any rate, the longed-for furniture may be "saved up for" and bought later; a mistake in floors to start with is hard to rectify.