Unless there are small children, expert opinion and the demands of beauty favor waxed floors. Ordinarily the floor must be rewaxed about every three months, but a pound of wax, that will cover two ordinary sized rooms, costs only 50 cents, and it may be applied by anyone. To keep the floors in best condition the wax brush should be passed over them every fortnight.
Varnish floors scratch but are not affected by water, and on the whole are rather more popular than oil or wax. They cost something less to maintain, and are less conducive to embarrassing gyratics on the part of dignified persons wearing slippery shoes.
If we may not demand oak or maple floors, well-laid Georgia pine, carefully oiled or varnished, would be our next choice. There is a large saving in initial expense, and perhaps some one else will be using them five years from now! Though we cannot expect to get anything like equal satisfaction from the cheaper wood as compared with oak, if we do, feel bound to adopt it we shall have less cause for complaint later if we view very carefully the material and the operations of laying and finishing. Poor workmanship can spoil the best of materials; what it can do with cheaper stuff is absolutely unmentionable. Paint may be used on the upper floors and even limited to a border in the bedrooms.