I'll admit that I have a little smidge of idealism in my renovating. While the experienced project manager in me is always cautious with over-ambitious timelines and I'm often one to try to lower, not pump up expectations with any project we take on, I do still have dreams of blissful perfection that I harbour deep in my core as we tackle any household project. Afterall, without that childlike hope what would be the fun right? Drywall dust with no utopian fantasy is afterall just really messy.
And so it was that I got rather caught up in just how our bathroom flooring choice was going to alter my world. For the better of course. And so I combed through design magazines, the isles of hardware stores and high end flooring boutiques. My first choice cork was just too cost prohibitive as well as raising some concerns for installation as we planned to do the install ourselves. The cork we were looking at came in tiles you see, and Martin wasn't convinced he could get them snug enough to form a waterproof barrier in our bathroom. Really, I think he just wasn't as cork crazy as I was, but whatever. Eventually, as dedicated historical readers will know, we settled on Marmoleum. Marmoleum promises to be the flooring choice of the green conscious consumer. Made with age-old linoleum procedures and chockfull of natural pigments, cedar resin, flax, jute and all kind of other things that you can imagine actually growing somewhere not being made in a big chemical factory, marmoleum promised to be easy to install, was a very green choice, durable and came in oh so many colours.
And, so far it has held up its end of the bargain. It was fairly easy to install apparently (I wasn't home), though we did end up with one small crack in it where Martin shifted his weight wrong while working in the room to install it, but I can embrace imperfection. It doesn't get too cold (so far anyway) and feels quite temperature neutral on your feet when you first get up in the morning (this was a virtue loudly extolled by many marmoleum lovers), and it is very easy to clean. Which is good, because it is always freakin' dirty! Or at least, it always looks that way. In the end, this has less to do with marmoleum itself and absolutely everything to do with the colour compromise we made. You see marmoleum does indeed come in a veritable rainbow of colours, and as is very normal in a renovating relationship, we had some differences of colour opinion. Martin favoured a pattern of vibrant colours all mixed up that the lovely Miss P and I referred to as "blended up smurf guts/smurf puke." I was more into the neutrals that looked something like my lusted after cork options. In the end, we agreed that neither of us was that fond of the faux-marble type finishes which just seemed like Debbie Travis painting techniques gone wrong. Besides, everyone uses those marble-y finishes when they buy marmoleum and we are different! We are bold! And young! And DIY. So we chose a very natural, warm matte solid green. Kind of, I hesitate to say, the colour of an avocado. But not the same colour as those 70s appliances. It is very nice. Warm, neutral, but definitely a colour. We both felt we could live with it.
And live with it we have for almost two months now, and while it is very, very nice to have a redone bathroom and a smooth bathroom floor surface that is easy to clean (our old one was all crumbly and rotty) it is a floor that constantly needs to be cleaned. Or looks like it. Between my long hair, Miss P's curly long hair, Martin's hair, the hair that Martin tracks home from work, the cat and well just dirt in general the one solid lovely matte colour of our flooring shows everything. And that isn't nice. And so, I sweep the floor about three times a week now, if not more, and mop it twice. This is roughly three times and double as often (respectively) as I used to. And while I am satisfied that our floor is really very clean most of the time, and tell myself that if we had one of those more common patterned flooring surfaces we just wouldn't see the dirt, but it would still be there, it is a bit of a royal pain in the butt.
And so, all of your renegade renovators out there, when considering what do with your floor, learn from us: those kind of cheesy faux-finish patterns are there for a reason. Embrace them. You may find that in the end you're happier with the blended smurf look over the constant cleaning...