Vindication

 
This afternoon while I was cooking the TV in the kitchen was tuned into HGTV. Property Brothers, a show where people take houses in need of renovation and do them over, was playing. One of the brothers was showing a couple an older house with a bad kitchen with a vinyl floor. As the potential homeowners were having trouble seeing past the ugly he said to them, “We will rip this kitchen out and replace the floor with hard woods.”
Suddenly I was having a flash back to my second home I bought in Washington, DC in the eighties. I was a single woman trading up from a condo to a house that needed some work. My parents were concerned that I could not afford buying this much property on my own, but I did it anyway.  
The 1920’s house was very cute except for the candy apple green kitchen with Formica countertops and a green Congoleum floor. After I got into the house and found I could afford to pay the mortgage and still had some money left over for renovations I went about figuring out how I could change the kitchen.  
The house was “open concept” having had most of the main floor walls removed by a previous homeowner. That meant you could see the original ugly brown wood cabinets and the screaming green counters from both the living and dining rooms. I decided to paint the cabinets because it was something I cold do myself and was practically free. I found someone to put in new counters, which were an improvement. The last thing left to do was change the floor.
I went to EVERY flooring store in the metro area. I told them that I wanted to put a hardwood floor, to match the hard woods in the rest of my main floor, in the kitchen. Old man after old man floor salesmen told me I could NOT put a wood floor in my kitchen. “You’ve got your sheet goods and your tile,” I was told over and over again.  
I did not want tile since I spent many hours standing in my kitchen cooking for my catering business and a tile floor made my legs too tired. I did not want squishy Congoleum because it was just too ugly. I argued with each salesman saying that for hundreds of years kitchens had wood floors so why couldn’t mine. I don’t know if it was that I was a very young single woman, but they all told me I was crazy and they would not do it.
I finally found a carpenter who specialized in floors and convinced him that hard wood would be fine in my kitchen. I went back to one of the stores where I had been treated the least rudely and told them I needed wood for my dining room, which they gladly sold me. Remember this was back in the olden days before Home Depot or 1-800-floors, or laminated flooring. I was at the mercy of the floor store to even purchase wood. You might have thought I could have made Meth out of it the way they were so tight in not wanting to sell it to me.
The carpenter did a fabulous job changing out the hideous green sheet flooring to a hard wood with a border that matched my dining room. I lived in that house three more years and the floor was perfect the whole time. Whatever potential ruinous thing that might happen to a wood floor in a kitchen never happened when I lived there.  
I felt completely vindicated today when the “house professional” on TV said, “we will put in a wood floor.” HA! I was right all along. All those old men floor salesmen must be dead by now, but if one is living in some horrible nursing home with the TV playing too loudly I hope they are watching wood floors go in kitchens around America?



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