About a month ago Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com wrote about her loving devotion to FLOR tiles. I’d never heard of them before, but the woman (who has a dog and a toddler) raved about how she can clean these tiles with a baby wipe, whether the mess comes from spaghetti sauce or barf. My favorite part of her post follows; note that Leta is her daughter and Chuck is her dog:
When Leta spills her beer or Chuck throws up that diaper he ate this morning, we just break out a baby wipe, and poof, the mess is gone. I am not even making this up. Have you ever tried doing that with regular carpet? You end up with a giant off-color spot right there in the middle of the floor, and you just know people are coming over and looking at it and wrongly assuming that you are the type of person who smells her underwear to see if she can wear it an extra day.
I know that giant off-color spot, I’ve dealt with many of them since we started living with animals. All it takes is one barf, and the entire rug is ruined. We currently live in a house with wood floors, which is great except that we’ve had to get rid of four area rugs in the last twelve months due to barf-spots (or mud-spots, or spaghetti-sauce-spots) that, even when properly cleaned, left a permanent discoloration on the area rug. Area rugs are not cheap, people, and it hurts too have to throw one out. I started looking at these mysterious FLOR tiles as my possible savior; here’s what I found out.
FLOR tiles are made from a variety of fabrics (jute, wool, etc.), and one version even contains 80% post-consumer recycled materials, though the site doesn’t say what kinds of materials they use in the making of their tiles. Actually, I can’t seem to find any information about their materials on first glance, so I’d definitely send the company an email before making any FLOR purchase.
One thing that does seem appealing is that once you’re finished with this highly durable flooring, you can send the tiles back to FLOR to be recycled at their plant. The company will pay the shipping, too, which is pretty incredible. Have you ever dealt with a company like, oh, say, Pottery Bran, for example? First you pay a ridiculously high price for a piece of furniture or somesuch that you just KNOW was made in India, or China, or Indonesia, and then you have to pay insane shipping rates, and then if there’s even the slightest problem with your order to have to spend like HOURS debating with a less-than-helpful telephone representative, and then you have to take out a small loan just to be able to afford the return shipping on the order that THEY MESSED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. You know, as one random example.
I’m dying to know more about FLOR. Have any of you had any experience with this company and its products before? The colors and textures of their tiles are very enticing, and since we’re in the process of doing a small amount of redecorating anyway, it seems like it might be a decent idea to fill the empty rectangles in our rooms that once housed dog-destroyed rugs with these (apparently) durable and easy-to-clean tiles. Tell me anything you’ve heard, and I’ll let you know what we decide.