Office Flooring: Inspired by Germans

Living in Germany, I was surprised by how logical everything was. I was never feeling this sensation to kick something and complain about how it didn’t work. There were no splinters when I reached for a light switch, no unnecessary packaging for my toothpaste or popcorn, and most incredibly:

a very conscious desire to construct clean and orderly homes and workspaces.

This hangar started out so filthy. I quickly established a few rules, modeling the lifestyle of the German businesses I had interacted with. Martin and I knew that if we didn’t, we’d be spending every year cleaning like we have been:

  1. No storing items underneath shelving units. Stuffing things beneath metal racks attracts dirt. You have to pull them all out each time you want to clean.
  2. Use the shop vac to pick up dirt, not a broom. We want the dirt gone, not reshuffled. Sometimes brooms can’t pick up the fine stuff or they kind of blow it around.
  3. Limit clutter. It’s an open invitation to dirt.
  4. Avoid carpeting in the office.
And today is all about our aversion to carpeting. It collects dirt, smells, vomit (hey – you never know!), drink spills, paper crumbs (which Gadanke has a lot of!), and grime. It off gases like a maniac. And frankly, I just can’t figure out how I could keep our office clean with carpet.

What’s a girl to do with her office floor?

Easy. We’re going with a bamboo floor.

Martin and I are suckers for real wood. We like the longevity of it. We like that you can refinish it years later when it’s scratched and beaten.

Unfortunately, you can’t use one of these nail guns in a concrete floor (which is how we installed our bamboo flooring upstairs).

We were kind of stumped for a bit. Then the lightbulb went off, which is a fairly inaccurate thing to say. The power went out for around four hours and seventeen minutes. (Not that we and our power tools weren’t counting!)

We vacuumed and mopped all the drywall dust and pulled out more sheets of the locally made, heavy duty insulation that Martin had made. We glued it to the concrete floor to act as a cushion and insulator from the cold ground. The office was looking about like our house above did a few months ago. Remember this white on white episode?

At least I think the office was probably feeling that way.

You see, after I mopped the floor, I kind of took off for the morning. I had a dentist appointment and another lumberyard run. There’s always a lumberyard run. It means there was no official Construction Project Camera Woman present to show you the progress.

You’ll just have to settle for the after shots. (If you ask me, however, I’d say there’s none of this so called “settling” involved. This is awesome! I’m half tempted to go to the dentist more often.)

ecofriendly office

We used a snapping or “quick lock” flooring, which looks a lot like tongue and groove. It doesn’t need to be nailed or glued to the ground, so once you get the hang of it, this flooring goes in really fast. (Faster than, say, the time it takes to say “awwww” 43 times.)

Three cheers for real wood flooring, aye?

And now for a big ol’ question. What are your thoughts on offices with carpeting? How about schools? Could you care less or do you have invisible grime and vomit paranoia like me?