Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

I couldn’t wait to get home and feel carpet under my feet ...

by : 

Even after living in Spain for over a year, I love the fact that I am still discovering strange cultural differences between this country and the UK.  The latest one may seem rather unexpected, but it just goes to show that the environment and the people you grow up with really do influence your likes and dislikes. In this case, I’m not talking about Britain’s obsession with curry, or Spain’s obsession with football, but I am talking about carpets.

How can such a common household object provoke such disgust in our Spanish neighbours? Well, the thing is that it is only a common household object for us in the UK. Although most kitchens, hallways and bathrooms may be tiled or have laminate flooring, you can’t deny that it would be strange curling up in front of the fire in your living room on a hard floor.

I only appreciated how comfortable carpets were when I moved to Spain, and realised that there was something missing in all the places that I visited on my flat hunt. By the time it came to fly home for Christmas, I couldn’t wait to walk barefoot around my house, without the fear of my soles becoming black, or catching frostbite.

However, when I told this to a couple of Spanish friends, they couldn’t believe that the majority of my house was carpeted. In fact, they were really shocked. They told me that for them, carpets mean dirtiness, and tiles mean cleanliness. I have even been asked, ‘but how do you clean a carpet?’. I suppose that while we have Hoovers (vacuum cleaners), they have mops. I must admit that spilling red wine on tiles is much easier to hide from your parents than if you spill it on carpet.

This odd cultural difference became most obvious when we started talking about hotels. These same friends told me that on their travels to London, they were actually disgusted to find that every single hotel they stayed in had carpeted bedrooms. Even the sight of a carpet gave them a feeling of ‘disorder’. For me, tiles remind me of supermarkets, so surely carpet in a hotel would symbolise comfort, homeliness, and warmth. On the contrary, my Spanish friends wouldn’t even dare take their shoes off.
And finally, when I asked a Spanish friend the main reason she didn’t like carpets, she simply replied: ‘well, they’re ugly’. Looks like it’s time to buy myself some slippers...


What do you have on the floors in your home? Carpets? Rugs? Titles? Wooden floors? Which do you think is better? 


hermione123's picture
hermione123 16 April, 2021 - 14:58

We use wooden floors in some parts in our house. And for the stairs we use carpets. The rest use tiles. But, here in my country most people use tiles. Because it's hot here, tiles tend to be more cold than wooden floors and carpets. However when it's rainy and chilly here, it's not fun to have tiles. But i prefer wooden floor. It's easy to be cleaned and not cold ;)

1 user has voted.
hadia's picture
hadia 30 April, 2015 - 17:13

Well we are having carpets, rugs etc but I like wooden floors. Actually i love the voice made when we walk on it wearing shoes(maybe it's annoying to many others but) i really like it.
Well! Is that tiles in the question asked above? it must not be titles......

0 users have voted.
haiganjordan's picture
haiganjordan 17 November, 2014 - 10:06

Carpet is a great accessory that can surely provide your house a different dimension. If you are using carpets in all the rooms then it would provide a defined look to the whole area.

0 users have voted.
cklj's picture
cklj 6 March, 2014 - 09:39

I have carpets in every room, but I think that the wooden floors are better because it's easier to clean them.

0 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
MALINE 8 February, 2014 - 22:00

I used to have a carpet in my bedroom but due to asthma we had to remove it,I didn´t like it anyway.

0 users have voted.
Fatime143's picture
Fatime143 7 February, 2014 - 17:33

I have wooden floor in my room.It is very clean. I have carpets,but i dont have rugs in my room.I cleaning my room every weekend.

0 users have voted.
justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 23 January, 2014 - 11:08

Some parts of my house is carpeted whereas others are marble flooring and the kitchen is wooden. I prefer wooden floors.

0 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
Niluh 13 January, 2014 - 12:59

I have wooden floor in my room and tiles floors in the rest part of my house, i don't think my parents will use a carpet, my younger sisters are very dirty they often make a mess by spilling or pouring something on the floor.
Clean tiles floor is easier that clean a carpet, i can clean my house by myself which i don't need any cleaning machines such vacuum cleaner. I mean i only use simple equipments like broom and mop.

0 users have voted.