A Handbook That Will Floor You

This 144-page paperback is the ultimate how-to guide to picking out and putting in the right floor.

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The Flooring Handbook: The complete guide to choosing and installing floors. By Dennis Jeffries. Firefly, $24.95.

As you're pacing back and forth in your living room, looking at the walls in your brilliant redecorating job, check your feet. You can't forget the floor.

Sure, you have your basic wood, carpet and even concrete flooring to choose from. But wake up! Try terra cotta, cork, marble or even rubber. This 144-page paperback is the ultimate how-to guide to picking out and putting in the right floor.

Dennis Jeffries, "an internationally respected figure in the flooring industry" with 40 years of experience, reminds you to carefully assess your room for various factors. Pick out a flooring that not only takes into account your tastes but also your budget and skill in installation.

Just to get you through the decision phases, which most lend themselves to procrastination, Jeffries has a nifty chart that names the house location (like entrance hall, children's room or staircase); the most popular flooring; what is laughingly known as "less suitable" (it's just not DONE that way, darling); and no-no-no — not suitable at all.

More charts feature cost, expertise and maintenance, as well as tiny pictures of samples to compare colors, installation methods and materials like air nailers and seaming irons to get started. So get started.

(Patrick Butters writes for Scripps Howard News Service.)

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