Swedish Language Blog

Flooring in Sweden Posted by on Jun 20, 2012 in Culture, Living in Sweden, Vocabulary

Have you seen one of these around and wondered what are these things? Well in Swedish they are refererd to as en mattställning. You hang your rugs on them and hit them with en mattpiska, literally translated as a rug whip.


Now you might wonder why there is such a need for these mattställningar in every neighborhood or next to every house. Well, in Sweden most of the floors are (if you are lucky) made of hard pine wood, trägolv (wood floor). This is a slightly more luxurious option for flooring but definitively one of the most liked. Otherwise there is what is called linolium golv (linolium flooring). Either way both are easy to keep clean and don’t leave permanent stains if you spill something on them as carpeted floors do. Smaller rugs, mattor, are laid out on these types of floors, easy to pick up and beat on the mattställning.

As most of you might have heard by now, people take off their shoes in Sweden. That in combination with the easy to clean floors make most Swedish homes very clean. When Swedes visit people abroad they are usually very shocked by the fact that shoes are worn inside. “Doesn’t it get terribly dirty inside?” and “How often do they have to clean?” are probably things Swedes think a lot about when staying in countries with customs different from the Swedish one.

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  1. J. Eric:

    Your post reminded me of the parquet flooring at the Helsinki Airport back in the 1970’s. I think it was birch. It was the most beautiful floor I have ever seen of any flooring material anywhere in the world. Absolutely beautiful.