We’re 5 days into this stair makeover, and things are moving right along. All of the staples are finally gone, the nails are hammered back in, and we’re ready to lay the new flooring. And I just want to say…I think I grossly underestimated how hard this project would be with a three-month-old. I keep thinking that I’ll be able to go install a step or two, but she needs to be held/fed/burped/etc. Something tells me you just shouldn’t use a chop saw while holding an infant. 😉
It took about 8 hours total to rip out all the carpet, pull out all the staples, and hammer down all the nails so we’d have a smooth surface to work with. There’s a considerable amount of dust and debris from the carpet pad disintegrating as well (but don’t worry, I have a super easy solution later in the post), so there was some cleanup time too. One night, when we thought we were close to done, I noticed something a little off. Can you spot it?
We left one piece of carpet on! Oops! When you get in the groove, it’s easy to miss something. Aaron was sweet enough to let me take a picture of him ripping out the very last piece of carpet off the steps. And like that, we were carpetless. It feels so good to have that nasty carpet gone! The only bit of it left now is in our master bedroom, which I’m hoping we might have enough floor to do once the stairs are over. It’s probably a stretch, though.
Anyway, after he ripped out the last piece, I went to town removing the rest of the staples, just like I had for the rest of the stairs. I got super sucked into The Influencer Podcast, which I was just trying on a whim. It’s actually really good and definitely less dry and more upbeat than a lot of other blogging podcasts! If you’re a blogger, definitely go check it out.
After we were all done ripping everything out, this is what our driveway looked like. Still looks like, actually. I’m also in the middle of cleaning out and organizing our garage, so our friend The Bagster is going to stay with us a little while longer. I think this is our third round with the magic dumpster in a bag, and I’m a fan for life. It’s not like you can just hop on Amazon and pick up a traditional dumpster! Once you’re done filling it up, you just schedule a garbage pickup and they come take it off your hands. It’s seriously so easy.
With our stairs prepped and ready for the new material to be installed, it was time to break out the big guns. Nail guns to be exact. This beauty is the newest addition to our 18V Ryobi collection, and I actually learned quite a bit while shopping for it. See…we never finish projects 100% around here. It would just be wrong! We’ve laid all of the bamboo flooring upstairs, but there are no baseboards. Which means that the nail gun I bought had to not only handle delicate cove trim, but also baseboards.
I was fluctuating between the Brad Nailer and the Straight Finish Nailer. After some research though, there’s a clear choice here. Besides the difference of about $50, they’re pretty similar. One just shoots bigger things than the other. If you’re going to do baseboards, you need a finish nailer. Brads just won’t do it. If you’re only doing very lightweight, delicate trim, you just need the brad nailer. In my opinion, though, you don’t need both. So spend the extra $50 and pick up the more multi-purpose tool that will help you finish all kinds of projects in the long run instead of the cheaper one that you’ll probably not get as much use out of.
I haven’t broken out the nail gun yet (Emma’s elusive and unpredictable nap times aren’t my friend this week), but I’ll update you when I do. Onto the next dilemma!
My boards got cut at the wrong measurement. They should be around 6″ instead of 7.5″ since I’m tucking the new boards underneath the old lips. Oops. It’s a good job for my circular saw, even though I don’t like using it. Free-wheeling saws scare me! I’m so afraid the blades are going to go flying and hurt someone. I’d much rather use a table saw. I’ve gotta get over it though…it’s a key piece of any DIYer’s power tool belt. I’ll be a big girl home blogger someday, but not today!
Off to the next (and hopefully, last!) problem. The stair runner. You guys, I fell hard. This black and white striped global print is everything I’ve ever wanted in a stair runner. It’s geometric without being chevron, it has a kind of horizontal stripe pattern, which NOBODY does, and it’s just too stinkin’ cute. And I can’t. find. it. anywhere.
I dug deep. I originally saw this pin on Pinterest, but then searched Google by image (seriously cool feature, btw), which led me to the Domino article that talked about it in 2016. There, I found the original photographer, Tifani Lyn. I looked through basically her entire gallery to try to find the family’s home that it’s in so I could write them to see who made their stair runner…but I stopped there because I realized I now sounded like a lunatic.
So it was on to other options. It’s not like I could afford the dream runner anyway, I’m sure it’s practically a billion dollars. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. I first had to measure my stairs for how much material I needed, which is when I realized the biggest problem.
Our stairs have a turn. Which means either runner on just the straight portion, or ordering a custom runner. Since custom runners with a triangle landing like we have are around $200 JUST for the landing…I think it’s out. It’s not something that we can really DIY since I have no loom skills and don’t intend to learn how to make carpet.
So what do you guys think? Runner on the straight portion only, or no runner? I like the style a runner adds, and safety underfoot, but I’m not sure if it’s going to look goofy with two steps left undone. Tell me what you think in the comment below!