When we moved into our house, we knew one of the first projects we would have to do would be removing the old, gross carpet. Within the first year, we got the upstairs done, but it took us a little while to be ready to tackle our master bedroom. Now that we have that crossed off our list, we’re officially carpet free! Our whole house is either tile or hardwoods!
Can you say gross? There are stains ALL OVER the place. I don’t know how we lived with them as long as we did, if I’m being honest.
These stains were here when we moved in, and I probably should have asked for money to help replace the carpets before we closed. They were in terrible condition. The baseboards needed to be replaced
The best tools we’ve found for projects involving carpet and trim (we’ve done close to 1,500 square feet at this point!) are:
- A hooked knife like this to cut the carpet up in the first place.
- A scraper like this to remove excess glue (we have concrete subfloors in this room, but it worked well on the plywood subfloors upstairs, too)
- A prybar like this to remove the trim (ours splintered into a thousand pieces when we removed it, but with more substantial trim you can definitely put it back on)
- A multitool (we have this one and we LOVE it) to help cut the trim where you need to give clearance for the new floors.
If you happen to be cursed with a concrete slab like us (hello, fellow Texans!), you may discover you also have approximately 10 million nails driven straight into the concrete around the perimeter of the room where they attached the tack strip to the slab. I’m gonna save you some headaches and just tell you the easiest way to deal with those. Get yourself a Dremel like this and a carbide blade like the one included in this package. Don’t try and pry them out (it’s gonna take concrete with it) or hammer them in (same thing). It’s loud. It takes five-ever. You just have to do it. Just make sure you wear your safety goggles, because cutting metal = sparks.
We were ready to tackle this on a long weekend, but after we discovered the nails, knew we were in it for a few weekdays too. We dragged our bed out into the living room and set up camp. Was it glamorous? No. But it was fine.
We worked like this for several days, trying to maintain normal during the day, putting the kids down to sleep, and then Dremel-ing as much as we could while the slept.
While we were at it, we decided to repaint. The blue was lovely, but I wanted to brighten up
In the picture above, you can see some of the last gold trim in our house. The previous homeowners didn’t bother moving their bed when they painted the trim for the sale, so we were left with this lovely strip. Gorgeous, right?
And because one thing always leads to another, I also decided it was time to upgrade our headboard. We were definitely on a budget at this point, though, so I threw this
little BIG boy together with some curtains and a mattress pad from Home Goods, and a big 4×8 panel we already had in the garage. It’s seriously huge, guys. I think someday I’d like to add some nail trim to make it look a little fancier, or maybe beef up the padding, but for now, I’m thrilled with how it turned out. I just hung it on the wall with a french cleat (they’re the best way to hang really heavy things, you can find them here or at any local hardware store) and called it a day.
FINALLY, it was time to actually lay the hardwoods. Just kidding, nothing is ever that simple in DIY. First, we put down a moisture barrier, which is basically like an extra thick trash bag that keeps moisture from the porous concrete foundation away from your moisture-hating hardwoods. (Totally not necessary if you have a plywood subfloor, but for a concrete slab like ours, you have to use one). Then, our underlayment. I wasn’t super happy with the Insulayment that we used upstairs, but for the sake of consistency, we used it in our master too.
We also ended up just picking up a few more boards of the Jefferson County hardwoods we got from Lumber Liquidators that we used on the top floor and the stairs of our house. For the sake of consistency throughout the two floors, it made sense to just use the same thing. Someday, we’d like to put it over all the tile on the first floor, but that was a bigger job than we were ready for at this point.
Then it was finally time to lay the boards. This part of the project always flies by, and we were done before we knew it. There were only a few tricky cuts, and after all the experience we gained by doing the whole top floor and on the stairs, they were a walk in the park.
We installed the baseboards (with the help of a great local handyman…ya girl can’t do baseboards if her life depended on it), finished painting, and voila! New hardwoods. I love how they turned out, and I don’t have to worry about what awful thought-to-be-extinct disease my kids are getting from touching the gross old carpet. It feels great under our feet, and it’s SO much easier to take care of.
Have you guys tackled any projects that you thought would be relatively quick, but run into something that ended up taking a lot longer? Or do you love carpet and can’t imagine not having something soft under your feet when you get out of bed? Tell me what you think!
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