Saturday, October 29, 2011

Project # 2 - Floors

Day # 1

When I first looked at the house, one of the aspects that immediately stood out to me as something I needed to change was the carpet. The living room, stairs to the second floor and second floor hallway were covered in ugly red carpet. I am not a fan of carpet so this had to change.

As can be seen in the pictures, ugly.

The original plan was to pull up the carpets, the tack strips and staples and just sand and refinish the spaces that had the carpet. However, after some advising, that plan has changed a bit. The carpets, tack strips and staples are still on tap for removal but all other floors are now going to be getting the sanding and sealing finish. It makes sense to try to give the house a uniform consistency in the floors. It might require more time, money and sweat than I had originally planned but it will result in a nicer overall finish to the house.

With a bit of light left in the day, I set to work tearing up the living room carpets. Happily, they weren't too difficult to get off the floor. The only remnants of the carpet in that room now is a lot of staples with tufts of carpet padding attached to them. While pulling up the padding, I noticed that there were even more staples in the floor. Guess this is the second time carpet was laid out on this floor.

Day # 2
Spent the morning tearing up the carpet in the second floor hallway and stairs. This carpet appears to be older than the carpet in the living room considering how aggressively stapled to the floor it was and how hazardous just handling the carpet was (nails and staples everywhere in it). Plus the padding was different and looked like it fell out of the 60s.

While the living room had more carpet to contend with, the hallway and stairs were more difficult. The above mentioned aggressive stapling being the chief difficulty but the variety of awkward shapes and frequent endings of lengths of carpet made it more challenging as well. That said, I needed only about an hour or so to get it and the padding underneath torn up. I can't wait to get those tacks and staples out and see what the floor looks like when it gets refinished.

Day #3
After a long day on Saturday plucking nails and staples, today seemed like a breeze. Its a good thing too - with the trees falling on the property I don't think I could have really managed dealing with that and stubborn staples. They were a great distraction while I waited for a Tree Removal service to arrive for an estimate.

As I was taking the final staples out of the living room, Pat and Marc showed up to lend a hand on the stairs and 2nd floor hall. Happily, even though the carpet was older, the staples and tack strips came up much more easily. Some of that I am sure is due to the better hammer Jay picked up the night before but I think some of it was also due to the lower traffic those areas of the house saw compared to the living room (which, aside from being a living room is also the primary access to the backyard and pool).

Within a couple of hours, the hall and stairs were done and we moved on to pulling ancient drape/blind hardware. The floors already look significantly better, both without the carpet and without the tufts of old carpet padding dotting them. After this, the plan is to get any holes filled, the floors sanded and a fresh new coat of sealant on them. That is a project for another time and will likely happen on a room-by-room basis.


  1. This looks AWESOME!! Such a nice surprise under that horrid carpet. Let me know if you need extra hands to help re-finising floors, I may consider driving down to help while Cam is working on weekends. :) Can't wait to see more pics!!!! :)

  2. Yeah - I am very happy the floors turned out the way they did. Getting the staples and nails out is making a huge difference already.

    Like I mentioned in the Day #3 section of the post (newly added) - might be doing a "Paint and Steak" day this weekend. If you want to come down, paint some walls and get some food out of the deal - feel free! Haven't moved in yet - but there is room to crash in my Walpole Apartment.

  3. I never understood why people cover perfectly good wood floors with crappy carpeting..