This was our “Girls Work Weekend” at the beach house. The house (cottage) belongs to my parents and aunt and uncle and has been in the family for nearly 40 years. I’m just a squatter, so will do whatever I can to help out. We decided to rip the carpet up in one of the bedrooms, a task that had to be done without the guys around as we had no idea what was underneath.
If you live in an older home, chances are pretty good that you have some great floors hidden by your wall-to-wall carpet. Start by pulling up a corner of the carpet that’s not too visible to get an idea of what you are working with. We were fortunate to find these great pine boards, but there are some fun options even if what you find is less than ideal:)
To rip up a carpet, it’s best to start in a corner and work in strips about three feet wide. There will be thin boards around the exterior of your room that are nailed to the floor with little nails sticking up from them that hold the carpet in place. The carpet will pull up from them easily, cut the carpet with a utility knife as you go so you can roll the pieces up and secure them for the trash. Pry the exterior strips up with a pry bar. Next, pull the padding up and remove the staples with a screw driver and pilers or a pincer plier.
To finish the floors, clean thoroughly, sand (either by hand or with an orbital sander) and clean again to ensure all the dust is removed.
These floors were stained with Minwax Jacobian, applied with a clean rag. Then finished with Semi Gloss Fast Drying Polyurethane, applied with a disposable foam brush. Be sure to follow the instructions on the can for drying time.
Sometimes what you find is not so great…maybe the floors are beautiful but there is a huge stain in the middle of the room, the planks aren’t as wide as you would like, or it’s just plywood. Sometimes the best solution for a not-so-nice floor is to paint it. There are lots of options…one solid color (like the picture below from my son’s old room), stencil on top of paint, or a geometric pattern like checkerboard, diamonds or stripes. Check out my Great Floors Pinterest Board for more ideas.
So, take a deep breath, pull up the corner of that carpet and see what awaits. With a little effort, you will LOVE your new floor.