Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Removing Carpet

    Before we could put down our new flooring, we had to remove the carpet. This requires a bit of hard work, but is simple to do. Here are a few quick tips on the process:
    • A dust mask, gloves, and knee pads are a must! You will also need a large pry bar, putty knife, and carpet knife.
    • You will need to pull the carpet free from the tack strip. It's easiest to start at a threshold or corner of the room.
    • You may be tempted to pull out all the carpet at once, but don't. Carpet is heavy! Using a carpet knife, cut the carpet into 4 to 5 foot sections before rolling. This also helps come trash day, because some collecters won't pick up large rolls of carpet.  (Bulk trash day couldn't come soon enough for us. Old carpet on your front porch for weeks on end isn't exactly classy.)
    • Once you've got the carpet out of the room you will need to remove the carpet pad. If you're lucky, the installers were light on the glue, and it will come up pretty easily. Use a metal putty knife to scrape up any remaining bits of glue or padding.
    • The most tedious part is removing the tack strip. Make sure you wear safety glasses for this step, unless you want to end up looking like this. Using a pry bar, pry up the tack strip. Sometimes it will come up clean, taking the nails with it. Other times the wood will break free from the nails and you will need to remove the nail from the subfloor using your pry bar. If the nail head breaks off and the rest of the nail remains in the subfloor, you may need to hammer it down until it is flush with the floor. (There may be some sparks when the hammer hits the nail, so make sure you keep those safety glasses on!)
    • Clean up all the debris. I swept up the big stuff with a broom then went back and vaccuumed with a shop-vac. I also mopped the area with bleach water to pick up any remaining dust and to disinfect the floor.
    We removed the carpet in the formal living/dining and in all three bedrooms, which comes out to a little over 900 square feet. For our new flooring, we went with an inexpensive wood laminate in a dark finish.


    We expect to reach nirvana once all the flooring is in. Two rooms down, two more to go...

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