My Saturday. Or how I stopped worrying and removed the carpet.

I love my home, but I am always — and I mean always — thinking about ways to improve it. I think about ways I can enjoy it more, make it prettier, more comfortable, more efficient. I also think  about how someday in the not too-distant future, I will probably try to sell it. I try not to overthink this part because I still want to be able to have my appletini bathroom walls without stressing about what a potential buyer will say.  Watching near-illegal amounts of HGTV does not help me in this endeavor, though.

So, today I woke up and was just really angry with our bedroom. I’ve been annoyed with it for some time and even mentioned to Aaron that today — Saturday — was the day for change. But as I sat in bed with the New York Times, I just stewed and felt paralyzed. While Aaron was out ice fishing, I was thinking about paint colors and furniture placement. Finally, though, I realized that the hugest problem with the bedroom (other than the size or shape, which I cannot really change) is the carpet.  It’s just nasty.  Here’s a pic.

And here’s a close-up.

It just has to go.  I’d like hardwood with a plush rug instead, but I don’t know that I can make that happen anytime soon.  I’ve been curious for a long time what was under this nasty rug.  I figured it wasn’t much because the building is from 1985 and the carpet looks pretty old, maybe even original.  So, what did I do?  I started to pull the rug up.  I was scared: what if I was about to destroy my bedroom?  But my curiousity won out and I am glad it did.  I think I found one of the reasons (other than Gracie) why I need to use my inhaler ten times a night when I sleep in my bed.  Sorry for the horror shot.

It seems that the carpet padding had disintegrated in many spots and left piles of dirt/dust/nastiness in its place. I’m really proud of myself for not throwing up when I saw what was under the carpet.  Instead, I went to work.  Having seen what was there, I certainly could not let it stand! I leapt into action! I visited the Internet and learned that to remove the carpet, I should employ a “carpenter knife” so that I could cut the carpet into smaller pieces, which would have made it easier to remove. That would have been nice. Instead, I just started to rip and rip and tear and tear.

Once I had all of the carpet up, I threw it outside (our bedroom has an outside door in it that accesses our deck — I’ve never been so grateful for that. Had I had to drag all of that nastiness through the house…well, I don’t even want to think about it). Back to the Internet!  How to remove that ubiquitous carpet tacking?  Easy!  Take a screwdriver and wedge it underneath the tacking; lightly tap the end of the screwdriver with a hammer; pry it up; and pull out the nails in the floor with the claw-end of the hammer.  Use the screwdriver and pliers to pull up all of the staples around the room (the staples are used to keep the padding down).

At this lucky point in time, Aaron came home! He was — weirdly — not too surprised to see all of the carpet in the backyard and all of the bedroom furniture in the living room. Instead of being surprised, he just put himself to work with a small crowbar and a hammer. No screwdriver for my husband!  Anyway, around the room we went in the tedious process that is carpet-tacking removal. The long walls weren’t so bad, but the closets were a pain.  The small work area and the many angles was a challenge. Aaron did not see any reason to take on this challenge so he left me alone and went off to search for heavy-duty trash bags. I won’t complain, though, because when he returned he hauled all of the debris out to the garage. Phew! So, this is the finished product.  Finished for now that is.

Funny how the bed made itself once the carpet was gone. So, what’s next? New flooring. Wood or laminate.  That is the question.

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10 Responses to “My Saturday. Or how I stopped worrying and removed the carpet.”


  1. 1 Raoser January 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    O.M.G. KATE!!! I’m really proud of you for not throwing up too. Great job! I can’t wait to see the new flooring!

  2. 2 Kristin January 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

    This reminds me of something…what could it be? Hee.
    I’m actually very jealous of your project. I miss digging into a project like that, esp flooring. Or roofing. Or pick axe.

    Are you breathing easier?

  3. 3 kateandgracie January 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Ha! I can’t tell yet if I’m breathing easier. I think so.

    I wish I felt confident enough to put in wood flooring, but it doesn’t seem to be as easy as HGTV pretends it is.

  4. 4 gwendolyngarden January 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I love the carpet removal. But your hubby’s response is even better- I can’t imagine what mine would say if I came home and removed the carpet. Changing the bedskirt got a “what is all this now” and a “how much did that cost me?”

    I vote for bamboo.

  5. 5 kateandgracie January 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Haha. Yeah, I got kind of a resigned sigh and then there he was, crowbar and all.

    Bamboo. I just love the word “bamboo.”

    Shout out congrats to Sara who had a beautiful baby girl on Saturday!

  6. 6 Brady Kroupa January 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    This was very cool! The only thing cooler was Aaron’s response. Are you going to pull up that tile?

    My vote is for bamboo floors too, sustainable, and just plain pretty. But… you could get fancy and install heating coils under the bamboo floor as well – the room would be toasty and it’d be nice walking around on.

  7. 7 Jane Roe January 19, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Well Mike and Tim put in two hardwood floors, and Tim and Stacy put in the laminate floor in my office and they all survived the experience. And since I did absolutely nothing other than to cheer from the sidelines, I survived famously.

    Seriously, I so understand reaching the “I can’t stand it!” stage and just acting. It is just so satisfying to start the ball rolling. Give your cousin a call. I don’t know if he’d have the time to actually help, but he could probably give you some tips.

  8. 8 kateandgracie January 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I’ve thought about calling Tim, but figured he’s pretty busy these days!

    I think I want to go bamboo too — and I was just reading about the types that you can install radiant heating in. Talk about dreamy.

  9. 9 Kristin January 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I have bamboo in my new(ish) apt and I love it.

  10. 10 kateandgracie January 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Bamboo it is! After more than five years of talking bamboo, we pulled the trigger today. Local tiny company. Floors should go in – owner’s husband does the install – on Monday. Stay tuned!


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