Have you ever wanted to rip up the carpet to expose your hardwood floors? I’ve done it a couple of times before. Once at Jamie’s house when she first moved to Nashville, and here at my own home when I got tired of the carpet. It’s always full of surprises and each of those experiences were different.
Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to do it yet again, at a small rental property known from this point on as the “project house”.
TIP: fold carpet to expose underneath side and use a utility knife to cut the carpet in more manageable widths, about 2 to 3 feet.
I tried both of these blades and found that the regular blade worked better for me, especially using it on the wrong side of the carpet.
After cutting the carpet into a small section, simply roll it up and secure it with Gorilla Tape.
After removing the carpet, it was on to the padding. The other two times I’ve exposed hardwood floors, there were tons of staples everywhere hold the pad in place. You can see from this photo there are NO staples, I was pleasantly surprised (this giddiness was short-lived)
Look what was lurking underneath that padding—who spray paints vents while they’re laying on the hardwood floors? But, like I said the pad was not stapled down.
There was of course the dreaded tack strip. I discovered this handy tool when Jamie and I removed her carpet all those years ago. I still keep this cat's paw in my tool box for dismantling my furniture pieces. So, the living room was fairly easy. There were some random staples from years gone by, but they are easily removed with a hammer and the cat’s paw.
Room two at the project house. NO staples, BUT a lot of adhesive to hold the carpet in place.
Room #3 at the project house was even worse. The pad was glued in front of the closet, along a couple of the walls, and right across the middle of the floor.
You know how things go… it got worse as I went. Had I uncovered this room first, I may not have done the other two. This was b.a.d.
In room #3 I used an old mop to apply some paint thinner. If you have carpet padding glued to your floor, please investigate what works best for your adhesive. Some adhesives take a professional grade remover.
I did try sanding a spot without the glue being removed, thinking that the sanding would easily take care of it—it did not. I suggest you remove as much glue as possible before you start sanding.
Back to room #2. I decided to try my HomeRight Heat Pro Plus . I think both techniques worked equally well, it just depends on your patience level, and whether you’d rather use chemicals.
Room #2 with most of the padding removed, but still a lot of adhesive left behind. I ended up mopping this room with the paint thinner to remove as much of the adhesive as I could.
Room #3 with most of the padding and adhesive removed.
Overall the floors were in good shape, better than I expected them to be. This house was built in the 40’s.
This is the carpet and padding. I secured each of the rolls with my Gorilla Tape and set half of this mess out to the garbage for 2 different weeks. I don’t believe the garbage company would have taken it if I had removed each room in one large roll, nor would I have been to carry it.
Next week, I’ll share a very detailed post on sanding these hardwood floors.
Have you ripped up carpet? Do you have some tips I didn’t include? Please share them with us in the comments below!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.