Look, ma– hardwood floors!

Ever since we bought our house (about six and a half years ago now), we’ve talked about tearing up the carpet in the living room. For one thing, it’s white shag, and for another, it’s pretty beat up. The result has been that it has always been hard to keep clean, and with family dog Sophie (who likes to shed black hair everywhere and to drag her dogfood out to the living room), it has only gotten worse. BTW, note to self– never buy white carpeting on purpose.

Anyway, because of all kinds of circumstances not worth discussing here, Annette and I decided to start tearing up the carpet and we decided to start doing it last night. I don’t have any “before” pictures, but I do have a couple “during” pictures this morning:

Former carpeting
Here’s the pile o’ carpeting and pad on the curb. We tore it out before we went to bed and I am pretty certain that this will be the easiest step in the process. I don’t know what our chances are of this being hauled away with the trash….

floor #1

floor #2
And here’s what we found underneath. I don’t know how well you can see it in these photos, but the bad news (which we expected, of course) is that we will have to spend a fair amount of time prying out of the floor the nails and staples and those strips that held the carpeting down. And then we need to deal with the baseboards, too. The good news is that the floors are in good shape. Actually, great shape. Right now, I don’t see any reason why we would need to refinish the floors in here because they are pretty much as good (maybe even a bit better) as the hardwood floors in the bedrooms downstairs. Pretty cool.

I better stop blogging and start dealing with the floors. More later.

Update #1
Well, we managed to get up all of the nails, staples, and tack strips today. So far, so good. We are in kind of an interesting space about what to do next though. On the one hand, we could pay a professional to come in and refinish the floor properly (and for me, that is most definitely not a “do it yourself” kind of job). But besides costing around $1500 or more, it would take a couple days and we’d have to move all of the furniture in our house someplace else, which itself would be quite a trick. On the other hand, we could buy some nice area rugs (the kind of thing we could take with us when we move, which we’ll probably do in about 2 years) and just live with it. I think we’ll take the “other” hand.

Today we’re going to put in the shoe molding around the edges; we’ll see how that goes.

Update #2
Well, the shoe moulding is down (as of Saturday at about 10:30 pm). Just a few thoughts on the whole process right now:

  • It looks pretty good, but that’s mostly because paint and caulking will do good things. No one will ever hire me or confuse me with an expert at carpentry.
  • Cutting the pieces wasn’t that bad, thanks in large part to friend Dennis’ miter saw. The hardest part for me was actually nailing the pieces into place. I think I was using nails that were too big, but I had problems finding a hunk of baseboard to nail into in the first place, at least a half-dozen pieces cracked while I was putting them in place, and we’ve had to putty/caulk over a number bent nails.
  • I did figure out that the solution to most of these nailing problems was to drill pilot holes first. Of course, idiot that I am, I figured this out on the last piece I put in. Sigh….

Anyway, a bit of clean-up, some work getting the thresholds into place, and then we’re going to shop for some area rugs.

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4 Responses to Look, ma– hardwood floors!

  1. Pingback: Steven D. Krause’s Official Blog » Blog Archive » A novel approach to podcasting

  2. neighbor says:

    Yeah, thanks for leaving that pile out on the street for us all to enjoy. Real considerate.

  3. Steve says:

    Well, neighbor, don’t worry. Much to my surprise, after I bagged it all up, the Ypsilanti garbage collectors actually took it all away on trash day. So this stuff was only out there for a couple of days, and in my (our?) neighborhood, that isn’t long at all, believe me.

  4. Alfie says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the finished photos when your floor is totally ready. It looks like it will polish up real well. Anyway, great job!!

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