Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity for me! I loudly declared at dinner on Friday night that I would be removing the carpet from the living room the next day. Like it was a fact. As though there was no question to my statement. Mind you, my husband and I have been talking about doing this for the better part of four years, but it seemed like a daunting task. There is furniture to move, heavy rolls of carpet to dispose of and thousands of staples and nails to pull painstakingly from the floor below.
We are incredibly lucky to have original hardwood floors throughout our entire home. Well except the kitchen and pantry, but that’s a whole different story. When we bought our home there was brand new carpet in both the main living areas of our home. The dining room and living room. These two spaces are separated by two tiny walls and a gorgeous arched walkthrough.
My husband removed the carpet from the dining room shortly after we moved in, because carpet in a dining room with kids is a terrible idea! Carpet in a dining room where people eat is a bad idea in general. Don’t do it.
Anyway, after he removed the carpet I started in with the talk of how wonderful it would be to take it out of the living room as well. He always had a good excuse or reason not to do it, and so I didn’t push too hard. Apparently though, this ridiculous weather, and my need to constantly tweak and change things finally won out!
So Friday night after dinner I moved ALL the furniture into the dining room. All of the hundreds of books off the bookshelf. The couch, the chairs, the rug, the end tables, the vintage roll-top desk from my great-grandmother. All of it. It all had to be moved.
Once it was all done I had my kids clean the room. This was definitely my favorite part of the whole doing process. Teaching them how to effectively vacuum the carpet, wash the molding and window sills, and wash the windows was both a lesson in adulting, which I am sure they will thank me for someday, and also pretty fun to watch.
Bright and early Saturday morning the carpet removal process began. I was so excited to do this, I only had half a cup of coffee before I started! We started by removing the transition pieces that separated the carpet from the wood floors on either side. The we just started pulling. We pulled all the edges off their tack strips but left it in place. Once all the edges were detached, it was time to roll it up and take it out!
We did the same thing for the padding below. We pulled it up from the staples holding it in place, rolled it up and carted it off to the bed of the truck where it awaited its fate. Then the really awful part began.
Now this was not our first rodeo. Remember, my husband pulled the carpet out of the dining room years ago. We both remembered this being a really terrible process (probably why it took so long to do it in the living room), but I removed all the carpet in our old bedroom over the winter break and it was a breeze.
I’m here to tell you there are two types of carpet installers in the world. The first are people who know that putting carpet down on top of beautiful hardwoods is a crime, which will someday be rectified. These people use the bare minimum number of staples and tacks to firmly hold carpet in place, but make for a smooth removal. The second are the people who just got a new compressor and can’t wait to use their staple gun with it. They lay not one, but TWO tack strips along EVERY SINGLE WALL. They also use 1 1/2″ long staples every single inch of both of those tack strips. Those second people, they installed our carpet.
So it took a few hours. And some swearing. And I might have hit my thumb with the hammer a few times as I pried the tack strips up. Over and over and over again. But by midday all that was left was a pile of junk and some really lovely wood floors.
Moving the furniture back in went super quick, which was good because my arms and hands were aching at this point. Seriously, so much bruising. I promptly curled up in my favorite chair and admired my floors. For the rest of the day. Not kidding.
So yeah, I figured I should share with you, because I am absolutely in love with them. Plus, I haven’t really ever shared my living room before, mostly because it use to have ugly carpet in it.