Carpet is soft, cushiony, and warm on a cold winter morning.
But that’s where the benefits over hardwood end. Have you ever taken a minute to go over all of the drawbacks to having your living room (or worse, your entire house) coated with that fluff:
- Easy to stain
- Hard to clean
- Collects dust, dander, and other allergens
- Color fades quickly
- Looks pretty ugly if its not replaced every few years
- Can go out of style easily
Compare that to the benefits of hardwood:
- Spills can be wiped up with a paper towel
- Cleaning takes about 2 minutes of sweeping
- Finish lasts for decades
- Hardwood is always in style
- Great for skating in your socks!
How To Replace Carpet with Hardwood
So, if you’ve been thinking for a while about replacing your nasty, old, outdated carpets with sleek, modern hardwood floors, read on to learn all about what goes into the process.
Step 1: Pull Up Your Carpet
The first stage is to get rid of your carpet. For this step, you’ll need the following:
- Needlenose Pliers
- Work gloves
- Carpet knife
The process is pretty straight forward (but it does take a good deal of elbow grease). Starting in one corner of the room, use your carpet knife to cut a square approximately two feet by two feet. Then use your hands (with gloves on) to pull back the carpet in one corner as much as you can. Usually, your bare hands are all you need, but if the carpet is particularly heavily enforced, you might need to use your crowbar to pry it loose. Stack the removed carpet square somewhere out of the way.
Next, you’ll see that the floor beneath the carpet is covered in staples, tacks, or other adhesive devices. You might even see long thin strips of wood covered in tiny nails. Using a combination of your crowbar and pliers, pull up every nail, tack, staple, or whatever. Be sure to have a coffee can or something similar to collect all of these in. If a staple is particularly hard to get a grip on, you can try inserting a small flathead screwdriver underneath to pry it up a bit before pulling it loose with pliers.
Keep repeating this process with small sections of the carpet until you’ve got the entire room cleared. Then move on to the next room.
Carpet waste is going to take up a lot more space than you imagine, so if you are clearing out more than one room, you are probably going to need a bin to dispose of all those little 2’x2′ squares. Check with your regular waste disposal company or do a simple search on Google such as dumpster rental Denver (obviously using your own city) in order to find a reputable dumpster rental service in your area. Be sure to let them know that you are disposing of carpet and check if there are any special regulations or charges for this service.
The Lucky Few Who Can End the Job There
If you are lucky enough that you house was built in an era before wall to wall carpet was the norm, you might be able to call it quits there. You might tear up the carpet and find that beneath it is perfectly usable hard wood flooring. Odds are, though, that you’ve still got work to do. And that’s what the next section is about.
Step 2: Installing the Hardwood Floor
Beneath your carpet is what is known as sub-floor, or the floor beneath your floor. Usually this is just bare plywood or a hard concrete slab. The sub-floor is exactly where you’ll be installing your new hardwood. You’ve got a few different methods to choose from: staples, nails, or glue. We’ll go over each method below.
Stapling Down Your Hardwood Floor
This method doesn’t really work on concrete, so only use it if you’ve got a wooden sub-floor. All it takes is using a staple gun to attach the hardwood to your sub-floor. If the sub-floor has planks instead of straight plywood, you need to lay your hardwood against the grain of the sub-floor in order to prevent warping over time. Otherwise, any reshaping that occurs on the sub-floor will be translated to your precious hardwood.
Nailing Down Your Hardwood Floor
Very similar to stapling, this just involves using a nail and hammer (or nailgun) to adhere your hardwood to the sub-floor. Again, this won’t work on concrete, and you need to follow the same against-the-grain laying method described above if you are installing over floorboards.
Gluing Down Your Hardwood Floor
This is the ideal method for installing on top of concrete, but it works just as well over wooden sub-floors. It involves adhering your hardwood to the sub-floor with industrial strength epoxy. It can be a tricky process to do properly, though, so we recommend finding a professionally trained hardwood floor installation specialist if you will be using the glue method of installation.
Hardwood floors a universally loved by homeowners. Some people really hate carpet, but no one is adamant against hardwood. So if you are thinking of selling your house in the near future, they can be a great way to increase your customer base. Even if you aren’t selling, a little bit of elbow grease is worth the peace of mind that comes with flooring that is a beauty on the eyes and a cinch to maintain.