A husband, a crowbar, and some carpet.

Warning: what you are about to see is not your average Girl Scout project. Although it should be. How come they make badges for things like identifying a marimba but not for things like hardcore home renovation?

Our non-Girl Scouty weekend project involved tackling the creepiest thing in this picture:

Yes, that would be the carpet. We decided that enough was enough with the wall-to-wall after a persistent greasy-smoky-spicy smell lingered in the room (think high school cafeteria meets a Big Mac meets a Thai entree...am I making you hungry?) after scrubbing the cabinets and steaming the carpet not once, but three times. Whoever said "the third time's the charm" had clearly never met our kitchen carpet. Cue Rick, the crowbar, and my camera.

Look what we found behind the fridge!

(I always thought behind the fridge would be a good place to get dressed while eating pepperoni and writing letters.)

After all of the carpet was up, we decided to investigate what what was under the subfloor, since we were pretty sure that nobody in 1897 (when the house was built) promoted the general practice of installing wall to wall carpeting. We weren't disappointed!

We decided to go ahead and see what the rest of the floor looked like underneath the subfloor, noting that it was in fairly disgusting condition itself with water damage and some mildewy stains. (I'll spare you the pictures. Your dinner plans can thank me.)

Whoever had installed the subfloor had clearly never intended  to be the ones to remove it, because they had a really great time going spastic with a nail gun. I'm pretty sure we yanked up enough nails to build an entire house.

Rick: "Did they think the floor was going to jump up and attack them?" 

Here he is mid-process, looking either triumphant or deranged. I haven't decided which.

This part of the process was not what you would include in an essay entitled, say, "How I Want To Spend My Weekend." It took a long time, especially since we only had one crowbar, which meant Rick was doing most of the prying and tearing and conquering while I sipped a cocktail.


I honestly felt badly that I couldn't be more help, but there really was only so much I could do. So, I contented myself with yanking up nails and the perimeter tack strip and hauling away carpet and luan remains.

And after all of Rick's hard work, here's what we now parade around on as we pour cereal and reheat leftover roast:

 The floor is definitely in need of some TLC. Parts of it are painted, parts of it have knot holes, and parts of it are weirdly charred--we're thinking maybe there was a wood stove there at some point? We're excited, though, that we can refinish it as opposed to having to install a new floor altogether.

RIP, scuzzy carpet.


  1. Rachel6/01/2011

    Hey...if you need any advice or how to when it comes time to fix up that floor you should talk to my Mom (she did the floor in my room and the museum room) She would be happy to help ( I am talking to her right now and she is going on about pine floors vs oak floors and how hard and how much your are gonna need to sand depending on what kind of wood is is etc etc etc) So I will message you her cell phone number over facebook

  2. ourhumbleabowed6/01/2011

    Carpet in the kitchen and bathrooms is just a bad idea. Who really thought, "Hmm. Let's fix this old flooring by covering it with carpeting?"

  3. Kelly @ VATW6/01/2011

    So. much. better. already! Woohoo!

  4. Michelle6/01/2011

    i must say when we tore up our 3 layers of flooring in our kitchen there also was literally a nail or screw every 3 inches, hence why we need new floors since we have swish cheese floors

  5. Amy@ Journey Mum6/01/2011

    I have to give you kudos for attempting to salvage the carpet. I don't know why anyone would want carpet in the KITCHEN though! It'd be a disaster in my house. :) Your floor now has a lot of potential, it will be really beautiful eventually and cleaning will be a breeze!

  6. Eileen6/01/2011

    I can already picture that gleaming hardwood floor. Oh, and I guess I'll have to change my "getting dressed behind the fridge" habits now that I see the enviromental impact. NICE JOB you two!

  7. Why oh why do people put carpet (industrial carpet it looks like too) in kitchens and/or bathrooms. Really? Is that ever gonna turn out well? It already looks vastly improved. I bet once you get those babies refinished the floor is gonna sing to you as you make breakfast....ok, well maybe not....but it will be happy. And so will you. :)

  8. Carol@thedesignpages6/01/2011

    What a great find. After all that hard work it seems well deserved. Good luck on the refinishing! Love the blog.

  9. hahaha Eileen I love that you, too, enjoy getting dressed behind the fridge. I need to travel to your neck of the woods one of these days so we can catch up!!

  10. Pretty sure we also had the same blue kitchen carpet!

  11. Carpet in the kitchen? That's as bad as carpets in the bathroom. Ummm...do you have a post on that, too? Lol.

    Oh, Erin. I could read your posts all day. Oh, look at that! I already am (aside from my other secret diner activity today. Hint, hint.)


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