Sunday we ripped out our old carpet. Remember the weekend before, when we painted? Well, the aquarium dominoes continue as we get estimates on refinishing a hardwood floor.
But Sunday, ah, Sunday was an event. We started early in the morning, in the hallway. The carpet had been there since we moved in, and it wouldn't surprise me to discover it was stock equipment with the house in 1960. The stuff was so old it ripped very easily, and the pad was almost to the point of disintegrating in your hands. Easy, we thought.
Turns out that ripping the carpet out isn't where the work is. Where is it? It's in what's left. Carpet tack-down strips, whatever their real name is. Nails. Pieces of carpet under door thresholds. And staples.
Early on, we figured the owners must have done their own carpeting. Do any carpet stores sew ten-foot sections together? Yes, sew. Good job of it, too, as the sewn part didn't want to rip.
But it wasn't the sewing that gave it away. It was the staples. Tons and tons of staples. When we got to the hallway closet, we knew we were in trouble. It was full of staples! Who staples down carpet in a closet? A few, sure, but in the middle?
"Hmm," Harry said, as he pulled out the fiftieth one. "I think this guy got a new staplegun for Christmas." We laughed about it, but little did we know that we'd only touched the tip of the staple iceberg.
Every edge had a double row. Every corner had an additional diagonal row. Every closet had lots.
We got close to the end of the carpet. We took a breather and admired our work; we'd stripped the hallway, hallway closet, living room, living room closet, and removed all tack boards, nails, and yes, staples. Only the little section where the kitchen table sits remained. The floor underneath all that old carpet wasn't stained and it's beautiful wood. It's worn, of course, but not as worn as the floors where there hasn't been carpet. The computer room and two bedrooms look like my legs after winter's chill has passed, and in comparison the living room was positively tanned. "Tan lines" ran across each doorway.
Refreshed and pleased with our progress, we pulled the carpet up in the dining area.
"Uh-oh," Harry said. "Looks like he went to the store and bought another box of staples."
Overall, the room looks very different. There's an echo now and noises are magnified. (I can hear the cat eating from in the computer room, for instance.) We found two broken boards, and none of the stains went through the carpet, even the one we made spilling that gallon of white paint years ago.
I have to wonder... what's next?
Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala