Don’t be Scared to Try: Pulling up Carpet Edition

Yesterday I did something completely outside of my comfort zone. We’ve been meaning to pull out the carpet in our dining room because it’s just terribly stained. Truly beyond saving. We had previously pulled up one of the corners and could see there was wood underneath that looked similar to what was in our hallway. Knowing that, I felt comfortable that no matter what condition that wood was in, it couldn’t possibly be worse than the state of the carpet.

Bandit is showing you the exposed wood floor in the dining room and the carpet that remains in the living room. (Don’t worry, I won’t be leaving the edge like that!)

I don’t know what it was. I just decided I had had enough of waiting and was going to get that carpet out of my life.  As soon as my husband left for work I got started. Once you get it going, pulling up the carpet itself isn’t really that hard. However, it’s big, awkward, and heavy. All I could do is roll it up the best I could and drag it out to garage until I can get rid of it. Honestly, I was worried there for a minute I wouldn’t be able to move it on my own, but persistence won the day! Fingers crossed the neighbors didn’t look out their window to the sight of a crazed woman grunting and cursing while dragging a carpet with suspicious stains out the back door.

Underneath the carpet is a layer of foam-like material called underlay. I left that down while I went to work prying up the tack strips along the edge of the room. This took longer than it should’ve because I couldn’t find the correct tool for the job, but I improvised and got it done, which is the important thing. For me, this was the most labor intensive part, but that could just be because of my inexperience and lack of a pry bar. After that I pulled up the foam layer and got that out of the way. Now, there were just staples to contend with. At first, I was literally prying them up with a butter knife and removing them with the backside of a hammer. Not efficient, let me tell you. Then I realized there must be a better way so I went on Youtube. The answer was obvious, but as a novice sometimes my common sense doesn’t extend to less familiar things. So I got out some pliers and removing the staples proceeded to go much more smoothly.

The tack strips lined the entire room. They broke apart a lot, so I had to remove them in pieces. I’m not sure if that’s normal or if they’re just old.
I’m not going to lie, once the tack strips are up the edges look a little sketch. We’ll get that fixed up though.

After that it was just a matter of clean up. It’s not perfect. There are stains and little specks of paint here and there. Now that we truly know what we’re working with we can decide if we want to cover it with a rug, new flooring, or just fix it up the best we can. My husband was pleasantly surprised when he got home and saw what I had done. It made me feel really good to be able to take care of a big project like that and take it off of his plate.

There are numerous stains, but this one is probably the worst. I don’t currently know what caused it or how to fix it, but you can bet I’ll be learning that shortly.

If you’re a novice to this sort of thing too, I’d just really like to encourage you to not be scared to just jump right in. If you’ve never done something before, it’s really easy to feel like if you try you’re bound to screw it up. You don’t know what you’re doing, leave it to those that do, etc. But the people who know what they’re doing at one point had to try for the first time. Don’t be afraid to look things up. It took me all of 3 minutes to get an answer to my staple question. We live in a day and age where infinite knowledge is at our fingertips every day. Take advantage of it. I’ve spent so much of my life being intimidated by the things unfamiliar to me. But I was and am capable of learning and I’m frankly sick and tired of believing certain things just aren’t meant for me. I’m not handy. I’m not this, I’m not that. Enough already. The world isn’t going to end if you try and end up failing, but your world is going to be really small if you’re too scared to try anything.

It’s far from perfect, but I can honestly say I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish in one afternoon.

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