Replacing Carpet with Wood Laminate – Getting Ready

bare floor

Freshly Painted Walls and Bare Floor

I hate carpet. Yes, it isn’t cold, feels great on the feet, softer. But it also traps and collects dirt, pollen, etc.  Vacuuming, shampooing helps but there is still a lot of yucky stuff under that carpet. So when my youngest was diagnosed with mold and mildew allergies, it seemed a great time to replace the carpet with wood laminate in her bedroom.

Choosing Flooring Materials

I checked out several types of wood laminate in various stores. I love real wood flooring, especially the kind you find in old homes. I remember one lady so excited to find such under her carpet.  If it looses it’s finish you can always sand it back down and refinish it. It also costs more and harder to put in.

One store showed me how a desk chair wore down the laminate over time. Those with a deeper wear layer did better, yet floor protection under the desk chair did best.

I also saw some engineered wood, and bamboo tiles and planks. I talked to others who’d installed wood laminate. As we have concrete slab floors, we’d need a moisture barrier and padding if we wanted a quiet floor.  My duaghter’s architecture teacher did a large section of his home with wood laminate. He got one of the cheaper varieties at Lowes or Home Depot which had the  padding on the bottom.  Thus he used a cheaper moisture barrier, something like the material garbage bags are made from.  I also got advice from The Survival Podcast Forums, and other people.

I ended up picking out wood from our local Surplus Warehouse. I often get my building supplies from them.  They were thick planks of a composite type material and a wood looking pattern and color I liked, one of the less expensive choices. I didn’t like their cheapest choices, looked too much like vinyl prints to me.

Sadly these did not have the padding on the back, but that was easily resolved by using a moisture barrier/padding sheet.

I measured the room, 10.5 feet by 9.5 feet, 100 square feet total, plus closet.  I did an estimate of the cost, how many boxes I’d need. You need extra as you cut to fit the size of your room.  Meanwhile  local business man and friend asked me to build him a small info website for his business.  It paid for most of my flooring supplies. Nice!  I cashed the check on my way to the surplus warehouse.  No dent in my budget or savings.

Removing Old Carpet

carpet removalFirst we took everything out of her room.  No easy task to find a place to put all that stuff, especially with a smaller home.  Idea was to finish the floor before her older sister came home for her Thanksgiving/Quarter break.

This next part was easy for me.  My husband did most of it, and I appreciated it. He removed the walls baseboards first.  Pulled up the old nasty carpet.  Hardest part was removing all the carpet tack strips.  I belief he used a screw driver and pry bar on both the baseboards and tack strips.

Tack Strips

Carpet Tack Strips

In this picture you can see the tack strips, lots of little tacks you’d hate to get in your foot. Once all the carpet, tack strips and baseboards were removed, I swept and moped the floor.
There were some high areas, from the carpet glue which had bits of foam stuck to them and a few random splotches of plaster. I took a putty knife type tool to remove these. Swept again.

Fresh Paint

Fresh paint Fresh paint, I didn’t even think of this when planning. Of course the room needs a fresh coat of paint, and there is no better time to paint than before I put down the new carpet. While at the store picking up paint, I saw a nice step stool on sale which we picked up. I love it, much better than moving a ladder around to get just a bit taller.

taped borders My oldest daughter painted a lady bug border many years ago. Her sister decided to keep it so we put masking tape on the edges before painting.  We also chose a white paint than the previous color. Fresh paint does wonders for a room.  Now back to the floor.


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