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Old 10-03-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Hello all! My boyfriend and I have been together for two years, we're both under 25 and both work in public safety. A year and a a half ago we moved into his grandma's house when she couldn't live alone anymore and moved in with his parents. It's a '58 ranch with 1165 finished sq feet. While we don't officially own it yet, we likely will soon and have grandma's blessing to do pretty much what ever we want to it.

While we've been here, the carpet has been the absolute bane of our existence. Don't tell grandma, but the pink carpet must have been ugly when she put in. After 20 years and several cats who apparently preferred the carpet to a litter box, it has become a thing of nightmares.



It's worn through, it smells terrible, it's stained... we were routinely getting little puncture wounds in our foot from the tack strips in spots.

We lived with this for almost two years because we couldn't afford to change it. We now have a bit more free cash, so we started talking about tearing it up and putting either new carpet or laminate in. We were looking at about 1-2k or so.

My mother-in-law kept telling us there was a hardwood floor under the carpet but she's crazy (love her to death) so we didn't believe her. I had pulled up the carpet in a spot and just saw some kind of plywood or plank. She is the type of person (again, love her to death) that would think subfloor is acceptable on its own.

She kept insisting there was a real hardwood floor under there, so I pulled it up somewhere else, and immediately remembered why I love that crazy woman... because sometimes she knows what she's talking about. I hated that carpet so much that after pulling that little test section, I didn't stop until it was gone. The project started immediately with no planning, moving of furniture or forethought. Most of it was done with a pocket knife.



The dogs protested. They were not a fan of the new surface which did not give them traction or a soft spot to sprawl out. It was absolutely disgusting. The pad was soaked with cat urine. I developed blisters on my hands. Pulling up the tack strips was surprisingly tedious and difficult. Regardless, we pushed on and discovered hardwood in every room except the kitchen and the two small bathrooms (and only one of those bathrooms has the pink carpet).

Our floor was free! Yes, it's not perfect and it will need some refinishing in the near future... but the horrid pink carpet is gone (spare 25 sq ft in the bathroom that we will be replacing soon) and we have a nice hardwood floor all for $0 and some elbow grease.

We spent a little cash on some paint. We just need new furniture and new curtains.

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After

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Old 10-03-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Wow! What an awesome find! I wish I could find an awesome floor under some of ours! No such luck though... congratulations and good luck with the furniture and rest of the stuff you're doing.

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:20 PM   #3
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Thank you! I've checked out your project and I'm interested in seeing how it goes since it has some similarities to our place. Looks like you even have two little black dogs too!
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #4
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


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Thank you! I've checked out your project and I'm interested in seeing how it goes since it has some similarities to our place. Looks like you even have two little black dogs too!
Ha! "Little" may be the key word there. One is ~80 and the other about 65 lbs. We are also in the process of (probably) adopting another street dog we discovered recently. He's a blondie. Now we can black AND white dog hair everywhere!
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Wow, when we were house hunting we came upon a house with carpet in the bathroom. What a bad idea!

That floor looks great, I'm so happy for you! I think the dogs will adjust. Our cats have and it keeps them from running amok in the living/diving room.

What you will find with hardwood is the hair will collect on it into little tumbleweeds of hair. We try to vacuum/swiffer often.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Looks good! We did the same thing in our house except we had to sand off about 0.25" of the entire thing due to some minor water damage and the fact that only the edges had ever been finished so you got off easy.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


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Ha! "Little" may be the key word there. One is ~80 and the other about 65 lbs. We are also in the process of (probably) adopting another street dog we discovered recently. He's a blondie. Now we can black AND white dog hair everywhere!
Hahaha! Yeah... ours are both about 65 lbs. We call them our LBDs - little big dogs. I always forget that they're kinda big for some reason.

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What you will find with hardwood is the hair will collect on it into little tumbleweeds of hair. We try to vacuum/swiffer often.
That's funny because I noticed that for the first time today. I knew we'd get hair, but was surprised the way it accumulated. Tumbleweeds is a very accurate description.

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Looks good! We did the same thing in our house except we had to sand off about 0.25" of the entire thing due to some minor water damage and the fact that only the edges had ever been finished so you got off easy.
Oooh that'd be rough. Yup we certainly did get a good deal. I thank the Flooring Gods daily.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Great job.....I hate to see good oak flooring covered up. It was pretty much the same thing in our house.

On those tumbleweeds (my wife calls them dust bunnies), you can somewhat control them with a small rug or two placed at entry points. They will collect some of the dirt......

And don't be afraid to tackle the job of refinishing the floor....not that hard...just dirty and smelly....

Basic steps:
1. Remove everything from the room
2. Tape and cover anything that you don't want dust in
3. Rent a floor sander
4. Sand floor....depending on the conditon, you should be able to do all of it in less than a day.
5. Clean well (the shop vac is your friend)
6. Patch any holes (like all of those nail strip holes)...some touchup sanding may be necessary
7. Stain with a color of your liking....though, with the age of that floor....natural may look great.
8. Put down your varnish....depending on what kind you use, it could be seveal coats.

Overall, the process may take up to a week due to drying times for stain and varnish. Hopefully some experts will chime in....I've only done it twice....both times it came out great....no hesitation on my wife and I doing it again....in fact, we have 2 large rooms to do as soon as we finish our 2-story addition.

One of the reasons for telling you all this is that we saw a big difference in dirt control with the new floor. It was a lot easier to vacuum and keep clean the new floor vs the old floor....Also, the varnish we used does not seem to be a slippery as the old floor. Your dogs might like it.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #9
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Thank you for the tips! Interesting that refinishing helped keep it clean... we may have to expedite that project if the benefits will be more than just aesthetic.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #10
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Less than $100 & a lot of luck - living room


Wow - amazing! Luck you!

It's crazy, I think, that people take a gorgeous wood floor and cover it over with carpeting!

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