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Mstrenke 06-24-2012 11:08 AM

Flooring Under Carpet
So alittle story is we bought a house about a month ago. We planned on ripping up all the carpet on the main floor and redoing it in a laminate to make it easier for a motorized wheelchair to move over it and if anything should get dropped/spilled it will be easier to clean then carpet..

Fast forward to 2 days ago when we started to rip up the carpet and see what we had. The house was built in 1918 so that's something to keep in mind. We started in the back bedroom and started to pull all the carpet up and guess what we found....FIVE (5) LAYERS of carpet... yes you read that right 5 layers worth of carpet and/or padding mixed in and mind you not even all the same type of carpet it was a bunch of mis matched pieces that were all nailed down with small regular nails. The living room floor we cleared out had 4 layers worth. We have yet to tackle one bedroom on the main floor which appears to only have 2 layers and the upstairs which is just 1 layer.

So that brings me to the issue at hand. The bottom 2 lairs of carpet in the back bedroom which I will post pictures of were FILTHY. the dirt and dust from it was intense. I had to sweep up some of it then pull out the shop vac to suck it all up it was so thick and dirty. I am not entirely sure where all the dirt came from unless it somehow came through miniscule cracks in the floor from the basement which is only about 1/4 basement and unfinished rest.

Not sure the reasoning behind so many layers of carpet or if the carpet was that dirty when they put it in because they were lazy I really don't know my only logical assumption would have been they put down a bunch of crap carpet to catch any dust and dirt and put the nicer stuff on top? That might be over thinking it alittle as they appear to have done nothing with this house the correct way other then doing quick fixes without regard to if it was done right or not.

So the pictures I'll post show the floor as it is. The first 4 are of the back bedroom and I tried to get detailed with the pictures so you can see what I have to work with. There are some water spots but they look like there older spots. The spots on the back corner where it looks the worse in the pictures is some area were not sure what to do with. Were hoping to laminate the entire floor to make it look even through the whole bottom floor but I am not sure if we need to do something to ready this floor or not. I think we need to do something with it to make sure the laminate is protected. We will be putting down a vapor barrier under it but I am not sure if that will be enough or not? The flooring in the first 4 pictures is almost like a plywood type material. I know what it is just now what the actual product is called. It's I would say maybe 1/4 inch thick and almost like a carboard/plywood feel. Plus some of the nails they used were pretty rusty like and old so they could have been there since the house was made for all I know.

Then we get to the living room area. This is all hardwood floors for sure just by looking at it you can tell. I am not sure what all they have done to it but they had 4 layers worth of carpet/padding in this room and it was no where near as dirty as the other room, which makes me question the other room and how dirty it was because if it was from the basement I would have thought the living room would have been just as bad. The floor does have some uneven aspects that we will need to level out somehow to provide for the laminate. But I don't know what we should do to prepare the floor of we should sand this room down atleast as opposed to the back room and seal it then level it? There also is one area in the 1 picture where it looks like there used to be a enterance to the basement that they just nailed shut. Then there is an area that isn't really wood it looks and feels more like a linoleum type material that I would say looks more like it was melted then just dropped on the floor. That's what it looks/feels like but I don't have ANY idea what to do with this stuff or even what it is or why it is even there.

Any insight and/or suggestions would be awesome as were not fully sure what to do and were trying to do it all ourselves without having to hire any person to come in as were really limited on income. Thanks and sorry if this was hard to read or jumbled!

Mstrenke 06-24-2012 11:11 AM

4 Attachment(s)
This is the back bedroom area.

Mstrenke 06-24-2012 11:13 AM

4 Attachment(s)
These are of the living room area

rusty baker 06-24-2012 12:29 PM

They most likely had dogs in the back room. Those water spots are probably urine. That would also explain the dirt and layers of carpet. when the dogs got it dirty, they just covered it with another layer. I have seen that before in my 40 years in this business.

Mstrenke 06-24-2012 05:54 PM


Originally Posted by rusty baker (Post 950403)
They most likely had dogs in the back room. Those water spots are probably urine. That would also explain the dirt and layers of carpet. when the dogs got it dirty, they just covered it with another layer. I have seen that before in my 40 years in this business.

Really? You sure the dirt somehow woulden't be from the basement? With it being THAT filthy?

I just can't seem to understand why in the world they would do that layer upon layer. Just pure laziness? Would you have any recomendation as to what to do with those back spots? Something to seal it up so that if there is any mold present in any of it that it would kill it? Since we ripped it all up it has that kinda dirty dusty smell to the room.

Any suggestions as far as the living room goes?

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