We have a variety of flooring in our home: hardwood, linoleum, and three types of carpet. The carpets are terrible. Sure, the previous owners purchased neutrals, but he hadn’t replaced them in quite some time, so all have unsightly stains, and the carpet in the den (or the paneling room, as we call it) had really long fibers and held dirt and odor more than the others. It smelled horrible, and we finally replaced it. I can’t adequately describe the difference, but trust me, it is wonderful.
The paneling room, as its name suggests, has lots of wood in it. We have real, 1950s-era heart-of-pine paneling. It’s starting to grow on me and gives the room some charm, so we opted not to paint it. (Although I’m starting to rethink my decision and may choose to lighten it up one day.) Because of that decision, we couldn’t replace the carpet with hardwood because that would just be entirely too much wood in one room. So our choices were tile, linoleum, or carpet. (But if we lighten it, a.k.a. paint it, I might be able to add hardwood at some point. Yay!)
After thinking about the various options for weeks, we decided on carpet tiles from FLOR because they are reasonably priced, versatile, and easy to install. If you haven’t heard of FLOR before, you’re missing out. (After reading this post, you should take a gander at the fabulous options they have.) First, they have an amazing selection of carpet tiles–much better than any other selection I found at home-improvement stores or online outlets. Second, you can design your floor on the FLOR Web site, and they tell you exactly how many of each tile to order. Last, if you get tired of the look, you can change it up, move part of it to another room, or send the tiles back to FLOR for recycling. Double last, if you spill red wine, etc., you just have to replace one tile, not an entire carpet. I’m not a paid spokesperson for the company, so I’ll stop, but suffice to say–I’m a big fan of FLOR.
Here is the process we used to replace our floor:
We first removed all furniture from the room, so we could cut the original carpet into manageable pieces to haul out. Here’s the official before picture.
We cut strips about 3 ft. wide from one wall to the other, rolled up the strips, and carried them to the road. Read here about how we learned our very first day as homeowners to cut carpet in small pieces (because it’s crazy heavy). Then we were left with this. (P.S. Notice the mid-length curtains left by the previous owner. Blech. Those will change in a later picture.)
A layer of carpet padding. This was easy to pull up and light-weight enough to not have to cut into strips. We tried to roll, but more wadded, it up and took it to the road. That left us with this.
Another layer of carpet. This picture doesn’t do it justice. It was hunter green and orange. Yep. We think it was circa 1970s. It was terrible trying to cut it up. Terrible. But we eventually got it up, rolled, and to the road with everything else. Which left us here.
Removing the carpet tacking along the walls. This stuff is not fun to pull up, and if I can avoid it, I will never have it installed in my home. This was probably the most tedious work we did, but still not bad enough to pay someone. At this stage, we also found a second carpet pad (what my husand is kneeling on above), which we thought we could remove after removing the tacking. Just so we’re clear, the previous owner tacked carpet padding and carpet on top of another layer of carpet and padding. So if you’re keeping count, that’s four layers we’ve been through already.Okay, just wanted to get that out there. I set out to try to remove the second carpet pad. After scraping for 10-15 minutes in one square-foot area, I removed this tiny amount of carpet padding and discovered this lovely linoleum floor.
The carpet padding had been there so long and was so ferociously glued down that it had adhered to the linoleum completely. Also, why in the world would anyone have ever chosen this linoleum? It looks like it should be in an elementary school cafeteria. After a little more scraping, we decided to leave the carpet pad and linoleum and carpet-tile over it.
Final layer count: Five, but we think there may be a layer of linoleum under the one that is visible. Make the madness stop! Fact: We no longer step up to get in the den. Now, we just walk right in.
Back to the floor. I created this design on the FLOR Web site. Almost all FLOR tiles are 2 ft. square and range $6-25/tile. We chose some of the least expensive options and think they look great. The tiles are shipped with directions for creating your floor, adhesive “dots” to attach the corners of the tiles together, to prevent sliding, and directions for cutting the tiles for corners, closets, etc. We opted not to use the dots because we left the previous carpet pad, which we thought would keep them from sliding (more on that in a bit), and we found the tiles quite easy to cut for a perfect fit around corners and in the closet. Overall, we were quite happy with the finished product. The floor looks and smells wonderful, and the carpet fibers are very short and easy to clean. I highly recommend FLOR’s carpet tiles should you need a quick fix to an entire room or should you just want to create a rug for part of a room.
Here is our finished floor and the official after picture.
And one more, from Christmastime. Also, aren’t those floor-length curtains and new rod soooo much better than the icky curtains in the before picture? Found those at World Market a year and half ago and finally got them up on the wall. Procrastinate much?
See our redneck attempt at lights on the curtain rod? We’ve since replaced the couch, but we’ll get to that in another post.
Now, about those “dots.” After a few months getting used to us, Mr. FLOR has decided, to put it kindly, to come into his own. To put it unkindly, he’s shifty! The tiles have moved a little here and there, and that black carpet pad is showing in places. So, we’ve got a romantic weekend planned of correcting the tiles that are out of line and using the dots. We’ll be back next week with a report.