Not only has our laundry room been scrubbing, but so have we. When we moved into our house in July 2009, we immediately ripped up the carpet in two bedrooms and the hallway. We had plans of ripping it up in the living room as well but discovered some pretty serious black carpet-glue stains and decided it was too ugly to expose. We would pull up the carpet later when we refinished the floors. Mistake. For one, we weren’t planning to refinish the floors anytime soon, and for two, the carpet pretty seriously washed out the room.
Flash forward about a year and a half, and I had decided that carpet had to go and we would just live with the glue stains. I ruminated over this idea for a while and then in June of this year, I went to work. I cut all the carpet into strips, rolled it up, and carried it to the road. Then, I did the same with the carpet pad. It was pretty easy–got it all done in a little over an hour while Ed cut the yard. What a surprise he had when he came in for water. Together, we pulled up all the tacking boards along the walls and got the furniture back in place.
I took the best pictures. Pictures of the room before, pictures of it with carpet rolls, pictures of moving furniture, etc. I also had this super hilarious picture of me on the floor with my bucket o’ water, steel wool, and sad Cinderella face. After taking the picture, Ed promptly said, “You should name this post Cinderelly.” And I did, but without the great picture of me playing the part. Grrr.
Somehow, I’ve lost all pictures from June 15-30. This is oh so sad. It makes me a bad blogger because I can’t show you the whole carpet-removal process. It also makes me a bad wife because Ed’s birthday photos are in that bunch, so we now have no record he turned 29. Next year when he turns 30, he may be happy about this lack of documentation and just decide to turn 29 again. That’s what I would do.
I’m pretty sad about my lack of pictures. So sorry to you guys. I dug back through some old photos though and came up with this, which I think will suffice just fine for a before picture. Circa Christmastime 2010, here’s what our living room looked like.
See how that carpet kind of washes out the room with the similarly colored sofa and beige-peach walls (new paint color is in the plan, by the way)? It was also fairly stained near the dining table, which is behind you as you look as this picture.
After a short afternoon pulling up carpet, we had hardwood floors. Not the best looking floors (as evidenced in my lost pictures) but hardwood nonetheless. We put everything back in place for Ed’s totally tubular 90s-themed birthday party and just hoped people didn’t look at the floor too much.
Then, a week or so later I had some free time and went to work on the floors. I do have these pictures!
Here’s a close up of what we were dealing with in the way of ugly floors.
I had the bright idea to try scrubbing it up. I first started with a bristle brush
we Ed uses to clean the bathroom (he’s such a nice husband, cleans the house for me each week). Nothing really budged. So I brought out the big guns, specifically a bucket of hot water and some steel wool. Worked like a charm. See that picture right above, the icky one? Well, here’s what that section of floor looked like after a good scrubbin’.
Kind of amazing, right? It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but I just cranked up some music and set to work. After an hour or so, I had most of the dining area scrubbed. A few days later, Ed and I got in there together and scrubbed the rest of the room in a morning.
I must warn you that unless you eventually plan to refinish your floors, this is probably not the best method for removing stains because in addition to the stains you want to remove, you will also remove the stain on the floor (i.e., the varnish that makes your floors a pretty color and shiny). Steel wool has no discretion after all.
Here’s what our dining area looked like with the varnish/stain.
And here’s what it looks like post-scrub.
See how it’s duller and unevenly stained? The wood looks a little richer in the first picture, right? That’s the price we paid for getting up those black spots.
Just in case you can’t tell from that last picture, the floor isn’t perfect. You can still see remnants of the spots in some areas.
Not perfect, but so much better. And once we had our furniture back in place, it really looked just fine. We’ll eventually refinish the floors, but that’s pretty far down the road. This is a perfect temporary fix.
Here’s the room now, sans carpet and black glue marks.
You may be able to detect a little border around our coffee table that we didn’t scrub. We’ve got in-the-near-future plans for a rug and figured, no sense scrubbing that which will be covered up. I’m thinking maybe a nice graphic print to contrast the floral chairs but haven’t found the perfect one just yet. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’ve found many that could be perfect but have pretty high price tags, so I’m still shopping.
While I’m mentioning plans, I’ve been looking since the very day we moved in for the perfect buffet/server for that far wall down by the door. It’s a great spot for a Christmas tree but the other 11 months of the year, it’s pretty bare. Still haven’t found the perfect one yet, so my Papaw’s old 1950s TV cabinet/our liquor cabinet fills the space (well, sort of) for now.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered hardwood in our den, and now we’ve finally uncovered the hardwood in our living room. Hardwood room count is now at six:
- Bedroom 1
- Bedroom 2
- Living Room
- Den (although covered with FLOR tiles)
We only have nine rooms. Six outta nine ain’t bad.
What do you think? Much better with the wood, right? Any great suggestions for rugs we could use in there to soften the room just a tad? Anyone else scrubbed on hands and knees to get livable hardwood floors?