Hardwood Under Carpet!

I always thought the moment when a homeowner pulled up carpet to find hardwood underneath on DIY television shows was staged. It was also so convenient. Oh look! This perfect floor is under this nasty carpet! Last week, I had my own moment. It wasn't quite as perfect as on TV, but it was pretty cool.

When we toured the house, he saw this as his "Man Cave:"

My office was closed for Christmas and after pulling some crazy hours to get ahead of my work, I decided I was going to paint the basement for Marc's birthday. Originally, we had said we were going to buy Club seats to the Redskins/Cowboys game for our birthday/Christmas presents to each other, but Marc suggested we funnel that money into the basement. His hope was that he could watch that game on his new sofa in the room.

If you follow this blog, you know that I declared myself too busy to paint and said we were going to hire the job out to professionals. Two of the three estimates we got to paint the basement were around $2,000, which is right around the estimate we got to take the faux wood paneling down and drywall the two rooms. Painting the paneling was supposed to be the inexpensive way to tide us over until we are ready to drywall (there are three other rooms to drywall). It made no sense to spend thousands on the painting, so I decided to do the work myself.

The plan:
Friday: Clean, tape, and put a first coat of primer up
Saturday AM: Put a second coat of primer on the walls
Saturday PM: Paint
Sunday AM: Paint a second coat, if needed
Sunday PM: Paint trim

I didn't leave the office until pretty late on Friday, so I didn't get started until Saturday morning. Marc is a radio host and was on the air on Saturday morning, so I listened to his show as I cleaned and taped. I also decided to remove the folding doors in front of the bar in the room.

The track came down without a problem, but the screws for the hardware on the bottom of the door were carpeted over. I tried to get to the screws without disturbing the rug, but it was impossible. I had to pry the rug up to get to the screws. When peeled the rug back, I figured I'd see linoleum or concrete underneath. Instead, I saw wood.

At first, I thought it looked like scrap wood and I was going to push the carpet right back into place. But then I thought about how much easier it would be to paint the baseboards without the carpeting there and decided to pull a little bit more up.

At this point, I called the studio to talk to Marc. I don't love parquet, but I like it better than wall-to-wall carpeting. No one answered the studio line. I sent a Facebook message to him (he takes requests from listeners via the show's Facebook page throughout the show) and got no response. Then I took to Instagram. Everyone who commented said to get that carpet out of there. 

There were parts where it was clear that the installers didn't want the carpet going anywhere. 

And there were two patches where the previous owner's dog left a mark (he disclosed that two other rooms have marks). The entire house needs new floors, so we aren't devastated.

Just as I was done dragging the carpet and padding outside, I got a reply to my texts.

Poor Marc thought he'd come home to me painting and instead he came home to a pile of carpet, padding, and a few boxes full of tack strips. I had gotten most of the staples up, but there was a second, older set of staples in the floor from a previous carpet. Marc got to work on those.

We set a new goal to have the room done by New Year's Even (when our favorite band webcasts their concert), but I think we have revise that goal since we now need a huge area rug. My busy season is about to start up again and I don't have much time for shopping.


  1. Hi! New to your blog and love it! We're getting ready in a month to move back to Charlottesville and into our first home. Already planning some similar projects and have been trying to figure out how Cville handles construction debris. I came across Van Der Linde in my search and saw that they charge $49/ton... is the cost proportional to the weight if you have WAY less than a ton's worth of debris or do you have to pay $49 regardless? I'm trying to figure out how much $$ I need to factor in for these DIY projects for debris disposal. And as for your post, the parquet (while not my favorite either) is so much better than the carpet! Can't wait to see how it all turns out for you guys!

  2. You should just refinish the floor with a dark stain that would cover the pee marks.

    1. Ooooh this is a great idea. Would take the edge off it's current orangey tint. Kind of like what these people did: http://bit.ly/KhkwsK

  3. Congratulations on the surprise flooring! Parquet is far better than carpet. Fixing up an old house is such an adventure.


  4. What a great discovery! You must have been dying when you first started pulling the carpet back!

  5. The remodeling gods were smiling! Happy New Year!

  6. What a great present! We removed some old carpet to find parquet tiles--they aren't my favorite, but they're still a huge improvement!

  7. Hello colleagues, its impressive article about tutoringand completely defined, keep it up all the time.

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  8. I love so much to fix old houses, especially if they are mine :). I have so much energy.


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