Remember when wall-to-wall carpeting was all the rage? For my ever-loving wife, “Treddie” (not her real name), that sentence needs to be reversed. Treddie rages at any and all carpeting. “See that carpet in the bedroom? It’s gotta go.” She still hasn’t gotten over the time we lived in a house with a carpeted kitchen. It had two layers of carpet, by the way, which is to say upwards of ¾” of food/dirt/goo-trapping yarn. It takes a strong stomach to cook in a room like that. We replaced the layers of carpet with engineered hardwood.
Builders like carpet because it covers a multitude of sins. When you rip it up to replace it you will bring their sins to light: sloppy joints, wavy subfloors, and loose nails and screws. So before putting down the new flooring you need to rehabilitate that sinful subfloor to make it fit for society by hammering down the nails, screwing the loose screws, chiseling and planing the high spots, and filling big depressions.
The upstairs bedroom and sitting room in our beach house was carpeted (for the first year or so) but Treddie said it should go and it did. We put down ¾” tigerwood, which is very hard and heavy and interesting to look at with all of its swirls and color variations.
The only place that was still carpeted was the stairway and Treddie had an opinion or two about the desirability of carpeted steps. Let’s just say she made it clear that it was the last barrier to eradicating the house of its carpet infestation.
Replacing the carpet on steps with hardwood is not quite as straightforward as replacing the carpet of, say, a bedroom floor. Much of the challenge is dealing with the difference in thickness. Continue reading Carpet out; stair retreads in