We have been in our house for about seven years and this is the first change we have made to the master bedroom. It seems like that is always the last room to get any attention. The entire room was the same color, beige, and so was our furniture. The lack of contrast really drove me crazy. A person can only take so much beige.
In addition to the ceiling, walls, and furniture all being the same color, the floor was also beige carpet. With four dogs tracking in mud and having accidents, it looked terrible and we talked often about tearing it out.
I shopped around for hardwood floors and had a couple of quotes. I knew replacing the carpet would not solve the problem. I wanted hardwood floors, but the whole process of putting them down and not being able to walk on them sounded like something I couldn’t manage. Not to mention hardwoods are expensive.
I joked and threatened about how a concrete slab would be better – anything would be better than that carpet. Finally, I booked my painter to scrape the popcorn ceiling and paint the walls. While the room was empty, we decided we would do it – we’d rip up that nasty carpet.
Here’s what to expect if you pull up carpet and decide to live with a concrete floor.
- It’s more work than you think it’s going to be. While it only took us one day to pull up the carpet, it was pretty hard work.
- Your slab might not be pretty and you might have to paint it instead of just sealing it My plan was just to seal the slab, so I was surprised to see green paint, cracks, and a patch job on our slab. Needless to say, it wasn’t pretty. We had to paint it.
- It is slippery. I have almost slipped on the floor going from the shower to the closet, so you will need rugs with non-slip pads.
Here are the steps we followed:
- Pulled the carpet and pad up from one of the corners of the room. We’d pull it back as far as we could and then cut it into strips.
- We stacked it up in the room and then bagged it into trash bags and put it outside. Our city will pick this type of thing up as long as it is in a manageable pile.
- I used a large scraper that I bought at Home Depot to scrape up the glue from the pad while my husband used a crow bar to pull up the tack strips. I used a degreasing cleaner that I sprayed on the glue. I bought acid, but didn’t use it. I was able to do a pretty descent job with the degreaser. I sprayed and scraped and sprayed and scraped. Toward the end, of course, I figured out that I could scrape harder by using my foot to put pressure on the scraper.
- Then we vacuumed and swept and vacuumed and swept and dust mopped and mini-vaced. It’s important that at this point your floor is dry and all that dirt and dust is gone. After we had vacuumed a few times, I decided the vacuum wasn’t actually helping anymore which is why we got out the dust mop and hand held vacuum.
- Next we taped off the baseboards, fireplace, and floor by the doorway with blue painters tape.
- We used epoxy to fill in the holes left by the tack strips. I decided to use epoxy instead of Quick Crete because you do not have to sand exopy and you can paint the surface sooner. We used two Rustoleum epoxy kits I got from Home Depot. You have to work quickly and this was my first epoxy job, so my husband and I worked together. We mixed up the expoxy on a piece of cardboard and we each had a putty knife that we used to fill and level the holes. We did this at night and let it dry through the night.
- Then we painted the floor. I bought Porch & Floor paint at Sherwin Williams. Since I wasn’t planning on painting the floor, I didn’t have a color picked out. So, the first color I picked didn’t really go with the wall color. It was a color I had used in the past, but it looked too blue. It was Online. The second time around I went with Dovetail. It was more of a greige, or warmer gray. It looked better with my wall color. So, we ended up with two coats of paint on the floor. I might have been able to do two coats with one gallon if I hadn’t changed colors.
- Finally, I sealed the floor with Wet Look Sealer from Home Depot. I did this twice with dry time in between. I used less than one large bottle of sealer. Once this was done, we closed the door on the bedroom and let it dry for 72 hours.
- When we finally moved our furniture back into the bedroom, we used small pieced of cardboard under the feet of all the furniture. Also, we did not put rugs on the floor at that point.
This whole project had us locked out of our bedroom for two weeks. I had no idea and wasn’t planning on this process taking so long. There is a lot of dry time in between your steps and once you have put all that work into something, you certainly don’t want to ruin it. While it didn’t all turn out like I thought it would, I would do it again. I’m still in the process of decorating, but anything is better than dirty beige carpet, right?