A look underneath the carpet

Back in the days when the previous owners did their remodelling, carpet was the next hot trend. So what we got stuck with (quite literally) was a first floor completely covered in a dark greenish carpet, full of dust that had been collected over the years, some stains from God knows what, some leftovers of the wallpaper we removed and some paint speckles from painting the wall. After all, why remove the carpet before the painting if you then have to cover the floor? But once the painting was done, the carpet really had to go as well. Up for some carpet removal?

Before buying the house we visited it a few times with the real estate agent, to get a feel of the building and such. One of the questions we then asked was what to expect underneath the carpet, upon which he tore it apart a small part:

What's under the carpet

At first it seemed some kind of parquet, but a closer look showed it to be some kind of tiling. A relief, because I would have hated the thought of all that ruined parquet when they glued the carpet on top, and it also means our first floor floor is a sturdy one (and hopefully a little noise cancelling if you’re on the ground floor). It does have it’s drawbacks regarding ducts and conduits that have to go through…

The gear

  • Safety gear: headphones, glasses, dust mask, gloves
  • Crowbar
  • Scraper knife
  • Utility knife
  • A second pair of hands

The method

I can be very, very brief about this, as it’s mostly mindless destruction (yeah, that’s how we like it). Getting started is the hardest part, after that it’s mostly a walk in the park. Don’t forget your safety gear, as this is a dusty job and the carpet might hurt your hands while handling.

To start, locate a seam somewhere. In our case there was a seam underneath each door, so we could even work room per room. Now use the scraper knife or crowbar to tinker a bit of the carpet loose, starting from that seam. As soon as some of the carpet loosens, you can try pulling it (or have the second person pull while you still tinker). Depending on how well it has been glued in place, it could now come off very easily.

Not in our case though, the glue had been poured everywhere when the carpet was installed. So as soon as the loose part was large enough to pull, one person pulled while the other used the crowbar to stab the carpet loose where it kept sticking to the tiles. Once the loose end became too large to handle, we cut off a piece with the utility knife, leaving enough loose end to be able to continue pulling away.

After some 60 to 65 m² and a lot of sweat, we were very happy to see the carpet gone, and could now start working on the tiled floor. We already have some ideas, but what would you do with it?