Hardwoods under Carpet


How do I save the hardwoos when pulling up carpet? Do you always have to refinish?
Liz -first time home owner!
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There's nothing you can do to save the hardwood floors what's there is there. Pulling the carpet is the only way to determine what it needs. But if there is tack strips the edges will look bad.
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we refinish with 4 coats of polyurethane and put down thick pad and carpeting if desired. LB217 wrote:

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There will be holes from tack strips and nails. Whether you need to refinish will be determined by their condition before carpeting, time carpeted, and how many holes you find. Also, pet stains may be a big problem which even refinishing cannot cure.
Bob
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LB217 wrote:

Hello Liz:
We had ratty old carpet in our first house and couldn't afford to replace it. So we just ripped it up, and underneath were beautiful wood floors (I think they were pine, not hardwood, but still beautiful).
We had to pull up carpet and padding, carefully pry up tack stripping along the edges, and pull up hundreds of staples that had held down the padding. The last was most difficult and time-consuming because some staples were so old they had rusted. The top tended to break off and leave the legs in the wood. Those legs were extremely hard to get hold of. Found that a miniature pair of Vise-Grips worked best. (The cheap knock-offs did NOT work!) A few staples had to be gently hammered in below the surface.
There didn't appear to be any pet stains or similar, so we just cleaned the floors thoroughly and waxed them. They didn't look "new" but they looked pretty darned good.
But it will depend entirely on the condition of the floors. In our case the previous owners installed carpet because that's what they wanted, not because the floors were in bad shape. YMMV.
Best -- Terry
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I did the same thing in my home... we pulled up about 1500 square foot of carpet and found beautiful white oak 1.5" flooring (common to the era the house was built, 60's)
The floor was ORANGE, not kidding...orangish brown. The finish was disgusting in color, but in good shape. We used chemical strippers in the dining room, and they took forever and we still had to sand with a palm sander before we refinished with about 10 coats of undiluted gloss polyurethane...looks like a basketball court now.
You can do all this stuff yourself, paying a professional is expensive (I got a quote of $4000 for all of my 1500 square feet) don't know if the fella spit shines it or what for that price, redoing the whole floor has cost me a grand total of about $200, and that's with the cost of all that chemical stripper for the dining room. ($50)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Sounds similar to a house my wife and I renovated last Summer. It sounds as though your floors were finished with varnish. With carpet, over time you'll get an orange-brown mottling of the varnish from the pressure and rubbing of the carpet padding, particularly if it's a cheap padding...as was the case in the house I have - 30 years of nasty carpet padding does a number on varnish, let me tell you.
Your solution was probably the best way to go. Once the Wife and I build up enough equity in the house we bought, we'll take a month between tenants to do the same with the floors in the house we have. And, yeah, while a beautiful wax or varnish finish appeals to my purist nature, a gloss or satin polyurethane finish can't be beat for looks and durability.

The primary reason to go with a professional is if you have to do any sanding whatsoever on the floor. It is nearly impossible for us DIYers to avoid unevenness no matter what you use - orbital or random vibrating sanders will leave marks. The other reason is you feel your time is worth more than what you would pay a professional to do the work. Kelly, how much time did it take you to refinish 1500 sq/ft of floors? Some might feel it's worthwhile to pay someone to do it faster and have their own personal time for other pursuits/needs.
But if you're feeling ambitious and want to spend the time, have at it! Rest assured, you will be tired and sore when you're done, but you can impress friends and family with the fa-boo new floors you did yourself!
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i heard pet stains can be removed by bleaching the wood, the fellow who did the job it was flawless.........
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