Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Red Carpet Treatment

Ok, it's kind of an golden-tan carpet, not red. But it's done! It took 5 LONG days of listening to my very eccentric carpet installer, Monty, give me a play-by-play of everything he was doing, but the carpet is in. Let me tell you how the process went:

The first day Monty went to work, it was mostly prep stuff. He pulled up the old carpet in each room to reveal the magical world of antique floors beneath. Each room was a treasure of old materials and colors. Our front room was a combination of original 2" hardwood slats around the edge of the room with a different kind of crappy 3" wood slats going in a different direction in the center. These were a more recent addition. The bedroom was crappy wood slats (not hardwood) with the floor of our closet being just a cement slab (no carpet padding!) and the walkway between our bedroom and the bathroom being a crazy old art deco linoleum. And I don't mean vinyl--I mean REAL actual linoleum. And the stairs were a different kind of wood slats, painted. Very interesting stuff.

Next Monty spent the better part of each day removing the old tack strips which he claimed weren't good enough (they looked fine to me), nailing down any squeaky boards, fixing any holes in the wood slats, and in any other way he could think of, delaying putting the carpet down. Finally about 8pm the first night, he rolled out the first roll of carpet. The color freaked me out a little bit, I have to admit. It was night time, dark outside, and the carpet was very matted down from being rolled up. The first thought I had about the color when I saw it was that it reminded me of that sawdust the elementary school janitor puts on puke whenever someone throws up in the hall--you know the one, it's kind of orange-ish pink-brown and speckled with green? Ya, that. So you can imagine that I was a little disappointed. And I thought I was the victim of some horrible bait and switch joke. But as we walked on it, the knap came up and it got lighter. But I still feared that I had made a bad choice. How can you tell what 95 square yards of carpet will look like by looking at a 3 inch square swatch?? That night I had horrible dreams that my carpet was burnt orange and 70's shag. I tossed and turned all night fearing that I would feel like I was living on the set of Three's Company forever. But when I got up in the morning and looked at the carpet in the light of day, it turned out that the carpet was a nice tan color, not burnt orange and not puke-sawdust pink. Just a nice, peachy tan. (I'll put a before picture first, just for contrast...)

The next four, yes FOUR, days were about the same routine--me waking up early to greet Monty at the agreed-upon 8am, Monty arriving around 10:30am, Monty talking to me about polyurethane glue and carpet seaming tools until I grabbed the kids and hid out in the playroom for the rest of the day while he meticulously and painstakingly tried to fix every problem that having 113 year old floors can cause. And finally, around 7pm when we wanted some peace and quiet, Monty would roll out the carpet for that room, hall, or stairway and start putting it in. And finally, at 9pm on the 5th day, the carpet was finished.

And it looks pretty good! Once I got over my initial shock on the color, and once we got all the furniture put in, the color really began to blend with our house. The other really great thing about the carpet is how it FEELS. It is so soft and plush. It's about an inch higher than our old carpet. It makes walking on it feel like we had been walking on hardwood before, that's how different it feels. Every morning when I step out of bed, my feet are embraced by plush softness. And then I look around and there are no stains, no spots, and no grey areas on my carpet. Just uni-color cushiness. Ahhhh.....

Fortunately, we just bought a new vacuum last week. A vacuum that ROCKS, by the way. It's called the Hoover Tempo Widepath. Although it's Cookie Monster blue and has bags, it's the best vacuum I've ever owned. Consumer Reports rated it higher than all the Dysons. And it only cost $60! How can you beat that? Well, our new vacuum has gotten a work-out on this new carpet. I guess new carpet produces a lot of little orphan strands that have to be vacuumed up. I've already filled 2 vacuum bags full of the stuff. But I think I've finally gotten most of it up. And between the gorgeous new carpet and the awesome new vacuum, I'm actually enjoying vacuuming the floor! Even the stairs were a joy to do. Can you imagine?


Christie said...

The carpet looks fantastic! I need to come over and see it in person. And, nice to know about the vaccuum too - I need a new one since my ex-cleaning lady ruined my old one. I've been borrowing my brother's Dyson, which I'm in love with. But if I can get one that is even better at a fraction of the cost, I'm all over that! Maybe I need to come over and vaccuum so I can see if I like yours better than my loaner.

Tiburon said...

Oooo I love it! It looks awesome! I covet your new carpet. Hey, as long as you are in vacuuming mode - come hit my house :)

alex dumas said...

Eek! Five days to put in carpet? Hope you weren't paying him by the hour. He should have just had a room to sleep in for the week.