Around the House: Dining room Floor-Part I

So a few days ago, I posted this teaser photo of our latest project. Well, the title of this post probably gave away the surprise, but we’re putting down new flooring in our dining room! Yippee! And the best part? It’s nearly free.

I’ll get to that in Part II, but first, let’s look at the dining room before. (You can see more pictures here.)

It’s been carpeted since we moved in, but this isn’t jut any carpet, folks. This is extremely pee-soaked carpet. (Cat pee that is, not human pee. Just for clarification.) It was already terrible when we moved in, but we cleaned it thoroughly and it was still not great (obviously) but it was livable. But then when Lucious got sick a few months ago, he started marking his territory, so to speak, all over our already pee-ish carpet. I don’t know what it is about this room that cats are attracted to, but not cool, Lu. Not cool.

Fair warning. It’s about to get really real up in here. Here’s what we were dealing with when I pulled up the carpet in our diningroom.

Yeah. I know. It was pretty bad. Gagging. And our (new) baseboards were ruined. That darn cat is on his last life. Ok, only kidding. Obviously after what we’ve spent on his vet bills recently, he’s worth (a little) more than the baseboards. But I’m still not happy about it. :|

Anyway, back to the carpet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we got to the pulling up part, we had to do the furniture moving part. Technically, the diningroom and the reading room are connected, but we wanted to leave the carpet in the reading room, so we moved all the furniture into that half of the room. And marked a straight line on the carpet where we wanted the split to be. I used a t-square to make sure it was exactly perpendicular to the wall, and used a spare piece of baseboard as a straight edge to draw my line.

Then I cut along the line using a box cutter. From there I cut the carpet into strips so it would be easier to roll up and carry out, followed by the carpet pad.

Then we had to remove all the tack-strips and various rogue staples scattered around the floor. That was a detail oriented and not very fun job that ended with my hand and back both aching, from pulling and bending, respectively. I recruited the hub for the tack-strip removal, though. In case you’re wondering why my arms look so manly…

Once the carpet was out, we discovered that our little smell issue didn’t end there. The pee, and the smell, had soaked through the carpet and pad and settled into the subfloor. We don’t have the budget (or probably the carpentry skills) to replace it, so we opted for the easier solution of priming it with Kilz, which in addition to blocking colors, is also great for blocking odors. Although we started to suspect that it might just be because your sense of smell gets burned off while you’re applying it. Holy cow. Make sure you have good ventilation and some fans handy if you use this stuff. I tried to work as quickly as possible because of the smell (and Brett was busy keeping Vera far away from the fumes), so I only have an after picture, no progress shots. I wasn’t exactly sure what areas were pee-free and didn’t really want to crawl around the whole floor doing a smell test while painting in patches, so I just coated the whole floor. I also painted up the walls a few inches, just to be sure I got everything covered and sealed up.

And that’s where we are right now. After leaving all the doors and windows open for several hours with fans running, the floor was dry and smelling better. There are still a few places I want to cover with a second coat, to be extra sure no smells are going to reappear next summer when it gets hot and humid around here, but its looking good.

So that’s the plan for this weekend. Touch up the primer and get to the good part of this project! Oh and did I mention we’re hoping to get this all done before Sunday when we have overnight guests coming? Nothing like a fast deadline to push a project through, right? What can I say, I’m feeling ambitious.



What do you think? Leave a comment below.