"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tack Strips are Evil

As I said, the wood floor looks pretty good. We pulled up the carpet and found this...


I'm enjoying the results of this project so far (well, except for the headache induced by the sound of metal on metal, but I'll get to that in a sec). And when I like a project, there tends to be significant scope creep. (Those of you with any experience in the business world have likely run into this term. Jeff uses it a lot when it comes to my plans around the house.)

And I decided that one room free of that nasty carpet is not enough.

Disgusting Note- I heard on a DIY show that old carpet weighs 2 or 3 times as much as when it was originally put in. I cannot verify this as fact (as I wasn't around to weight this carpet before installation and probably wouldn't have even if I was), but ewww.

And because the floor doesn't look horrible and actually still has some of the original finish, I have somehow managed to convince Jeff to hold off on sanding and refinishing the whole thing until we've removed the carpet in the entire upstairs (which as likely as not won't be for quite awhile because it involves moving a piano and relocating a giant computer desk to some yet to be determined location. It will likely take so long that one day I'll reread this post and think, Ah crap. I completely forgot that I was going to take out all the carpet upstairs).


OK, so here's what we've done so far.


This is me showing how to use this brilliant tool to remove the tack strips. I'm wearing a really thick glove on my right hand, which is something I highly recommend. You might even want to wear them on *both* hands. The whole process works best if you aim just the corner of said tool under the wood (as opposed to the entire flat side). Jeff was able to remove the strips in fairly intact pieces of wood, which also happened to pull most of the nails up with them.

I, on the other hand, tore the shit out of those things. Sorry, no pics, but they were pretty splintered up and usually left the nails still embedded in the floor.

Here's where I mention the bitch of a headache I gave myself listening to the pounding of a metal hammer on a metal pry-bar. Do yourself a favor, use a rubber mallet instead. Really. Buy one if you have to. Or use a shoe. Anything. Just not metal on metal. Or I guess ear plugs would work (not for hitting the pry bar, but, you know, for protecting your ear drums.) Just don't say I didn't warn you.


The other end of this awesomest of tools has a handy-dandy nail remover, which didn't seem to cause as much damage to the floor as the claw end of a hammer did.

So, when this part of the project was finished. It looked like this.


Oh yah, that fantastic tool also has a scrapper on the bent end. So I was able to use it to remove quite a bit of the painted on carpet bits because apparently while I'm no good at removing tack strips, I'm awesome at painting carpet to baseboard.

Added Note- Even though I didn't spend much time actually complaining about the tack strips (like the title suggested I might) trust me, they were devised by the devil. Just wanted to get you in the right frame of mind for dealing with them.


Sun Salutation Update- I've done 8 of these guys for comments left yesterday.


sunflowerchilde said...

I am totally jealous of you. I have carpet too, and I HATE it. My cat pukes on it regularly. It seems like it needs to be vacuumed again as soon as I've finished. My husband is from Italy and says that carpet was a fad there in the 70's until people realized how disgusting it was, and now no one has it anymore. They're so much smarter than we are.

Unfortunately, I rent, so I'm stuck with the carpet for now. But I can't wait to move.

Anonymous said...

Your tool looks EXACTLY like a beekeeper's tool. Course, they're used to pry the individual hives apart to get inside and break up the bee glue that they use to fill little spaces, so that makes complete sense... it's a prying tool. Find one here:https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22_29&products_id=56

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Ugh, I feel for you. When we moved in I had to take the carpet out of the WHOLE HOUSE. And in some rooms, they put in double rows of tack strip!!! Insanity.

I would totally believe that old carpet is 2X heavier. That stuff can get SO gross!

Renee Unplugged - said...

OK - I SO need to get rid of the carpet in my living room...you're starting to inspire me! BUT much like the rest of your upstairs the thing that's keeping me from doing it is moving some really heavy pieces of furniture....