Tag Archives: Carpet

Finito!

26 Jul

Well, we are project-less once again.  The stairs have been deemed complete!

This was after I touched up a few things, right before we started to lay the rugs.

I bought a high quality 2×8 rug pad to use on the stair treads. I didn’t want to risk the carpet slipping and I wanted to protect the stairs I just spent weeks working on!

I did a rough cut of the rug pad and then we stapled them on with a pneumatic stapler that we hooked up to our air compressor.  Money well spent, using a regular staple gun would have probably  made us rip out hair out.

We measured to make sure there was enough room on either side so the rug pad wouldn’t show.  I cut them smaller than the rug as well just to be extra careful.

I couldn’t find a rug that was 2×16 (or more) that didn’t look like an old lady’s rug.  There was nothing I liked.  I must have searched every rug website around.  So we ended up buying two 2×8 rugs with a plan to hide the seam.  I ended up buying 3 2×8 rugs because I want to have one cut and re-bound to fit the landing.  It’s a good thing I bought a third because we ran into a snag.

The first rug went on easily.  We started under the top lip and pulled and stretched it as it was stapled.

The rugs are from Home Decorators.  I liked that they were a bit funky.  Kinda modern on a traditional staircase.  That’s my type of jam. Plus it was really hard to find a 2′ wide rug.  Most are 2’6″ and we have a slim staircase – that wouldn’t have worked.

The problem came in when we realized we didn’t have enough rug to do what we wanted. So we figured out a new plan, and started the second rug tucked under the bottom of the first step.

We shouldn’t have done that.

We ended up short and for some reason almost a 1/2″ difference in rug widths!

We had to rip off the rug and get the third rug we bought out to measure against the rug already stapled on the top. Thank God that one was the same width!

We started from where the first rug ended and just made it to staple the rug under the lip at the bottom.  We had to cheat a few times, keeping the rug a bit away from the corners to make it, but it really isn’t noticeable at all.

Where the rugs met on the middle of the stairs we trimmed off the top rug so it fit snugly against the beginning of the second rug.

I doused the cut edge with Fray Check.  It’s used mainly for fabric, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.  Maybe it will keep the edge from coming undone.

We actually used a putty knife to wedge the top rug into the bottom one.  We wanted to make sure it was really in there.

Here’s the seam.

It’s really not noticeable at all unless you are right on top of it.

Finito!

Here’s a ton of photos…

Before/After:

I’m thinking of adding a few large frames up the stairway (possibly spray painting them gray) and maybe moving the light switch closer to the wall at the bottom of the stairs. It’s just there – in the middle of the wall – looking strange.

The bonus of all the stair reno is because of all the painting and caulking – the stairs don’t squeak anymore.  A nice little bonus!

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Humidity is the Devil…

11 Jul

The stairs are coming along, but I definitely thought we would be farther along than we are.  We did take a few days to relax over the 4th and this week has been a bust because of work, but I’m still blaming humidity.

Apparently I picked the perfect time to stain and poly a floor – high 80’s/low 90’s and extremely high humidity. It literally felt like someone dumped a bucket of boiling water on you when you walked outside. Not my thing.

Last Saturday we ripped up all the carpet and dug out all the staples. The stairs weren’t in too bad of shape.

Then we hung up plastic sheeting to trap all the dust (We kept calling it the “Kill Room”. People who watch Dexter will understand that, people who don’t probably think I’m crazy).

I trapped myself inside this for hours.

I kept saying it was like I was the reverse Bubble Boy.  Trapped inside with all the bad stuff.  Every now and then I was let out and would jump outside to get some fresh air.

It really did it’s job though. There was no dust anywhere else throughout the house.

I taped off the doors upstairs and those rooms were dust free too.

A few hours later we were left with this…

I sanded with 60 grit to get all the polyurethane off, then again with 150 grit to give it a smooth finish. I used the orbital sander as well as a sanding block with the 150 grit. I wanted to make sure I got it as smooth as possible.

I taped off the treads for staining with Frog tape – my favorite stuff ever.

Since I was worried about the stairs sopping up the stain I started with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

It claims to help make a more even stain. I would have to say it definitely worked.

You have to stain within 2 hours of the pre-stain so I gave it a good 30 minutes to dry (the wood just soaked it right up).

With just the pre-stain…

Then I said a few prayers and started staining. I worked my way from the landing down the stairs with a roll of paper towels, a plastic grocery bag to hold the used towels, a foam brush, and a small can of stain.

I would stain, then let it sit for no more than 5-7 minutes, wipe, and move on.  It worked out well. The color came out very close to our hardwood on the main floor – which made me happy! The bottom step even stained nicely. I was so worried about it but I really think the pre-stain made all the difference.

The lighting makes the landing look more yellow/orange. It’s definitely not that color in person. It’s a nice warm brown. No orange!

It’s Minwax Wood Stain in Early American.

I let the stain dry 24 hours before the first coat of polyurethane. I just wanted to be really sure it was dry and with the crazy humidity we were having it was taking way longer than the recommended drying time.

The first coat of polyurethane went on the next day. I used Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane in Clear Semi-Gloss. Fast drying it was not.

Because of the humidity it took 24 hours to dry. We ninja’ed our way up the stairs that night with the dog under one arm and the dehumidifier in the other. We set up the dehumidifier in the bathroom and let it run through the night. That really helped speed up the drying time.

The second coat went on the next morning.  I sanded the first coat with a 220 grit sanding block, cleaned it up, and then made sure to put it on really thin to decrease the drying time.

It was nice and dry 12 hours later.  We made sure to stay off it as much as possible until 24 hours after it was applied.

So here we are…

I know this last photo is blurry by it shows how it matches the floor the best.

A nice before and after…

This weekend we are hoping to get the backs painted white and some trim hung up.  Hopefully I can start measuring out what we’ll need for the board and batten. PLUS I need to scotch guard the runner, staple that sucker to the stairs and find a carpet store that will cut and re-bind a rug for the landing.

Busy, busy, busy!

So It Begins

27 Jun

The carpet removal has begun.  On Saturday we ripped off the carpet on the bottom two stairs. I needed to see if there was actually wood under there and if it was salvageable. Check for both!

I wanted to try to sand a step or two to see how long it would take and if it would work. I have a small palm sander that I used and quickly realized it would take me forever to sand everything with it.  The sandpaper kept falling off!

So, my husband loves me and took me to Home Depot and bought me an Orbital Sander. Nothing makes my heart flutter more than power tools. I’m my father’s daughter.

I got the DeWalt 5 inch Random Orbital Sander (This). The sandpaper sticks directly to the pad and makes life a whole lot easier for me. It took me 10 minutes to sand one step, when previously it took me at least 30.

Look how pretty it is.

I took the same stain that is on our floors now and tested a little spot on the stairs.

Big problem with the bottom stair. It stained so much darker than the floors. I put the stain on and wiped it off immediately. It’s still several shades darker and incredibly noticeable.  I’ve read you can water down stain with turpentine. We might do that or pick a lighter shade that is as close of a match as we can get. We’ll see. The rest of the stairs stain exactly like the floor. It’s just the horizontal planks on the bottom step.

See…

No bueno.

Ignore the brown grate. That’s going away. It’s non-functional and dumb.

Because there is something wrong with us and we can’t ever stop at what we had planned for the day – we ripped off the carpet on the landing.

It’s definitely worn. There are definitely a lot of scratches, but nothing was deep. It was all superficial. I love the look of older hardwood too and this has the potential to have the character that I love.

And because I’m an idiot I decided I should sand the whole landing. So I did. For almost 4 hours.

60 grit sandpaper really cuts through the polyurethane.

I was a mess and the house was a mess.  We hung up plastic sheeting to protect the downstairs, but there still was dust all over the place.

And me…

Don’t I look wonderful. Miss America, ladies and gentlemen.

But the floors looked good.

Dust EVERYWHERE!

After a lot of vacuuming….

There are still a few places that I need to hit with my Dremel Oscillating Tool. That little guy is great to sand in tough to reach places.

I’m not sure if I’m going to fill the small crack above with stain-able wood putty or not. I’ve heard some not so great things about it so I’m on the fence. That will be a game time decision.

Here’s a good shot of where it was sanded and wasn’t…

I’m going to go over it lightly with 150 grit sandpaper before I stain. Just to make sure everything is smooth.

It’s going to be a crazy weekend.