How I demoed my existing flooring and installed a new
bamboo hardwood floor: Part One
We finally closed on the new house and I immediately got to work demoing the house! It was definitely not move in ready, you can check out my previous post about the new house here! Welcome to Our New Home!
The floors turned into quite the process so I decided to make this post into two parts. First part is all about the demo!
The first thing I did was roll up my sleeves and start tearing the carpet out. I made sure to suit up with gloves, safety glasses, and a mask because when I say that carpet smelled bad, I mean it smelled BAD. I started out by cutting the carpet into sections and rolling it up and putting duct tape around it so it made it easier to carry to the dumpster. That lasted all of about two rolls of carpet. So…this is what I ended up with…
I definitely would not recommend this method. I was only one person ripping up the carpet and honestly, I just got frustrated, and before I knew it, that is what I ended up with…
Thinking back now, the rolls of carpet that I did duct tape and carry out to the dumpster were pretty heavy too…so I don’t know if there is a good way to do this. Either way, tearing out carpet just sucks.
I tore out the hardwood flooring that they already had in the house as well. It was only in the hallway and was a very small area of hardwoods. I know ripping out existing hardwoods may be a no no to some, but it was not what I envisioned in the house, and I wanted one floor throughout the entire house. Not worth the effort of salvaging and wasn’t original to the house or anything. So thats what you see in the picture above.
So after all the carpet was out, I got a good look at what was under all that smelly carpet…and it was not pretty.
Stain soaked particle board covering about 1600 square feet of the house. It was everywhere. I texted this picture above to my husband and asked “what do I do with this?…” His response was not one I was expecting when I started demoing the house.
“It all has to be torn up.”
Even if the particle board hadn’t been covered in stains, we would have torn it out anyway. We are planning on installing hardwood floors and particle board absorbs moisture very easily and swells. Not good for under hardwoods.
In a perfect world I would have ripped the carpet up and just laid the new hardwood down. Well, obviously we don’t live in a perfect world! So…again, I rolled up my sleeves and started chipping away at the particle board. I had a couple friends come by to look at it and get some advice on the best way to take out particle board. Let me just tell you, there is no easy way to do it. I tried a lot of methods.
I tried taking a large crow bar and just chipping away at it until I had sweat pouring on the ground to taking out each individual nail that was put into the board and picking it up in one large piece. Believe me, both ways were painful in their own way.
All those nails came from one board. There were about 8 boards per room! I am sure this will vary house to house, and not everyone will have used this many nails per board! Or hopefully not have used particle board at all. If I had to recommend a way to take out particle board, it would be to take out the nails, then pull the sheets up whole. It is more time consuming, but a lot easier on the back.
That sums up the demo process. It was about a grueling week of nothing but particle board. In the end, the house feels so much better with it gone, and not to mention, smells so much better too! Here are the main things I took away from part one:
Make sure you have a dumpster on hand. This makes demo so much easier!
Expect the unexpected, especially when you tear up the carpet for the first time.
Particle board is not an ideal subfloor and if you can, tear it out and install a new subfloor.
This is me tearing out the last piece of particle board in the house. Very exciting moment! This piece was in the kitchen underneath 2 layers of linoleum and 1 layer of plywood…
This section of the house almost defeated me…almost! In the end, I was able to finish what I started and the house was ready for the new floors!
Check back for part two of installing bamboo flooring coming soon!