Since my house was built in the 50’s, there are many, many changes lying below the current surface. The hardwood on the main floor is original, however, at some point in time, someone covered its beauty with carpet. That is why all of my interior doors come up off the floor about an inch. WHY? Why did people do this?! The previous owner ripped out the carpet on the main floor but kept the stupid doors. The walk-out basement was finished many years ago and was (and still is) completely carpeted with berber. Prior to moving in, my husband and I had the carpet professionally cleaned. It looked decent for about a week when the stains started to come through. The carpet in the two bedrooms (my girls rooms) are livable for a while, but the stairs were not. Carpeting high traffic areas is just a terrible idea. At this point I was panicking about everything else in this house that needed immediate attention. Dirty stairs were low on the list. But the more I walked on the stairs, the worse my anxiety became. My socks would turn black by noon. It smelled weird. And my children were crawling up and down them. It was disgusting and I was about to loose my mind over it.
And then one fine Saturday while my husband was installing a new exterior door, he yelled to me in the other room while I was changing a diaper and said “You want me to rip out a piece of this carpet and see what’s underneath? It might be hardwood, or concrete, or who knows what.”
ME: “DO IT!!!! I don’t CARE what’s underneath! GET RID OF IT!”
Then I heard the switch of his knife and the sweet sound of ripping carpet.
TONY: “Oh Jen, oh my god, you’re going to freak out”
ME: “WHAT?! Freak out how? In a good way or a bad way?”
Beautiful, original hardwood. God Bless America. That day, my disgusting carpeted stairs were no longer in existence. The smell was gone and I was content. My husband had saved the day. They are not perfect of course. The risers need to be painted, there are nail holes and a spot on a bottom step where a railing once stood. But I don’t care, I’m just so happy that I can walk up and down my stairs without having grocery store feet by mid-day.
If you suspect that you have beautiful hardwood stairs underneath of your filthy carpet, my husband says the best way to start is by cutting the carpet underneath the lip of the step to minimize damage to the wood. Then rip that filth away until you are crying tears of joy.
And my new stairs….