Monday, October 29, 2007

Out with the New, In with the Old....

I know, I know. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Our culture is driven by its eternal search for the newest and the best, the shiniest and the coolest. Well, here at the Nerdly Nest, we're pulling back a few decades and seeing how it works out for us.

What am I rambling about? Well, as the dust in my hair, the ripped fingernails, three splinters still jammed in my hand, and a filthy pair of jeans headed towards the wash will tell, I just spent my morning ripping up our living room carpet in the hope I can salvage the wooden floor underneath. I'm going to polish the lovely (and 90 years old) oak floor with some beeswax when we get the edging finished, and perhaps in the spring we'll sand it and seal it with polyurethane. Until then, it will be swept and kept healthy with wax... and if I have my way the rest of the house's carpets are doomed as well.

Now, why would I go ripping up carpet for an old beaten up wooden floor? Aesthetics aside, it comes down to the health of the house AND our own health. The cheap carpet the previous owners (headed for a date with a recycling firm) nailed onto the wooden floor boards is, first off, tacky as a plastic yard flamingo. Off white, crushed pile, stained and worn... it was time to go. Impossible to get really clean, daily vacuuming and spray on dirt busters did little to help. My allergies just got worse, and the Prime Geeks asthma seemed to increase the longer he stayed in the house. Our cats had placed their votes as well, showing their displeasure in truly unsocially accepted behavior. After countless attempts to get it clean (going so far as to buy a carpet steamer) I called it quits. The Prime Geek thought there might be a wooden floor under all that muck... but hadn't gotten around to actually looking. So, one evening last week I was found with a steak knife in one hand and a reckless attitude firmly installed... ripping through the carpet (in the center of the room, of course. If you are going to do a thing, do it big.) to have a little look-see for myself. Success! A pain to remove, but there IS something worthy of working on under the indoor/outdoor crap.

With a rip and a heave, and several trash bags later the carpet was off this morning. Another back breaking hour washing the floor down with Murphy's Oil soap on my hands and knees (if I'm gonna do it, I might as well do it right) and our floor is almost finished. PG will have to do some time on the edging, and I foresee the need to get working on a few rag rugs to toss around the room. Luckily I have more than a few bags of scraps to use.

Bit by bit, we'll free this lovely old home (1917) from the ghosts and specters that weigh it down. The old carpet is going, the nasty gas fake fireplace is being demoed this week and a soapstone wood burner will soon heat our home. I hope to get as many of the old features restored in our lovely lady, to bring her back to her glory from before.

But before that?

I gotta get a shower.

Maybe two. The crappy padding under the carpet was disintegrating as it was pulled and I think I breathed in more than I threw away.



Addiopolis said...

Good Luck with the hardwood floor. I know there're a lot of those lurking under nasty carpet.

I followed you over to your blog from the rubber city knitters group on ravelry.

Mark said...

when you finally go to sand it make sure you rent a good floor sander. Trust me it's worth it :)