When we first looked at our house we wondered if the living room carpet was hiding hardwood floors. When we moved in and started learning more about the history of the house, we knew hardwoods were there. What we suspected was that the carpet had been put down for a reason: to hide damage done in the past. I mean, why else would someone cover up perfectly lovely parquet floors with wall-to-wall carpet?! Especially gross sage green carpet?!
Whenever I vacuumed I would watch as a corner of the carpet near the stair moved. It had long since come undone from the tacks and I was dying to pull it up. One weekend Steve started pulling on it because curiosity got the best of him. Parquet floors glowed underneath. Still, this was near the stairs and we’d been told water damage had occurred, probably near the bathroom, at some point in the past. We knew we shouldn’t start pulling up the carpet until we were ready, financially and mentally, to deal with what was hiding beneath it.
Today, as I was doing my weekly vacuuming, I stopped and called to Steve. I asked him about the carpet. He said he was game to start pulling. I asked about what we’d do if we unearthed something we weren’t able to deal with and he, matter-of-factly, stated we’d just hammer down the carpet again. So we started pulling. And pulling. And pulling. Slowly, we uncovered the original floor.
Oh, it had problems. What appeared to be puncture marks all around the perimeter and water damage near the window. Still, it had promise and at this point there was no turning back. As for the water damage, well, an area rug would have to serve as a temporary fix. Much better than what the previous owners had done:
All that’s missing here is the duct tape. We started speculating about what had happened. We figured the owner had a shelf full of plants and the water had dripped onto the floor. Since the damage was away from the window we doubted it had to do with condensation from the window. But cardboard floor fixes weren’t the biggest surprise. The biggest shock was what appears to be blood stains.
And it’s not coming out. I figure it makes for some good party conversations so I’m willing to live with it. We wanted to pull up all the carpeting downstairs, but we found subflooring in the bar area which probably means the floor was so damaged it couldn’t be fixed. Future plans are to replace that area with cork flooring.
So, five hours later, we have a “new” living room and we’re thrilled. It’s far from perfect, has stains, damage, holes from staples and tacks, and areas covered by rugs, but to us it’s perfect. What a way to spend a dreary Sunday afternoon!