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  1. #1
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    Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    When Mary and I bought this house nearly 12 years ago, the seller had installed carpet that I suspect was cheap, with a cheap pad and poor installation. We weren't in the house much more than a year when it started to buckle, and it has been getting worse all the time. I've wanted to do something about it for a few years, but the budget continues to say otherwise. Now with a new bride coming in the spring, with allergies worse than mine, I have to find the money somewhere; hopefully without having to finance it, since I'll have to take over a $300 a month medical benefit premium a year before I go from disability to full retirement with a larger pension.

    Over the last couple of months I've dropped in at flooring centers and borgs from Rolla to St. Louis trying to learn what the best flooring options are for us, what the cost is going to be, and whether or not I should attempt to install the flooring myself (I already know what my neurologist would say about that one.). For every question I asked, I got conflicting answers from the dealers. In some cases, if I visited 7 dealers I'd get 7 different answers for one or more of the questions.

    In frustration, I finally decided to go straight to the horse's mouth. I knew that Shaw had a great reputation for their products, and manufacture carpet, hardwood, laminate, and tile, so I felt they would give me good advice since they stand to win no matter what material I select. I sent them a 3-page fax with the questions I had asked the flooring dealers, and as many of the answers as I could remember. In less than 24 hours I had received a reply with very concise and logical answers to all my questions; as well as some additional advice and information. One thing that I learned is that with the changes in fiber and carpet technology/science, and with careful selection and proper care, carpet can be just as good an option as a hard surface floor for allergy issues. So we can have the warmth and comfort of carpet that we both wanted.

    The owner of the apartment Jana lived in while she was here is a good friend and my former barber. He uses one particular dealer for his rental properties, because of the quality of the carpet they carry, reasonable prices, and installers who do outstanding work. Ironically, I had neglected to check there when I was researching the various flooring materials, because I had made the assumption that since they were a carpet store, instead of a flooring store, they would only be able to tell me the benefits of carpet. As it turns out, they carry most of the common flooring materials and major brands.

    I went in there Thursday and found the type of carpet Jana wants, and Shaw's was softer, more comfortable, and more durable than the other brands. The carpet has a really good warranty on wear, staining, etc., but if you use one of their better pads (which we wanted to do anyway) the warranty time is doubled. The next step is to send the information to Jana, so she can find a Shaw dealer and look at the samples. Then we will see which pattern and color we both like. At $2.99 a sq. ft., the dealer called it a more expensive carpet, but that was the average price of most the carpets I looked at whether at the borg or other flooring centers. Many of the less expensive carpets were not worth considering, and a number of the more expensive carpets really weren't any better.

    The one question Shaw didn't answer, but I also didn't ask, is how I'm going to pay for a $4200-4500 carpeting job (based on my rough measurements). Guess it's time to sort through and sell the tools, furniture, household goods, etc., that I don't use and/or need. That will put a few coins in the coffer and mean less to move around when it's installation time. It's also time to start knocking on some doors, applying for some grants, and schmoozing with a few area businesses and organizations. I'm hanging my star on something, but trying not to get my hopes too high. A local recording artist, who is about release an album and whose screenplay is going to start production next year with Ron Howard directing, thinks he can use some of his connections to promote my flag poster. That could really help with the carpet and other much-needed household upgrades.

    Well, now that I've let more of the cat out of the bag, I need to find the time to get back to my "I'm Blessed" post and tell the rest of the story. Hopefully, that will be tomorrow. After a long day in St. Louis, I need to balance my checkbook, pay bills, and get some sleep. I think I'm already burning up that extra hour we are gaining tonight... but I always do.
    Last edited by PastorPaul; 11-02-2014 at 2:48 am.
    PP


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  2. #2
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    I'm going through much the same in my house - searching for the correct flooring material. I landed on a floating snap together floor. I was going to have a full lino floor put down with an adhesive backing but it would cost 2 plus times more. I will have the new floor done by Thanksgiving.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    I'm going through much the same in my house - searching for the correct flooring material. I landed on a floating snap together floor. I was going to have a full lino floor put down with an adhesive backing but it would cost 2 plus times more. I will have the new floor done by Thanksgiving.
    Jana has decided that replacing the floor right now is too much stress and too much money. We're going to wait until she gets here, tear out the carpeting, and live with whatever is underneath for the time being. If there is a good hardwood floor, we can have it refinished after she is working and we're able to put some money away. If not, we are looking at either buying the snap together laminate and doing the installation ourselves or waiting another year or two and install the allergy friendly carpet we both want. At least it is one thing off my plate and mind for a few months.

    Another advantage in holding off is that we can start the rewiring and repainting without messing up a new floor.
    PP


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  4. #4
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    06-15-2010
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    Buckling Carpet ? ? ?

    There is only one question. Is the carpet, when flat, good enough for you?
    If the answer is no, then go buy what you want.

    If the answer is yes, go to a small (non chain) carpet shop. Ask if they have installers that want weekend work on the side and paid in cash. The magic words are, you want carpet re-stretched and trimmed.

    As less expensive carpet absorbs moisture it tends to stretch. Unlike wood, as the carpet dries out it doesn't return to normal.


    I purchased a new house in Phoenix.
    The carpet was installed during late spring or early summer. My neighbor with the same model house, was completed at the same time, had a swamp cooler and we had air conditioning (i.e. Refrigeration).
    The carpet was the cheap VA/FHA grade carpet.
    (Yes, there even cheaper grades, a.k.a. apartment grade.)
    Before the houses were a year old, the neighbor had his carpet re-stretched and trimmed twice. The carpet in my house remained tight and normal for the five years that we lived there.
    Rich
    Huntington Beach, California

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  5. #5
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    Quote Originally Posted by rrich View Post
    Buckling Carpet ? ? ?

    There is only one question. Is the carpet, when flat, good enough for you?
    If the answer is no, then go buy what you want.

    If the answer is yes, go to a small (non chain) carpet shop. Ask if they have installers that want weekend work on the side and paid in cash. The magic words are, you want carpet re-stretched and trimmed.

    As less expensive carpet absorbs moisture it tends to stretch. Unlike wood, as the carpet dries out it doesn't return to normal.


    I purchased a new house in Phoenix.
    The carpet was installed during late spring or early summer. My neighbor with the same model house, was completed at the same time, had a swamp cooler and we had air conditioning (i.e. Refrigeration).
    The carpet was the cheap VA/FHA grade carpet.
    (Yes, there even cheaper grades, a.k.a. apartment grade.)
    Before the houses were a year old, the neighbor had his carpet re-stretched and trimmed twice. The carpet in my house remained tight and normal for the five years that we lived there.
    The carpet was cheap stuff and is coming apart. With both of us having allergy problems, it has to go. The problem is that the flooring store (a small and highly recommended local store) had not really showed any concern for getting the installers out to measure and give us a quote. I've talked to the owner numerous times and received the promise that one of the installers would be out "today or tomorrow". I've talked with both installers, even having breakfast a few times with one of them, and got the same promise. About 3 or 4 months of todays and tomorrows have come and gone, but still no installer.

    Monday I pulled back the carpet a few feet in one corner of the living room. What I discovered was a really nice pine floor. From what I can tell, all it will need is to clean it, fill the nail holes from the tack strips, put a coat or two of varnish or sealer on it, and install quarter-round in each room. I checked with the flooring store here in St. James, explaining that I needed a cleaner that would clean the goo off, but not take the finish off. The saleswoman tried to sell me one that strips the finish off. When I pointed out that clear indication on the label, she simply said, "Oh, I didn't know that." Another dealer warned me that I need to know exactly what kind of finish is on the floor, because if I don't match what is on there it may not work. I'm waiting for a call from a floor refinisher to get his opinion and a quote on what he would charge. It might be worth it to not have another thing on my plate in the coming weeks. If he can identify the finish I need to use, and I can find some students from the university who want to make a few bucks by removing the carpet, I may just tackle the cleaning and refinishing myself.

    Ironically, as I was trying to leave for a pastors' conference yesterday morning, one of the installers called to see about setting up a time to come and measure my floor. I told him, "I've waited months for you to get this done and nobody has lifted a finger to make the sale. We're going elsewhere. He seemed shocked that I wasn't willing to give them ANOTHER shot at it. No thanks! I've run out of tomorrows!
    PP


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  6. #6
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    What kind of goo? I follow a stepwise test when cleaning goo. I start with hot soapy water. If that doesn't work, I step up to paint thinner. Most finishes are fine with paint thinner and it's break down most adhesive residue and also grease. If that fails, I'll try some rubbing alcohol which shouldn't have a floor finish either. If that fails you're left with stuff that may harm your finish.
    Mark


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  7. #7
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    Quote Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
    What kind of goo? I follow a stepwise test when cleaning goo. I start with hot soapy water. If that doesn't work, I step up to paint thinner. Most finishes are fine with paint thinner and it's break down most adhesive residue and also grease. If that fails, I'll try some rubbing alcohol which shouldn't have a floor finish either. If that fails you're left with stuff that may harm your finish.
    Whatever it is, it's just slightly tacky. I'm guessing it's some residue from the padding, but getting the floor refinisher's opinion will help. So far, a few people who have pulled out carpet to uncover their wood floors have suggested starting with 1 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of water. Another suggested Spic 'n Span or Murphy's Oil Soap Liquid.
    PP


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  8. #8
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    Two words.


    Simple Green


    For what you're trying to do, three table spoons (1 oz.) per gallon of very hot water. When the water is cool, mix up a new batch. Pleasant mint smell.


    Allergies is the magic word. I would try the Simple Green before filling the house with thinner fumes.


    LOML will try everything except SG. Then I'll sneak in with the SG and clean the spot. She'll say "How did you do that?" I'll say "Rich's magic cleaning solution." She'll say "But it doesn't smell like lacquer thinner." (My other magic cleaner.)
    Rich
    Huntington Beach, California

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  9. #9

    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    I vote for Simple Green too.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Flooring Nightmare, But Getting Better... I Think

    My nightmare just got worse. It turns out that the living room has the only good floor. The office has a painted floor (probably pine T&G) with moderate gaps between the planks. I think a good cleaning, followed by a few coats of finish, will get us by for now. The bedroom and hallway floors are unfinished pine, with larger gaps. My thinking is to leave that carpet until we can afford laminate flooring. The big problem now is getting everything out of the living room and office, so I can get the floors started. With time running short, a lot of stuff may just get boxed up, moved to the garage or back porch, and sorted later.
    PP


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