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Laying carpet over hardwood floor

I have old hardwood flooring that has a million tiny nails that like to work their way up and snag our feet. It also is breaking, chipping, seperating and seams to be pulling up away from the subfloor in some places. We are going to have carpet laid.
I am worried if we lay carpet over it that the nails will work their way up or the wood will continue to rise and cause even more terrible creaking than there already is.
So my question is: Do we need to pull up all the hardwood or can we just lay the carpet over it?
Any answers you can provide, I'd appreciate. My 7 month old is on the verge of crawling and we must get carpet soon!

A. Spruce
Re: Laying carpet over hardwood floor

If it were me, I'd pull it and stop the squeaks. The carpet isn't going to muffle them.

Re: Laying carpet over hardwood floor

I don't understand why all the nails..if the wood was face nailed or what, but it seems strange. Have you had a hardwood flooring company come take a look? Might be able to get a free estimate....basically use them to have a look and give you some advice.

If it's that bad, I'd probably pull it up as well.

Re: Laying carpet over hardwood floor

Installing carpet over a floor that is falling apart is not in your best interest. Although it will muffle the squeaks some, the squeaks will get worse in time, as will other problems.

Removing the hardwood shouldn't be too difficult. First, remove all the baseboard. You won't have to look far for a starting point to begin yanking hardwood up - the first loose board will work. Use a heavy pry bar, a hammer and you might also use a circular saw.

I use a circular saw to cut a grid pattern and make the pieces more manageable. Set the blade to just the thickness of the hardwood. Wear a dust mask, use an older blade so you don't have to worry about the nails you will hit and try not to cut through the cord. :D

Once you get the boards up, use a flat bladed shovel to scrape the floor - you will find nails you missed. Be sure to clean the floor well.

Your baseboard may not go in the same position when you are done. Most old hardwood floors are about ¾" thick and your new carpet might not be that thick. You can touch up the paint above the boards, but that's not always possible. Baseboards come in a variety of heights, so replacing them with taller base might be the answer. You can also layer base for a more decorative touch.



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