Asked on Sep 22, 2016

Replacing carpet on a budget

Ricky Kersey
by Ricky Kersey

Hey there, I am 26 years old and I recently bought my first condo in Atlanta. As you know, moving in and getting settled takes FOREVER! Anyways, I have a cat, as well as a cat allergy and dust mite allergies. Thankfully, my condo came with hardwoods, everywhere, but the bedroom. It seems every pay check I am at Home Depot/Lowes/Homegoods/Marshalls/etc trying to upgrade and decorate. It really isn't in the cards to do full on contracted hardwood/vinyl/laminate/whatever in the bedrooms yet, so I am trying to find out how to rip up carpet and do something on my own to get by for the time being. I am not sure what is under the carpet, I would imagine wood? Thanks! Pictures aren't great, but you can see I've finally moved my bed in!

  31 answers
  • William William on Sep 22, 2016
    Pull up a corner of the carpet to see what is under there! If you have hardwood floors, BONUS. You can remove the carpet, pad, and all the staples holding the padding. Clean the floor with BONA. If you have concrete or plywood underlayment, that can be painted. Sweep the floor clean, prime with KILZ or BIN. Then paint with an acrylic paint. This would be the most frugal way to go. In the future you can tackle a more extensive floor remodel. Just search on this site on how to lay flooring. Many Hometalkers have done flooring themselves. Or you might like the paint finish. a lot of Hometalkers have done that too.
  • Pam Lewandowski Pam Lewandowski on Sep 22, 2016
    As a Momma of a 25 yr old and 21 yr old ---- CONGRATULATIONS!!! What an accomplishment!
  • Rosemary Kelly Rosemary Kelly on Sep 23, 2016
    The best place to check, is in the closet. If it's hardwood, great! If it's plywood, you could paint it for the time being. Check out faux finishes. It's work, but inexpensive.
  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Sep 23, 2016
    A friend covered his carpet in thick polythene which cost about 50p a metre at that time. I have a dust mite allergy and if I start getting wheezy I spray with tea tree oil or neem leaf solution to kill the mites , I do this mainly around where I sleep , ripping up carpets or moving furniture I would have to do it early morning and not go back in until late on when the dust settles.
  • Zeudi Zeudi on Sep 23, 2016
    Great if hardwood, but if not check out stain masters sheet vinyl in a wood look just installed and live it, super good price and much quality
  • Lindy Lindy on Sep 23, 2016
    You've received great advice from William. The one thing I would advise and warn about is the Kilz/BIN. With allergies and subsequent breathing difficulty I would get a respirator mask when applying. I just did a project with BIN Ultimate Primer and did not follow my own instructions. It's heavy duty stuff. If you can get by with an acrylic primer with low VOC then go that route. Check out some of the peel and stick wood look products. A neighbor who was really strapped for cash and selling her home used this type of product. No, not hardwood, but you are looking for inexpensive and temporary. I actually think she got the flooring at the dollar store and she laid the flooring herself! Congratulations on your first home purchase at 26! Impressive and you will move mountains if this is an indication.
  • Laurie Laurie on Sep 23, 2016
    If your floor is plywood, you could paint lines on the cracks after you polyurethane all of it. You will need 2 or 3 coats but it will last years!
  • Archie Archie on Sep 23, 2016
    If you need a cheap flooring after you pull the carpet, I saw some vinyl flooring at Home Depot that were less then $1 a square foot. They looked great. These are "planks" not squares.
  • Tammy Hjermstad Vukonich Tammy Hjermstad Vukonich on Sep 23, 2016
    When we moved into our DIY home awhile ago, we were very short on cash. So we decided to paint the floors. You can do a lot of fun affects with paint. One room we used a kitchen sponge dishmop (you know the kind with a handle & a pompom of sponge strips tied to the end) & plopped another color on top of the base color, spacing it out, and it gives it kind of a floral illusion. Another room, I used a similar affect with the same tool, using less paint (a drier brush) on the "mop", but plopping closer together & overlapping. I gave it a look like a textured carpet. Play around with paint & colors. It's a cheap way to go carpet free..... I have allergies too, so carpet free is the best.
  • IFortuna IFortuna on Sep 23, 2016
    WIlliam suggested looking underneath the carpet. Great idea! We pulled all our carpet up and threw it out. Mostly the hardwood was fine. We had to redo the bedroom floor because it was damaged.============If you have wood that is great. If you have concrete under the carpet, there are a lot of products that you can use to fix, update, decorate, etc.====You can get area rugs in the future if you want.====Wood palettes can make a decent floor but there is a lot of work involved. Usually they are free though. You can pull them apart, sand them, paint them or stain them. Best of luck! : )
  • Michelle Michelle on Sep 23, 2016
    Before we could afford the flooring in our new home we left the bedrooms concrete for a couple years! So if you have wood or concrete live with it until you save the money. But with allergies don't get carpet.
  • One8414992 One8414992 on Sep 25, 2016
    I suggest adopting the cat out for starters...Then, pull up one corner of carpet and see what is underneath.....Probably wood sub flooring. Slice carpeting in movable pieces using an exacto knife then dump....Same with padding....Vacuum floor thoroughly......Then begin to remove carpet wood strips around the sides of room for tacking.....Use a screw drive and pliers......TOSS! Vacuum again and again.....Then mop with a mild solution of Clorox and water and let dry overnight.....Using inexpensive square ft. tile that have adhesive on the back side begin to lay in place......You will need to cut some pieces to fit but that is easy using your Exacto knife.......I mop our floor using Mop and Glow for a nice shine and clean.....Next, wash ALL your bedding! And dry in hot dryer.......ENJOY! Choose a mid tone color to make room look more spacious...Nothing dark!
  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Sep 25, 2016
    could you just pull up the carpet,sand where necessary and paint the floor? they have soooo many interesting techniques for painting. and as for getting rid of the cat, i'm hoping that is out of the question
  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Sep 25, 2016
    and congratulations on buying your first place!
  • Cindy Scott Cindy Scott on Sep 25, 2016
    There is a product that looks like wood but are vinyl strips. Some are peal and stick they are inexpensive and easy to install yourself. Shop at small family owned stores as well as the big box stores. Sometimes the small businesses are very competitive in price.
  • Blu11356773 Blu11356773 on Sep 28, 2016
    Keep your kitty. What mean posts. Have you thought about having plywood cut into strips, (you can get it with one side already sanded), depending on the sub floor , either nail or glue it down, stain it and apply several coats of polyurethane. Makes a pretty floor on a budget. Good luck and congratulations on your new place. Enjoy it with your kitty.
  • One8414992 One8414992 on Sep 29, 2016
    It's rather OBVIOUS...If she is allergic to CAT allergies as she SATES, why would one opt for an animal? This is really a no brainer!
  • One8414992 One8414992 on Sep 29, 2016
    I know, I know, people are human...Sorry if I offended.....I LOVE your systematic remark.....You must be a very nice man! I tend to be a problem solver and not much gets in my way......But, if you're allergic to milk, try orange juice.......Just sayin! Hugs!
  • Car10733360 Car10733360 on Oct 01, 2016
  • Sailorette Sailorette on Oct 02, 2016
    After you rip out the carpet (wear a mask) buy a floor stencil and do a painted floor. Buy deck or floor paint and if you feel like it, apply a clear coat when you're finished. The great thing about this is it's inexpensive and you get to choose your color scheme and stencil.
  • Karen Reilly Karen Reilly on Dec 23, 2016

    The old rug is probably worse on your allergies than the cat. When you pull up the rug you might find a nice floor underneath but if you don't a temporary fix could be a drop cloth rug or even a if it's subfloor polyurethane can work wonders a couple of coats.

  • Rocky Catt Rocky Catt on Dec 28, 2016

    through out the rug and resand the floor under it

  • Kristy Williams Tillman Kristy Williams Tillman on Dec 30, 2016

    Pull up the carpet and see what's underneath. If it's hardwood, then rock that! If it's subfloor, prime it and then paint it. Seal if you have the money. I painted mine and I love it. Way more allergy friendly!

    That said, with allergies, remove everything from the room and shut the door as to not spread the dust. Wear a mask to pull it up and wrap it in something to take it outside. A window in the bedroom would be best if that's possible. Or find a nonallergic friend to help. :)

  • Donna Belvees Donna Belvees on Jan 25, 2017

    Lots of comments about the cat, but not many answers to your question about the floor. As you can tell from my profile picture, I won't tell you to get rid of the cat.. I saw a post about redoing floors with paper bags and poly.. I haven't tried it myself but, it looked really awesome!! Try searching for paper bag floors..

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jan 31, 2017

    I agree with people about painting plywood if that is what you have underneath carpet but cut carpet In manageable size about every three feet roll it up and tie it in a bundle same with padding. Have good shoes with heavy soles because the padding if done properly will leave staples on floor that you need to pull out and there should be a strip along the entire perimeter of room to hold carpet down you will have to remove it as well. That's going to have nails on both sides so wear gloves. If any damaged wood use wood filler and once dry litely sand then prime with kilz to allow any color you choose to really be a nice solid color. Yes many steps but no big deal if you give yourself 2 weekends. Kilz drys in about 2 hours then you can paint floor however many coats it takes to get it right. You can do first part one day and then wake up early the next day and paint so that's only one room second weekend is for other room and have tools handy so you can just start and finish without having to run to store. It really takes a few weeks for paint to cure to be totally dry so don't rush to put furniture in or it will be like a manicure when you rush you smuge. Have fun in picking color and I would stay away from brown's because people will notice that it's not hardwood right away, I would pick a color.

  • Loretta Loretta on Feb 02, 2017

    If you happen to have concrete, you can paint it, stain it, stencil it, some,people paint the rugs on them and then seal it. Then you can just buy area rugs as your budget allows. Depending on what type of rugs you get you can either wash at the laundromat or use a rug doctor to keep them clean. You can actually buy carpeting off the rolls at Home Depot, etc and have it edged and use as an area rug. This way you can haul it out to the rug cleaners, or shampoo yourself and since there is no padding underneath and it is not tacked down, very easy to keep clean. If you have wood under that old carpeting then I would be sure to get those under the carpet/rug rubber mats that keep it from sliding, to protect the wood floors. First, you gotta pull up a corner and see what you have! Remember to post pics!!

  • Ltt834476 Ltt834476 on Feb 03, 2017

    If your on a tight budget, once you remove the carpet and find that you don't have nice wood refurbish you can buy those do it your self linoleum squares and out those down. And depending on how you plan on decorating your room, such as sports/racing cars? You can go with the Black & White checkered look. And if your looking to save money for your wall decor. Check out your local goodwill places every now and then. You'd be surprised on what you can find in the picture and accessories section. I have found some treasures before. I have two pictures I paid $9.99 each. And they were from a French artist. Pictures sell for $1,500 plus. Like that old saying " Someone's trash is someone's treasure". Good luck!

  • Mary Mary on Feb 03, 2017

    I am from Houston and know that most major cities have a recycle store.. When people buy a new home from a builder they don't like the carpet and it gets replaced and then goes to a recycle store. These stress also carry rolls of new carpet that didn't move. We bought carpet that would have cost 30.00 a yard for less than a dollar. It is worth checking out.

  • I have to agree with everyone else you're going to have to pull up the carpet to see what's underneath to see what type of work is going to be needed whether it be sanding and cleaning a wood floor replacing a floor that would be the first move even if you only pull up a corner so you can see what's going on underneath and I have to agree allergies from carpet we've completely taken all carpet out of our home everything is tiled and we have some rugs to help warm it up but it has helped tremendously with our allergies

  • Grace Grace on Feb 14, 2017

    I agree you must find out what's underneath. If it's not worth refinishing, another option is self stick vinyl tile. The instructions are simple, it is quickly installed, and won't take a bulldozer to remove when you're ready for an upgrade. has some that runs about $10 for 20 sq. feet. I did my bathroom for $20 and it looks awesome...lots of complements.

  • One8414992 One8414992 on Feb 15, 2017
    If you want a quick and ESY fix, remove old carpet and tacking strips...Vacuum, and get the floor clean.......Then purchase self stick vinyl squares.......Goes down fast! And is durable and easy to clean.......Look around for SALE vinyl squares......In one day. less if you have a friend to help and BINGO a nice, clean new flooring! Best of luck and have FUN!