How do I find out if there is hardwood under my carpet?

Christine Kish
by Christine Kish

I have carpet in my living room that I would love to see if there is hardwood underneath it so I can remove it. What is the best way to do that?

  6 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on Oct 20, 2018

    If your home was built prior to the 80's, you have a better chance of having hardwood.

    You may have to pull up the carpet in a less conspicuous place to check.

    Hardwood floors generally have better strength and darker colors, with tighter wood grains.

  • Kim Kim on Oct 20, 2018

    Hi Christine, I love real hardwood floors! They are so much easier to maintain 😊

    To see if you have hardwood in your living room, it is best to look for clues before peeling up corners of carpet. Are all of your floors (besides bath & kitchen) carpeted? If no, is there hardwood to suggest that the house used to have hardwood floors? If yes, then peel back the carpet in a corner to see if there is hardwood.

    If your whole house is carpeted, then check your closet floor by pulling back a little carpet. Pull back at deepest corner watching out for sharp points in the tackless strip that holds your carpet.

    If there is wood (happy dance) don’t just start ripping up carpet everywhere. There could be a few surprises lurking under your carpet.

    Be prepared for padding that has become like paste and is stuck to your floor. WD 40 and scratch free pads work but it is a time consuming job to clean up. Be prepared to have to lay a whole new floor since there is sometimes a reason carpet was installed. If you discover wood with no problems, pull all the staples and padding and do a super happy dance on your beautiful new floors!

    I hope that made sense and helps


  • Linda Madore Pirog Linda Madore Pirog on Oct 21, 2018

    If you have forced air hvac vents you can remove one and lift the carpet along the opening to check for hardwood. They aren't usually tacked down there.

  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Oct 26, 2018

    Just get a pair of pliers and pull the carpet back in a corner.

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Dec 20, 2018

    A note of caution. I bought a house two and a half years ago knowing there was hardwood under the (hideous and dirty) carpet because in the hallway they hadn't carpeted wall to wall and the bedrooms weren't carpeted at all. Unfortunately, the living room had been carpeted because there was major water damage in one area. I had pulled up most of the carpet before getting to that part. I am not sorry I pulled up the carpet and will eventually get that area really repaired, but in the meantime artful furniture arranging has been necessary to disguise it. (other fixer-upper stuff has been a higher budget priority.)

    However, even if you do not find hardwood under the carpet, you could still pull up the carpet if you don't like it. A good coat of floor paint or even stain and polyurethane could look good on a plywood floor. Or you can mimic plank flooring by cutting plywood (there are a few examples of that on this site - just search for them). Of decoupage paper bags or old maps or whatever. Or you could add stick down vinyl that looks like wood around the edges and a large area rug until you are able to have hardwood installed. Many advantages (not the least of which pertains to allergies) to removing old carpet and making the best of whatever flooring is underneath.

  • Christine Kish Christine Kish on Dec 20, 2018

    Great Idea...thank you so much!!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘