Gallery Sneak Peek: Ripping Out Carpet Is A Bloody Mess

The first step taken to move your gallery into a new space is finding that space. That part we’ve done. The second step is to get that space ready for the public. This second step involves more sub-steps than you care to imagine. For us, the first of the many sub-steps was to get rid of the ghastly carpet. I mean, look at this…

Does that look like the floor of an art gallery to you? Me neither. Although, as a sidenote, I should mention that carpeted floor is what I had when I first opened my shop in 2004. Hey, I didn’t know any better! Now I’m older and wiser and we all get to benefit from the knowledge I’ve gained with each passing year.

Now, I’d like to share my carpet removal experience with you all. If you have never ripped out a carpet before you’re in for a treat. And if you have, then you can share in the dread I’ve gone through over the past weekend.

First, I cut a big chunk out. At this point, my lovely sidekick who’s been confined to bed rest, filled me in on a little something she found in an online tutorial. She’s on bed rest, people. She’s got plenty of time to read “how to get rid of that gross carpet” tutorial’s.
“Cut the carpet into strips for easy removal and disposal,” she said from the comforts of our ridiculously soft bed while I sat on my knees slicing away at carpet with my bright green utility knife.

I strategically moved furniture around while cutting strips of carpet out and this was the last remaining chunk. At first the carpet cutting was cathartic and enjoyable in the way that it’s fun to be destructive. By this point in the process any joy I felt had diminished and transformed into feelings of disgust and hatred for the evildoer that installed the carpet. Here’s why. If I was a tattoo artist I would adhere to a very strict rule of never tattooing names on people and to never tattoo on people’s faces. I just wouldn’t. I would expect a professional carpet installer to take a similar vow and to never lay carpet over a beautiful wood floor.

Who could have the heart to staple foam padding to this floor? Do you see the little tufts of foam on the floor? Each one of those is held in place by a staple. I kept whispering to myself how heartbreaking it was that this floor was covered up. On the other hand, I was proud to be the hero that rescued it from its prison.

Once I pulled the padding up I was left with rows of staples. As you can see, the padding clung tight and did not want to give up its home. I used a straight screwdriver to pry up these tormenting little staples one by one.

She was right! It was much easier disposing of carpet strips as opposed to the large squares I had first started with. If this pile has you thinking my job was done you are poorly mistaken, just as I was. Little did I know, up until this point my carpet removing was a Sunday walk in the park compared to the next grueling task.

Carpet is held in place around the edges of a room by these strips of wood. Each strip has dozens of small nails poking through the surface facing up. The strip is nailed to the floor. The beautiful wood floor. The carpet, I’m assuming, is then pounded around the edges to adhere to the small nails sticking out of the wooden strip. Removing these is a real bitch. The wood used for these strips isn’t very strong so when I would pry it up with my trusty screwdriver the wood would splinter and break every six inches where a nail was used to secure it to the beautiful wood floor. My guess is that if the wood strips were a little bit stronger I would be able to pry up one edge and the strength of the wood could be capable of prying up the nails as I lifted more. That would have been nice. And much faster. Oh, I almost forgot. After removing the strips of splintered wood I was left with nails in the beautiful wood floor every six inches. The nails used on this job must of been manufactured by the same company that makes those trick candles. You know, the ones that light up three seconds after you blow them out. The nails did not light up at all, but they were certainly prank nails. The head of almost every other nail either popped off or bent when I tried to pull it out of the floor with my hammer, which meant I had to muscle them out using a pair of pliers.

With staples hiding in foam, strips of wood with dozens of nails sticking through them and headless nails protruding out of the floor, I’m guessing I would have been doing something wrong if my hand didn’t look like this at the end of the day.

Also, you would not believe the amount of dirt and dust you’d find right underneath your carpet. I tried to take a picture of it, but my camera threw up on me. It refused to capture something so disgusting. If you ever have the good fortune to rip out a carpet you will see for yourself and you will probably make a vow to never have carpet again.

I still have one wall lined with those hideous wooden strips that I have to remove, but here is our resurrected wood floor.


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