In kicking things off for my new Studio, what better way to create a real-life portfolio than to renovate our whole house! Yup, you read that right. We’re going room-by-room throughout our Tahoe home and putting the nluv stamp on every inch!
We started living the dream two years ago when we moved permanently and bought our home in South Lake Tahoe. Moving can be stressful, so why not add buying a house too? Oh, and did I mention that it was my first purchase as a licensed Realtor®. What a demanding Buyer I was!
We were all in and ready to rock. We wanted a home with the beautiful wood charm of the Tahoe-chalet style, but not so perfect that we couldn’t put our touch on it. 84 houses later… We found the perfect home! Before we even moved in, the ideas started flowing and designs being drawn. Upstairs was first on the list. It is our office loft space and the master bedroom. Both had dated shag carpet and a parquet wood inset so flooring was priority #1.
Carpet Tiles – Reuse, Recycle & Made in the USA
I strive to always reuse and refurbish those things around me, but that wasn’t happening with the current carpet. But, what I could do was find a Made in the USA carpet company with a recycled carpet product. Very specific criteria, but I was determined. It didn’t take long before I found it! The company is named FLOR and the perfect choice for the nluv Studio home! We’re supporting a US based company, using a recycled product in our renovation and carpet tiles are easily installed DIY style, so I looked no further!
Carpet, carpet everywhere!
If your home was built and decorated in the 70’s or even the 80’s, you may have some authentic shag or brightly colored carpet in your midst. We certainly did in our home. First order of business was clearing out the old carpet in the office area and the master bedroom. One is full of baby blue plush carpeting while the other is a lofty rust-multi colored shag with a wood inset in the middle. Yikes! This wouldn’t be a simple carpet removal.
The Office Loft
Demo time! To make things easier when removing carpet, cut it into strips that are a width that you could actually carry through the house. For our room size, 25′ x 15′, three strips was perfect and once rolled up and taped, one person could carry a carpet log right down the stairs and out of the house! That of course was the easy part. Next is the fun of the nails, carpet staples and all the tack strips lining the perimeter. Be careful and use goggles, gloves and the right tools. No reason to punch holes in the wall with an over-zealous crow bar or get a nail in your foot from wearing flip-flops!
The initial carpet tear-out and cleanup was easy. It took two of us about 1/2 a day to complete it. The big problem we had was the wood inset that previously supported a pool table. We tried many tactics to get the parquet tiles removed but it just wasn’t happening. These wood tiles were there to stay! It seemed like some combination of 1,000 nails, extra strength glue and then maybe another 1,000 nails! We needed a new approach. The easiest solution… just bring the other subfloor surrounding the inset up to its height and create a level floor, leaving the parquet tiles where they were. So that’s what we did.
A new layer of subfloor went down over the existing and with the height difference at exactly 1/2″, we had a perfect match. With an older house, you also get squeaky floors. So the new subfloor layer was a great way to not only even things out, but also quiet those squeaks! Lots of screws later… a lovely, quiet office loft floor ready for a little pizazz of FLOR carpet tiles.
The Master Bedroom
The master is larger than a standard bedroom, at about the same size as the loft. Blue is my favorite color but not in fluffy baby blue carpet. We were on a roll from tearing out the office flooring, so the bedroom was next on the docket. Without the complication of another flooring in the middle of the room, this was straightforward. Out with the old carpet, clean up the nails and staples and that is it! No need to lay down another layer of subfloor as the new carpet tiles would be right on par with the transitions for a smooth, finished look. This house was hand built in the 70’s by a dedicated homeowner and he didn’t cut any corners. All materials used were high quality, up to code, permitted and well constructed. His commitment to building this house will make our renovation lives much more enjoyable!
Not as many squeaks on this side of the house but still a couple to address. Since we aren’t installing a new layer of subfloor, a few specifically placed screws in the noisy spots did the trick. Be careful when doing this that you don’t select a screw length too long and punch through the ceiling below! This is especially critical in homes with exposed beam ceilings as you wouldn’t want screws poking through your beautiful wood ceilings and have to patch it back up! Do your best to figure out the height of the exposed ceiling beams and measure the subfloor. Then pick a screw long enough to help ‘quiet the squeaks’ but short enough to not show through.
Carpet tiles are just more fun
Carpet tiles are a great DIY, customizable solution to wanting a softer surface than tile or wood. With so many styles and textures, carpet tiles are relatively easy to install and allow you to get all creative and crafty with your design. Mix & match, wall to wall or area rug, and even uneven edges for a dramatic effect, carpet tiles give you full control on the look and feel of your space.
For our office loft, we chose a short, tight woven pile with a random pattern. This will give us a hearty carpet surface that can endure high-traffic, furniture and chairs rolling across it as well as a busier pattern to better hide some of the clutter that can happen in a busy office area. The master selection is definitely the opposite of the office. It’s nice to wake up to a softer carpet under your toes as you roll out of bed. Well, that’s at least how we feel about master bedroom flooring. The carpet tiles for the bedroom are consistent in their colors but I chose four different ones to create a grid, popping color throughout the room to accentuate the overall feel.
Draw it out & get tiling
With the rooms cleared, demo done and the carpet tiles picked out, the next step is to lay out the installation grid, sketch the patterns for carpet placement and get tiling! Stay turned next week when I share my grid design process and complete the carpet install for the first step in our upstairs renovation.
One of the great things about FLOR is you can order sample tiles for a nominal price. Before I picked out our actual carpet, I ordered a whole box of 6″ x 6″ samples. Once I received them, I laid the little tiles out between the rooms to see which was the best choice. What I originally loved online and thought I wanted was actually not the tiles I chose. Just like trying paint colors in a room before painting it all, same principle works for carpet. Get some samples and know with confidence that you made the right choice for your space!