Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm caught between living very frugally and hating cheapo, dirty carpets that spread wall-to-wall in every apartment I've ever leased. I'm probably handy enough to put in vinyl flooring myself, but was wondering how much work is involved in:

  1. Ripping out the old carpets.
  2. Prepping the floor.
  3. Setting the vinyl "fake" hardwood flooring panels.
  4. Removing the vinyl flooring after I move out.
  5. Reinstalling the wall-to-wall carpets.
share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted
  1. Ripping out the old carpets.
    Very easy, just cut and pull. 45 min tops by yourself. 20 mins with a helper.

  2. Prepping the floor.
    Likely to be a real pain. Every home I've ever seen built has the wall texture and then the paint applied with nothing covering the floor. As soon as you pull the carpet up the floor will have multiple layers of this stuff on it. If not cleaned your glue or tape is just going to adhere to the paint and eventually pull the paint off the floor. At that point your vinyl is floating and not stuck to the floor. In addition you'll need to pull up the tack strips which is a 20 min job.

  3. Setting the vinyl "fake" hardwood flooring panels.
    Making the cuts in sheets is not that easy. Individual square panels marketed for commercial applications are much easier.

  4. Removing the vinyl flooring after I move out.
    Depends on if you glued it down and how well it adhered. A good bond will require a lot more work to pull up.

  5. Reinstalling the wall-to-wall carpets.
    New tack strips must be installed. You should not use the old ones. Probably 1 hour. Carpet pad must be cut and glued down. Probably about 2-3 hours. Cutting and fitting the carpet itself isn't easy. A pro takes 3-4 hours by himself for 300 sqft. You need a carpet stretcher as well and using it correctly is definitely a special skill.

I've done a lot of DIY but I'll never attempt to install carpet myself. I suggest using either commercial carpet tiles or a floating wood floor instead of vinyl. A floating wood floor does not require you to prep the floor once the carpet is up, just lay down a vapor barrier(plastic) and start locking the sections of flooring together. Very easy with a helper but you will need something to cut the boards with.

share|improve this answer
    
The trim in the place will be at a certain level. With vinyl you will have a gap. Moving the trim down is a moderate to huge job. If it was a nice trim and it was glued down and the paint under the trim doesn't match above this could be a really really big job. Not sure what landlord would say about a 1/2 inch trim gap. –  DMoore May 10 '13 at 19:57
    
Great answer, thanks! –  jake9115 May 10 '13 at 20:38
    
I read somewhere that carpet under-padding should be installed with staples, at least at the seams. So wouldn't cleaning this up be a part of step 2 up there? –  alt May 10 '13 at 20:39
add comment

There's no way we can offer you prices as they vary wildly based on particular products, stores, and region you live in.

We also can't say what your landlord would or would not be willing to do. You'd have to ask them.

As for ripping out carpet, that requires some gloves and a bit of muscle--not that hard.

Installing flooring (be it vinyl tiles or engineered hardwood) is also fairly easy in the grand scheme of DIY projects.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You can by cheapo vinyl planks for $1 a sq/ft - install can be yourself or prices vary greatly. You can get cheapo carpet for about the same plus $100 for install. Will you be happy with cheapo tiles (I am talking super cheap)? Will your landlord be happy with the cheapo carpet (probably not)?

Also if the carpet and padding are in good shape you could roll them up and store them if that is an option for you. Would need landlord's OK and you would have to pay to have it reinstalled.

If I was in the same dilemma and planned on staying there a while I would go talk it out with the landlord. If you put something decent in there a majority of landlords would let you do it - given the job was finished right and you didn't mess up other things. There are some landlords that would even pitch in to pay for all or partial the amount for the flooring. This depends on the landlord, current carpet condition, how long you will stay there... There are also some landlords that don't trust anyone and won't let you touch anything. You need to got talk to your landlord and then ask a flooring question after you have more or know your options.

share|improve this answer
    
Good to know, I never knew landlords understood the word 'flexible'! –  jake9115 May 10 '13 at 20:38
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.