Creative "temporary" flooring idea???

seekingsunJuly 3, 2013

We just bought a fixer upper! (Woohoo!/Dear god what have we gotten into...) It is a 1951 ranch in pretty good structural condition (we hope) and just needs updating. It is an estate and no one has lived there for 3 years. One of the first issues to address before we (and our toddler) move in is the icky, stinky, ugly pile carpet. We know we want to eventually do cork or a laminate but since we are doing a lot of construction, perhaps moving walls and changing the layout, it doesn't seem to make sense to install the nice flooring now. So do we buy cheap-o carpet and live with that for now? I hate carpet, and worry about the off gassing and smell...I have allergies and those things can bother me badly sometimes. I suggested seeing what shape the concrete was in under the existing carpet and perhaps just have exposed concrete for now. Hubby was not on board...

Do we go with the cheapest carpet available at Home Depot/big box flooring store as an interim measure? Is there another option we are missing or could consider? Any advice or suggestions welcome! TIA!

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You could remove the carpet and underpad, tack strips etc to the plywood subfloor or concrete slab and clean it really well, then just use throw rugs for now. Or if this is a longer temporary floor you can paint the subfloor to make it look better. I would not put in new carpet for temporary use!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:58AM
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Tia wrote:
I suggested seeing what shape the concrete was in under the existing carpet and perhaps just have exposed concrete for now.

My response:
Sounds good to me. I have been renovating for 2 mos and am using my concrete slab for now. I may even paint it if I run out of money to do the floors! It isn't bad at all (a little bit of an echo) but way better than bad carpet! I just looked at for some cheap area rugs ($150 or so) and that may work for you too in the interim. :)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 1:19PM
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I second the idea of painting your subfloors. We did that in my daughter's room and actually loved the look. :)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Not sure if this is along the lines of what you are looking for... but found this the other night and thought it was interesting.

Paper bag floors-link below. They look interesting when done. I'm sure you could get creative with maps/ wrapping paper for patterns or other textures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paper Bag floors

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:41AM
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I would paint the floors! Not only am I suggesting that I have decided that I am doing it too. We are renovating my fiances house that has not been "loved" for 25 years. (kitchen reno is complete and is gorgeous) We ripped up the old stained carpet and found painted pine floors in a dove grey color. and whammo I thought this is great. I have been wanting to paint and stencil an over scale lace floral pattern. I saw something in a magazine and also on HOUZZ. It looks great . Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Circus Peanut

Well, obviously you can't paint the subfloor if there isn't a subfloor but rather a concrete slab. ;-) But you can easily paint your concrete a la the suggestion above.

Alternately, go to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and find some remnant vinyl or click laminate flooring for cheap. Or get those rolls of cork that are meant as flooring underlayment and just use it with a layer of poly on it.

But honestly, anything you use now that's deliberately cheaply made (like carpet or cork) is just going to exacerbate your allergies or fall apart, require more time and money to remove again, and you want to save your $$ for your eventual real floor. Remodeler wisdom would advise sticking with the concrete until you're ready for the good stuff.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:14AM
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I am also renovating while living in a very old house. I am also doing it with not one but 2 toddlers. I would say that while living with sub floor or cement is fine for adults, it is not so great for toddlers. I do have sub floor right now in my kitchen and have for about 3 months (floor is going in this month). My kids are not allowed in that room right now because there are splinters that will come up randomly if you walk in socks also it gets dirty and stays dirty you can't really mop it (and we know how much kids spill stuff). And if you have concrete is just plain hard on little knees and poor little heads if they fall.

Subflooring is a good solution if you are living with it for short periods while completeing a room and moving on to the next. Our kids are used to a room being off limits for a while then being open again, gates go up and come down around here often, but as a long term solution I would look at a discount store for click laminate if you don't want a cheap carpet. I did a large room in our last rental place for under $100 in laminate we found at Ollies. Even if you don't install all the way to the walls it will give your child something to play on and something for his/her feet to run on.
JMO though.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:11AM
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look for carpet remnants. Home depot Lowes wholesale carpet store. I got 22' prepadded Berber for $75 at lowes a couple years ago. It was a couple feet too narrow but with the furniture you couldn't tell as much. later put it in a bedroom after I saved up for hardwood.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:06PM
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I've seen lots of unique ideas...some are a lot more work than others. We're going to use pallet slats for flooring in one place. That will be a good bit of work, but cheap! I've also seen people cut sheets of plywood into "planks" and paint it. Depends on how long it will be "temporary" for.

Are you sure there's no subfloor between the slab and carpet? We live in a 1950's cottage and we have pine subfloor-it basically looks like hardwood flooring. It was under linoleum and carpet (depending on which room). Now it's painted in one room and the rest is exposed as is (well, I oiled it). It sits on "sleepers" (basically thin wood slats that are attached to the slab, then the floor is nailed to them). If you look at the link below, you can see photos on my blog of some hallway repairs we did, where we had to get down to the slab. In the one photo (6th one down) if you look at where the wood floor stops you can see a piece of one of the sleepers. Your home might be set up the same way.

Here is a link that might be useful: blog post

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Thanks for all the ideas! We are directly on a concrete slab. I have added a picture now that we have ripped out all the carpet :) We are thinking of keeping the exposed concrete and doing bound carpet remnant/area rugs or carpet tiles. I am worried about my little one running and scraping herself on the concrete floor! We have to see how it goes. Since we aren't doing any major renovations in the kitchen I am looking at a nicer cork product, either glue down tiles or floating system.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Fori is not pleased

What an awesome room!

Kids are tough and close to the ground. If the concrete is relatively smooth (and doesn't smell like cat pee or anything) she'll be fine. Get some stylish area rugs and enjoy that place.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:48PM
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If you child can handle sidewalks, she can handle the floors.

Make sure it's clean and smooth, maybe paint it with porch paint if you want color, but it's livable as it is.

Acid-staining and sealing it would be fun, and it's trendy. that and some area rugs and it's good for several years.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Check it out for acid staining and sealing concrete - you may end up wanting this permanently..

Here is a link that might be useful: Concrete stain

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:08AM
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