We already got a very reasonable steam cleaning estimate from a carpet cleaning company. But they pointed out that given the age of our carpet (since 1991) and the normal wear-and-tear, he can only do so much. It didn't sound promising.
Of course, I'd wanted to rip out the carpet for the longest time. I wanted hardwood or bamboo floors. But what would I do after ripping it out? Our neighbors pretty much warned us against doing that. "You don't know what's under the carpet. What if it's not wood?" One of them got their stairs completely done from scratch, which cost them so much money (upwards of US$10k). For a while, we'd rent Rug Doctor then eventually just shrugged it off. Even sprinkling baking soda and diligently vacuuming wasn't really doing much. It was futile.
We did the rounds of big box home improvement stores and local flooring stores for quotes. Even if we loved hardwood floors, that was way over our budget. But the carpet quotes were still staggering. At some point, I went to the nearby ReStore and saw boxes of hardwood flooring. Maybe we could install it ourselves? Hubby installed our kitchen floor before.
Then we factored in the actual costs, including the time, effort, materials and equipment rental. It was crazy. Getting frustrated, I vented to our next-door neighbor who told us Empire installed their hardwood floors. Maybe we could get a good deal. One email and an appointment for free estimate was set two days later. They price-matched the quote we got from Lowe's, then made it better by offering a lower price.
We chose Pendleton's Almond Stick. It's the second one from the bottom right.
On the day of carpet install, I forgot to take pictures before they started ripping out the old carpets in the dining room. This is the old carpet pad.
They quickly rolled up and taped the old carpet, then threw it out our window. It landed in our driveway.
Now here's how the carpet in the living room looked like when they started ripping it out. Then you'll see the picture of the carpet pad.
This is the in-between picture. It's so shudder-worthy. Good riddance, old carpet!
And the stairs? It's made of wood. We could've sanded and stained it ourselves, but who knew? It's actually in pretty good condition. But we signed up for new carpets and the installers were around already. We wouldn't even have known that it was wood, if not for them.
Here's a before and after shot of the stairs.
On the left, UGH. Just look at it. Our neighbor told us that it's caused by the furnace. Guess they have the same thing too.
On the right, gorgeous.
Here's the living room.
This one's inside our walk-in closet.
Our guest bedroom
The little hallway going to the stairs
It took them two days to complete the installation. They were pretty efficient, kept the mess to a minimum.
Much as we wanted hardwood or bamboo floors, we couldn't afford them at this point. Thank goodness for Empire's price-matching, we ended up with a pretty solid carpet. It was actually of better quality than what we were considering from Lowe's, so it's really a great deal. No regrets with this update. We let professionals do their job and they did it excellently. Two thumbs up!