Ripping Up a Carpet Runner

I love the look of a runner on stairs.  I also love that it quiets footsteps, and any of you who have ever heard my husband walk around on a wood floor know that anything we can do to hush those puppies is a move in the right direction.  We actually were just sitting here talking about how many of his shoes need to be resoled because they have holes the size of quarters in the bottoms.  Literally.

I’m curious…do any of your husbands, brothers, boyfriends wear giant holes in their shoes??

But I’m getting off track.  Runners.  Aren’t these geometric stairs pretty?

The runner that we inherited with our house was in great shape but it really darkened the staircase and the hunter green and burgundy pattern just wasn’t our style.
Our staircase gets no direct light so I hoped that I’d pull up the carpet to find no fading of the wood on either side of the runner, and luckily, I was right.  The wood under the rug and the wood on either side matched perfectly.I was pretty surprised how quick and easy it was to pull it up.  I’m no expert here, and I had an extra set of hands from my dad, but here’s how we did it.

First, we pulled up a corner to loosen an edge and get a good grip.  Be very careful because the sharp ends of staples will be poking all out of the underside as you pull it up.  I used a pair of pliers to grip the carpet and then just kind of gave it a good pull.  The carpet came right up and brought most of the staples with it.  We went at it a little at a time until we’d removed all of the carpet.
There was carpet padding underneath and we followed the same process for removing that.  And since I ripped up the padding you could probably guess that as much as I love the look of those geometric runners, I’ve decided to leave our stairs bare.  I think we may be moving sort of soonish and ultimately thought it safer for resale to leave the wood bare.
After all the carpet and padding were up we removed stray staples from the floor using needlenose pliers.  Then we used a hammer and small crowbar (the same “cat’s paw” tool I use when working with upholstery nails) to gently jimmy the wood pieces off that the carpet had been attached to (see above photo).
We were left with a pile of scraps that we very carefully carried outside because it was full of nails and staples.
The staircase looks so much cleaner and brighter already, even though it’s got a lot of little holes from the nails and staples.  I sanded and cleaned the risers over the weekend and am hoping to get them painted this week so should have some good finished photos for you next week!
Hope you’re either having a good start to the work week or are enjoying an extra day off for President’s Day!