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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for you all. My house is built on a concrete slab (I know that sounds bizarre to some, but here in the SW US it's very common!). All the floors except kitchen and bathroom have carpet on them.

We bought the carpet maybe 5 years ago, and spent lots of money on it so we'd get this special backing that won't let mold and other allergens through. DH is severely allergic to all things airborne. Then YDS came along, and he inherited that. They're both asthmatic.

Now, though, I haven't been able to afford to maintain this carpet and it's filthy. Way beyond what I can hope to clean with a do-it-yourself machine. Even though I could afford to have a cleaning company out to deep clean it, I probably won't have the $$$ to have it done 3-4 times a year.

So what we really want is to have hard floors throughout the house, but we won't be able to afford to install laminate or ceramic tile until 5-10 years from now. How awful would it be to just rip up the carpet and live on the concrete? I guess we could paint it with patio or garage floor paint? I dunno; I haven't looked into that too much. I love that it would be clean and wouldn't trap things that make DH and DS wheeze. I hate that it would be kind of cold. And maybe it would look awful?

What do you all think? Obviously I'm leaning toward pulling it up since of course it's a health issue and that trumps all, but I dunno, I guess I'm still on the fence.

Oh, here's another question. Would I have to send DH and DS to live with my parents if I did tear out the carpet? I'm wondering how much crap I would uncover that would cause them problems? And how fast I could have the air clean again?

Input appreciated!
 

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Send them away, rip it up, wet dust/mop everything. Blow a fan, let everything settle, dust/mop again. Get an air purifier (like an ionizer) that knocks the junk out of the air.

I live in a completely tiled house. Sometimes I miss the soft squish of carpet under my toes! But anyway, a concrete floor would be fine. I do have an area rug that helps a lot. I do think a paint or sealer would help, because the concrete does tend to feel damp after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kannon99
Send them away, rip it up, wet dust/mop everything. Blow a fan, let everything settle, dust/mop again. Get an air purifier (like an ionizer) that knocks the junk out of the air.

I live in a completely tiled house. Sometimes I miss the soft squish of carpet under my toes! But anyway, a concrete floor would be fine. I do have an area rug that helps a lot.
Yeah, I was thinking I'd put an area rug in the living room, so the kids would have someplace to play. I think I'll miss carpet, too, but maybe I'll take a few pictures of it, all filthy and stained, to ease my pain.


Quote:
I do think a paint or sealer would help, because the concrete does tend to feel damp after a while.
I was wondering why this would be, until I saw that you're in Bangkok! I imagine that everything must be damp there. Do you think it would be damp in the desert? I guess I'd want to seal it anyway, though, because that would probably make it smoother and thus, easier to keep clean.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Yeah it is damp here and in FL where I grew up!

Concrete can be rough to play on, so I'd definitely do something to smooth it out. My kids play on the rug almost all day. I found that I wouldn't get down on the floor and play with them because it hurt my knees and ankles too much, so I put one in their room too because of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everybody! That really helps!

PatchyMama, thats a great link. Thanks very much. What a big job, though.
: It's gonna take me forever to do 3 bedrooms, a hall, a LR, and a den, esp. since DH can't help me. I guess I'll just rip out the carpet and pull up the tack strips and clean the concrete over a couple of days, and then I can do the painting one room at a time, over several weeks.
 

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We tore up the carpets in our daylight basement and just left the concrete floors. We couldnt leave the nasty carpets that came with the house, but didnt have the money to put in hard floors downstairs (we put in wood floors in the main floor because of my allergies). It really doesnt take as long as you would think to take it all up, except for the tack strips. My MIL & I wore long clothing, something to cover our hair (dont remember what) and dust masks and we were able to get the carpet out of the downstairs great room, 2 other rooms and hall within a few hours. I really recommend trying to find someone to help you tear the carpet out because it would be really hard to try to carry the big rolls of old carpet out by yourself. We then used a big push broom to scrub the floor with pinesol (this was before I got into natural cleaners, you can use something else of course) and mopped the walls also. We used a shopvac to suck up the water off the floor, then used plain water for a rinse and sucked it up again. Oh, and we had the windows open and a fan going for a day or so after to vent out any fumes and to make sure it dried throughly.

One thing to be aware of is that sometimes there are small cracks in the floor if your home is older (mine is 25 years old) and that the tack strips will probably really be a pain in the rear to remove out of the concrete. Once you get the floors all ready to go you can definitely use some sort of primer, then some floor paint (I would recommend glossy so its easier to clean). My entry and stairs from the downstairs are all painted wood and I made the mistake of using matte floor paint and it is really hard to keep clean. It sounds like if you are going to do this to your house you will have to move out for at least a week. If it were me and I had the ability to do it, I would. My allergies are dramatically better in my hard floored home.
 

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we live in a basement suite and have concrete floors with just throw rugs. my only complaint is that my little one is learning to crawl..stand..walk and she keeps falling and oooow.. concrete isnt soft. our bedroom has carpet and underlay so its soft and i try to keep her playtime in there or on the floor with blankets down.. but its hard to keep her safe i find. we are wanting to cover it with something but carpet is so toxic.. i like cork and liminate but $$$ is an issue for sure..
 

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I know people with painted concrete floors. One person I know has it faux painted, another made it look like marble. I've also seen painted concrete on HGTV many times, you can paint any design you want...then later, when you can afford hard wood or laminate or something, it'll be easy to install. I think concrete floors would be MUCH preferable to carpet for an allergy ridden family. Go for it!! Area rugs are a good way to soften a couple of rooms, as you can afford them, but if they are not wool, then they will be off-gassing anyway, so perhaps better to stick with the concrete exclusively.
 

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what about cotton throw rugs? they wouldnt off gass....
 

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Concrete and tile floors are HARD- when we first moved into this house with the tiled kitchen, my legs and feet actually hurt at the end of the day from it. But other than that, they're not so bad, and in a warm climate their coolness is nice!

Don't write off the idea of putting other flooring in, though- if you do it yourself, laminate and tile floors are pretty affordable. Doing a room at a time while the money comes in is probably not out of reach.
 

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Hey there, another NM momma here. We have concrete slab, too, and used our tax return three years ago to rip up our carpet and put in laminate. My only dd at the time and I left town for a few weeks to visit my folks, so dh could just work after work. I was pg and he wanted me nowhere near the project. He was amazed at what was under that carpet! You can do concrete (I lived in a basement in spruce park on painted cement awhile back), but don't write off laminate. A good sale can get you the stuff at a good price and it's not hard to install yourself. If my dh could do it with no hitches, you guys can! I am so happy with it, esp. with tumbling and potty learning kids! You could go a little at a time, as you can afford it. Good luck!

Oh...we did saltillo in another room the year before, but it was more work and took much longer by himself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, you all have given me so many ideas and such great advice! Thank you!

I think we're just going to go ahead and pull up the carpet, after it cools off a bit. I'll send DH and DS to stay with my folks for a few days; the bigger kids can stay here, and my sister can help me with the heavy lifting. But I don't think I'll paint. I'm just gonna put down the laminate one room at a time. I bet I can get the living room done just on Christmas $$$.


Anyway, thank you all again. I hope we'll be giving our nebulizers a break this winter!
 

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When I was looking at carpet, the carpet store had this neat stuff that was like laminate flooring, but was soft - she also said it didn't need to be glued down, so you cut it to fit the room but you can pull it up and wash it, etc. It had the feel of kinda a thick rubber placemat. I have no idea how expensive it is, but you might want to consider that when you can afford it.

Another alternative to plain concrete that is less expensive is stick tile. It's easy to install yourself and makes a pretty good temporary solution.
 
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