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December 22, 2011

Removing the Flooring In Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

By Sara In AZ

OK, so here’s the deal-e-o. We knew we had to replace to carpet in the condo, it was ultra filthy and really needed to be pulled out. We were not totally sure on pulling the ceramic tile. I know 10x 10 ceramic tile is completely not retro in any way, but we thought maybe we could make it work and save some money in the process. And then we really started seeing problems with the tile. The concrete floor, underneath the tile, was not prepped right when they laid the tile so in different areas around the condo the tile was actually not adhering to the floor – it was loose and hollow. And then the tile would be prone to cracking. Not so good.

So, we made the decision to pull all of the tile – which turned into a weekend straight out of hell.

See that little dot of red in the lower left corner??? Yes, that is blood. ugh. Tile removal is messy business y’all.


This area, near the kitchen, came up SO easy. All that thin-set that was supposed to hold down the tile was just loose and crumbly. I think part of the problem was this area used to have VCT originally and the glue used to hold that down was not cleaned properly from the concrete slab before they started laying the ceramic tile.


Sooooooo, we slowly worked our way around the entire living room and into the hallway and bathroom……………………………… PS – there is one of the paint swatches!


I think y’all can see what a super fun blast of a time this really was. I’m sure y’all wish you were there every single second with us to experience this……right??? *crickets* hee! And yes, there was TONS of dust flying around all over the place. ugh. And you thought prepping for paint was dirty business Dr JulieAnn!!!


Mike thinking,”How did I ever get myself into this?!?” hee!


And we are still working at it……………………………….


Meanwhile, in the bedrooms, it was a piece of cake the get this carpet removed!    


Boom! It’s just like magic isn’t it? I wish everything was this easy!!!



I am pretty sure this is the original tack strip from 1959.


And the other bedroom.



And finally, success!!!! YAY!!! All of the tile and carpet is out!!!! It’s so not pretty though, is it. We need to figure out real fast what is going to replace all the flooring we just pulled………………….this might take a minute y’all!


100_1581       100_1582

Come back next Thursday when the renovation fun continues y’all!

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6 Responses to Removing the Flooring In Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    December 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Gah…..that looks like sheer and utter Hell! And young lady, WHERE are your dust masks?? <—tsk. tsk.

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      December 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      It WAS utter hell!!!! And I know, we should have had dust masks. It was my bad, ugh.

  2. RetroRuth Reply

    December 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Oh my god, that looks like it was just awful. I HATE demo. Uck.

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      December 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      It definitely was the most horrible thing we did and I am hoping I NEVER have to remove ceramic tiles ever again! *shudders*

  3. DrJulieAnn aka The Modern Retro Woman Reply

    December 30, 2011 at 1:27 am

    (Finally getting a chance to catch up with your adventure)

    Eartha, I was wondering about the dust masks, too! I went into The Mister’s studio and grabbed one just so I could finish reading the post!

    So, it was just sub-flooring under the carpeting? I didn’t know that was possible.

    You are really making me rethink the “handyman special” idea when we get around to buying a house. Of course, my FIL rehabbed their Civil War era farmhouse so I just assumed that he and The Mister would do all of the dirty work while I went shopping. What? You said it doesn’t work out that way????

    • Sara in AZ Reply

      December 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      HA! Yes, dust masks would have really helped! I am not surprised you needed one just to finish reading the post! 🙂

      It seems like most places here in AZ are built right on a concrete slab (the concrete slab is what you see in the pics after the flooring has been removed), we don’t really have any basements here and there are really no crawl spaces under the houses like people have back north. The carpet did have the requisite padding underneath, but yeah everything just goes right on top of the concrete here!

      Hee! I definitely recommend going shopping while hubby does the dirty work……..maybe next time! 🙂

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