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Carpet

Started: 2021-06-30 21:32:11

Submitted: 2021-06-30 23:31:50

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator replaces the carpet in his new house

Two weeks after refinishing our wood floors, the last thing we did before moving was to replace all the carpet in the house.

In the real estate pictures, the carpet was carefully staged to hide its various mysterious stains. Some looked like bleach stains; others were probably cat urine, and some brightly-colored stains seemed to defy explanation. Some parts of the carpet looked bleached by the sun, showing what appeared to be a shadow below the rug that had laid on top of it for years or decades. All of the carpet was worn, so it was easy to justify replacing it.

Carpet install in progress in the living room
Carpet install in progress in the living room

The only snag was that the floor we'd picked for the bathroom wasn't ready at the same time the carpet was.

Nanna Court's gleaming chrome cyberpunk 1980s tile bathroom
Nanna Court's gleaming chrome cyberpunk 1980s tile bathroom

When I took my flooring contact from Bay Area Floors through the house to show all of the flooring work we wanted to get done, we walked into the master bathroom (the gleaming chrome cyberpunk 1980s tile bathroom that captured my attention when I first saw the real estate pictures) and he looked at the carpet on the floor (water-stained under the shower door) and asked, in a leading tone of voice, "So ... do you want to put carpet in here?" I quickly said that, no, we did not want carpet in the bathroom, we were thinking something like vinyl plank because it's relatively inexpensive but looks nice, and we're thinking we'll probably want to redo the bathroom in five or ten years anyway so we don't want to put too much money in the bathroom floor, and he quickly agreed that "carpet doesn't belong in bathrooms" and that vinyl plank was an excellent choice.

The problem that emerged was that the planks that the floor contractors had bought for my project were damaged, and they were worried that the planks wouldn't join together correctly. They couldn't get new planks from the distributor in time to install all of the floors at once, but they went ahead and got started with the carpet, since we needed the carpet installed to move in but we could handle an unfinished floor in the bathroom while we figured out what to do about that floor. My contact brought some other samples over that he would be able to get more quickly, but none of them looked quite as good as the planks we had selected. (The picture below is the sample we had selected, laid out next to the new carpet installed in the master bedroom.)

Checking floor sample against carpet
Checking floor sample against carpet

My contractor talked to the distributor and learned that there were more boxes of my selected floor on a container that was allegedly inbound to the port of Oakland at that very moment and scheduled to be unloaded that week. Allow a day or two for the container to get trucked to the distributor in Hayward, and another day for the boxes to get unloaded and trucked to the flooring contractor in Soquel, and there was a reasonable chance that we'd actually be able to get the floor we had originally selected installed in a reasonable amount of time. I was at least a little worried about relying on international container shipments at a time when news reports kept talking about container delays (to the point where the normal anchorages inside San Francisco Bay were full and container ships were waiting outside the Golden Gate before being allowed to enter the bay to be unloaded); but it seemed like we'd at least know sooner rather than later if the whole enterprise was going to work so we could adjust our plans if needed.

Carpet install in master bedroom
Carpet install in master bedroom

The rest of the carpet install went as scheduled, and the new carpet looked spectacular once it was installed. (It arguably looked better than the old carpet while it was being installed, after the old stained and worn carpet was removed.)

Carpet installed in living room
Carpet installed in living room

I was pleased to see that, in the upstairs family room with the massive windows forming the focal point of the room, the carpet installers found the electrical outlet in the middle of the floor and neatly installed the carpet around it, rather than burying it under the carpet as it had been under the old carpet. Kiesa discovered it under the old carpet while walking around the room, and I cut a hole in the old carpet to find the outlet, which had apparently been lurking under the carpet for however long the old carpet had been there.

Carpet installed in upstairs family room
Carpet installed in upstairs family room

The international container shipping system came through and my new floor arrived as promised. We pushed back the bathroom floor install until after a previously-scheduled camping trip to Tahoe (about which, more later); and on Monday this week the final piece of our floor came together: a gray vinyl plank floor in our chrome tile bathroom; and the whole thing seemed to work together as if it had been designed that way from the beginning.

New vinyl plank floor in bathroom
New vinyl plank floor in bathroom
Then I'll get another piano, and we'll be even.
- Heidi Enderson, 08 September 2001, in response to Neelix's
computer-acquisition schemes