How To Replace Carpet With Hardwood Floor?

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Are you planning to switch from carpet to hardwood floors? Do you want to learn how to replace carpet with hardwood floor DIY? 

To replace carpet with hardwood floor, rip out the old carpet and check if there’s another floor underneath that needs to go. Next, lay down a good underlayment, followed by installing hardwood floors. Lastly, install baseboard trim to cover the gaps between the floor and walls.

Replacing Carpet With Hardwood Floor
Replacing Carpet With Hardwood Floor

Let’s get into the step by step guide to replacing carpet with hardwood floor in detail!

Also Read: Is It Cheaper To Refinish Hardwood Floors Or Carpet?

How To Replace Carpet With Hardwood Floor: Step By Step Guide

Remove Carpets

The first step is to take out the carpets. Pulling them up is really straightforward, so don’t worry – you can totally handle it! You can pretty much do it with just some strong effort, determination, and a bit of common sense (begin at the corners and don’t forget to wear your N95 mask)…

Remove Carpets
Remove Carpets

If you end up messing up the baseboard (that’s the white trim along the bottom of your walls) – also known as wainscoting, skirting board, or base molding – it’s not a big deal. You can throw it out with the old carpet and put in new ones for a nicer look.

I’m not going to talk about how to install hardwood floors without taking out the baseboards, but it’s something you can look up if you’re interested.

Remove Underlying (Unwanted) Flooring To Uncover Subfloors

You need to see if there’s another flooring under the carpet and if it needs to go too. Sometimes, you can just put the new hardwood floors on top of it. But it’s a good idea to talk to your flooring expert about this.

They’ll look at if the material underneath is still in good shape and can handle the new floors, and how high the floor will be with both layers.

Remove Underlying (Unwanted) Flooring To Uncover Subfloors
Remove Underlying (Unwanted) Flooring To Uncover Subfloors

In our hallway and another bedroom, we found really old parquet flooring that had to be removed. So, my friend started taking it out piece by piece.

When we removed the baseboards, we found some weird and yucky stuff. The parquet was glued down to the floorboards, and we couldn’t get all the glue off, but that was fine.

We used a big vacuum to clean the area really well to make sure the floors were ready for the new installation.

Don’t Miss: How To Clean Old Hardwood Floors After Removing Carpet?

Construct New Walls Or Structures

If you’re just swapping the carpet for hardwood in the same area, you can skip this part and go to the next step.

But, if you’re thinking about adding new walls or structures, now’s the best time.

When I first saw our house, I noticed right away that it wasn’t selling because the main bedroom’s closet was too small for what people need today. I figured out that making the closet bigger would really increase the home’s value.

A quick tip: Don’t just guess the size you want by stretching your arms. Use tape to mark it.

We used green tape to outline where the walls would go, adding a little extra space for the wall thickness. We used red tape to show where we wanted space for hanging clothes.

We made sure to leave some space on one side of the closet for an office and maybe a nursery later on.

Then, we moved on to:

  • Tearing down and building the frame
  • Putting up drywall

Of course, we had to insulate any walls and ceilings that were open. We used fiberglass insulation (R-19 for walls and a higher value for the ceiling). You can look up what R-Value you should use.

Fill Gaps With Joint Compound/Drywall Mud

If you’ve put up new drywall, you’ll need to cover the seams with fiberglass mesh or drywall tape first, then apply the joint compound or mud over it.

Fill Gaps With Joint Compound/Drywall Mud
Fill Gaps With Joint Compound/Drywall Mud

If you’ve taken off the baseboard like I did, clean up the surface and fill in any small holes or marks.

I don’t usually like fancy plaster work, but I was happy to see that our plaster person made sure it matched the pattern on our ceiling.


You could paint at any time during the renovation, but it’s just simpler to do it now before the hardwood floors are in. This way, you don’t have to stress about getting paint on your new floors.

And just like that, everything looks different!

We chose Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound for the walls and Carbonized for the trims and doors.

Explore: How Long Does Hardwood Floor Last?

Lay Hardwood Underlayment

We picked up the Eco Ultra Quiet Premium Acoustical Underlayment from Floor & Decor.

My friend really wanted the best soundproofing underlayment because I walk loudly.

Install Hardwood Floors

I went for White Oak! Specifically, it’s the RIVERS EDGE WHITE OAK SMOOTH SOLID HARDWOOD.

Big thanks to Floor & Decor, by the way. They really have the best selection of floors. And unlike some places (cough Home Depot and Lowe’s) where you only see a tiny sample and can’t tell how it’ll look over a big area, Floor & Decor shows off big panels of wood.

Install Hardwood Floors
Install Hardwood Floors

I mean big, like 80” X 50” big. This way, you can really see how the patterns and colors look over a large area. Plus, you can take a sample home for a $5 deposit. Pretty cool!

We’re talking about 3/4 inch solid white oak hardwood. And it’s not just laid on top of the underlayment hoping it stays put; each piece needs to be stapled down to the subfloor. There’s a special machine that helps you slide along the board and staple it at an angle.

Install Baseboard Trim

Hardwood floors aren’t put right up against the walls. You need to leave a little space between the floor and the wall so the wood can expand when it gets warm.

This gap is covered up by the baseboard trim.

For our project, we wanted to keep as much space on the wall as we could. So, instead of using the usual rectangular baseboards, we went with quarter rounds.

Final Look: Office Area

So, this is me!

I’m really into black and white themes and people say that fits my personality too. And if you haven’t figured it out from my website, I’m a big fan of purple!

I got into plants a bit late, but as of now, my sansevieria and croton are doing just fine.

Cost of Replacing Carpet With Hardwood

  • The cost to replace carpet with hardwood includes three main parts: taking out the carpet, getting rid of the carpet, and putting in the hardwood floors.
  • Hiring professional to remove the carpet: If you hire someone, it’ll cost you between $1 and $5 for each square foot to remove the carpet. If you do it yourself, it won’t cost you anything.
  • Getting rid of the carpet Yourself: You’ll need to rent a dumpster to throw away the old carpet. Renting a 20-yard dumpster, big enough for a small to medium house, will cost around $380 for a week.
  • Putting in the hardwood floors: The price for installing hardwood floors ranges from $8 to $15 per square foot for basic white oak. For more unique woods like imported cabreuva or kempas, it can go up to $20 per square foot, including installation.

Pros of Replacing Carpet With Hardwood

  • Looks better
  • Boosts home value
  • Simpler to clean thoroughly
  • Lasts longer

Cons of Replacing Carpet With Hardwood

  • Costs more
  • Less noise reduction
  • Feels colder
  • Hard on your feet

Why Choose Hardwood Floors Over Carpet?

Carpet has been a go-to for cozy and warm homes for a long time. But lately, more people are switching to hardwood floors when they update their homes. Hardwood floors look great and come with a bunch of benefits that make them a smarter choice. Let’s dive into why hardwood floors are becoming more popular.

Hardwood Floors Are Easy to Keep Clean

Carpets can grab onto dirt, dust, and pet hair, making them tough to clean. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, are a breeze to clean. A quick sweep or mop does the job. They also don’t stain as easily as carpets, which is great for homes with kids or pets.

Taking Care of Them Is Important

Even though they’re easier to clean, hardwood floors still need regular care to stay looking good. You should clean them often and use the right products to keep them shiny and scratch-free. Don’t use water or vinegar on them; a cleaner made for hardwood is your best bet.

They Can Boost Your Home’s Value

Thinking about selling your home someday? Hardwood floors can up your home’s selling price. They’re in demand and can make buyers more interested in your place.

Hardwood Floors Last a Long Time

Hardwood floors can last for many years, making them a good investment. They don’t get scratched or dented as easily as carpets can, and with the right care, they can look new for a long time.

They’re Better for Your Health

Carpets can trap dust and allergens, which isn’t great for people with allergies or breathing problems. Hardwood floors don’t hold onto these things, making your home healthier. Plus, they usually don’t have chemicals from manufacturing, which is another plus for your indoor air.

They Look Good With Any Home Style

No matter how your home is decorated, hardwood floors can fit right in. They come in many colors and styles, from light to dark wood, adding a timeless and classy look to any room.

Final Thoughts

When I look back on the whole process of switching from carpet to hardwood, I’m really glad we did it. It was a bit of work, sure, but the end result is so worth it.

Our home looks better, feels cleaner, and I think it’s even healthier to live in now. Plus, knowing that it could help our home’s value in the long run is a nice bonus.

If you’re thinking about making the switch, I say go for it. It’s a solid investment in your home that pays off in so many ways.


Q. Is switching from carpet to hardwood a smart move?

Deciding to replace carpet with hardwood depends on your home, what you need, and how much you can spend. Homes with a classic look might look better with hardwood. You might like how hardwood looks and feels, and find it easier to keep clean than carpet. But, you need to make sure you can afford it.

Q. Do homes sell better with carpet or hardwood floors?

Homes usually sell better with hardwood floors. A study showed that 82% of people looking to buy a home think hardwood floors are important or nice to have.

Q. Should bedrooms have carpet or hardwood?

Many people like carpet in bedrooms because it’s warm and soft. But, you can mix it up: hardwood in common areas and carpet in bedrooms.

Q. How long does it take to switch from carpet to hardwood?

It usually takes about 7-10 days to put in hardwood floors after they get to your house. The wood needs about 7 days to get used to your home’s environment, and then installing the floors takes about 1-3 days. This is good to know since it might disrupt your daily life for a bit.

Q. Is carpet dirtier than hardwood?

Hardwood is generally cleaner than carpet. Carpet can hide a lot of dust and dirt, even if you clean it a lot. If you take good care of hardwood floors, they can last for many years.

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