Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comIt was a busy weekend of cleaning, organizing, and rearranging the upper level of our house after having our carpet replaced last Friday. Over the holidays, I spontaneously ordered carpet and took advantage of a free installation promotion. Long story short- our installation date got moved up and we scrambled to move our furniture and get things in order for our carpet to be installed at the end of last week. It turns out, carpet can be a tricky purchase and a difficult flooring material to select, so I wanted to share some things I learned, as well as the process. This was our first time having carpet installed in any of our homes, so I gathered a lot of new information and insight! Click through for a detailed post on all things carpet. We landed on a beautiful wool option (pictured above), and we’re really pleased with it…

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comOur existing carpet (pictured above) was here when we moved into our home, and I’m pretty sure it was an afterthought or attempt at selling the house more quickly. Feel free to check out our move-in tour here. After the previous homeowners moved out, they had the entire house painted a warm gray color and installed a basic new carpet throughout (even in the bathroom… remember that?!). It always felt uninspired and drab to me. The carpet wasn’t great quality, was a cool gray color, it wasn’t holding up well to our dogs, and it definitely was not my preferred style. Back in 2021, I actually shared a blog post on carpet & runners, and I what I eventually envisioned for our home. However, moving our furniture, budgeting for something that was lower on the priority list, and choosing carpet kind of seemed like a daunting task, so I kept putting it off. Fast forward to the recent holiday season, I spontaneously started painting the guest room and one thing led to the next (as it usually does). I found myself standing in Home Depot, looking at carpet swatches, noticed a free installation promotion, and just went for it.

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You’re accustomed to seeing us install hardwood flooring & tile throughout our home. This being our first home with carpet, many of you were surprised to see us updating the carpet in certain rooms, rather than replacing it altogether. I actually like carpet for a multitude of reasons and feel it’s situational, but here are some of my pros for installing it over other flooring products:

  • It makes bedrooms feel cozy and is soft underfoot.
  • It fit our project budget / can be less expensive than other materials.
  • It’s less labor intensive & time consuming for installing, as opposed to other flooring options (something we didn’t have to install ourselves).
  • It adds warmth and helps with heat.
  • It’s quiet and improves acoustics.
  • It added variety to the flooring in our home (I enjoy mixing materials for a layered look).

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In the theme of spontaneity, it only took me 20 minutes to grab swatches in the store and check out 4-5 boards to bring home for further contemplation. I did already have a pretty good idea of what I was looking for though… see my criteria below:

  • Durability
  • Spill & Stain Proof
  • Natural Material
  • Timeless / Traditional Aesthetic (a berber, wool, or sisal look)
  • Low Pile
  • Easy Maintenance & Cleaning
  • Pet Friendly

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comAfter chatting about our options with Emmett and estimating what best fit our budget and goals, we landed on a carpet by Natural Harmony (style: Terrain / color: Straw). It’s just over $6 a square foot, looks very similar to densely woven sisal, but with the softness of wool. It’s made of 100% Wooltex- which equates to 51% wool and 49% olefin. Obviously wool is a natural material that is antimicrobial, naturally moisture wicking, and eco, while olefin is resistant to spills, mildew, fading, and is highly cleanable- offering the performance aspect we were looking for.

Our carpet also included a limited lifetime stain warranty and a 25-year wear & tear warranty, since it’s supposedly fade & wear resistant. In regards to upkeep & cleaning… this particular carpet should be vacuumed regularly (like any carpet), since spills don’t absorb, they should be blotted immediately, and professional steaming is also recommend every 1-2 years.

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comThere were only a handful of carpet pads to choose from, so I landed on good average option… a dense SpillSafe foam that prevents absorbing liquids, odor, and offers a nice dense feel underfoot. It wasn’t the least expensive option and it wasn’t the most- a good middle option to help our budget go further elsewhere.

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comIn regards to design… there were a lot of great colors to choose from in this style! For our house, Hazelnut (top swatch) and Straw (bottom swatch) made the most sense. I popped a quick poll into my Instagram stories, and over 80% of you voted for the cooler toned swatch (Hazelnut). Obviously I went in the opposite direction and ordered Straw because given the light in our house, I knew it would take on a cooler appearance. Hazelnut would have looked too gray and less like the sisal look I was going for. It just goes to show- color is unique to each space. The same color in my home will most likely look totally different in yours. Consider this your reminder to bring swatches home to analyze them in your space prior to committing!

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Once you’ve selected your carpet and carpet pad, the next step is to schedule an estimate. A day after my store visit, a carpet estimator showed up to professionally & thoroughly measure our upper bedrooms (it took about an hour). Before they arrived, I needed to have the following information nailed down:

  • What rooms would receive new carpet (including closets).
  • The carpet specifications, including the color and SKU number.
  • The carpet pad specs, including the SKU.
  • What type of thresholds and transitions I wanted.
  • An idea of the square footage I was dealing with, so I could compare pricing & overage.

Once measuring was finished, the formal estimate arrived to my email the following day. I looked everything over, approved the estimate, paid for our materials, then all that was left was to schedule the installation.

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For planning purposes, it’s worth nothing that you need to be home during installation. Emmett & I both had to take time off from work, so we could shuffle furniture, approve decisions on the fly, and go over everything with our installers. The night before install, we emptied our entire upstairs… took apart & removed furniture, rugs, and anything on the floor (including the closets). We also had to remove our bifold closet doors in three bedrooms. It was no easy feat! You can pay extra to have the installers move large pieces of furniture, but for the sake of time, our budget, and our belongings- we just did it ourselves. Funny enough, Emmett calculated that it was equivalent to moving out of our previous house (the same square footage), which seems kind of crazy to me.

Carpet removal is included, so the first thing the installers tackled was ripping out our existing carpet, as well as the carpet pad. They pulled everything to the subfloor.

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comDuring installation, it’s important to keep your home above 75 degrees Fahrenheit… it’s essential for the curing process, so we cranked the heat once the installers arrived. While things are underway, keep an eye on how everything is progressing and be vocal with your questions. Our installers were amazing and excellent with communication. They constantly asked me if everything looked ok, my thoughts on seam placement, if things were up to my standards, and were quick to point out any flaws. They were very professional and excellent at their job. I would definitely work with them again! As for the thresholds, Emmett actually did those the day of install. He worked alongside the carpet installers to ensure each transition was perfectly flat, installing a piece of matching horizontal hardwood, rather than a raised threshold…

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comSeams were honestly my biggest concern because with wool, berber, and sisal style carpets, seams can be blatantly obvious and difficult to match (not the goal). The two installers perfectly hid our seams and discussed the placement with me, which I really appreciated. They turned out great!

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Once installation was finished, we asked the installers if there were any remnants or leftover carpet. You can always have excess carpet bound into matching rugs to use elsewhere in your home. We only had one small remnant, but it should be enough for a doormat that leads into our home from the garage. We were instructed to keep the temperature set at 75 for the remainder of the day. We were also immediately able to move our furniture back into each room, and took it as an opportunity to deep clean, maintenance furniture (condition leather, oil wood, etc), purge, organize, and restyle. It was honestly really refreshing and upper level has never felt this clean! I also marked a reminder in my calendar to have our carpets professionally steamed next January (the one year mark), to keep them looking their best.

Replacing Our Upstairs Carpet - roomfortuesday.comFrom choosing carpet to the finished installation, it took less than two weeks. I was impressed with the quick turnaround time! I’m really happy we decided to tackle this project, even though it was pretty spontaneous. I’ll link some of my top Home Depot carpet picks with you below, if you’re also in the market…

Check out my picks by clicking directly on each swatch below- everything is clickable… 

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Our upstairs bedrooms are looking so good, feel really clean, and the new carpet has motivated me to knockout some quick bedroom renovations & makeovers in the coming months. This year, we already have quite a few house guests on our calendar, and I’d like to get our guest spaces honed in. My sister-in-law and her family will be here visiting at the beginning of February, so I definitely want to wrap up the largest guest room (the one I recently painted). I’ll have that reveal for you very soon… I’m just waiting on my artwork from the framer! I’m loving the way it’s coming together though- I’m excited to share it with you. Let me know if I can answer any of your carpet questions in the meantime!

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  1. Thank you! Our first goal this year is to replace our carpeting and your information is very helpful. I love your choice too – it looks great!

    1. No problem and thank you, Marti! Good luck with your carpet replacement this year!

  2. Good morning! Wow! What a lightning-speed transformation! I would still be agonizing over the final two swatches.🙄 Even though it might be a scramble, who doesn’t love a sped up timeline? Moving all that furniture though…oof. But also, a nice kick in the pants to deep clean and refresh! While I’m not a major fan of carpet, I can’t deny the benefits you cited. The difference in heat and acoustics alone is quite astounding! I love the look that you chose too. So natural and pretty. Emmett definitely deserves kudos for those flawless transitions! Maybe my favorite feature. I appreciate all of the details about the installation process. I would not have thought that the temperature was important to carpet installation…Also, seams and closets! Did you have to decide about the direction of the pattern, or was that dictated by the width of the carpet itself? I was completely unprepared for that question when we had hardwoods installed. (My initial response was something intelligent like, “The usual direction?”) From the sound of it, you had excellent professionals! Working with knowledgeable, courteous tradespeople goes a long way to minimizing my stress over these major (pricey!) decisions. Three cheers for a flawless process! You must feel like you got a whole new upstairs. Ha! Your guests are the luckiest…for SO many reasons. And so are we if we can anticipate more bedroom redos! I think they might be my faves. Here’s to a beautiful week, friend! 💜
    PS That picture of Crosby lounging on top of Cash made my heart burst!

    1. Wasn’t that so fast?! I can’t believe how quickly the carpet arrived and was installed. When they called to move up install I was totally on board… Emmett, not so much. I’d rather just rip off the bandaid and get it over with. Was it lots of work moving everything? Totally, but well worth it! Emmett did a great job with the transitions- I’m happy they’re totally flat (nothing to trip over). I got to decide on the direction and help with the seam placement. The installers actually taught me a lot. Apparently there is a right direction to vacuum carpet, and you can tell me doing a little test with a number two pencil and a piece of printer paper. I’ll have to share it in an IG video because it was fascinating! The installers were really fantastic- I can’t say enough nice things about them… they even helped me move some things while Emmett was on a work call. Kindness goes a long way! I really do feel like the upstairs is sparkly and new. I’m definitely feeling motivated to tackle more bedrooms this year. I feel like I can knock those out on my own while Emmett does the trickier renovation tasks (that I don’t enjoy, ha). Come visit anyway- we’d love to have you as a guest! Cash & Crosby are always snuggling. Those two are so sweet. Carpet selection was definitely a family affair over the holidays, ha. I hope you had a great Monday. Are you also getting snow or rain this week? We got six more inches!

  3. Good Morning! We made it to Florida 🥳 We we’re traveling last week and I’m so happy to be back in the sunshine and your blog of course ☺️
    The new carpet is beautiful Sarah. I love the color and style you chose. I’ve had an up and down relationship with carpet over the years. Probably because we didn’t invest in top notch quality. We thought we did in our last house but the world of carpet is so vast in quality range, our interpretation of quality at the time was sadly mis-represented by the home builder selection. Even though we upgraded it unfortunately it didn’t last. We ended up replacing it with the hardwood that was selected throughout the rest of the home. Luckily the hardwood was an excellent quality and still available through a local distributor.
    New carpet does feel so cozy underfoot especially in a bedroom. Carpet in a bathroom though 😱 No thank you! I’m anxious to hear how the wool/olefin blend holds up over time, it looks gorgeous and I’m surprised/impressed Home Depot did a great job on the install. That’s fantastic 👍 Proper installation is key to longevity for sure. Thanks for all the excellent tips, I had no idea temperature of your home was important to carpet installation. Huh! I’m always learning something new here. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Happy Monday and enjoy your stunning new carpet, Can’t wait to see it in the new guest bedroom. Yay!

    1. Hi Colleen! I’m so glad to hear you made it to Florida! One request… soak up some sunshine for me, please! We have 5-6 inches of snow on the ground here with more coming tomorrow, ha. I’m not over it quite yet, as ski season has been wonderful, but I know come the end of February, I’ll be itching for spring and warmer temps. I remember you telling me about your carpet experience! I suppose only time will tell how ours will wear, but I’m feeling quite pleased with it now. I guess we’re still in the honeymoon phase though, haha. I have high hopes, so fingers crossed. Hardwoods are always a good investment and safe bet! I can’t say I blame you for going that route after your experience with carpet. When we moved into our house, I could not believe there was carpet in the bathroom… so gross. I think we lucked out with our install team. They said they only install wool varieties and they tagged themself the “A-Team”, ha. Regardless, I’m happy we ended up with them. They really did a fantastic job. Apparently it has to be above a certain temperature for the adhesive to fully cure. We were absolutely roasting while moving furniture in and out of the bedrooms. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! Enjoy Florida! xo

  4. I absolutely love the carpet and color you landed on! It’s extremely close to what I’ve envisioned for the upstairs bedrooms in our house. It sounds like you had an awesome experience with Home Depot, from selection to installation, which is reassuring. Two week turn around time? Yes please! I had no idea that temperature would make any difference with carpet installation, and we’ve had carpet installed twice now; I wonder if that’s the reason our carpet now bubbles in certain areas. I would love to hear more about how you decided on where the seams would be placed, and any other decisions you had to make regarding that. When we had carpet installed at the old house the installers folded the carpet over before tacking at all the transition points. When we had carpet installed here, we weren’t given that option (same company), and now we can feel the tack strips. It’s a super painful experience when barefoot. (After a few years of traffic we can now see where the pad ends and the strips begin; it’s like a low point all around the room). How did they go about it with your install? What a difference fresh carpet can make! I love the look, and I’m sure you’re very excited about finishing the other guest rooms. I’m loving what you’ve done with the one you’re currently working on and I can’t wait to see the end result. It’s always nice to have a fresh start isn’t it? Have a lovely week my friend!

    1. Thank you so much, Lauren! I’m really happy with it. I was really impressed with our experience working with Home Depot. Having been a Lowe’s partner (with exclusivity), it had been years since I’d ordered anything big like that from Home Depot. It went really well, and they went above and beyond. I couldn’t believe the two week turn around time- crazy. The installers said the temperature is because of the type of adhesive they use- it cures as a certain temp. I asked about bubbling and they said we should not have any, but I suppose time will tell. I can’t believe your tack strips… ouch! That’s definitely not good. They did the fold over method for our tack strips and made them flush with Emmett’s thresholds. Being my first experience with fresh carpet, I can’t believe how drastically it changed the look and feel of our house. Everything suddenly feels SO clean- I love it. I’m excited to share the guest room with you. It definitely feels like fresh beginnings over here. I hope you have a wonderful week, too! xox

  5. Flooring is hard for several reasons. You did a great job on color and type. This will last you many many years! I admit I chose the Hazelnut color. It is so hard with those tiny squares to get an idea. Is is because of the cold temps in Utah that you have to have the room temperature at 75 degrees? Is it due to the glue they use that needs to cure first? You had a great group of installers to ask you about seam lines. Looks very nice and plush!
    My grandmother had wool carpet and it still looked new after 30+ years. Unfortunately, it was the style and color that aged it. I believe it stayed so nice due to her strict policy of no food or drinks! When we had new carpet installed 2 years ago, my husband and I removed it all. I am embarrassed to say the amount of dirt on the stairs was shocking! The sub floor had started to squeak a lot so we reinforced it with lots of screws due to them originally using nails. Talk about really changing the look of a room with new flooring.
    Emmett’s thresholds look awesome! His abilities are impressive! Can’t wait to see the room reveal. Have a great week!

    1. Thank you, Danna! It really is so tricky with the tiny swatches. I’ll also say- it’s tough to translate the accurate color in person onto a phone screen when I’m sharing on Instagram. It’s never quite the same. I believe the temperature is due to the adhesive they use. To be fair though- we have 5-6 inches of snow on the ground right now. We had two installers working simultaneously and they did a fabulous job (they did say they were the A-team, haha). I love hearing about your grandmother’s carpet. We don’t eat upstairs, but we definitely take drinks up there. Maybe I need to adopt her rule. Emmett did such a great job with the thresholds. I can’t wait to show you the guest room… I’m just waiting on my artwork (I’m having some of my photos framed). Hope you have a wonderful week, too! xo

  6. What a thorough and informative post Sarah, thank you so much. Coming from “the land downunder” (one of them anyway), where sheep were plentiful, I grew up with wool carpet. It was an expensive product even back in the 70s and 80s, but our mothers expected it to last. My husband and I still laugh about how our mums would make us sit on the kitchen linoleum to eat or drink anything that even remotely looked like it would stain! It’s amazing how far technology has come, that a wonderful natural, sustainable fibre like wool can be blended to resist all that life throws at it. Lifetime stain warranty and 25 years fade and wear? Incredible! I will be bookmarking this post for sure.

    1. Happy to share, Rhonda! I grew up on a farm and we raised sheep- that’s probably where I got my appreciation for wool… from shearing each season. Ha! It really is a magical material though. I got a chuckle out of your family making you eat on the linoleum, but I can’t say I blame them. It seems textile technology has certainly continued to progress. I couldn’t believe the warranty. Here’s to hoping we won’t need it, but it is definitely nice to have. I hope you had a great day!

  7. This is really helpful! Thank you! I had not thought to look at Home Depot and now I will check out your suggestions.

    1. So glad to hear that, Jody!

  8. Hello! Thanks for sharing your experience. We are well overdue to replace carpeting in our upstairs as well, and it’s just something I can’t get excited to do! I really like the look of the carpet you chose. Were your installers subcontracted by Home Depot, or actual employees of the store? Do you feel there is a lingering smell to the new carpet since it is partly synthetic? (I am super sensitive to smells, everything gives me a headache.) Thanks!

    1. Happy to share! Our installers were contracted by Home Depot (not actual HD employees). They did an amazing job! Since our carpet is wool blend- there wasn’t a strong lingering off gassing smell like you get with other options. It just smelled clean… and a little like wool. The carpet pad did have a bit of an odor, but once it was covered, I didn’t notice it anymore. I’m also sensitive to smells and didn’t get a headache with it. Hope that helps!

  9. This is exactly what I need! Yay! I know it’s really new, but do you find it sheds? That is my husband’s hesitation with wool.

    1. Yay! We haven’t had any shredding, Ellen. I hope that helps!

  10. Your carpet looks amazing! Is installation harder for a carpet with pattern like that? To line up the pattern and make sure it is perfectly square, etc? If I ever got carpet, I would just pick what you picked, but then you provided so many other great options?!? You make me want to install some carpet!

    1. Thank you, Julie! Installation is definitely more tricky with wool carpets that have pattern or texture. It took the installers a lot of time to perfectly line it up. I’m so happy you enjoyed this post!

  11. I absolutely love your choice. This is exactly what I originally wanted but several carpet places talked us out of Berber or looped carpet because we have two cats. They basically said the upstairs area would become one big scratch pad. LOL. We opted for a cut & loop pile (similar to some of your other pics) that has more cut than loop and every now and then I have to do a repair but it isn’t as nearly as bad as the Berber would have been for our situation.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Michele! Berber is definitely a tricky one for households with cats. Ha! It sounds like you made a wise choice.