DIY Network

Updating a Family Room

This DIY Basic will provide tips on updating a family room.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

tack strips
putty knife
pry bar or claw hammer
razor blade or utility knife
paint or stain
measuring tape
miter saw
nail gun or hammer and nail set
wood putty
foam brush

Step 3: Choose New Carpet

New carpet and baseboards can change the look of a family room.

Carpet Choices

  • Polyester carpet is cheaper but can mat and crush in six months, especially in high-traffic areas
  • Nylon carpet is slightly more costly, but is durable and has stain and soil protectant engineered into fiber
  • Built-in stain and soil repellency makes carpet easier to keep clean and prolongs life of carpet
  • Lighter carpet makes small room seem larger
  • Darker carpet can make large room cozy
  • Colors like red, yellow and orange warm up room; blue and green cool room
  • Neutrals work with almost any decor; also a good choice if you’re considering selling home
  • Patterns add visual interest and give room more contemporary or classic feel
  • For large areas, Textured carpet is good choice because it’s simple, durable and looks great in any room
  • Frieze (free-zay) carpet has cut loops that curl at ends; It’s soft and cozy, super durable making it great for family rooms and high-traffic areas
  • Loop or Berber carpet is also great for active households because flecks of color hide traffic patterns
  • Pattern Cut or Cut & Loop carpet creates patterns, bold or subtle; it’s durable and creates wow factor

Tip: Bring samples from showroom to see how they look at different times of day and how they work with furnishings

Step 4: Remove Old Baseboards

With razor or sharp knife, cut seal of paint between baseboard and wall.

With pry bar, gently loosen nails holding old baseboard to wall.

Tip: Pad wall with cardboard, thick cloth, or carpet scraps to protect surface from pry bar.

Use claw hammer to remove nails left in wall.

Step 5: Measure and Buy New Baseboards

Tip: To showcase new carpet, choose tall baseboard.

With carpet, you will not need toe molding.

Measure removed baseboards to determine how much new material to buy. Buy 15 percent to 20 percent extra material.

Starting in left-hand corner, measure walls. Sketch map of room, noting measurements, corners and doorways.

Make list of board lengths.

Step 6: Cut New Baseboards

Measure and mark board lengths and angles. Using miter saw, cut new baseboards. Test angles on scrap wood before cutting boards.

Tip: Inside corners should meet on finished side of wood at short face of miter; outside corners meet on finished side of long face of miter.

New carpet will tuck under baseboards; leave gap tall enough to accommodate carpet and pad: gap should be 2/3 the height of tack strip, pad, and carpet.

Do dry run of boards to make sure they fit properly.

Paint or stain boards before you nail them in place.

Step 7: Install New Baseboards

Starting in left-hand corner, nail boards to wall, using nail gun. Or pre-drill holes and use hammer and nail set.

Fill nail holes with putty, and fill gaps or joints with caulk.

Have professional install new pad and carpet.

Wait a couple of days until caulk is completely dry; then use foam brush to touch up baseboard corners.