Category Archives: DIY

An Introduction to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

The kitchen is usually the heart and soul of a home.  Keeping it functional is the main concern for the most of us; however, it is also really important that our kitchen looks its best at all times.  An important part of a kitchen are the cabinets.  Aside from being a prominent feature in most kitchens, it is also usually the place where important kitchen utensils are stored.  It is therefore very important to keep the cabinet free from dirt and damage that can compromise the credibility of your cooking.  Thus, when your cabinet doors and hinges are worn out and are impossible to repair, then there is only one practical thing for you to do other than replacing it: you must reface it.

Kitchen cabinet refacing has been around for quite a while.  Aside from being cheaper compared to having a totally new cabinet installed in your kitchen, it also offers you the power to truly customize the look and feel of your cabinet.  Just work carefully, and when you are finished you will feel how it is to be having a whole brand new kitchen again.

In refurbishing your cabinet you may find yourself overwhelmed at first.  Luckily there are companies out there that specialize in cabinet refacing.  They offer you a huge variety of styles to choose from for a cost that is still very affordable compared to completely remodeling your kitchen.  First, both you and the company’s professional designer will meet to discuss what style and design you are going for.  The company then will do their measurements and prepare a comprehensive design plan for your cabinet.  With the staff doing all the work, going for a designing company will usually get your cabinet refacing order done in about a week.

You may also prefer the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach in refacing your cabinet.  Though this may be more difficult compared to hiring a designing crew to do the job for you, doing the refacing on your own still is a very practical approach.  Doors, fronts, drawers, and materials are usually available in hardware and home improvement stores.  You can use a new Victorian-style door to fit on your plain flush cabinet.  Add some new paint or color adjustments and you will find yourself looking into an almost brand new kitchen cabinet.  You may also add a stylish front and a brand new handle to your drawers for that added pizazz.  If you are not satisfied, then perhaps you may consider buying a superb-quality self-sticking veneer.  With these you can save plenty of time and effort, while having yourself a new texture of wood that you can easily stain and finish at the same time.

Kitchen cabinet refacing, though pretty simple to do, will give your kitchen a totally new look and feel. It is one of those easy home improvement ideas that homeowners find can really make a world of difference. You will no longer be embarrassed to have your guests come over for a dinner in your kitchen.

Concrete Underfloor Heating Installation Advice

If you have decided that you wish to attempt underfloor heating installation all by yourself you will be pleased to learn that it is an uncomplicated process.

To start the underfloor heating installation process you will first need to measure the area where you plan to install the system.  This will ensure that everything will fit properly.  You will also need to create a sketch of the floor.  This step is done so that the correct size of the devimat can be determined.  The sketch will need to show where the devimat is to be installed and the position of the power connections in the room.  The mat has to begin and end at the same place.

The nest step of the installation process is to cut a groove into both the floor and the wall.  It should be about 10 millimeters deep and wide.  This is for the sensor switch.  The sensor switch will be pushed through a tube.  It will then be laid in the groove.  After you have done this, you will need to tape up the end.

If there are corners and obstacles in your way, you may cut the mat to get around them.  Keep in mind that the red heating cable should not be cut.  Last, you will need to get a tile adhesive.  Once you have the adhesive you can lay it over the mat.  The tiles can then be laid over the mat.  It is just like laying regular tiles— the only difference being that you will need a thicker coat of adhesive.

As this process is rather simple, anyone who has had some DIY experience should be able to do it.  If for some reason you need help, you can call the store from which you purchased the materials.  The sales people should be able to advise you on solutions on any issues you may have.

Building A Cottage Playhouse

Sure you could head to the store and get a cottage playhouse that just pieces together but you could also take the time to make one. There is such a special feeling that comes with knowing you have handmade something for your child from the ground up. They will treasure it that much more and this way you can also customize it however you want.

There are a few steps to follow if you plan to construct your own toy playhouses. Start by coming up with a basic plan. Figure out how large this playhouse should be, how many levels, what features you want included inside of it, what materials to use to make it and so on. These are all things you will need to decide on before moving ahead.

Using the information you have come up with you can now move on to gathering your supplies and tools. You probably have the basic tools you need already including a hammer, nails, wood, siding and paint. That is pretty much all you need for the job.

Start by building the base or floor. Outdoor playhouses are for children so they need to be safe and secure. Build a square using four pieces of wood, ensuring the playhouse will be the correct size, and then nail in pieces of wood parallel to each other. You may also opt to use carpenter’s glue along the edges before gluing, if you want added hold.

Now you start moving up the sides, installing pieces of wood upwards and around. Make the ceiling and cover everything in siding. Remember to leave spaces for the windows and door. This will ensure there is enough air going through the playhouse and keep it from getting stuffy when the kids are inside it.

At this point it is pretty much all about decoration. You can paint the playhouse, install a mini fridge or sink if you like and do whatever else you decide on in order to make it the perfect little playhouse for your children.

How To Maintain Kitchen Doors Made Of Oak

The kitchen door has to be taken care of properly just like any other furniture in your home. The door can quickly start losing its shine and look as if it has been made centuries ago. You can do some amount of refinishing and make it look as good as new. To avoid such conditions you have to maintain the doors properly by taking care of them regularly. In this way, you can save some money which should otherwise be given as service charges to professionals.

Different kinds of doors may require different maintenance procedures. For example, wooden doors can be kept neat and clean by wiping them with a soft cloth to remove any accumulated dust. If the kitchen doors are made of oak you have to follow a different procedure.

Here is how to maintain kitchen doors made of oak. First, dismantle the door by removing the hinges; when the door is taken out clean it thoroughly by using warm soapy water. After washing, let the door dry thoroughly; when the door is dry use a filling to cover any holes or scratches on the door.

By sanding you can even out the protruding surfaces of the door caused by the filling. You can use a 150 grit block for sanding the door. When the sanding is done use a cloth to remove any residue. For a stunning finish use a polyurethane gloss on the doors. You can also maintain the kitchen cabinet doors in this way. The oak doors will look fresh and transform the appearance of your kitchen. To maintain the door’s look take proper care regularly by using a soft cloth to wipe the doors once every 2-3 days.

Ensure that you clean the door knobs also. You have to start cleaning from the top portion of the cabinets. Remember to keep the doors of the cabinets always closed to keep away crawling insects, moisture and dust. All these will ensure that your kitchen door and cabinet doors are in good condition.

Create Your Own Deck with Free Deck Design Software

Summer is upon us, and this is the year you have decided to spruce up the outside of your home. A nice sized deck would be the perfect way to not only add value to your property, but also to create a relaxing atmosphere in your very own back yard. Decks are an excellent venue for entertaining guests. Armed with free deck design software, your dream deck will be in place without delay.

Most homeowners would start such a seemingly daunting task by going to their local big box home improvement store in an attempt to find a sales person that is knowledgeable in the art of deck design and construction. These sales representatives do not have the time nor the expertise needed to help you create your vision of a deck. Most don’t have the time to spend hours debating the pros and cons of different woods, bench placement, and how much deck area is sufficient for your house or landscape. You, however, will not succumb to this futile method; your computer will can take your through the entire adventure. First you must search the internet for free deck designing software.

Once you find a deck designer software you are comfortable with, you can begin to dream up what you want out of your deck. You should decide if it will be a sanctuary for just lounging, or if you would like to entertain with barbecues and maybe space enough for a picnic table and a hot tub. Your online deck software should be able to help you visualize how to fit the deck comfortably within the dimensions of the yard, and where it will look best on your property. Most online deck design software is created so you can develop 3D images of your deck once you walk through the steps to customize your dream deck. You can pick things like the amount of steps, what kind of wood, what color you want, what shape the deck will be and many more features.

The most beneficial quality of using the free deck design software, besides that fact that it is free, is the comprehensive shopping list you can create. You can take the list with you to the local lumber or home improvement store and effortlessly select the exact materials you require for assembly of your deck design.  You won’t have to deal with a sales representative unless you want to. A set of instructions, and some guidelines and tips are created as well to make your dream deck a reality and an experience you can embark upon with clarity and confidence this summer.

Home improvement projects and the costs

More and more people are realizing that they can take on tasks around the home as DIY projects and save money by not having to hire a professional company to do the work for them. This is a wonderful thing to see and if you are someone who fits in this category you should be proud of yourself for having the motivation to do so.

If you have some renovations at home you are interested in getting started with but you are not sure how you are going to cover the costs, there are options that may work for you.

Many homeowners opt to take out a loan when they have home improvement projects to complete. Even if you already have other loans out in your name this is one of the best ways to go about things. This way you can cover the costs of all the tools and supplies you need upfront and simply pay off the balance in monthly increments.

You also have to consider that the total cost of any home renovation project usually wouldn’t come to more than a few thousand dollars at the very most so it is not going to be as large a loan as you would need for college, a vehicle or a house.

There are certain building supply and other stores that offer materials and plans for DIY projects and offer financing to customers. On approved credit you could be approved for financing and in turn have the freedom to pay the loan off over time rather than spending all the money for it upfront. This is much more convenient an option for most homeowners.

There are also many finance projects set up for homeowners wanting to complete renovations to their home, which can help. For homeowners who make under a certain annual income they may be eligible to receive funding or at least write off the costs of their home improvement projects on their next tax return.

Always ask lots of questions and get all the information you can when taking on DIY projects in the home. You never know where and when you could be saving yourself money.

These tips come from the DIY home improvement folks at Concrete Anchor Bolt.

Weighing the Advantages Associated with Unfinished Furniture

Imagine that you have moved into an unfurnished apartment. Now suppose that you have also moved a number of boxes into that apartment. Furthermore each of those boxes contains either papers or books. You need a way to store those papers.

In such a situation, the new apartment dweller might want to think about buying a piece of unfinished furniture. A store full of such furniture is apt to have the sort of piece that can become an attractive storage unit. What are the advantages and drawbacks to the purchase of unfinished wooden furniture, i.e. furniture that requires a final finishing job?

A storeroom full of unfinished wooden pieces for the home seldom contains anything other than furniture. In contrast, a store full of second hand furniture could also have a number of inexpensive decorative items. A search for an item of furniture could well get sidelined, if the shopper felt tempted to examine some low cost decorative pieces.

That then underlines the big advantage to shopping for furniture in need of a final finishing job. A drawback to that line of shopping might be described as “added expenses.” Whenever someone buys a piece of still to be finished furniture, they need to buy sandpaper and stain as well.

Sometimes too, the person who obtains a yet to be finished piece of furniture needs to purchase a simple tool. Suppose, for example that someone bought a wooden dry sink. Such a storage unit could have one or more parts that need to be screwed onto the dry sink. Performance of that process would require a Phillip’s screwdriver. Thus the person buying the dry sink must also have or buy the appropriate screwdriver.

Of course, that is a minor inconvenience, when weighted against the advantages associated with the purchase and use of furniture that needs finishing.

How To Make A Garage Floor Look Better

If you are tired of that ugly grey, concrete floor then applying a good quality garage floor coating will be just what you need to add some color.  One other nice feature of coating your floor is you can make it much safer by adding a non-slip topping which will give good traction and footing even if you spill a little oil or your car brings in rain water or melting snow.  There are two main ways to treat your floor, garage floor paint and an epoxy based garage floor coating.  For longevity, the epoxy based product is going to make you happier.

Before adding any treatment to your garage floor be sure to check to see if a sealer has been applied to the surface.  Whether you use paint or epoxy a pre-existing sealer will shorten the life of the new coating dramatically because it will not allow the product to adhere to the concrete.  You can check for a sealer by using the water test.  First clean the floor with a good degreaser and then wash with soap and water.  Next, spray a light mist of water on the floor and watch how the water reacts.  If it beads up you have a sealer which must be removed.  The best method for this is to apply a weak solution of muriatic acid.  You can find this at most home repair stores.  Clean the floor once again and recheck.  If the water does not bead then you can proceed with the treatment.

Follow the directions on the package exactly because shortcuts will mean you won’t get the life you desire out of the floor.  Be sure to purchase anti-slip additives no matter whether you decide to go with less expensive paint or longer lasting epoxy floor coatings.  In both cases you just spread the topping on the floor before the coating dries.  It is the same action as feeding chickens in the barnyard or ducks at the local park.

Installing garage floor coverings is a great weekend project that will make your garage look great.

Give Your Garage a Make Over with Concrete Garage Floor Paint

There are several new types of paints available for use as concrete garage floor paint. These paints are specially formulated to work on concrete and cement surfaces to provide even and complete surface coverage. The different types of paints may include a high gloss coating for a glossy finish. The substance is created with resins which bond with the cement to make the paint adhesive to the surface. This is the same high quality paint you see in car showrooms where the floor has a glossy finish. The paint is available in a few various colors such as blue, brick red and tan.

Using this type of paint on a garage floor will not only give your area a professional high quality floor surface, but it will hide the stains that may be currently on the floor. Because of the durable surface coating the material is also much easier to clean then the traditional concrete is. It can be swept or washed down with a hose to help maintain its quality surface. This paint can be used on any type of cement floor such as the floor in a basement. It also makes a nice floor area for an outdoor workspace or shed.

Concrete garage paint is easy to apply by pouring it out and spreading it evenly across the surface area. If the cement flooring has cracks, you will want to use a sealer on all of the cracks before applying the paint. This paint is also available as a plain matte finish so you do not need to use the high gloss variety if that is not your preference. You will find this type of surface paint available at most hardware stores and some department stores that carry home improvement items. The price will vary depending on the gloss and additives in the product.

How to Install a Plasma TV Mount Bracket

Now that prices for Blu-ray players are becoming reasonable, and HD programming is becoming more and more widespread, it makes more sense than ever to get a large high definition TV set. If you do decide that now is the time to make this investment, you might as well spend a little more to get some decent speakers, and mount your TV on the wall for a home theater experience.

Your TV should be at least 48″ wide, and plasma rather than LCD. With their richer blacks, the image they produce is closer to what you see in a movie theater. In addition, the image quality is not degraded nearly as much as with an LCD when they are viewed from an angle, which is important if you are going to gather a big group together to watch a movie or a football game.

There is no need to buy a plasma TV wall mount bracket made by the manufacturer of your TV. You can get a good one for considerably less money from a company such as Peerless. Get one that tilts if you will be installing the TV fairly high on the wall.

Installing your plasma wall bracket is quite a simple process. The main thing you need to be sure to do is find the studs in your wall, using an inexpensive stud finder you can buy at a store like Home Depot. Mark where you will put in the screws on these studs, and use a level so your TV will not be at a slant. Drilling the holes and screwing in the screws is easy. The only difficult part will be lifting the TV on to the wall; have at least one other person help with that. You can also hide the wires behind a cable cover, or even inside your wall, but that is more complicated.

How to Buy Carport Kits

Carport kits are an easy way to get the carport you want for your house with a minimal amount of work. Kits are much cheaper than buying a port that is already put together or building a concrete garage; they just require a bit more work. By getting a kit, you are also allowing for more customization and will end up with a carport that matches its intended space better.

These kits come from a variety of different manufacturers and can be bought from many different stores. Many large hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot have a few carport kits available for purchase. It is better to buy a carport kit in person than it is to buy one online because of the high cost of shipping. If you have a truck or van available, it will save you quite a bit to drive around until finding the desired carport. If stores do not have the port you desire many times you can have them ship it to the store for free and you can then pick it up from there.

If after checking around at all the local hardware and general stores there are no suitable carports, the next step is to order one online. One of the best places to look for a carport is They have a wonderful selection of flat carport designs at very competitive prices. They will undoubtedly have more than most of the local stores do. One other benefit to Amazon is that they sometimes will ship expensive items for free too.

After purchasing a kit you will have to take it home and figure out how to put it together. Some carports are more difficult than others and that will effect how long it takes to put it together. Some will take as little as an hour while others will take an entire day. Either way buying a carport kit is sure to be cheaper than buying an already assembled carport, or having someone put one in for you.

Preparing for and Installing Your New Bath Shower Mixer Tap

Bath mixer taps are an innovative product that makes it easy to take a shower when the proper shower equipment is not available for use. The great thing about these plumbing miracles is there is hardy any plumbing work necessary to install one.

However, before doing so, you must make sure the water supply does not come from the main pipes, as water pressure could be a problem and of course, the water should be turned off before starting to avoid an unwanted shower. Do this by wither turning off its main water supply or by using the stopcock, if one is available on your tub.

There are different styles of these bath shower mixer taps available and the one you choose should match not only your personality, but also the type of showering experience you are looking for. Once the perfect one is chosen, it is time to prepare to install it. Using a pipe wrench, loosen the nuts and then loosen or remove the old caulking.

After, remove the old faucet so you can clean the area. You want to be certain the tub is clean and free of all dirt and debris as well as any old caulking that may hinder the new caulking from holding properly. Scrub the area where the new tap will go and dry it thoroughly.

Then, before aligning the new tap in the old hole, apply a tiny amount of new caulk and sit it into place. Press down slightly to make sure the caulking seals so it dries watertight. Tighten the nuts by hand and then using your pipe wrench again, tightens both water pipe fittings and you are almost ready to go.

After the caulking has at least 24 hours to dry, test the water pressure to make sure the seal is airtight. Then, attach your shower head and you are now ready for a shower with your new bath taps.

Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets

When it comes to outdoor DIY projects that require roofing considerations, then polycarbonate roofing sheets may be just the solution you’re looking for. Simple and elegant in design, polycarbonate roofing panels are a quick, easy and functional way to add a roof to most smaller sized outdoor projects.

Polycarbonate is a synthetic plastic, and if you’ve seen more contemporary gazebos, carports, or even outdoor bars then you’re familiar with this roofing material. It is an incredibly durable substance, that will lend strength and longevity to any project it complements. It’s lightweight characteristics make it ideal for the DIY’er looking to finish a project without any outside help.

When installing polycarbonate roofing panels, you’ll be amazed at how easy this material is to work with. These panels can be easily cut with garden scissors or a fine tooth saw, for most sheeting anyway.  And, the higher the quality of the sheeting, the easier the cutting will be, so it is an added benefit to utilizing high-end materials. When using a carborundum blade on a disk grinder be sure to only attempt to cut one panel at a time, as adding additional sheets to the equation may cause those sheets to fuse together.

Polycarbonate roofing sheets are also easy to drill through for pre-installation preparation. simply insure that the drill holes are positioned on the top corrugation grooves for proper installation and fitting. It’s usually easiest to lay the panels on the ground upside down in order to pre-drill your holes. Another trick is to use a stick with a hole in it to guide the drill.

So if you’re looking for a simple  DIY way to solve your outdoor roofing needs, or you’re looking for a durable solution to help protect your outdoor furniture, like your patio loungers or your bar counter stools, from the elements and other weather considerations, then polycarbonate roofing sheets will certainly go a long way towards providing you with a durable, long-term solution.

Bathroom Shower Wall Panels

shower wall panelsWall panels assist in creating the ambiance in any room.  Bathroom shower wall panels are no different and are a great tool that can help any homeowner transform their bathroom when completing a bathroom overhaul or renovation.  They are much easier to install than traditional ceramic tiles and also easier to clean.  They come in many sizes and styles to complement any decor.

Shower panels are usually constructed of UPVC and need to be sealed with a thin layer of silicone sealant to seal corners from water seepage.  This seal will prevent water from entering the joints of the wall panels and creating damage inside the wall.  They are usually designed to be slotted together by tongues and grooves to connect each panel.

UPVC panels have many benefits compared to ceramic tiles.  Aside from being easy and cheap to install, they also have a wipe-able surface.  There is no grout or moulding, so cleaning is effortless.  They also are fairly affordable compared to the price of tiling, and will last many years.

Shower paneling is available in many sizes and styles.  Sizes can range from 250mm x 2.7m to 250mm x 3.0m.  The styles include: wood-grain, marble effect, mosaic effect and plain colors.  There is also the neo angle shower enclosure design that creates a three dimensional affect with glass or marble wall panels.  This design can be customized to any dimension and provide an attractive appearance and versatile shower.

Bathroom shower wall panels are gaining popularity within the industry for their versatile, durable and hygienic qualities.  The panels are a great addition to any bathroom and will make all homeowners proud.  Try searching different forms of paneling online, or simply visit your local home improvement store to price and size the correct panels.  Once you have installed your wall panel of choice, you will know you made a good investment.

Wet Room Kits – Not for The Novice

wetroom kitsWet room kits are for a very select group of “do it yourself” home improvement junkies. There are, indeed, many of the DIYers out there today who are always up for a good challenge and really enjoy their projects. They are up for anything and are always excited to tackle the next educational project. These are not kits made for these folks.

Wet Room Solutions

The truth is that they are not easily come by for the novice installer. IT can take a lot of projects before an installer, or a home improvement junkie for that matter, is able to provide solutions to issues unique to an installation of this kind. They need to have a portfolio of solid experience behind them dealing with all the challenges that these modern bathrooms dish out to the lucky installer. It is the experience behind them that allows them to see potential issues in design and construction and adjust accordingly before they become a detrimental financial reality. The average or even above average “Do it yourself” individual isn’t able to pick up on these subtle issues that are ahead of them, and they end up costing themselves time, money, and a lot of frustrations.

Wet Room Kits

They are, in general, for two groups of people. They are provided for the advanced and experienced DIY folks and they are also intended, believe it or not, for the professional installer. While it may be obvious as to why they are marketed to the Do It Yourself crowd, it may not make sense at first as to why the kits are also intended for the experienced professionals. It is a way to provide convenience to the professional. The installer can have the kit shipped to the location of the remodel. This saves the installer precious time, not only in delivering the parts, but also in the time saved finding all the parts.

There Are Times When You Must Know How To Unclog A Toilet

Although many of us don’t want to think about it but there are times we need to know how to unclog a toilet. It seems as though plumbing only acts up when there are guests in the house and all bathrooms are being used with more frequency than normal. Every bathroom should have a plunger handy because the last thing anyone wants to do is find out real fast how to unclog a toilet without plunger. Unclogging a toilet without a plunger is not a fun task and is also very unsanitary.

So as you might have guessed it is important to know how to unclog a toilet with a plunger. It isn’t all that difficult in fact anyone can do it. If the toilet hasn’t overflowed yet it is important to place some old towels or paper towels around the base of the toilet in order to protect the flooring around the base of the stool. Then carefully lower the plunger into the water to create a suction with the plunger and hole in the toilet, slowly press the handle of the plunger up and down in order for the suction to be able to move the clog so the water can flow freely.


It is also important to know how to unclog a stubborn toilet if just plunging doesn’t work after the first couple of plunges. Keep some chemicals for clogged toilets or a drain opener handy to pour down into the clogged toiled. Sometimes all it takes is letting the chemicals set for a little while and before you know it you have figured out how to unclog a toilet without a plunger. If constant clogging becomes a problem be sure to have a plumber come in to take a look to see if the clog can be removed by snaking it or if the plumbing has to be replaced. You can contact professional plumbers in Randwick, Australia by visiting

How To Repair A Leaking Waterbed.

waterbedLearning how to repair a leaking waterbed is not difficult. In most cases, leaks can be fixed easily so there is no need to replace the entire mattress or call in professional help. Before starting the process of fixing the bed, you should purchase a waterbed patch kit if you did not get one with the mattress or cannot find it.

The first is to find where the bed is leaking. Small leaks can be difficult to spot but they usually occur near the seams of the bed or on the side. The best way to find a small leak is to take a piece of absorbent paper, such as toilet paper or tissues, and run it slowly up and down the mattress until you see it get wet. If you need to, you can apply pressure to top of the bed to force water out of the puncture so you can find it more easily. Do not empty the water from the mattress, as this will only make it more difficult to find the problem area.

Once you find the leak, you can use a permanent marker to identify the area of the waterbed mattress that needs to be repaired. Just circle the area or draw an arrow so you can find it again. Most repair kits come with a number of options for patching your bed so be sure to read the instructions and chose the best materials that are suited for the type of leak you find.

Next, you need to clean the area around the leak so that the adhesive will stick. Your repair kit should come with a cleaner or you can use a cotton ball and alcohol. Allow the area you have cleaned to dry completely before attempting a repair. If the leak is below the water line, simply place a pillow or cushion under that area to bring the puncture above the water line.

Cut a patch from the materials in your kit according to the instructions provided. Most kits recommend a patch about four inches in diameter. Apply the adhesive to the mattress and the patch as indicated in the repair kit. Press the patch firmly over the leak. Do not apply pressure to the waterbed until the adhesive has bonded completely. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours depending on the type of glue.

Waterbeds rarely leak, so if you have the misfortune of finding that your bed has been punctured take solace in the fact that once you learn how to repair a leaking waterbed you will probably never have to do it again.  In extreme cases, you may have to use a waterbed pump to completely empty the mattress in order to repair.

How To Use Travertine Bull Nose Tile

bullnose tileBefore contemplating your tile project be sure to understand what you are going to do with the edges.  If the entire wall is tiled then it is really not a big problem.  Just run the tile to the corner and grout them in like you do the face parallel and vertical lines.  But there is more to it if the tiles end in the middle of a wall.  This is very common for most travertine shower installations.  If the shower is in the corner of the room then the tiles are actually ran out one to two feet beyond the shower stall in order to protect the wall from moisture.  The question is what to do with the edges of the tiles in this situation.

As you know, the edge of a tile is generally not finished, so a solution has been devised.  A bull nose travertine tile is a special tile which has one edge rounded.  This rounded edge is called the bull nose I suppose because it resembles the nose of a bull.  The way to finish off the edge of the tile enclosure is to make your last vertical course this special tile with the bull nose on the vertical.  This gives a very nice finish and looks very clean.

This is also the way to finish off the top course of the wall.  Usually you will not see a tile shower enclosure go to the ceiling.  It generally stops down a ways in order to give a border between the wall and the ceiling.  This top course will also be finished with the bull nose.

A special tile is used at the junction of the last vertical course and the top course.  It is called a double-out bull nose because it has two edges which are rounded.  This makes sense because both the vertical and horizontal course need to finish with a rounded tile.

When you order your tile for the project be sure they include these edge pieces or you won’t be able to finish off the project all at one time.  Many times these trim pieces are a different shade or color in order to give a strong edge.  They also can be a completely different type of tile.

Protect Your Garage Floor With Sealant

garage floor sealantIf you do any do-it-yourself work on your car you know how maddening it can be to have a damaged floor in your garage.  Whether it is a long crack or just a divit, the uneven surface can be a real pain when you are tying to slide under the car.  In fact, if you are using a flat creeper it can be impossible if one of the little wheels drops into even the smallest hole.

The number one way to protect your floor from damage is to apply a garage floor sealant.  This is a protective coating that not only stops new injuries to the floor but also will fill in some of the existing ones.  You end up with a surface that is easy to slide around on and is safe from all but the most damaging problems.  You can even weld on the bench above a sealed floor and the welding sparks will just bounce off like water in hot oil.

The best garage floor sealer is one made of epoxy.  Epoxy is a very strong material that is formed by mixing two ingredients together.  The main ingredient is a resin that will cure to a hard finish.  The second is the actual hardener that starts a chemical reaction with the resin when they are mixed.  The curing process starts almost immediately but you usually have 10 to 15 minutes to spread the mixture before it gets unworkable.  The method of spreading is to use a nap roller and roll the sealer out like you were putting on a thick layer of paint.

It usually takes about 18 hours for the epoxy floor coatings to cure hard enough to walk on and you shouldn’t drive on it for about 3 days.  But after this the surface is tough and impact resistant.  I am not going to tell you can’t harm it but you will have to work at it very hard.

Refacing Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

refacedcabinetsTo bring a new look to your kitchen cabinets, there are usually three options available:  cabinet refacing, which involves placing a laminate veneer over existing cabinets; cabinet refinishing, which means you take down the old cabinet doors, strip and re-stain them; or ripping out your old cabinets and paying thousands to put new ones in.

Of the three options, cabinet refacing is the best balance of low cost and minimal labor.  The steps involved are relatively simple and the materials cost for an average kitchen can run less than $1000.  Take a look at the simple process:

1.  Make sure you have all the tools available and ready, this includes:

-Your choice of laminate veneer.
-Hammer and a nail set.
-A power drill (and a screwdriver, just in case.)
-Drop cloths, and tack cloths.
-Carpenter’s glue
-Straight edge and tri-square.
-Utility knife.
-150 grit sandpaper.

2. Remove cabinet doors and clean with a de-greaser like TSP.  This is powerful stuff, so use rubber gloves.  Mark the doors as you remove them so there is no problem putting them in the right place later.

3. Once cleaned, scuff the doors with sandpaper and use the tack cloth to wipe them clean.

4. Taking plywood strips, cover up any exposed ends by applying the strips with carpenter’s glue.

*5. Apply veneer by lining up first and then removing the backing as you press down.  Once applied, use pressure to ensure even adhesion.

6. Trim overhanging edges of the veneer until you are satisfied.

7.  Replace doors and attach new pulls or knobs.  When re-hanging the doors, it is a good idea to screw them in lightly and test the swing of the door to make sure it is properly lined up.

If the work seems to complicated or time intensive, you may want to consider hiring a home improvement service to reface your cabinets for you.