Posted by Jacob on January 6, 2013 Installing a floor like a pro
Ever seen a beautiful floor that a friend spent a weekend or even many weekends installing and noticed a flaw around doorways ( see below image).
I have been in many homes and seen this same issue over and over again. Not only does it look unfinished but it’s time consuming to repair after the fact.
There are many different powered tools and hand saws made specifically for cutting the jambs and casing on door frames in place. This allows the installer to slide the flooring under the trim for a clean professional looking finish (see below image).
I prefer to use a multi-tool made by Bosch. Other saws made specifically for door jambs are limited to this function only. With a multi-tool you have the option of sanding, cutting, scraping, grout removal and grinding. I personally find as a handyman that I pull this tool out nearly as much as I use my drill.
While I use this tool often and it solves many issues it does have a few cons. Firstly, the battery operated version comes with two batteries. I have found that two just are not enough to keep up when using it more consistently. I needed to purchase a third battery to make this more functional, next time I would purchase a corded option. Secondly, the blades are more expensive. There are off brands that are popping up which should change this con.
So, if you are planning on installing your own floor spend the extra time and do a little extra prep work you’ll be glad you did.
Also, don’t forget that quarter round or shoe molding is meant to be used on hard floors. It covers any remaining gap as well as flexing to match the profile of the floor thus hiding any small gaps that baseboard will not.
Posted by Jacob on November 9, 2013 The Benefits of Bamboo Wood Flooring Materials.
Wood Flooring is often a desire of many homeowners and one of the highlights of a home, once installed. It can add great value and endure much more wear and tear than traditional carpet. However, the new concerns over deforestation and the inflation of the price of traditional wood flooring have lead many to seek out alternative sources.
One such source is a material called bamboo. Bamboo is actually considered a grass and is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. It has been used in Asia for many centuries and is making its way to the western world.
Unlike trees which are cut to the desired shape, bamboo must be engineered into the shape needed. One such product is called strand woven carbonized bamboo. This type of flooring is made by pulling apart the bamboo, heating it up, and compressing it together under great pressure. The heating part of the process is actually what creates the deep rich color. This allows for durability and a solid color throughout the wood. So, if you managed to chip the floor, what you would see is slight damage to the floor, but it would still have the same color.
It has been made with a snap/lock installation system which allows for easy installation similar to traditional floating laminate floors.
If you’re looking to add value to your home and use a renewable product, bamboo is the way to go.
See the dramatic difference below.
Posted by Jacob on October 26, 2013 How to care for Grout.
Most homes will often have some type of tile and will have a need to maintain the grout between those tiles. However, as common as grout is it is often neglected. Most tile installations are done with a man made tile material and do not need extra attention. If your tile is natural such as marble or granite then it will also need extra care.
Most grouts need to be sealed after installation to prevent absorption; some grouts manufactures do provide a product that claims to not need sealing. One easy way to tell is to put a small amount of water on the grout and see if it is absorbed. If the water does absorb then your grout is absorbing every bit of dirt and grime that it comes in contact with.
If your grout has changed to a dirty color a deep cleaning may not be enough to bring back its glory. Often a strong bleach solution may return white grout to its original look. If this is done with a colored grout it will bleach out some of the color as well.
Some companies offer products that will stain and seal the grout to a completely new color. The only other option is to remove the old and replace with new grout.
Most installers do not seal up the grout after a new tile installation. Even if they did this process needs to be repeated on a yearly basis to protect the grout and maintain its true color.
This most difficult part of the process is cleaning the old grout. Clean it as best you can and let it dry out for a day. Then simply follow the instructions that come with your grout sealer, most are spray and wipe off.
Posted by Jacob on October 18, 2013 How to fix wooden furniture.
How many times have you seen a perfectly good chair or table thrown out because of a broken leg? How about an expensive nightstand from Ikea that’s no longer sturdy.
Well not all of those pieces deserved the dumpster. Some pieces of furniture simply need a strong glue and clamps. While others can be repaired with a very creative tool called a Kreg Jig. This tool creates a pocket at an angle to the wood for a screw that joins to another piece of wood. This tool has a small learning curve of about 45 minutes and requires a drill.
I have used this tool for so many different applications from building shelves in my shop, to fixing furniture and even building a few cabinets. Once you understand how to use it you will look for ways to continue to use it. Warning, do not use sheetrock screws instead of the screws that are sold specifically by this company. Sheetrock screws split out the pocket and will drive in to far. Trust me, I tried to save money. once i tried kreg jig screws I never went back.
Sometimes, furniture can not be saved and it’s time to purchase new. If you purchase furniture from Ikea or other retailers that has not been assembled for you it can be very frustrating and time consuming to do this yourself. So if you don’t want to spend an afternoon getting frustrated I can help. I offer furniture assembly and minor repairs, each item is on a case by case basis and is based on an hourly rate.