How to Install a Pre-Hung Door

Installing pre-hung doors is the easiest method of hanging new doors or replacing old ones. All you have to do is install the new door into an opening. Here’s how to install a pre-hung door in your home. Things You’ll Need Level Pencil Measuring tape Wallboard saw Circular saw Shims Straightedge Finishing nails Drill Hammer Nail set Spackle Before You Purchase a Pre-Hung Door When ordering a pre-hung door, be sure you know whether you want a right or left-hand swing. The manufacturer may be able drill the holes in the door for the lockset and the hinges, which can save you time. If the door comes with a brace to keep the door and frame aligned, leave the brace on until the door unit is secured into place. Steps for Installation Trim the door opening. Trim any excess drywall with a wallboard saw around the doorway. This will ensure that the new door will hang plumb. Make sure the floor under the door is level. The pre-hung door will come with longer sides on the frame that extend past the door. This will allow you to cut each side of the door frame according to how level the floor is. If the floor isn’t level, one side of the frame will be shorter than the other to fit with the floor. This won’t be a problem after the door is in place. Determine location for shims, if needed. It’s important that the door jambs are installed plumb. Use a level to see how plumb the rough opening is that is common to the hinge-side of the door. Cut...

Ten Ways to Use Carpet Tiles Around the Home

Carpet tiles can be used in any room or for many arts and crafts projects. They are versatile, inexpensive, easy to install on the floor and easily maintained. Here are ten ways you can use carpet tiles around the home that you may not have thought of before. 1. Runner Rug Runner rugs are great for long hallways. Give the budget a break by purchasing carpet tiles and converting them into a rug for your hallway. You can use one tile or two tiles across depending on the width of your space. This is a great way to add a pop of color to your home or provide a softer touch to wood floors. 2. Area Rug With carpet tiles, only your imagination is the limit. Area rugs can be created from carpet tiles, and in any pattern you can think of. Simply find a pattern you like and cut the carpet tiles to match using a razor blade. Use several colors to add a little bit of a mix to the room! 3. Outdoors Some carpet tiles can even be used outdoors to cover a deck, patio, garage floor, or the surrounding area of a swimming pool. For example, carpet squares placed around a pool can prevent slipping. 4. Bulletin Board Staple some carpet squares to a corkboard or to a lightweight piece of wood and make a fun bulletin board! Using carpet tiles is a nice alternative to the standard cork, and can add some color and texture to your wall. 5. Ottoman Cover a plywood cube or an old wooden pallet with carpet tiles for a DIY...

How to Install Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring can easily be installed with the right tools and a little preparation before you start. Not only is laminate flooring economical, but it’s also very durable and can be installed within one day for most DIYers. It’s a great choice for almost any room! Tools You’ll Need Hammer Tape measure Level Jamb saw Circular saw Utility knife Clamps Nail punch Carpenter’s square Foam underlayment Floor installation kits Sealant Silicone caulk Floor leveling compound (if needed) Duct tape Concrete patch FInishing nails Moulding Threshold Preparation First, remove your existing flooring and baseboards, then clean the subfloor of dust and debris so the floor is as smooth and flat as possible. This is important so the laminate flooring can lie down properly. If you have concrete subfloors, make sure any damage is filled with a patching compound. If you have original wood floors, remove protruding nails and replace any damaged boards before you start. If you are installing the flooring in a room with high humidity or moisture, like a bathroom or laundry room, lay down a vapor barrier before you install the flooring. These can also be installed in other rooms for added protection. Next, lay out the unopened boxes of laminate planks in the room so they can acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity levels. Leave them in the room for around 48 hours before you begin the project. Cut Door Jambs By cutting your door jambs before you install your new flooring, you will have to make fewer cuts to the laminate and it will produce a more streamlined look when you’re finished. To do...

Unique Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

A new kitchen backsplash doesn’t always have to mean using tile or spending a lot of money. Backsplashes made of material other than tile are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s a good way to add a touch of personality to your kitchen while still remaining functional. Here are several unique kitchen backsplash ideas that will get your creative juices flowing on any budget. Peel and Stick Laminate Flooring Backsplash Wood-paneled walls are in style these days. You can get that look in your kitchen, but for much less money if you use peel and stick laminate flooring for your backsplash. Not only that, but it’s so easy! You simply peel and stick the faux laminate flooring onto the wall. That’s it. Be sure to stagger all of the planks as you want them, and get them as close to each other as possible. Some cutting around outlets will be needed, but it’s easily done with scissors or a razor blade. If you want to take the project a step father, you can lightly sand, prime and paint the planks with the color of your choosing. Mirror Backsplash Mirrors for a backsplash can be customized to your liking. No matter how big or small, they can be purchased at most craft stores to create a unique look. A small kitchen space will immediately feel larger with the mirrored surface. Coffee Bean Backsplash A coffee bean backsplash may sound odd, but it actually creates an eye-catching focal point and gives texture to the walls. Start by cutting a piece of plywood with a table saw to the measurements appropriate for your...

How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring provides a modern elegance to your home without the hefty price tag of real wood. If laminate floors are cleaned properly, you can get a long-lasting floor option that can hold up just as well as hardwood. Basic Care Like with any type of flooring, basic day-to-day care is necessary. Use a dust mop or a vacuum paired with a soft brush attachment to clean up dirt and debris. For mopping, use a cotton, terrycloth or microfiber mop. Avoid harsh chemicals that can ruin your laminate flooring. You’ll want to protect your laminate floors from the sun’s harsh rays. Excessive heat and direct sunlight can cause fading and aging on exposed areas of the floor. If possible, purchase blackout curtains and keep them closed throughout the day. How to Prevent Damage Liquid isn’t good for laminate. Any type of aqueous substance can seep in between the laminate boards causing swelling and unnecessary damage. Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of water or disinfectant in order to achieve a thorough clean. Only spray as much as you need on a section of the floor as you mop. If a lot of water or liquid is left behind after you mop a spot, you’re using too much. The floor should dry on its own within one minute of mopping it. Ice is helpful in removing wax or gum. By using the ice method to harden tough substances like wax or gum, you can gently scrape them off with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface, and wipe down the...

Best Ways to Prevent Scratches on Wood Flooring

Wood flooring can add a natural touch to any home. Whether it’s new, refinished or even engineered hardwood, we all want to keep our floors looking new as long as possible. Even with our best efforts, scratches can still happen due to furniture, pets, children and dirt, amongst other factors. But, with a maintenance routine and a little TLC, we can help prevent scratches on wood flooring. Leave Your Shoes at the Door Shoes can damage your hardwood floors. Rocks and dirt trapped in soles can cause wear and tear, scratches and even divots on wood floors. High heeled shoes can cause even more damage as they do not evenly distribute weight. Leave slippers at the front door for use in the house if you want something on your feet. Protect Your Floors From Furniture Glides and fabric pads, which are placed on the bottom of your furniture’s legs, are great ways to protect your hardwood floors from surface scratches. Choose the pad according to how often the furniture is moved. Avoid plastic wheeled furniture as they can easily scratch hardwood. There are different types of chair glides, each offering different levels of cost and protection. Self-adhesive pads. These are peel and stick pads that can easily be found at most stores. They are typically made of felt or rubber, are inexpensive, and have a shorter life expectancy. Nail-on pads. These types of pads are very secure since they are nailed onto the furniture leg. Slip-on pads. These pads slip over a chair leg and are often made of rubber or plastic. These won’t fall off over time like...

Common Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinet Features

If you’re shopping for new cabinets, you’ll likely encounter terminology you may be unfamiliar with. Knowing the most common kitchen and bathroom cabinet features will help you decide which cabinetry will best suit your home, style and budget. Drawer Fronts Many details can be customized on drawer fronts, especially the outside face edge for most styles. This can be especially useful when matching with existing cabinetry or specific design requests. Solid drawer fronts are the most traditional. Sometimes referred to as slab front drawers, they’re sold with a wide range of options. This simple style allows you to get creative with colors and and types of wood. Five-piece drawer fronts are constructed with a frame and center panel, creating a look similar to cabinet doors. The size of the frame is usually reduced to allow for smaller heights that drawer fronts typically require. Three-piece drawer fronts are versatile enough to fit both traditional and modern styles. With straight lines and right angles, this design is attractive and clean. Routed drawer fronts are a step higher in cabinetry design than solid drawer fronts due to the added detail. Flat pieces of wood or laminate are routed on the edges. Usually the drawer fronts are made with the same edge design as the cabinet doors. Additional designs may be carved into these drawer fronts if desired Door Overlay The overlay dimension is simply how much bigger the door is than the opening of the cabinet. Full overlay draws attention to the door and drawer design, creating a seamless look. This type of cabinetry covers the entire face frame in framed construction...

Carpet vs. Wood Flooring for Stairs

It can be difficult to decide which type of flooring for your stairs will provide functionality, style and safety. Wood stairs can provide a modern and sleek look to a home, while carpeted stairs can add warmth and texture while helping with noise reduction and fall prevention. If it’s too difficult to choose between the two, many homeowners compromise by installing a carpet runner that covers only a portion of the wood stairs. Pros and Cons of Carpeted Stairs Safety Carpeted stairs provide traction, which can prevent slips and falls for both people and pets. In fact, The National Safety Council reports 12,000 deaths a year in the U.S. just from stair falls, so carpet is important to consider, especially if you have children or seniors in the home. Expense and Effort Installing carpet generally requires a professional’s help due to the required skill it takes to fold the carpet along each edge for a seamless finish. Even with installation costs, carpet tends to be significantly less expensive than hardwood. Appearance Consider the other floor finishes you have in your home. If you already have laminate or hardwood upstairs and downstairs, carpeted stairs may look outdated and out of place. For homes with carpeting throughout, carpet stairs will provide the most cohesive look. The look of the stairs also plays a part in which material you choose. For stairs that change width from top to bottom, full carpet is a good choice as opposed to a carpet runner, which may need to be custom-fit. Condition Consider the condition of your stairs. If you have original hardwood underneath, you may...

What are the Most Popular Tile Types?

Shopping for tile might seem overwhelming at first due to all of the different types of tile available, but it doesn’t have to be. Some tiles are used for floors in areas where there’s high traffic, while other tiles are fragile and designed for walls only. Keep in mind that every floor tile can also be used as a wall tile – but the opposite isn’t true. If you’re just tiling your walls, you can choose what you like. But, when you’re tiling a floor, you need to be a bit more choosy. Here’s a guide to the most popular tile types and how select the right one for your project. Ceramic Ceramic is one of the most popular types of tile. Made out of clay and sand, then molded and fired in a kiln, it’s durable enough to be used for flooring in high traffic areas. The tiles can either be glazed or unglazed, but they’re usually glazed on one side (the side that goes up). Ceramic tile has a much longer life in comparison to other flooring materials due to its scratch resistance, color permanence and strength. Ceramic tiles are also water-resistant, making them an ideal choice for bathrooms, basements, kitchens, porches, laundry rooms, and other moisture-prone areas. Porcelain Porcelain tile is similar to ceramic tile, but there are slight differences. Porcelain tiles are generally slightly stronger than ceramic and offer greater design flexibility. Porcelain tiles are made out of a clay-like material, just like ceramic, but the clay used to make porcelain tile is more refined and purified. It’s also fired at a higher temperature, resulting...

Tile Installation Basics

Tackling a tile project may seem like a stressful job, but once you know the basics, you’ll see that installing tile yourself isn’t that difficult. Here’s an overview of the different products, tools, and techniques you may need, depending on the look you want to achieve. What You’ll Need Tile Not all tiles are created equal, so select the type that will work best for your space and last the longest. As a general rule, all tile can go on a wall, but wall tiles cannot go on a floor. Here are a few popular types: Ceramic Porcelain Travertine Slate Marble Granite Glass Adhesive Adhesives are what stick tile to a surface, and different adhesives will work for different uses. Here are the two most common types: Thin-set is a mix of fine sand, water, and cement. You may see this under other names such as thin-set cement, thin-set mortar, drybond mortar, or dryset mortar, but they’re are all the same thing. This adhesive can be used for nearly all tiles. Thin-set is ideal for areas of moisture because it isn’t water soluble and it will remain hard-textured when wet. Mastic is an acrylic adhesive and should only be used for ceramic and some porcelain tiles. It’s not suitable for use in bathrooms because it’s organic, so it can harbor mold in high-moisture areas. Mastic will also liquefy when submerged in water, and it can expand or contract due to changes in temperature. Grout Grout goes into the spaces between the tile and keeps any moisture away from the adhesive on the back. There are several options, but only...

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